>Chomsky recently wrote in a Z Magazine forum
>"... I think it is also useful to bear in mind the Clinton strategic
>document called "Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence" that's quoted in
>an article of mine in Z a year ago on "Rogue States," the same one Steve
>Shalom reviewed in more detail in a recent post. It advocates that the US
>portray itself as "irrational and vindictive if its vital interests are
>attacked," "part of the national persona we project to all adversaries":
>"It hurts to portray ourselves as too fully rational and cool-headed," and
>surely not subordinate to treaty obligations or conditions of world order.
>"The fact that some elements" of the US government "may appear to be
>potentially `out of control' can be beneficial to creating and reinforcing
>fears and doubts within the minds of an adversary's decision makers..."
>His "Rogue States" article (Z Magazine, April 1998) is at
Ooops, you beat me to it. Sorry, I'm still catching up.
The relevant paragraph from Chomsky's article:
<quote> Abroad, the threats were to be "international terrorism," "Hispanic narcotraffickers," and most serious of all, "rogue states." A secret 1995 study of the Strategic Command, which is responsible for the strategic nuclear arsenal, outlines the basic thinking. Released through the Freedom of Information act, the study, Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence, "shows how the United States shifted its deterrent strategy from the defunct Soviet Union to so-called rogue states such as Iraq, Libya, Cuba and North Korea," AP reports. The study advocates that the U.S. exploit its nuclear arsenal to portray itself as "irrational and vindictive if its vital interests are attacked." That "should be a part of the national persona we project to all adversaries," particularly the "rogue states." "It hurts to portray ourselves as too fully rational and cool-headed," let alone committed to such silliness as international law and treaty obligations. "The fact that some elements" of the U.S. government "may appear to be potentially 'out of control' can be beneficial to creating and reinforcing fears and doubts within the minds of an adversary's decision makers." The report resurrects Nixon's "madman theory": our enemies should recognize that we are crazed and unpredictable, with extraordinary destructive force at our command, so they will bend to our will in fear. The concept was apparently devised in Israel in the 1950s by the governing Labor Party, whose leaders "preached in favor of acts of madness," Prime Minister Moshe Sharett records in his diary, warning that "we will go crazy" ("nishtagea") if crossed, a "secret weapon" aimed in part against the U.S., not considered sufficiently reliable at the time. In the hands of the world's sole superpower, which regards itself as an outlaw state and is subject to few constraints from elites within, that stance poses no small problem for the world. </quote>