The Brink of the Unthinkable
“Just WHY is the world in such turmoil? Why are we nearing the very end of this world? The world does not understand. The world’s leaders do not understand. They are bewildered. They know well the world stands poised for the nuclear war that could annihilate all human life from the Earth. And they don’t know how to stop the nuclear buildup or prevent such an unthinkable end to all human life.”
That dramatic statement was made fully 20 years ago by Herbert W. Armstrong, founding editor of the widely read Plain Truth magazine, in a letter to those who supported his worldwide work (June 15, 1984). It reflects the essence of the message that he preached and published over a rich and fulfilling lifetime of service to the global community from that magazine’s inception in 1934 to his death on January 16, 1986. Mr. Armstrong was mentor to those who now produce this magazine, the Philadelphia Trumpet.
Earlier this year, the reality of those ringing words of Mr. Armstrong came back to haunt us as the lid was lifted on the worldwide network of massive graft and corruption, surrounding under-the-counter trade in nuclear technology.
In February, a Pakistani nuclear weapons scientist, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, revealed his involvement in wholesaling nuclear weapons materials and technology to other nations, including at least two of those identified post-9/11 by President George W. Bush as comprising part of a terrorist-sponsoring “axis of evil.” What was once “secret” is now public knowledge. Yet what is now public has long been known to successive U.S. administrations. Why have they failed to bring it to light—and why did Pakistan finally go public on the issue? Amazingly, these are questions that have received scant coverage in the world press and media. Yet they are questions that will not go away, it seems, till we are shaken out of our collective, ostrich-like tendency to bury our heads in the sand of self-delusion. Indications are that most will continue their denial of reality until the horrific results of nuclear proliferation literally blow up in our faces!
Lifting the Lid
How did the story of the global black market in nuclear technology come to light? The history is an interesting one (see p. 14). It is one that ought to prove, once and for all, something the U.S. had long suspected: Khan’s was but a leading role in a worldwide network of nuclear weapons smuggling.
What the world feared has now proven to be a reality. The nuclear cat is well and truly out of the bag, and a very nasty animal it is indeed. It has clawed its way deep into the flesh of rogue nations, the unpredictable actions of which more responsible world powers have every reason to fear. Indications are that global terrorism is an integral part of the proliferation equation. Non-proliferation has proven to be a sham.
The great shame is that leading Western democracies, including Britain and America, have been complicit in all this (see story, p. 17).
Pakistan is a key link in the whole underground system that has spread nuclear technology around the globe. It has been revealed that Pakistan evolved over time to become not only a possessor of nuclear weapons, but a net distributor of that technology to some of the most extreme anti-Western regimes. This is a classic tale of international intrigue and subterfuge.
In early 1998, some publicity was given to the possibility that China was supplying Pakistan with the know-how for constructing a short-range m-11 missile. At that time, the name given as the supervisor of this project was Abdul Qadeer Khan. In October 1999, Pakistan’s chief of the army staff and chairman of the joint-chiefs-of-staff committee, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, led a successful coup against then-Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. A little over a year later, in November 2000, Pakistan’s National Command Authority decided to consolidate management of its entire nuclear weapons program under General Musharraf’s personal command.
In April 2003, acting on well-established proof of Pakistan’s involvement in nuclear exchanges with North Korea, the U.S. started to confront Musharraf on the issue. By February this year, the Bush administration exerted sufficient pressure on Musharraf’s regime to squeeze a public confession out of Pakistan’s nuclear technology hero, Dr. Khan, to his part in the nuclear technology black market. Then the whole sorry tale emerged.
Yet no sooner had Khan confessed his sins publicly than Musharraf let him completely off the hook by granting him a pardon within days! And Khan’s legacy? A yet-to-be-determined spread of nuclear know-how involving links in a chain that join Pakistan with China, Russia, North Korea, Malaysia, Libya and Iran, to name just a few of the known black-market traders that historically show anything but affection for the English-speaking peoples of the world.
“The extent of the ring remains unknown …. Inspectors from the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency [iaea] and intelligence and law enforcement authorities on three continents are trying to reconstruct what they consider the worst nuclear proliferation network in history, and to dismantle it” (Miami Herald, March 7). cia Director George Tenet said this “was shaving years” off the time some countries needed to develop nuclear weapons (United Press International, March 3).
Despite U.S. sanctions, Pakistan managed to not only develop its own nuclear capability, but wholesale its expertise around the world. Douglas Frantz and Josh Meyer, reporting from Vienna, exposed how the nuclear smuggling operation was so brazen that the government weapons laboratory Khan directed produced its own glossy sales brochure with a complete list of nuclear production equipment for sale—along with Khan’s “consultancy and advisory services” (Miami Herald, op. cit.).
One New Delhi newspaper declared that, far from a glib pardon from an obviously complicit Pakistani president, Khan should face the most extreme punishment, “if there is punishment for a crime that qualifies to be categorized as a crime against humanity” (Pioneer, India, February 4).
