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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Punditry at TPM Cafe - Iran,Israel and Nukes

U.S. nuclear warhead stockpile, 1945-2002. Und...Image via Wikipedia
Note Part II starts with a lie in the title - Iran never saying it had a weapons program for nukes and doing everything possible to disavow any such intention: including international inspections to verify that it didn't make weaponry from technology and fuel supplied by Russia incompatible with such a program. Anyone who thinks that I make that assurance out of my hat doesn't remember the background for the Cuban Missile Crisis : or figures Russia has since become much more tolerant of WMD in its backyard.

 What Do Israel and Iran Have to Do With Each Other?
The 'danger' of Iran is quite real. But it's not directly military force : propaganda. The game would have been up long ago except Ahmadinejad doesn't speak English. As a Peter Jennings interview on YouTube shows, that is only part of the problem. In it suddenly one can see the determination to control the dialogue and put words into people's mouths so they can be discredited.
And what does the sham ruler of Iran say ? ( That's right. He's not the dude in charge. ) That Israel puts on the role of the murdered Jew on the one hand while denying the lessons of the Holocaust by inflicting it on Occupied Palestine. You've all seen some representation of The Wall I trust. A prison is a prison is a prison : except in this one the farmers have their trees and wells bulldozed and villages flattened by bulldozers. Gaza...was apartments flattened by bombing from the air and sea : as the prisoners do not have army.air force, navy ( their fishing boats are harassed by the Israeli navy - as in 'inspections' and weapons fire ) .
Did you know there are reports Israel has - not just atomics - but H-bombs ?
There is even an association of Vermonters against the ...Occupation ? That word again. Somalia,Iraq,Iran...oops. Iran just has the fellow who authorized murder of Americans while he was in charge as prime minister running up the Green Revolution on Twitter while the government fends off attacks by assassins on their government and military people as funded by the good 'ole USA. You know : the people who put the Shah in charge and were hot to supply American nuclear tech to Iran. That's as in not Russian : wrong supplier.
Damn. That's Iraq,Iran,North Korea...the 'Axis of Evil'...all signatories to the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty...guilty of that ( unlike dear India,which didn't sign on to get American tech ) naasty thing about using technology designed NOT to go Boom to do so.
Let's read that back. They promote Nuclear Nonproliferation and are supported by most of the world - and their neighbours - in generating electricity while submitting to inspections to show they are not up to hanky panky.
Hey, those are dangerous people. The owner of global overkill says so repeatedly no matter how many times it's shown to be lying...because you can't disprove a negative.
Yet the papers these people signed said clearly they would have precisely this right : signed by the USA. Inconvenient ? Not for a moment.

What Do Israel and Iran('s Nuclear Weapons / Program) Have to Do With Each Other? Part II
David Shorr - March 17, 2010, 9:54AM

Yesterday I wrote a post with the narrow purpose of picking apart a manipulative and nonsensical conservative talking point regarding the spike in tensions between the US and Israel. Bottom line: completely separate from how any of us feels about the relationship with Israel, it is a complication for the Iran negotiations, rather than an integral piece of them. In this context, a lack of any US criticism of Israel merely fuels suspicions and skepticism toward US efforts to pressure Iran (an effort that Cafe readers know I strongly support).

Speaking of Cafe readers, the point has been raised that -- with the topic being nuclear nonproliferation -- Israel's own presumed nuclear arsenal is certainly a related issue.
Israel's nuclear arsenal.

Israel is Iran's relentless enemy, forever threatening military attack and agitating for crippling international sanctions. Because of this, it's impossible to separate Iran's nuclear "issues" from Israel's nuclear arsenal. It's all very well to argue the prinicple of nonproliferation, but nuclear states voluntarily disarming is as likely as discovering the moon is made of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. And countries so constantly endangered by neighbors as obnoxious, dangerous and extremely militant as Israel are left with little option other than arming themselves with nuclear weapons - or trying to. For 62 years, warfare has worked for Israel, so much so that the idea of negoiating with its neighbors is utterly inconceivable; in its upside-down worldview, it's more practical to bomb Iran into quiescence, and then bomb again a few years later, and again, and again... on into eternity.

Posted by San Fernando Curt
The governments of Egypt, the Gulf States, and Saudi Arabia are all convinced that Iran is building nuclear weapons. These folks understand the Middle East and are not anti-Muslim.
The intelligence agencies of the major EU powers, which disagreed with Bush on Iraq's WMD status, agree that Iran is building toward nuclear weapons.
Iran has spent millions on secret nuclear facilities and guided ballistic missiles whose only function is and can be to deliver WMDs. They test these openly and brag about them. You can read about the Sajill and Shahab missiles all over the internet.
Start here: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-09/22/content_12098533.htm
Read the Defense Department view here: http://www.defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=4479
For photos and background see this Defense Update article: http://www.defense-update.com/newscast/0509/news/sejjil_test_200509.html
(note that it distinguishes between satellite-launching missiles and nuclear weapons delivery missiles).
Iran lied about it's nuclear systems and the Qom plant. Do you know anyone who believed that Iran wanted to sell electricity to it's neighbors? Which neighbors? Saddam?
Iran has been screaming "Death to America" and "Death to Israel" for several decades now.
Iran has no enemies who wish to attack, except those caused by it's nuclear weapons program. There isn't anyone who is hanging around to attack until after Iran develops nuclear weapons. Israel and the US have had since 1979, when the Ayatollahs took over, to attack. If they haven't by now it's because they don't want to. Saddam, of course, attacked Iran, but he's dead.
Since there is no defensive or deterrent role for Iran's nuclear program, we are forced to conclude that it is offensive. Some think Iran will go for a big suicide attack against Israel, while others think that Iran is aiming for an oil monopoly to use to conquer the rest of the world. Want to wait to find out? It's not an experiment we can afford.

