Ordinary logic is suspended when trying to figure out what possibly could be in the minds of Pentagon generals and admirals who have drafted a new policy on nuclear weapons uses.
A preliminary blueprint provides the president authority to use nuclear weapons in first-strike attacks on another nation or a group.
One rationale for a pre-emptive nuclear strike, according to the Pentagon working papers, would be if the United States suspected another nation or group of possessing and/or preparing to use weapons of mass destruction.
"Suspected?" Does this sound familiar?
Suspected, but never-found, WMDs in Iraq and the fictional confirmations of WMDs by the Central Intelligence Agency were President Bush's grounds for badgering Congress to approve war on Iraq.
With this president's believability and management competence in shreds, dare the nation entrust President Bush with authority to launch first-strike nuclear war whenever he and those who conspired in the phony WMD threat from Iraq decide a new peril exists or might exist?
Such a policy would confirm the worst fears of the rest of the world since the U.S. attack on Iraq. The United States would be perceived as the global bully with justification to attack where and when it wants, with or without credible reasons.
Most military experts agree the most likely threat of doomsday weapons to the United States is from terrorists, not from other nation states.
If evidence emerged, for example, that al-Qaeda possessed a chemical, biological or nuclear device, where would the United States attack with a nuclear weapon? U.S. troops and intelligence officers have been looking for Osama bin Laden for four years and still can't find him.
Does President Bush, who asked for nuclear pre-emption clauses in 2002, comprehend that a pre-emptive strike policy might panic other nuclear nations to adopt their own policies to attack the United States if they could find grounds--real or fictional--to launch nuclear devices?
Giving him greater authority to launch nuclear weapons isn't necessary. Existing U.S. weaponry and policies are fully capable of dealing with any threat.
With more Americans denouncing the Iraq war as a waste of treasure and lives, with a majority declaring disapproval of the Bush presidency, and with White House crises breaking out like teenage acne, this shocking new step toward legalizing first-strike nuclear war surely will shock even consciences of the most devout Bush loyalists.
If not, and firing nuclear devices at other nations with or without proven grounds finds support in Congress, then madness is a disease that afflicts more than cows.