March 1999 (vol. 15, #3) 1601 N Tucson Blvd #9, Tucson AZ 85716 c 1999 Physicians for Civil Defense


For ``Apocalypse Al'' Gore, according to his self-written book Earth in the Balance, the crisis facing civilization at the turn of the Millennium is rooted in the ideas of Descartes, Plato, and Francis Bacon, such as the concept of a ``disembodied spiritual intellect hovering above the material world,'' and, of course, technology (see National Review, 3/8/99).

For some, the Millennial threat is the ``Y2K'' computer bug, affecting software and embedded chips in military systems as well as financial, medical, and other systems.

But the principal danger of widespread, instantaneous destruction is the one now belatedly being recognized by the U.S. Congress: nuclear warheads, targeted on U.S. cities.

The foremost immediate threat probably comes from Communist China, which has been making enormous, rapid advances. The formerly backward Chinese plan to orbit a manned satellite in July, 1999 (see ). An especially worrisome advance is the ability to launch MIRVs (multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles).

The role of illegal transfers of U.S. technology is the subject of national security investigations. Secret documents relating to satellite encryption and intelligence reports on China, Russia, and India were removed from the Commerce Department by Ira Sockowitz, confidante of alleged Chinese agent John Huang, as uncovered by Judicial Watch (see the Judicial Watch Interim Report, 9/28/98, 501 School St., SW Suite 725, Washington, DC 20024, (202)646-5172, ). These documents have been impounded by court order. A 700-page report by a Select Committee of the House of Representatives chaired by Chris Cox is classified (Insight, 2/1/99).

The U.S. has also apparently provided China with a mobile cellular-telephone network that can be used for enhancing command-and-control functions, spying on U.S. allies in Asia, and suppressing political resistance (Insight, 12/21/98). And a new crackdown on dissenters began late last year (WSJ 1/26/99).

Evidence that the Chinese are indeed preparing for war includes the continued construction of underground bunkers and shelters throughout the city of Beijing. At the same time, nothing is being done to prepare for the major earthquake expected soon; new high rises will topple at the slightest shock (correspondence from Eric Alley).

Despite forward deployments by the Chinese military, increasingly hostile rhetoric, and People's Liberation Army (PLA) schemes to sell AK-47 rifles to California street gangs, U.S. policy has been called appeasement (Insight, 5/4/98). The decision to transfer satellite launching technology to the Dept. of Commerce was announced in the middle of the crisis over Chinese missile firings around Taiwan (WSJ 5/22/98).

China now has the right to shut down the Panama Canal whenever it wishes, on the pretext that its representatives believe such a course to be necessary. It is investing heavily in Panama, Cuba, and Venezuela, the latter a source of oil.

China also exports weapons technology to Pakistan, Iran, and others, and is reportedly helping Libya develop missiles. It is suspected that China may be involved in negotiations for the sale of Russian nuclear materials, which China would make available to others (Insight 7/20/98).

With their strategic missile forces, the Chinese have avoided the error of deployment in silos, which are vulnerable to attack. Rather, the missiles are hidden in deep canyons, tunnels, and mine shafts. Two years ago, the Chinese media said that a ``Great Wall'' project for the strategic missile forces had been completed.

The myth of ``non-proliferation'' (as well as belief in the effectiveness of U.S. intelligence) was exploded by the Indian and Pakistani bomb tests. According to JKC de Courcy, the CIA completely failed to understand the strategic imperative driving Indian policy: the threat from China, which is turning Burma into a Chinese colony, developing a close alliance with Pakistan and ties with Iran, and challenging India's naval power in the Indian Ocean (Intelligence Digest, 6/5/98, Stoneyhill Centre, Brimpsfield, Gloucester, GL4 8LF, UK).

Indian and Pakistani weapons do lack one important feature: the electronic locks and protective arming devices employed by the U.S. nuclear forces (WSJ 9/1/98).

American organized medicine, including the American College of Physicians/American Society of Internal Medicine and the AMA along with the usual PSR and IPPNW, is once again sounding the nuclear alarm (AM News 1/26/99). The goal: abolition of nuclear weapons-U.S. first, to set a ``powerful example'' (LA Times 5/31/98).

The example has been set. Christopher Ruddy claims that the weapons balance is now strongly in Russia's favor: 10,000 U.S. strategic weapons left vs. 30,000 for Russia; zero [0] U.S. tactical nuclear weapons to about 20,000 for Russia (Internet Vortex, 1/99; Sam Cohen, Wash Inq 1/19/98). Russia has reportedly abandoned its ``no first use'' policy. The default targeting option for U.S. missiles is the oceans; for Russian, the preprogrammed military targets (NEJM 338:1326-1330, 1998).

Now that the U.S. has forsworn the actual testing of nuclear weapons (since 1992), another question arises: ``What if the nukes don't work?'' The scientists who designed them are retiring; DOE is conducting videotaped interviews in an attempt to archive their expertise. Bombs are broken into 6,000 parts, and the parts tested separately in the Stockpile Stewardship Program. As the weapons age, new problems will arise. Moreover, the current arsenal will require replenishment with tritium as early as 2005. After the 1989 shutdown of the Rocky Flats facility, no tritium for nuclear warheads has been produced in the United States for ten years (Insight, 12/28/98).