But is it really Khan who should be canned for this atrocious crime? Or is it rather the government of that country, Pakistan, which “over a period of years, sold nuclear secrets to other countries as a matter of state policy”? (Stratfor, February 6).
The sheer lack of balanced perspective in international relations may be viewed by comparing the imbroglio over one U.S. military unit’s involvement in alleged crimes against Iraqi prisoners with the massive potential threat to humanity unleashed by Pakistan’s policy of proliferation.
But the real concern here is not just that rogue nations possess nuclear technology. It is the collective fear around the world that, via the Pakistan connection or other links in the underground chain, terrorist organizations already may have received the necessary hardware to manufacture portable nuclear weapons.
In an exposé of Pakistan’s culpability within this nuclear proliferation network, investigative reporter Seymour M. Hersh quotes Robert Gallucci, former United Nations weapons inspector and now dean of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, regarding this concern. “Bad as it is with Iran, North Korea and Libya having nuclear weapons material, the worst part is that they could transfer it to a non-state group” (New Yorker, March 8).
This is no blind fear. This is real. Very real!
Mohammad El-Baradei, the director-general of the iaea, talked about the nightmare of this nuclear proliferation enabling the operation of an enrichment facility in a place like northern Afghanistan. “Who knows?” he said. “It’s not hard for a non-state to hide, especially if there is a state in collusion with it” (ibid.).
As Pakistani journalist Imtiaz Alam stated, “A nuclear program designed for self-defense and limited deterrence partially fell into the hands of most unscrupulous wheeler-dealers who … became instrumental in the thriving underworld of nuclear proliferation” (News, February 9).
Yet since this story broke earlier this year, the world press have largely continued to ignore its hugely negative potential. The left-wing, utopian media-mongers are more intent on destroying a U.S. administration that is working to contain the prospect of nuclear terrorism than on hounding, revealing and chasing to ground those who, to this day, continue to profit from this evil trade.
And what of the institution set up to achieve this end, the iaea?
Hans J. Morgenthau wrote, “The neglect with which the public treats international functional agencies is but the exaggerated reflection of the minor role these agencies play for the solution of important international issues” (Politics Among Nations).
Such an organization is the iaea, whose stated purpose is to monitor nuclear proliferation. In effect, it is a moribund, toothless tiger. Witness its inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities and the outcome.
The U.S. State Department had long harbored suspicions about Iran’s nuclear program. In fact, since the 1980s intelligence experts had been aware that Iran, in the face of lying denials by its religious leaders, was involved in developing nuclear facilities with an offensive capability.
Almost two years ago, a former Iranian opposition group went public, announcing in Washington that Iran was in fact involved in the secret construction of nuclear weapons facilities in desert locales south of Tehran. Dragging its feet, the iaea mounted inspections seven months after this announcement. It maintained that it found nothing of consequence. Yet in follow-up inspections, iaea representatives “discovered” mitigating evidence of Iran’s offensive nuclear weapons development involving collusion between Iran and Pakistan. The lying mullahs fessed up. Iran admitted that its involvement in the nuclear program dated back to 1980.
How utterly ineffectual are the various institutions that this world has created to maintain peace and an orderly system of international relations. As respected British historian and journalist Paul Johnson observes, “The world order is in ruins and needs renewal. The UN is effectively dead because most people have lost faith in it. Its record in running places is an appalling tale of muddle, incompetence and corruption” (Spectator, April 19, 2003).
Yes the international institutions have failed. Who else is there to police the world against threats such as the one Pakistan has created? How about China? Japan? Islamic Indonesia? India? What about Russia? Then what of that entity that the pope declares to be the very nurturing-ground of Western civilization, the newly resurrected combine of united Europe in the form of the European Union?
Paul Johnson’s unique historical perspective, albeit delightfully politically incorrect, says it all: “The French and their two gaunt and grim co-conspirators, Germany and Russia, hope to use the UN as a cover behind which they can pursue national interests at the expense of the battered, bewildered Iraqi people. They are the vultures, the jackals and looters who move in after the soldiers have done their job” (ibid.). Germany has clearly stated its intentions to lead the European Union in wresting control of British nuclear power from sovereign British control and handing it over to the EU lackey, Brussels, headquarters of that 25-nation combine. Given Germany’s history, this will lead to an unmitigated disaster!
So where does that leave us? Johnson concludes, quoting Abraham Lincoln, “America is, in a real sense, the ‘last, best hope’ for mankind” (ibid.).
Last, Best Hope?
The United States, presently using its preeminence and power to wage a global war on terrorism, truly is the closest thing to a policeman the world presently has. Yet, as we have seen, even it has compromised its position in dealing with a threat such as Pakistan.
