In a dramatic development, a senior German diplomat, Michael Steiner, has told Spiegel magazine that, in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in the United States, the George W. Bush regime had considered using nuclear weapons against Afghanistan. Stating that the U.S. government had “played through all the possibilities,” he categorically confirmed that the papers for such a plan had been written. What this therefore tells us is that Dr. Rath’s analysis of the risks of nuclear war occurring in the immediate post-9/11 years, as outlined in his Open Letters at that time, was absolutely correct.
Recently retired following his serving as the German ambassador to India, at the time of the 9/11 attacks Steiner was working as the foreign and security policy aide to the then-German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder. A trained lawyer who later qualified as a judge, he is essentially the first official with inside knowledge of the Bush regime’s post-9/11 plans to speak out.
Contrary to the theory of “mutually assured destruction” (MAD) and the oft-heard claim that nuclear weapons act as a “deterrent,” the fact that George W. Bush had, as head of the world’s most powerful military force, even considered using them is proof that their continued existence is a serious threat to the whole of mankind. Notably, therefore, in another recent interview in Spiegel magazine, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev publicly expressed his own fears that, unless we get rid of them, sooner or later nuclear weapons will inevitably be used. Describing the current situation as “scary,” he stated we are witnessing the beginning of a new arms race and that the militarization of space is now a real danger.
In several of his Open Letters during the past 12 years, Dr. Rath alerted the world that 9/11 was being abused by corporate interest groups. The primary goal of these groups, as Dr. Rath explained, was to deliberately escalate an international crisis and create a global “state of fear” that could be used as a means of curtailing human rights and passing corporate protectionist laws. Looking back today, it is now an undeniable fact that the events of 9/11 have been used to justify the curbing of democracy, the creation and expansion of mass spying programs, and the threatening of sovereign countries with wars and murderous invasions in the pursuit of profits.
With the world’s nuclear-armed states possessing a combined total of roughly 16,000 nuclear warheads, the possibility they may one day be used represents a real and growing danger. In this respect, the message behind Dr. Rath’s landmark Make Health – Not War open letter, published in the New York Times on February 2, 2003, remains just as relevant today as it ever was. In order for a truly healthy world to become possible, it is essential that we put pressure on our political leaders to commit to the restoration of global peace and abolition of nuclear weapons. For, as Albert Einstein once said: “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”