March 1994 (vol. 10, #3) 1601 N Tucson Blvd #9, Tucson AZ 85716 c 1994 Physicians for Civil Defense


Russian Initiative

In November, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced a ``new'' military doctrine that looks very much like the old Brezhnev approach. The key features are:

Launch on warning in the event of threat of nuclear strike, whether merely perceived or actually clear and present;

Missiles targeted on the United States;

Nuclear deterrence by means of crushing, all-out nuclear strikes;

A traditional ``offensivism'' (as opposed to a ``defencist'' strategy), incorporating surprise, advantageous initiation of hostilities, firepower superiority, exploitation of diplomacy, and disinformation; and

The indoctrination of soldiers with sacred Russian patriotism and selfless sacrifice for the Russian Motherland (instead of ``Marxist-Leninist ideology'').

Boris Yeltsin's opinion of the doctrine may be irrelevant. According to a U.S. authority, ``the military has a stranglehold on him now'' (Albert Weeks, ``Russia Unfurls Its New/Old Military Doctrine,'' ROA National Security Report, January, 1994).

The manifesto of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), led by neo-fascist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, also reflects the strong influence of the security services.

Zhirinovsky himself has made a number of threatening off-the-cuff remarks. For example:

``When I come to power, there will be a dictatorship. I will beat the Americans in space. I will surround the planet with our space stations so that they'll be scared of our space weapons. I don't care if they call me a fascist or a Nazi. There's nothing like fear to make people work better'' (The Shield, High Frontier's monthly newsletter, January, 1994).

Even if Zhirinovsky himself is soundly rejected, the LDPR document points the way to Russia's future policy, according to Joseph de Courcy, editor of Intelligence Digest (17 Rodney Road, Cheltenham, Glos, GL50 1HX, United Kingdom). The manifesto rejects both doctrinaire communism and free markets; supports an all-powerful president; and calls for a ``unified powerful army.'' It advocates close alliances with Germany and China and hegemony in the Middle East. India and Iraq are also identified as strategic allies (Intelligence Digest, 1/14/94).

As to actual actions, Russia has put forward a plan to increase its conventional forces in the Caucasus in contravention of the limits drawn up in the Conventional Forces in Europe agreement (Intell Digest 10/1/93). A CIA official reported to a closed session of Congress that Russia will flight test and deploy three new ICBMs in this decade, according to David Montgomery of Freedom International. Russia is strongly supporting Iran's nuclear program, despite intense opposition from the U.S. (Intell Digest 1/28/94).

U.S. Response

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., the new U.S. approach is diametrically opposed to previous policies:

The nuclear ``deterrent'' force is being targeted on the open seas, a gesture to show trust, which could be reversed in a crisis (Ariz Daily Star 12/6/93). Under the START agreements, the U.S. is to dispose of thousands of nuclear warheads; current debate focuses on whether or not to use the bomb material as fuel for power reactors (Insight 1/24/94). Rocky Flats (the ``bomb factory'') is entering an era of decommissioning and environmental cleanup. (The standards are so strict that the creek water has to be one hundred times less radioactive than drinking water--CANDID Comments Nov 1992).

U.S. defensive technology, such as it is, will be turned over to former Soviet republics. The idea arose in the 1993 Vancouver meetings between Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin and was passed into law (the ``Friendship Act'') by voice vote with very few representatives present, using procedures reserved for noncontroversial bills. Rep. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) objected, remarking that Russia is not in compliance either with START or the Convention on Biological Weapons (David Montgomery). Development of ballistic missile defense remains ``dangerously underfunded or totally ignored'' in the US, according to Rep. Bob Dornan (R-CA) (The Shield 1/94).

Civil defense has been further diminished, if not totally demolished. A FEMA reorganization will abolish the National Preparedness Directorate. Civil defense appears nowhere in the recent DoD graphic on ``Responding to the Proliferation Threat.'' Instead, the DoD will ``issue defense planning guidance to the services to make sure everyone understands what the President wants.'' It will also establish positions for a new Assistant Secretary and a new deputy director; create a new joint office; triple the number of experts assigned to the Nonproliferation Center; and engage the help of Eastern European nations to stop proliferation (former Defense Secy Les Aspin in the ROA National Security Report 1/94).

Conventional forces will probably face further cutbacks, possibly reflecting ``the fact, already accepted at the highest levels, that a Western-imposed world peace is not sustainable'' (Intell Digest 1/28/94). De Courcy refers to the logistical statistics that ``the military have been brandishing in front of the something-must-be-done school of politician since the beginning of the Yugoslav civil war.'' The Gulf War, he states, demonstrated that transporting the needed men and materiel required an astronomical effort, which ``stretched the Western powers to the limit.'' Without the cooperation of civilians and the goodwill of host countries (Germany allowed exclusive use of roads, railways, canals, and ports), the effort would have failed.

