The New Bush Doctrine: The Wrong Path to Our Nation's Security? by Senator Dianne Feinstein
(An Address at the Center for National Policy)

An Appeal to the Pope to Stop the Bombs, by Dr. Helen Caldicott
March 21, 2003

The New Bush Doctrine: The Wrong Path to Our Nation's Security? by Senator Dianne Feinstein
(An Address at the Center for National Policy)

WASHINGTON, DC (February 26, 2003) - In the wake of the 9/11, the White House has articulated a new, and in many ways, revolutionary approach to US foreign policy. As a result, today, I believe that America's national security stands at a decisive crossroad ...

Specifically, the Administration's focus on unilateral action, its reluctance to embrace international law, treaties and institutions, and its apparent emphasis on military power to the exclusion of other policy options, have created serious concerns, I believe, both in our own country and abroad. And its actions have lost much of the good will the United States generated after 9/11 ...

I very deeply believe that this new strategy undermines US security and will make the world more dangerous, not safer.

This current strategy has little in common with candidate George W. Bush, who spoke eloquently about the need for America to conduct itself with humility in international affairs during his campaign.

"If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us; if we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us. And our nation stands alone right now in the world in terms of power, and that's why we've got to be humble, and yet project strength in a way that promotes freedom."

Now, of course these words were spoken prior to 9/11, and clearly, today, the world is a different place and terror presents a set of unprecedented and complicated challenges. But these challenges point to the importance of coalitions and allies working together with multilateral alliances.

And yet, in its first two years in office, this Administration has reneged on more international treaties than any previous Administration in history, including:

  • walking away from the Kyoto climate change treaty,
  • ignoring the still-unratified Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty,
  • pulling out of negotiations on enforcement of the Biological Weapons Convention,
  • scrapping the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and
  • recanting the US signature on the Rome Treaty to establish the International Criminal Court.

    Nuclear Weapons
    In January of 2002, the Pentagon released a document called the Nuclear Posture Review ... [I]t is, in my view, extremely provocative and dangerous. The bottom line of both the classified and unclassified versions is a blurring of the line between the use of conventional and nuclear weapons, and the suggestion that certain events might compel the United States to use nuclear weapons first, even against non-nuclear states.

    The Review specifically discusses contingencies whereby the US would engage in a first use of nuclear weapons. These include "a North Korean attack on South Korea, or a military confrontation over the status of Taiwan."

    And the Review addresses contingencies in which the US might use nuclear weapons - not in retaliation for a nuclear strike on the United States - but to destroy enemy stocks of chemical or biological arms. It calls for the development of a new generation of US nuclear warheads, including low yield or so-called "mini-nukes."

    The Nuclear Posture Review states that "new capabilities must be developed to defeat emerging threats ... Development of these capabilities, to include extensive research and timely fielding of new systems to address these challenges, are imperative ... "

    The Nuclear Posture Review expands the countries included as possible targets, mentioning that "North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Libya are among the countries that could be involved in immediate, potential or unexpected contingencies ... "

    And, in September of last year, a National Security Presidential Directive, known as NSPD 17, reversed the long-standing policy of "strategic ambiguity" regarding United States use of nuclear weapons. Previous administrations of both political partiesĀc have made ambiguous public statements about the United States reserving the right to consider "all options" without any specificity as to which options, or under what conditions ...

    I believe that such an approach is not in our nation's interest, nor is it consistent with our standards and values. A first-use of nuclear weapons by the United States should be unthinkable, and responding to a non-nuclear attack with nuclear weapons violates a central tenet of just war and US military tradition.

    So, if the United States is seeking to develop nuclear weapons which blur the distinction between conventional and nuclear forces and lowers the threshold for the possible use of these weapons, we must consider the message that this sends to the rest of the world ...

    If we are not careful, our own nuclear posture may well provoke the very nuclear proliferation activities we seek to prevent.

    The Doctrine of Preemption and the National Security Strategy
    In his commencement address at West Point in June 2002, the President called upon all Americans "to be forward-looking and resolute, to be ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty and defend our lives ... If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long."

    This theme was further developed in the National Security Strategy, published in September 2002, which argues that: "the United States can no longer solely rely on a reactive posture as we have in the past ... "

    It goes on to say: "We cannot let our enemies strike first.... The greater the threat, the greater the risk of inaction - and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves ... "

    I believe that in fact there are situations where the United States, confronting an imminent threat, may have to strike first. However, by creating a specific preemption strategy and by adapting the concept of "imminent threat" to threats not "fully formed" (or to cases where, one day, a foreign government may be a threat to the United States), we set a precedent for others - which may well come back to haunt us ...