Moreover, this “last, best hope for mankind” is in trouble. When it finally gets a leader who will endeavor to finish the job that the Russians started in Afghanistan, who will attempt to finish the job that previous U.S. presidencies left uncompleted in Iraq, who works to expose the covert nuclear black market tolerated by previous U.S. administrations, half the nation, egged on by a surly, self-hating liberal element that has the media by the throat, cries foul! What’s more, many, whose national existence is owed to America’s determination in two world wars to vanquish tyranny, withdraw active support in the front line of the most recent war against a terrorizing tyrant in Iraq.
Can you see any real hope in this lack of collective international support of the U.S. in its unpopular rule as peacekeeper? Can you see any hope of a lasting, positive, peaceful outcome?
Paul Johnson throws the banal, foolish ignorance of the anti-American liberal-
socialist politico-media clique right back in their face by his declaration that “People should not curse or envy; they should pray for America. For the foreseeable future, the lot of the civilized world, the world we wish to preserve for law and decency, for sensible progress and fairness, is irrevocably cast with America. There is no one else to lead” (ibid.).
Yes—on the human level, there is no one else to lead!
“A sole superpower which is also a working democracy—indeed a passionate democracy—is a much safer and more responsible step toward world order than a corrupt pandemonium like the UN or a rapacious and blind bureaucracy like the EU” (ibid.).
Well said! But as the Messiah once stated, a house divided against itself will fall. And America is a divided nation.
Abraham Lincoln, when asked whose side God was supporting during the Civil War in America, responded, “… I know the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord’s side.”
The U.S. currently has a president who is not afraid to tell the world that he prays to God for guidance, and the world lampoons him as a bumbling cowboy out of touch with reality! That’s how the world treats its “last, best hope”!
Given current trends—the gathering storm of hatred for President Bush, for the institution of the presidency within the U.S. itself, and for the Anglo-American peoples themselves—a realist would have to conclude that the failure of the nations to accept leadership of the only global power prepared to show any semblance of leadership leaves the world with absolutely no hope of survival!
Johnson hits the nail on the head. There is but one singular hope for this world. But it is not America!
“We all want a better world. Yet man is a radically flawed creature and history shows that he cannot create it alone. He needs help from a metaphysical source. The … story of God sending His only Son to redeem humanity is especially relevant today” (ibid.; emphasis added).
Which brings us back to Herbert Armstrong’s very real, very timely warning.
The world press concentrates on Iraq and on demonizing the leader of the only nation to show any leadership in that sad situation while it turns its back on the biggest story of all—the question of human survival!
If 6,000 years of documented history is any measure of man’s attempts to bring peace to Earth, ending as it is with the very question of human survival on this planet hanging over our heads, then surely we are forced to conclude, in Johnson’s words, that mankind “needs help from a metaphysical source.”
Mr. Armstrong constantly warned that humanity would reach this same conclusion only under the most dire of threats to its own survival. Referring to world experts also reaching that conclusion, Mr. Armstrong said in a sermon, “A former Harvard professor who gave this report [on nuclear destruction] to the Plain Truth is now president of the Physicians for Social Responsibility. And this is the quote: ‘Survival is the only issue that matters now. The other issues pale into total insignificance if we don’t do anything about it’—that is, the nuclear war threat—‘within 10 to 20 years we’ll all be killed anyhow’” (“The Unthinkable Will Happen!”). Those 20 years have elapsed! During that time, as the account of Pakistan’s involvement in proliferating this potential of nuclear terror indicates, far from the situation improving, it has become much worse!
In the same sermon, given in 1982, Mr. Armstrong continued, “I guess it’s still the same old thing—there is both good news and bad news. And there’s some wonderfully good news clear beyond human comprehension … coming, but there’s some bad news still completely beyond comprehension that is coming first. And God has told us to prepare for it. And has shown us how He is going to protect us. But the unthinkable is coming!“
Just what is that unthinkable? Herbert Armstrong made it very plain: “I want to show you what’s prophesied, and it’s not going to be one city only, but many cities. And supposing that bombs like I just read, the description like I just read, would hit New York, also hit Boston, and hit Washington in the East, and hit Chicago, and hit Houston, Texas, and Kansas City, and Denver, and Los Angeles, and San Francisco. And possibly in the Pacific Northwest, we’ll just say Portland because that would reach Seattle too. What would be left of the United States of America? … The nation would be gone!”
But this aged sage, this loyal man of God, also saw hope, real hope, beyond the unthinkable. He pointed to the very real and future manifestation of that only hope left to mankind to solve its now uncontrollable problems—the intervention of a metaphysical source: the very real, soon-coming return of the Savior of this world, the living Jesus Christ, to squelch all rebellion, to silence every dissenter, and establish world peace, under divine authority, forever! Request now, without delay, your free copy of the book Mr. Armstrong authored on this subject, The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like, and begin now to focus on, reach for and take hold of that one great hope for mankind!