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Three Nuclear Ironies

By Tad Daley, www.CommonDreams.org

A nuclear first strike to forestall a nuclear Iran can only end with nuclear second strikes here.

An earlier version of this essay appears in the July/August 2006 issue of Tikkun magazine.

"With supreme irony," said historian James Harvey Robinson of the First World War, "the war to 'make the world safe for democracy' ended by leaving democracy more unsafe..." With comparable irony, a nuclear war to make the world safe from nuclear peril could end by leaving America more exposed to nuclear annihilation than at any time since the dawn of the atomic age.

Tomgram: Chip Ward on Pentagon Fireworks

http://www.tomdispatch.com

One of the least noticed success stories of George Bush's years in power has been his administration's ability to focus the world's attention so singularly first on Saddam Hussein ‘s "nuclear program" -- remember that yellowcake brick road? -- which had absolutely no basis in reality; then on a meager (though frightening) North Korean nuclear force (of questionable use), and finally on a questionable Iranian nuclear bomb, which, according to the latest National Intelligence Estimate, is perhaps ten years away and yet somehow has been ever in our midst.

US, Allies Set Deadline for Iran Nuke Talks

MSNBC News Services

Russian official says G-8 nations expect a response by July 5.
Moscow - The Group of Eight industrialized nations told Iran on Thursday to give a "clear and substantive response" next week to an offer by major powers over its nuclear program.

Iran has still not said whether it will accept a package of incentives given to it on June 6 by the five permanent, veto-wielding U.N. Security Council members - the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia - and Germany.

Desert Blast Could Be Precursor To Mini-Nukes

By Dan Rea

(CBS4) BOSTON In the desert outside of Las Vegas Friday, the United States was scheduled to detonate a huge explosion. That test has been stopped by a federal court. Opponents say it's possible this test could lead to a new class of small nuclear weapons or mini-nukes.

The story has received scant media attention except in the Nevada area, but it appears the U.S. government wants a new nuclear option - so-called small nuclear bunker busters that could be used against enemy bunkers containing stashes of chemical or biological weapons.

Because a Million Decent People Forced Him To, And the Same People Will Put You Behind Bars, Perle

Why Did Bush Blink on Iran? (Ask Condi)
By Richard Perle, www.washingtonpost.com

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran knows what he wants: nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them; suppression of freedom at home and the spread of terrorism abroad; and the "shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the liberal democratic systems."

President Bush, too, knows what he wants: an irreversible end to Iran's nuclear weapons program, the "expansion of freedom in all the world" and victory in the war on terrorism.

NOOKULUR DEMOCKERY

http://www.riprense.com

There is no danger of the Bush administration using nuclear weapons against Iran, or any other country.

Nookulur weapons, on the other hand. . .

Yes, President “Vice-President” Dick Cheney and “President” George W. Bush would really love to bust some bunkers over there, using nookulur boom-booms. They are like kids with firecrackers, looking for a match. Doubt it?

Mixed signals received on Test Site blast

DOE says it plans to go ahead with Divine Strake
By Launce Rake and Lisa Mascaro, Las Vegas Sun

Despite claims to the contrary, the planned detonation of 700 tons of chemical explosives at the Nevada Test Site is not quite dead.

In a U.S. District Court hearing conducted by telephone last week, government officials said they had no immediate plans to move forward with the fuel oil-ammonium nitrate explosion, and agreed to a stipulation that the earliest the test could go forward would be September. Designed to simulate an atomic-sized blast on underground structures, the explosion was originally scheduled for June 2 but has been postponed because of the court challenge.

Why Bush Won't Attack Iran

By Gareth Porter, IPS News
http://www.alternet.org/story/37888

In every statement on Iran, officials of the George W. Bush administration routinely repeat the party line that "the president never takes any option off the table".

Despite the constant invocation of a possible military attack on Iran, however, a little-noticed section of the administration's official national security strategy indicates that Bush has already decided that he will not use military force to try to prevent Iran from going nuclear.

Awaiting the Divine

The Bush administration proposes to explode a huge conventional bomb in the Nevada desert, but activists see a short leap to resumed nuclear testing
By PERRY CROWE, Los Angeles City Beat

America’s one-time nuclear weapons testing facility, the Nevada Test Site, is only 45 minutes north of Las Vegas, but it might as well be on the moon. The space between the two contains little more than desert, mountains, a prison, and an Air Force base. The gate on Highway 95 is called Mercury, and the peace camp at Mercury amounts to a dozen or so tents scattered amongst the sagebrush and rocks, hushed by a great sense of isolation. Cradled between two rows of mountains, the air is still and the vastness of the landscape swallows up most sound.

Congress quietly holds classified briefings on Iran as Democrats seek access to intelligence

By Larisa Alexandrovna, http://www.rawstory.com

In an effort to stave off what appears to be a Congressional blackout by the Bush administration with regard to Iran intelligence and policy, Senate Democratic leaders introduced the Iran Intelligence Oversight Act on Monday.

The amendment indicates that few in Congress have received access to US intelligence on Iran. Democrats' comments also signal that key lawmakers have yet to be briefed with regard to Administration policy.

Bush Wrongfooted as Iran Steps up International Charm Offensive

By Simon Tisdall, Guardian / UK

Bush administration officials like to describe Iran as a country isolated from the outside world. Its outlaw government's policies, and especially its nuclear activities, have earned it the distrust of the international community, the fear of its neighbours and, they say, the rightful label of a "rogue state".

