MERYL NASS, M.D., merylnass at gmail.com
Vice President Joe Biden claimed over the weekend that Syria has the “largest stockpile in the world of chemical weapons.” Nass runs the Anthrax Vaccine blog and has been regularly debunking false claims about biological and chemical weapons. She said today: “First, the U.S. stockpile is admittedly three times larger than Syria’s. The Army says so. (Based on what we think we know about Syria’s). … Second, how is it that Syria is supposed to destroy its stockpile by mid-2014 while it is going to take us till 2023 because we have to build huge palaces of destruction that won’t be complete till 2020? Then it will take three years, once everything is in place? There are mobile units that can destroy CW on site (See Sen Lugar’s quotes.) Why are we not using them for our own CW destruction?
“Are we creating an impossible timeline Syria will be forced to miss? Or are we creating a lot of fluff around our own CW, whose destruction is not that complex and did not need to be so expensive or take so long? Did we create this expensive and time-consuming destruction scenario to delay getting rid of our CW? If Syria can get rid of its by next year why can’t we? And every other country with stockpiles?”
ALICE SLATER, email@example.com
Slater is with the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and the Abolition 2000 coordinating committee. She said today: “It seems particularly hypocritical and blind to go on at great length about the horrors of Syria’s weapons of mass destruction as the U.S. continues to cling to its own weapons of mass destruction, specifically its nuclear arsenal, reserving the right to use them as a deterrent and refusing to give a pledge not to be the first to use them. As Daniel Ellsberg has noted, by pointing our nuclear weapons at other nations we are already using them, even if we never fire them, just as a bank robber is using a gun when he points it at people to get them to turn over the money, without firing a shot. And despite our promises in the Non-Proliferation Treaty to make good faith efforts to eliminate our nuclear weapons, we are currently testing and improving the U.S. arsenal, with plans to spend over $100 billion in the coming years for new bomb factories, weapons development, and new delivery systems, by land, sea and air.
“Instead of threatening a new war over the chemical arsenals of Syria, we should be examining what steps would be required to eliminate the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Perhaps we can take up another suggestion from Vladmir Putin who has been so helpful in championing this new promising initiative to avert war with Syria by urging Syria to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention and begin the process of destroying its lethal arsenal. Putin has been very clear that there can be no further agreement between the U.S. and Russia on steps to eliminate our nuclear arsenals, containing 18,000 of the 19,0000 nuclear bombs on the planet, until the U.S. forgoes its illegal quest to militarily dominate and control space by planting missile bases in Poland, Romania and Turkey and on Navy Aegis destroyers heading to the waters off the coasts of Russia. We should call for a moratorium on missile expansion and take up Russia’s offer to move to deeper cuts in our nuclear arsenals. If Russia and the U.S. could go down to 1,000 warheads each, we could then call all the other parties the table to negotiate a treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons.”