We may never know if Dick Cheney’s move to nuke Iran was foiled by a brave and unsung band of levelheaded Air Force personnel, but something mighty strange happened in September. Nuclear-armed cruise missiles were mounted on a B-52 and flown from Minot, North Dakota, to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, which is the staging ground for flights to the Middle East. The official Air Force cover story claimed the missiles were being moved in order to be decommissioned, but missiles that are being decommissioned areGO moved to Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, and are crated and moved inside cargo airplanes, not mounted on the wings of a B-52.
The official story also claimed that the mounting crews may have thought they were loading dummy missiles onto the B-52, but live warheads are clearly marked to differentiate them from dummies, and the ground crew must have known what they were doing. The security procedures for handling live missiles are so rigorous, and the order to mount them has to come from so far up the chain of command, that this could hardly have been a ground crew error. They knew what they were doing. The as-yet unanswered questions are, why were they doing it, and who originated the order to put live missiles on a B-52? We may never know.
The last time a US military airplane flew with live nuclear weapons was 1968, when a bomber crashed in Greenland. One of its bombs blew apart, spreading nuclear contamination over a wide area. The other three have never been found. Hey, now that the Greenland ice cap is melting, maybe they’ll turn up! After that incident, the US quit carrying live nuclear weapons around in airplanes. It was the last of a long string of airplane accidents involving nuclear weapons, some of which nearly resulted in nuclear explosions on US soil. The US has since signed a treaty abjuring the casual transportation of live nuclear weapons, which this incident violated. Hey, treaties are just scraps of paper. If that attitude was good enough for Hitler, it’s good enough for our homegrown Fuhrer.
It’s a good thing those Air Force guys stopped the war with Iran, if that’s what was going on, because the Democrats ain’t gonna. A Democratically controlled Congress has unconstitutionally surrendered its right to declare war on Iran to the junta’s deranged judgment. Hillary and Obama have threatened Iran. Now all three Democratic front-runners are saying they think they’ll probably keep US troops in Iraq through their entire terms. Why worry about getting the Republicans out of office when the Democrats will do their job for them?
It’s about the oil, stupid. Iraq has got about a quarter of the world’s known oil reserves, worth about thirty trillion dollars, which makes the trillion we have spent so far seem like not a bad investment, from a certain, highly amoral point of view. Look at it this way: the “oil law” that the US keeps pressuring the Iraqi government to enact, and which to its credit it has declined to do, gives the bulk of Iraq’s oil and oil profits to foreign oil development companies, presumably US ones, such as Bush’s buddy Hunt Oil, which recently signed a separate contract with the Kurds. If we had merely removed Saddam Hussein without trashing the country, there wouldn’t be the confusion and disorder that seem to call for a big US troop presence, which allows us to press for this highly favorable (to US oil interests) law.
Once we have our hands firmly on a quarter of the world’s oil supplies, we can drop the price back down, and destabilize Iran and Venezuela. We have a counterweight to our massive debt to China. They won’t turn us into a washed-up, third-world economy, because they’ll depend on us for oil. We can go on driving SUVs and living in luxury, and laugh all the way to the bank. That’s what’s happening here, folks. The Democratic “front runners” are as committed to US hegemony as Mr. Bush, they’re just a little friendlier to the common people. Good cop, bad cop, they’re still the cops. I am tired of getting my choice only of which cop will be in charge of my persecution and interrogation.
It’s the four horsemen of the apocalypse to the rescue, though. Financial reality and ecological collapse will inevitably collide with the dreams of politicians. The subprime boondoggle is officially contained, but that’s just the official word. Life is just going to get tougher for the millions of Americans who have been living beyond their means just to survive, as they discover that bankruptcy is no longer an escape. Can you say “debt slaves,” boys and girls? The stock market is up, but the dollar is down, and it’s going to take more running than we can do just to stay in place.