November 2006 (vol. 23, #1)
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c 2006 Physicians for Civil Defense


A 12-year-old American boy recognized Benjamin Netanyahu in a New York restaurant and asked him for a sentence on world affairs to take to his school.

“This is 1938, and Iran is Germany,” Netanyahu responded. “And it's racing to arm itself with atomic bombs.” In contrast to Hitler, who undertook a program of world conquest and then tried to build an atomic bomb, Iran is seeking to acquire the bomb first. It is said that a single atomic bomb could end the “Zionist entity” forever.

When he was Israeli Prime Minister in 1996, Netanyahu warned the U.S. Congress that a nuclear Iran was the world's greatest threat. He states that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (CDP January 2006) believes that Allah has assigned him the task of destroying Zionism and advancing the march of an Islamist empire. While many critics of U.S. policy state that Muslims hate the West because of its support of Israel, Netanyahu says that Muslims hate Israel because it is part of the West. He noted that Islam had been attacking Western civilization for centuries before Israel even existed.

Iran will “aim the bomb first at us, and then at you,” he stated ( Germany targeted Jews first, but did not stop there.

A growing number of Israelis are building nuclear shelters (Jewish Press 11/1/06).

While Israel appeals to the U.S. for help, Mordechai Vanunu, a nuclear scientist imprisoned by Israel for 18 years for speaking about its nuclear program, alleges that Israel has as many as 400 nuclear bombs (

The nuclear threshold has not been crossed yet, but according to Richard Maybury's Early Warning Report, what he calls World War III has already cost the U.S. an admitted $549 billion and is going badly. What will happen with Democrats in control of Congress is anybody's guess. Faced with escalating violence in both Iraq and Afghanistan, President Bush is pleading for help from “important allies”–Latvia and Estonia (AP 11/27/06). Parenthetically, the Baltics could be, in Maybury's estimation, the second target, after Georgia, of a Russian invasion. Yeltsin's Russia (but not China) was aiding Iran with its nuclear ambitions in 1996, stated Netanyahu.

Some believe that World War III can be avoided simply by U.S. withdrawal from the Middle East. The strategic objective of suicide terrorists is “overwhelmingly” to “compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists view as their homeland,” writes Professor Robert Pape of the University of Chicago in his book Dying to Win: The Logic of Suicide Terrorism. Pape discounts the role of Islamism and emphasizes the presence of “tens of thousands of ground troops on the Arabian peninsula.” He bases his conclusions on his database of information on all suicide-terrorist attacks around the world from 1980 to early 2004 (American Conservative 7/18/05).

Pape's research logic has been questioned, and factual distortions on the Tamil Black Tigers criticized, by Sachi Sri Kantha of the Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA. Martin Kramer of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy finds that Pape's analysis is much too limited and trivializes the ambitions of Al-Qaeda:

“Al-Qaeda is meant to be the sum of all Muslim grievances, which can only be addressed through the spectacular humiliation of America and its allies....”

As Al-Qaeda calls U.S. troops “Crusaders,” it signals that thousand-year-old grievances have not been forgotten. Nor have the basic tenets of Islam changed. According to Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, Islamists long to restore the Caliphate, uniting all Muslims. Jihad (“struggle”) is the religious duty of every Muslim, and armed jihad to bring the world forcibly under the domination of believers has been a constant feature of Islam's history.

In The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), which has sparked 369 reader reviews on amazon. com, Spencer states that the Crusades were a defensive response to Islamic subjugation of Christian lands. Although they failed to accomplish their original purpose, the Crusaders did help to keep Europe free from Islamic conquest, Spencer states. Recall that the Franks under Charles Martel turned back a Muslim invasion from Iberia at the Battle of Tours in 732. The First Crusade in 1095 was called to resist Muslim advances into the territory of the Byzantine Empire. After the unsuccessful Ninth Crusade ended in 1272, the last traces of Christian rule in Syria disappeared. Muslims besieged Vienna in 1683.

British intelligence believes that al-Qaeda is determined to attack the UK with a nuclear weapon, “as part of the desire and agenda to cripple the west” (Guardian 11/14/06). A report in Foreign Policy, November/December 2006, concludes that a group of less than 20 people could build and bring a Hiroshima-size bomb to the U.S. for less than $10 million.

“[T]he world is rich with fresh, safe, user-friendly [highly enriched uranium],” writes William Langewiesche. Jihadists without a home country are free of the fears of retaliation that might restrain even a state like North Korea. Obstacles exist, but the necessary knowledge is publicly available, and success is not impossible (Atlantic Monthly, December 2006).

The October 9 test by North Korea was not completely successful, some observers say–unless it involved a more sophisticated device than previously thought, such as the primary for a hydrogen bomb (Nature 2006;443:610-611).

Identifying the source of a detonated nuclear weapon, either for retribution or for assessing the likelihood of another bomb, could take months or longer. An international data bank of nuclear explosives is needed, writes Michael May, director emeritus of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Nature 2006;443:907-908).

Human liberty and progress depends on a legal system based on two fundamental laws, writes Maybury: Do all you have agreed to do. Do not encroach on other persons and their property. Chaostan–the area that does not live by these laws–is expanding since the end of the Cold War.

A lesson we must learn from a Holocaust survivor, said Netanyahu, is this: “If someone tells you he is going to exterminate you, believe him.”


Post Cold War History

In 1954, the U.S. Army ringed cities with batteries of missiles named for Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, to protect against enemy aircraft. There were more than 20 sites in Maryland. In 1958, some of the first-generation Nike-Ajax missiles were replaced with the nuclear-tipped Nike-Hercules model, which did not need to be as accurate to destroy an incoming warhead.