A comparison of the strategic doctrines of Russia and the United States reveals a clear-cut fundamental distinction. The Russians place their trust in hardware; the U.S. invests total faith in bureaucrats, charts, and rhetoric.


Manipulating the Media

In an interview with Joseph de Courcy (Intelligence Digest 2/4/94), Mr. James Harff of the public relations firm of Rudere & Finn Global Public Affairs explains why the Serbs have such a disastrous public image, although they are not the only sinners in the Yugoslav civil war. The media techniques can be generalized to any situation. The key points are:

The achievement that Harff was most proud of was ``to put the Jewish opinion on our side.'' He noted that this was ``a sensitive matter, as the dossier was dangerous looked at from this angle.''

Harff admitted that he had no proof that his statements about death camps were true. But ``we are not paid to be moral.''

De Courcy concluded that ``for all their image of professionalism and hardbitten cynicism, the Western media are clearly easier to manipulate than their operatives would like to admit.''


Ultraviolet and Melanoma

The dire predictions of thousands of cancer deaths due to ozone depletion are based on a series of assumptions:

1. The ozone layer is thinning. 2. If the ozone layer thins, more ultra-violet radiation will reach the surface. 3. If more UV reaches the surface, more of the frequently fatal form of skin cancer (melanoma) will occur.

We have previously challenged the first two assumptions. The third is also dubious, as Thomas Mathewson of Oro Valley, Arizona, shows in the following letter:

More than 90% of malignant cancers may be induced by wavelengths of sunlight that are not absorbed either by the ozone layer or by most commercial sunscreens, according to research by scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory (see Pamela Zurer, ``Broad Light Spectrum Tied to Deadly Can-cer,'' Chemical and Engineering News 7/19/93, p. 7).

Exposure to the sun has long been linked to skin cancer in human beings. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) predicts about 700,000 new cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer in the U.S. this year, with 2,300 deaths. Such nonmelanoma cancers appear most often on the nose, ears, or neck.

Melanoma, on the other hand, is much more deadly, even though it occurs less frequently: NCI projects 32,000 new U.S. cases in 1993 and 6,800 deaths. Melanoma's link to sun exposure is less clear. For example, it often appears on the legs or trunk rather than highly exposed areas of the body.

There are few good experimental models for malignant melanoma. Richard B. Setlow and his coworkers in Brook-haven's biology department experimented with fish specially bred to be highly susceptible to melanoma (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 90:6666, 1993).

As expected, they found the cancer was induced by ultravio-let radiation between 280 and 320 nm-the so-called UV-B region which damages DNA and which the stratospheric ozone layer screens from the earth's surface.

But to the researchers' surprise, the control fish, not exposed to UV-B, also developed melanoma.

``Partway through our experiments, we realized that longer wavelengths that come through the glass of the aquarium also induce melanomas,'' Setlow stated.

The team concluded after further experiments that UV-A (320 to 400 nm) and visible radiation, which are not absorbed by DNA and which are much more abundant in sunlight than UV-B, induce melanoma in the fish. The team hypothesizes that the energy from longer wavelengths of light absorbed by melanin-the brownish-black pigment found in skin cells-may be transferred to some other compound that then damages the DNA.

``My personal opinion is that we can extrapolate these results to humans,'' Setlow said. ``As far as we know, the photochemical reactions of DNA are independent of source, fish or human. And the fish have melanocytes-cells containing melanin-like humans.''

On the basis of their work, the researchers point out that sunscreens designed to protect against burning UV-B rays may not guard against melanoma. They also note that ozone absorbs significantly only at wavelengths less than 320 nm. Therefore, depletion of the ozone layer would probably have only a minor effect on the incidence of this often deadly cancer.


New Insight on Coconut Grove Fire

During the war years, freon was restricted mostly for military use.

Civilians had to use substitute refrigerants, some of them flammable. One of these, methyl chloride, is now suspected to be the cause of the 1942 nightclub fire in Boston that killed 492 people.

Survivors reported seeing a sudden burst of blue flame in the northwest corner of the nightclub, where the cooling system was located. Autopsies on some of the victims showed lung damage consistent with methyl chloride.

Investigators apparently had not considered the possibility at the time (Associated Press report, 9/24/93).

Freon came into widespread use as a refrigerant because of its safety and low cost. It is nontoxic and nonflammable. Forcing the use of substitutes that are less safe, as a result of the Montreal Protocol, may have a direct cost in human lives, compounding the huge economic cost.

The human cost will not be offset by preventing significant casualties from melanoma, the theoretical justification for the ban on freon.


Malaria Funding Cut; Aid to C.I.S. Increased

Research into tropical diseases will be cut by about 40%, just as tests of a malaria vaccine are beginning. The rationale is that the Clinton Administration wants to send more aid to the former Soviet Union (NY Times 2/13/94).