The erosion of U.S. conventional forces also continues. By FY 2001, the U.S. Navy will have reduced the size of the fleet by 45% compared with 1988, and by 31% since 1992. The Navy aircraft mishap rate in 1998 doubled compared with 1997, and recruitment is 7,000 below requirements (WSJ 1/5/99).

The solution proposed by a consultant to Clinton's Army secretary is to ``embrace an `ungendered vision' in which unit cohesion is achieved by compassion and idealism, rather than `macho posturing' '' (Insider's Report 12/98).

Scrapping the ABM Treaty, which prohibits the U.S. from building a defense against missile attack, is actually being discussed in Washington.

But will the millennial wake-up alarm be too late?



It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation,

To call upon a neighbour and to say:-

``We invaded you last night-we are quite prepared to fight,

Unless you pay us cash to go away.''

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,

And the people who ask it explain

That you've only to pay 'em the Dane-geld

And then you'll get rid of the Dane.

It is always a temptation to a rich and lazy nation,

To puff and look important and to say:-

``Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.

We will therefore pay you cash to go away.''

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;

But we've proved it again and again,

That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld

You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,

For fear they should succumb and go astray,

So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,

You will find it better policy to say:-

``We never pay any one Dane-geld,

No matter how trifling the cost,

For the end of that game is oppression and shame,

And the nation that plays it is lost!''

Rudyard Kipling


Writing in the London Daily Telegraph (2/8/99), Matt Ridley states: ``When King Alfred the Great first paid Danegeld to appease a Viking army, that army `with a treachery to which all adjectives are unequal' (Churchill's words) immediately broke its promise of peace.''

Today, we have not learned that lesson: ``Indeed, we have begun to make a virtue of paying Danegeld. We call it `corporate responsibility' when a company accedes to the demand of a pressure group that has been besieging it....''


Preparing for a Non-Apocalypse

Hidden deep within the monstrous 4,000-page, 40-pound omnibus spending bill adopted in 1998 is $193 million for the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). The GEF, which is administered by the World Bank, is viewed as a mechanism for implementing the Kyoto Protocol. According to Cooler Heads, a newsletter published by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the provision was slipped in by legislative sleight of hand during the conference. It was dubbed ``arrears,'' the difference between what the White House had promised and what Congress had appropriated over the past three years.

Also teaming up with the Greens to push the global warming agenda are three international giants: British Petroleum, Monsanto, and General Motors (EPA Watch 10/31/98).

Ridley calls it Danegeld. Alternately, it may be a drive to profit first from a market driven by regulatory fiat. British Petroleum reportedly has 10 full-time staffers working on an internal crediting program that could give it an advantage over competitors such as Exxon. Proposals such as the Mack-Lieberman ``early action'' emissions credits would help to assure that the burden of Kyoto compliance would fall more heavily on small and less politically connected enterprises. Because emissions credits would be worthless if the Protocol is not ratified, recipients would have a strong incentive to lobby for its acceptance: a way to divide and conquer businesses.

Supporting the political agenda are headlines in Nature: ``Clear need to act on global warming'' (396:210, 1998) and ``Research is no substitute for political action on climate (396:1, 1998). Not in support of this agenda are the scientific observations. The temperature refuses to increase as predicted by the global warming model. And so does the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, increasing at a rate only 60% as fast as anticipated, according to James Hansen (see Policy Analysis #329, 12/31/98, Cato Institute, ).

North America may actually be a net carbon sink, absorbing more CO2 than emitted by fossil fuel burning in the U.S. and Canada (Science 282:386-387, 442-446, 1998; World Climate Report 10/26/98). Factors contributing to the increased vegetation include: regrowth of forests, partly due to concentration of agriculture on fewer, more productive acres; increased nitrogen fertilization; CO2 fertilization; and warming of high latitudes, causing a slight lengthening of the growing season.

The importance of enhanced CO2 as plant food is highlighted by the observation that agriculture became viable in some regions around the world between 11,000 and 6,000 years ago only when CO2 levels became high enough to sustain decent yields (Science 278:1411, 1997).

Towers that measure CO2 flux are being set up to ``take the world's CO2 pulse.'' They could be more than scientific data collectors: ``A global network of 250 towers coupled with satellite and weather data might allow monitors to see whether countries are living up to their Kyoto commitments.'' In other words, they could be seen as ``tools for the carbon police'' (Science 281:506-507), and thus killed by Congress.


New Federal Emergency: ``Sprawl''

While money is tight for ballistic missile defense, Al Gore wants to spend $10 billion to help keep the target populations concentrated-and to keep families from escaping to better schools, less traffic congestion, and less crime.

There are also state initiatives. Focus groups are helping to frame the message. ``Does the support of the Sierra Club make you more or less likely to favor ... ?'' asked one facilitator in Tucson concerning a ``grow smarter'' program, which would apparently force even the smallest hamlets in Arizona to adopt central planning for [the impedance of] growth.

Some facts: Land in all cities and suburbs is less than 5% of the land area in the continental U.S. A mere 0.0006% of the total land area is developed each year. Set-asides have grown twice as fast as urban areas since World War II. The amount of land fenced off from development is now three times larger than all urban areas combined (see ).

``The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it. `No room! No room!' they cried out, when they saw Alice coming. `There's plenty of room!' said Alice indignantly....''

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland, quoted in

S. Hayward, ``Suburban Legends,'' Natl Rev 3/22/99