    The Administration's decision to deploy missile defense and to preempt, when combined with the lower thresholds for nuclear use, could well spur China to further expand its nuclear arsenal, which has been stable at anywhere from 18 to 24 ICBMs. As you know, China has expressed a strong "no first use" policy. It is clearly not in America's interest to see this policy changed. This is this kind of scenario I find deeply troubling and to which the policies of our government, which I just cited, may lead.

    By moving the United States sharply away from the concept of cooperative security and a world governed by international law and established norms of behavior, and potentially substituting unilateralism and preemption in its place, I believe that the Administration's policy runs the real risk that the US will become increasingly isolated and alone, and overly dependent on its military might to protect its interests and its citizens.

    If we follow the paths outlined in these four documents, we may well provoke what we want to prevent: and that is, a world in which no nation is bound by treaties or international accords and in which might makes right.

    Since World War II, our country has embraced international cooperation, not out of vulnerability or weakness, but from a position of strength. Indeed, a signal accomplishment of US policy since World War II has been the rejection of isolationism and imperialism, and the development of alliances with other nations as partners, not satellites ...

    Increasingly, many people around the world see a United States that does not listen and imposes its will on others ...

    I deeply believe that this Administration is heading into uncharted territory, without adequate reflection or consultation with Congress or our allies. And so, it is time to raise the warning flags ...

    If the mission in Iraq is really disarmament, then why not give inspectors the time to accomplish this. With this course, Saddam is both deterred and contained, as he has been for 12 years.

    If the long-term goal of our foreign policy is to help build a world where we have more allies than adversaries, more friends than enemies, and more prosperity than poverty, a doctrine of unilateral preemptive action will most certainly work against that goal.

    So far, we have not crossed the Rubicon - the voices of reason and restraint can still prevail. What happens, I believe, over the next several weeks and months could well define how this nation is perceived for generations to come.

    The Senator's complete speech is available online at:

    An Appeal to the Pope to Stop the Bombs, by Dr. Helen Caldicott

    I write this appeal for your help as a pediatrician, a mother, and a grandmother - and I am writing about the lives of tens of thousands of children.

    Although the current administration has demonstrated it has no reservations about slaughtering up to 500,000 innocents in Iraq, there is one person whose life they absolutely will not risk. That person is Pope John Paul II.

    The Pope has already formally denounced the proposed war, calling it a defeat for humanity. However, to stop the war, he now must take a historically unprecedented action of his own and travel to Baghdad. The Pope's physical presence in Iraq will act as the ultimate human shield, during which time leaders of the world's nations can commit themselves to implementing a peaceful solution to a war that the world's majority clearly does not support.

    To persuade the Holy Father to take this unusual action, he must hear from the millions of people around the world who have already been inspired to stand up and speak out for peace. A mountain of surface mail, email, faxes and phone calls are our devices to inspire him.

    Taking just a few minutes right now to communicate with him may ultimately spare the lives of thousands of innocent people who at this moment live in complete terror from the threat of an imminent US-lead military strike on their homeland.

    Here is what you can do to be a part of this powerful final action to stop the march to war in Iraq.
    1. Do not simply "forward" the letter below. Its power depends upon your sending it directly, as a personal communication to the Pope
    2. Simply cut and paste the letter below into a new email. Also cut and paste the Vatican email address. []
    3. At the close of the letter, type in your name, city and state (no need to include your address).
    4. Send the message by email,, FAX (011- 39-06698-85378 - outside the US, drop the 011 prefix), or mail (see address below). DO NOT put "Italy" anywhere on the envelope, as this will send your mail into the Italian mail system, which is separate from the Vatican system. To phone the Vatican directly from USA, dial 011-39-06-69-82 - all other countries must use their appropriate international prefix.
    5. Pass this message on to as many people as possible to assure a critical mass is reached in this action.
    Thank you for participating in this campaign.

    Sample letter:

    His Holiness
    John Paul II
    Apostolic Palace
    00120 Vatican City State

    Your Holiness:

    I write to you today out of a sense of great urgency. As you know the United States of America is on the verge of launching what may be one of the most cataclysmic wars in history using weapons of mass destruction upon the Iraqi people, fifty percent of whom are less than 15 years of age.

    Conservative estimates are that such a war will result in the death of 500,000 Iraqis. It seems clear that, at this time, you are the only person on Earth who can stop this war. Indeed, your physical presence in Baghdad, will prevent the impending slaughter of hundreds of thousands of human beings, and force the international community of nations to identify and implement a truly peaceful resolution to this unprecedented, preemptive aggression.

    I implore you to travel to Baghdad and to remain there until a peaceful solution to this crisis has been implemented. The lives of the people of Iraq rest in your hands - as does the fate of the world.


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