The missiles were decommissioned, and most of the sites have been sold to local governments and bulldozed. Plans to display one of the firing bays as part of a Cold War museum are stymied because officials of the Fairfax County Park Authority can't find the stairs leading to it. Everything was welded shut and covered with concrete (Wash Post 11/26/06).

A feature article on civil defense (“When bomb shelters were all the rage” by Pat Zacharias, Detroit News 2/24/02) concluded: “The backyard bomb shelters became wine cellars, fruit cellars, or just quietly filled with water.”

As to public shelters, “[g]overnment officials acknowledge that over the last several decades they have quietly been discarding nearly a half-century of old foodstuffs and other supplies stockpiled for survivors of a nuclear war.”

Said one official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): “It wasn't like one day we just woke up and said it's over. But everything really is gone.”


The Ultimate Democracy

The new Russian state has grasped the secret that democracy is a form of piracy, writes Richard Maybury (Early Warning Report, September 2006).

During the Golden Age of Piracy, 1600 to 1800, pirate ships were far more democratic than any other regimes of their day: a reawakening of the ancient Greek model.

Pirate captains were elected by majority vote, and could be deposed at any time. Every crew member had a vote. “As in ancient Athens and modern welfare states, the pirate crew even voted on the choice of persons to rob. Democratic Athens was famous for its `acquisitive' foreign policy,” Maybury writes.

Kremlin, Inc., has taken control of the economy, the mafias, local government–and the Russian Orthodox Church. Its Patriarch, Alexy II, blessed two church bells cast with Putin's name, just like in czarist times, Maybury writes.

The Russian liberty movement is moribund. “Democratic Russia–the Kremlin, Inc.–is the modern world's first pirate state.” Once it has consolidated its hold on Russia's 89 provinces, Maybury expects the Kremlin to break out into former Soviet states on the periphery.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has granted Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez a billion dollar arms deal for helicopters and jet fighters, adding to the 100,000 battle rifles already supplied. Also under discussion is the construction of Russian arms factories in Venezuela. Additionally, Russians have been supplying China with an upgraded version of the supersonic Moskit anti-ship missile. Chinese naval officers have been studying German methods used to plant anti-ship mines along the U.S. coast in World War II (EWR Sept, Nov/Dec 2006).


Litvinenko Assassinated

KGB defector and Putin critic Alexander Litvinenko died of poisoning with polonium-210 in a British hospital.

“He was killed by a little tiny nuclear bomb,” said his father. “The people who killed him make big nuclear bombs and they should not be trusted.”

Litvinenko's death is the most widely publicized instance of what many believe is a Kremlin policy of assassinating its dissenters. In a Nov 25 column in the New Statesman, music critic Artemy Troitsky said that assassinations in Russia have effectively negated freedom of the press.

A Kremlin spokesman has argued that any suggestion of KGB involvement is “ridiculous,” and issued a report accusing a CIA agent: the methodology recommended by Khrushchev.

In referring to his own impending death, Litvinenko said: “This is what it takes to prove one has been telling the truth” (Nyquist JR, “A New Methodology for Wet Affairs,” 11/27/06,


U.S. Future in Iraq

A super-secret military group found its conclusions leaked to the Washington Post. It was said to be favoring a “go long” option, with a temporary increase in troop strength with long-term cuts and a shift to a training and advisory function. U.S. Marine reserve officer Josh Manchester puts forth a “go native” strategy that includes a crash program for a massive Arabic linguistic capability (TCSDaily 11/28/06,

Maybury (EWR August 2006) wonders about the purpose of the 104-acre, heavily fortified U.S. embassy in Iraq (,,7374-2162249,00.html). By comparison, the U.S. embassy in Moscow looks tiny.

At present, Maybury's “nuke or draft” countdown stands at 2, on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being certainty. Options are increasingly constrained because the war is depleting and debilitating U.S. forces so severely. The Kremlin and Beijing thus feel enabled to ease into the fringes of the fight. Chinese armed forces, for example, have been firing high-powered lasers at U.S. spy satellites.

Maybury advocates the police model, rather than the war model, for dealing with aggressors (EWR, Nov/Dec 2006). He notes that in Chaostan, where there is no foundation for liberty (see the fundamental laws, p. 1), the only two possibilities are tyranny or chaos. While he bases his investment advice on the expectation that U.S. government policy will not change, he recommends following the example of Roman emperor Hadrian. Admitting that Rome was unable to dominate the whole world, Hadrian drew the line at the existing limits of the empire and fortified it. He built Hadrian's wall and let the Scots continue to butcher each other.

(EWR, PO Box 84908, Phoenix, AZ 85071, 800.509.5400, $300/yr, back issues $15 each).


Islamic Science

In the Nov 2 issue, Nature “offers an unprecedented look at the prospects for science and technology in the Muslim world.” Some (such as Spencer) say that something about Islam is inimical to science. “Muslims bristle at this idea, pointing to the major achievements of Muslim scholars under the Islamic caliphate,” in the Abbasid Era, 750-1258.

If all science is contained in the Koran, there is no place in society for new knowledge. The decline of scientific knowledge in Persia (Iran) began in the fifteenth century. The Shah tried to revive science, but progress halted with the Islamic revolution. Innovation, book publishing, art, and literature in Arabic speaking countries are among the weakest in the world. Nature presents the “nuances” and some glimmers of hope.