The former Pentagon and Rand Corp official Daniel Ellsberg, who died earlier this month, created two big bombshells. Hated by the right, lauded by the left and libertarians, Ellsberg, in our view, was a genuine American hero.
The first bombshell was his revelation of a series of secret Pentagon studies of the Vietnam War that showed the 1970’s war was based on a farrago of lies and false premises and doomed to failure. I was in the US Army at the time and most of us knew the war was a giant screw-up propelled by billions of dollars and big-time lies.
The Pentagon papers pulled the rug out from under the Vietnam War and exposed its military and civilian backers as liars and fools. President Lyndon Johnson wisely decided not to run for a second term because of the Vietnam disaster.
Nuclear war planner Ellsberg did it again in his fascinating 2017 book ‘the Doomsday Machine.’ In this study of nuclear warfare, Ellsberg made his second bombshell revelation that was hardly noticed by the media and public.
Ellsberg revealed that in the event of war, the US government intended to hit all of China’s major cities and ports with nuclear weapons. This plan has particular resonance today as Communist China and the United States edge ever closer to a major war over Taiwan and the South China Sea.
According to Ellsberg, the Pentagon planned to first cripple Russia, then devastate its ally, China. Both would be bombed back to the Stone Age by massive nuclear attack.
Ellsberg also revealed the alarming fact that the White House had delegated senior military regional commanders to authorize the use of nuclear weapons without preliminary presidential approval.
Ellsberg’s courageous act was later mirrored by American patriots Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden, who exposed the war crimes and the administration’s lies about Afghanistan. Telling the truth about America’s addiction to wars and out of control militarism was deemed a major crime under the absurd 1917 Espionage Act of World War One era.
China, which is on the verge of accidental war with the US, has reacted to the targeting of Chinese cities by putting its nuclear weapons program into high gear. Chairman Mao used to jest that his nation could easily afford to lose 100 million in a nuclear exchange with the US and barely notice the loss. But now that most of China appears to be under US nuclear targeting the mood of levity in Beijing has been replaced by war fever and grim determination.
Such is not the case in the US where the powerful war party keeps beating the drums and pretending its 1945 all over again. In the event of war, it’s likely North Korea will also be involved. Such crazed behavior recalls the sheer idiocy of the days before World War I in which small groups of fanatics ignited the Great War that wrecked Europe and undid the British and Russian empires.
Now, extreme right-wing Democrats are driving the US into a potentially nuclear confrontation with Russia. They are so giddy with hubris over the thought of finishing off Putin’s Russia that they have no concept of the manifest dangers that a disintegrating Russia will bring.
China must be asking itself if it should launch nuclear attacks on the US before Washington decides to attack China. Germany faced the same dilemma in two world wars. In nuclear warfare, the side that strikes first wins. China knows it’s on the knives edge. Most Americans and Canadians, besotted by anti-Putin propaganda, do not.