Posted by Espresso  
"Iran has no enemies who wish to attack, except those caused by it's nuclear weapons program. There isn't anyone who is hanging around to attack until after Iran develops nuclear weapons"
Was Iran attacked by Iraq in the 1980s? Did the USA help Iraq in its attack on Iran? Did a million people die in this vicious stupid adventure?
Did Rumsfeld fly to Iraq, shake hands with President Hussein and offer him all sorts of weapons from Mr Reagan ?
Are the USA and its Best Ally not threatening Iran with bombardment, even nuclear weapons, right now ?
We need some clarification here. How on Earth did Iran get the idea we were encircling them and itching to attack ?
Posted by BrianSkuse in reply to a comment from Espresso 

“The question of Israel's weapons bears the same difficulties as with India and Pakistan.”
The difference, David, is that we don’t pretend that India and Pakistan don’t have nuclear weapons. We don’t pretend that the US, Russia, China and France don’t have nuclear weapons either. So where those countries are concerned, we don’t obstruct and befuddle the work of nuclear nonproliferation with one side of our mouth while we try to advance it with the other side.
Yes, the global nuclear weapons scene is a complex set of interlocking problems. We can’t deal with everything at once, and the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons can only be pursued by developing some conception of a series of stages through which we must advance over time. But we need to begin with a mature articulation of the problems, since our only hope of sustaining the cooperation of weaker nations early in the process is to make credible commitments about the steps the more powerful countries can be expected to take eventually, and for those powerful countries to take some initial good faith steps at the outset. So even if it is true that resolution of the issues with Iran cannot be contingent on dealing with Israel's nuclear arsenal first, we at least have to put the issue of Israel’s nuclear weapons on the table as an issue to be dealt with at some time, or else we look like foolish at best, and cynical at worst.
Does our government ever plan to acknowledge Israel’s nuclear weapons? Do you think any country in the world can presently believe we will ever marshal the political courage to acknowledge those weapons in the future, when they see how consistently feckless we are with regard to each and every political challenge Israel throws our way? What happens to our national reputation when they see the hide-under-the-covers political quaking of putatively grown-up foreign policy professionals in the US when faced with The Country That Must Be Obeyed.
I also don’t understand how you can make diplomatic progress in dealing with any complex regional arms control issue – nuclear or non-nuclear - if the approach does not begin with a frank acknowledgement of the entire local security environment in which that issue is situated. After all, that’s why weapons are brought into existence in the first place. Two adversaries in a region: one has no nuclear weapons, but might at some point develop the capacity to build them. Another has some hundreds of nuclear weapons, which can target the first country. And experienced diplomats sincerely expect to make progress on this issue while engaging in fantastic denialism about the country with the actual weapons?
In any case, the Iran diplomacy is going to go nowhere. We just look silly, which is typical. Israel routinely makes the United States and its people look like childish and superstitious morons. Future generations will wonder what amazing power was possessed by the small country of Israel that enabled it to throw a magical cloak of invisibility over its actions and policies. The nuclear issue is just one issue where the message we send is that we send to the world is that we are not serious people.

Posted by Dan K  
RE: "Actually, Iran's status as a non-weapon party to the NPT and the Additional Protocol inspections regime -- along with its loud protestations about remaining a non-weapons state -- undercut the double-standard idea somewhat..." - Schorr
FROM GARETH PORTER, 02/18/10:...As I long ago mentioned, the IAEA does not formally verify the "absence of undeclared nuclear activities" in ANY country unless they have signed and ratified the Additional Protocol, which allows more instrusive inspections. Iran hasn't, so that leaves Iran amongst about 40 other countries in which the IAEA cannot formally verify the absence of undeclared nuclear material.
Nevertheless, though Iran has not formally ratified the Additional Protocol, it did implement the Additional Protocol for 2 years and allowd more instrusive inspections -- and no weapons program was found - and has offered to formally ratify the Additional protocol once its nuclear rights are recognized -- but the US flatly refuses...
SOURCE - http://www.iranaffairs.com/iran_affairs/2010/02/analysis-of-the-feb-2010-iaea-report-on-iran.html
Posted by DICKERSON3870  
The sale of weapons is one of the three most profitable businesses world-wide. To suggest that the issue of Israel's nuclear weapons can be set aside, basically ignored, while we 'deal' with the supposed threat of Iran going nuclear is naive at best.
A few years ago Israel sold arms to Georgia. Russia retaliated by increasing her arms sales to Iran and Syria. In 2005, the US provided half, $8.1 billion worth, of the weapons sold to militaries in the developing world - many already engaged in conflicts.
The point is that all countries (including Israel) that deal in weapons must be included in any talk of, monitoring of, or negotions involving weapons - nuclear or otherwise.
Posted by phelicity  
"The sale of weapons is one of the three most profitable businesses world-wide."
We do know where those weapons are made...and which constituencies are going to require their representatives keep pushing for industries to produce them. The basis for stimulating sales is fear. Iran already has kicked out the S.O.B. installed to keep her down once. Today they are such a focus of attention that it has been 2-3 years since Russian intel predicted a U.S. sponsored attack on Iran because of the activity with sanctions and because it has been verified they have no serious inconveniences - WMD - with which to respond to invasion.
Posted by opit  

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1 comment:

  1. Nice blog opit. I knew things were bad when the towers fell, but I never knew how bad. So far things have been worse than I can imagine. The more I check out my hunches, the more I realise that I don't know the half of it...G: