I recently reviewed a video titled "Last Best Chance," starring Fred Thompson and Jon Gries. It is a dramatization of the national security predicament of a country that puts economic interests ahead of national survival, openly and unabashedly; that is to say, it examines the vulnerability of the United States to a terrorist nuclear assault. The story line is based on fact. We are told that al Qaeda has proposed a nuclear option codenamed "American Hiroshima." Once terrorists acquire nuclear weapons there is no way to prevent their use against American cities because the U.S. government cannot close the border or inspect every crate shipped into the country. America's economic dependence on foreign trade and open borders is effectively sacrosanct. You cannot slow trade to a crawl through inspections. You cannot stop the influx of illegal immigrants. No politician would dare oppose what businesses everywhere view as economic necessity. What I call "the primacy of economics" in America trumps national security. The argument has been made, and is unconsciously put forward every day, that we might as well be dead if we cannot keep the economic party going (i.e., the good times). An economic slump is unacceptable. A ceiling to growth is unimaginable. And yet, is continued and constant economic growth a realistic expectation? The nuclear destruction of cities and the unleashing of biological weapons may, at this juncture, be an equally realistic expectation. But few (if any) players in business or government would act on this later expectation.
Does al Qaeda have nuclear weapons? In 1999 terrorism expert Yossef Bodansky said yes. More recently, Joseph Farah and Paul Williams have claimed that intelligence sources, including military intelligence sources, say the same thing. The story consists of the following incredible details (which have undoubtedly been spoon-fed to Western and Arab intelligence agencies). What appears plausible on the surface, and is apparently believed by U.S. officials, simultaneously serves a peculiar agenda:
- Russian nuclear weapons are vulnerable to theft. This is because Russia has "fallen apart," and the only remedy is huge infusions of cash from the West. Therefore, America is subjected to a curious variation on "nuclear blackmail." If America doesn't pay Russia tens of billions of dollars to secure its nuclear weapons then American cities will not be safe from nuclear attack. Strangely, the Russians themselves suddenly (after decades of tight security) lack the will to secure their own nuclear weapons and don't seem particularly worried that Chechen terrorists will use them on Moscow or other cities.
- Furthermore, the point is underscored that we backed the wrong side in the Afghan War (during the 1980s). Almost humorously, we are now shown (though not explicitly told) that we should have backed the communists instead of the Muslim rebels. We are told, over and over again, that the same folks who fought the Red Army in Afghanistan might nuke the United States. Even though we supplied the Afghan resistance, even though we fed them and gave billions in humanitarian assistance, we're the ones at the receiving end of the nuclear terror. Muslim freedom fighters don't want revenge on Moscow for killing over a million Afghans. Erratically, they want revenge for all the help we've given Muslims in Afghanistan, Kosovo, the West Bank and Gaza. (See President Bush's so-called "roadmap to peace," which some fear is a roadmap to civil war in Israel.)
- Bodansky, Williams and others have suggested that al Qaeda acquired Soviet-built nuclear weapons from Chechens who pointedly failed to reserve a bomb for themselves (i.e., to assure their own independence from Moscow).
- Although Russian nukes cannot be detonated without special activation codes known only to the Russian president and the chief of the Russian General Staff, the Islamists somehow have the means to detonate the "stolen" warheads. We are told that bin Laden & Co. have hired Russian nuclear specialists and Spetsnaz commandos trained in the deployment, storage and detonation of nuclear warheads. So even if we catch Russians preparing a nuclear attack on U.S. soil we are nonetheless obliged to assume that bin Laden is ultimately responsible (instead of Moscow).
- The motive for a nuclear attack on America involves America's supposed responsibility for millions of Muslim deaths. And yet, there is no concern for Muslims murdered by Russia and China in Central Asia, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Azerbaijan, etc. Also, there doesn't appear to be an al Qaeda plan for nuking India - the main nuclear rival of militant Islam in South Asia. The geographical remoteness of America, the American liberation of Muslims from the secular dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, and America's role as a leading customer of Muslim oil are somehow overlooked in the "hate equation" that propels al Qaeda's nuclear plot.
- According to some U.S. politicians and pundits, America's nuclear missiles must be taken off alert. This, they say, is necessary because a nuclear terror attack might be mistaken for an attack from Russia. If Russian-built nukes are detonated in American cities Russians should be the last people we suspect of foul play. In fact, the "collapse" of the Soviet Union has largely shielded us from such suspicions in the first place.
The hypnotic suggestion of 9/11 continues to be reinforced with each act of subsequent terrorism. We are fighting a "new" type of enemy. The Russians are friends while the Islamists are the new enemy. Of course, we cannot properly fight such a war (for economic reasons, and for reasons of political correctness). One must set aside, as well, George Tenet's description of the post-Cold War purge of the KGB as "pure window dressing." Intelligence journalists Gordon Thomas and David Dastych recently quoted an internal MI5 document as stating: "There is a strong probability that some ... (KGB) agents have been recruited by al Qaeda."
That may be so, but who actually recruited whom?
FSB (KGB) defector Alexander Litvinkenko, author of the book Blowing Up Russia: Terror From Within, has publicly said that al Qaeda's number two man, Ayman al-Zawahiri was trained by the FSB (KGB) in Russia. In an interview with Rzeczpospolita (a Polish publication), Litvinenko stated that the "originator of the acts of terrorism in London was standing near Tony Blair." And there, at the G8 summit, next to the British Prime Minister was former KGB Lt. Col. Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation. According to Litvinenko, "[there is] only one organization which has made terrorism the main tool of solving political problems." And that organization, he said, "is the Russian special services." The KGB trained terrorists all over the world. "The specially trained and prepared agents of the KGB," said Litvinenko, "have organized murders and explosions, including explosions on tankers, the hijacking of passenger jets, attacks on diplomats, as well as state and commercial organizations worldwide." Litvinenko added: "The bloodiest terrorists of the world were or are agents of the KGB-FSB. They are well known [like] Carlos Ilyich Ramiros, nicknamed 'the Jackal,' the late Yassir Arafat, Saddam Hussein ... [and others]." According to Litvinenko, "All of them were trained by the KGB, received money from there, weapons and explosives...."
Global terrorism has, indeed, been a long-term Russian operation. In a book by Joseph Douglass, Jr. titled Red Cocaine we find a description of this long-term operation as described by a communist bloc defector (Jan Sejna): "The basic revolutionary strategy took shape in the years 1954 to 1956. As detailed by Sejna, there were five principles thrusts in the modernized [Russian] strategy." According to Douglass, "The second step [in this strategy] was the actual training of terrorists. Training for international terrorism actually began as 'fighters for liberation.' The term 'national liberation' was coined to replace revolutionary war movement as a two-way deception: to provide a nationalistic cover for what was basically an intelligence operation and to provide a label that was semantically separated from the communist revolutionary war movement." [Pages 10-11.]
Litvinenko is a recent defector from Russia's special services. He is telling us that the KGB has emerged on top in Russia, and it is still following a Cold War plan. Consequently, the Chechen War was both a pretext for Putin's dictatorship, a provocation and an alibi. Moscow says it is fighting Islamic terrorism when in fact it was the primary author of Islamic terrorism. Litvinenko asks the following rhetorical question: "Would the Russian special services train and finance people and groups that were not supervised by the Lubyanka and did not serve the interests of the Kremlin?" According to Litvinenko, "Each act of terrorism made by these people was carried out ... under the rigid control of the KGB of the USSR. And it is not casual after the disintegration of the USSR...." Then Litvinenko dropped a bombshell: "The second person in the terrorist organization al Qaeda, who allegedly organized the series of explosions in London, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is an old agent of the FSB."