But in recent weeks, as Tehran's uranium enrichment dispute with the US, Britain and other western European countries has moved towards a denouement, Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has launched an energetic diplomatic counter-offensive. Defying US containment efforts, Iran is pursuing its own policy of regional engagement. And to Washington's growing unease, it seems to be working.

Albright: Iraq Invasion Encouraged Others

Associated Press

Moscow - Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright criticized the U.S. invasion of Iraq, saying Monday it had encouraged Iran and North Korea to push ahead with their nuclear programs.

Albright, who served under President Clinton, said "the message out of Iraq is the wrong one."

"The message out of Iraq is that if you don't have nuclear weapons, you get invaded. If you do have nuclear weapons, you don't get invaded," she said after an investors' conference in Moscow.

A Negotiated Solution to the Iranian Nuclear Crisis is Within Reach

The US must take three basic steps to defuse this confrontation. The consequences of not doing so could be grim
By Noam Chomsky, Guardian/UK

The urgency of halting the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and moving toward their elimination, could hardly be greater. Failure to do so is almost certain to lead to grim consequences, even the end of biology's only experiment with higher intelligence. As threatening as the crisis is, the means exist to defuse it.

Iranian Peace Offers

Institute for Public Accuracy
915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
(202) 347-0020 * http://www.accuracy.org * ipa@accuracy.org

Sunday's Financial Times story "Iran 'Ready To Limit Nuclear
Programme'" reports that "Iran's leadership is ready to limit its
nuclear programme but will not suspend uranium enrichment as a
precondition for talks, two regime insiders have told the Financial

Rep. Duncan Hunter Says Congress Irrelevant, Attack on Iran OK

From Hardball

MR. MATTHEWS: Let me ask you gentlemen both to look forward, not back, for a second here. A lot of Americans are worried about Iran and what we're going to do over there, if anything.

Does the president have to come to Congress for approval in advance if he's planning to attack Iran's nuclear potential?

Congressman Hunter.

REP. HUNTER: I think absent an absolute emergency he's got to have a heavy consultation with Congress --

Kanab rally decries possible risks of blast

Divine Strake: Locals say the Nevada weapons test may create a new group of downwinders
By Mark Havnes, The Salt Lake Tribune

KANAB - St. George resident Michelle Thomas was born at the beginning of nuclear-weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site in 1951. She has seen friends and family members die from what she attributes to the effects of radiation fallout from those explosions.

She talked about her experiences - and those of her mother, who never trusted the government's assurances of safety - at a rally Saturday at the Kanab City Library. She opposes plans for a non-nuclear blast - known as Divine Strake - planned for the test site later this year.

"Divine Strake" Blast Possible By September

KBCI News, ID
By Editorial Staff

Boise, ID -
If the U.S. Government plans to reschedule a controversial explosion at a remote government test site, it won't happen before September.

That is what a lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice told a federal judge in Las Vegas about the proposed test blast of 700 tons of explosives at the Nevada Test Site.

The government wants to conduct the test to improve the weapons in the U.S. arsenal aimed at destroying hardened underground targets. The test blast, called "Divine Strake" has generated protests from Native American Indian Tribes, anti-nuclear groups, as well as "down-winders." They have all expressed concerns that detonation of that much explosive material could throw radioactive debris, left over the 1950's atomic bomb tests, into the atmosphere.

Letter: Nothing ’divine’ about this test

The Westborough News, MA

To the Editor:

In the midst of media attention to possible war crimes in Haditha, the continued war in Iraq, and publicity about Iran, an upcoming event of serious import is largely being missed.

On June 23, the oddly named Divine Strake, is scheduled at the Nevada Test Site. While the test is non-nuclear, 700 tons of chemical explosives will be detonated at the site, an area heavily contaminated from years of previous nuclear testing. The purpose of the test is to simulate a low yield nuclear weapon. Although proclaimed "safe," there is a real risk of spewing radioactive contamination into the atmosphere.

Government: September or later for mushroom cloud blast in Nevada

By Ken Ritter, ASSOCIATED PRESS

LAS VEGAS – A non-nuclear explosion expected to cast the first mushroom cloud over the Nevada desert in decades won't happen at least until September, a government lawyer told a federal judge Friday.

The “Divine Strake” defense experiment “will not occur due to weather reasons during July or August,” Justice Department lawyer Carolyn Blanco in Washington told U.S. District Judge Lloyd George in Las Vegas during a telephonic hearing.

Right Against War with Iran

Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy Presents:

Right Against War with Iran

The speakers include:

Chuck Pena (Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy):
"Refocusing the War on Terrorism"

Ivan Eland (Independent Institute)
“The United States Might Have to Accept a Nuclear Iran.”

Phil Giraldi (former CIA officer, contributing editor, The American Conservative):
"Iran: Same Bad Intelligence, Same Catastrophic Results"

The Iran Crisis: Fact vs. Fiction

Event in New York on June 21, 2006
Organized by Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran

Three years ago we were misled into an invasion of Iraq, with 2500 US soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed. The drums are beating yet again as the Bush Administration relentlessly pursues a new crisis with another oil-rich Middle Eastern nation, Iran.

Two Very Encouraging Steps in the Senate Last Week

www.unitedforpeace.org

-- A dangerous amendment on Iran, introduced by Sen. Santorum was defeated. It supported the concept of regime change in Iran. The vote was 45-54. All Democrats voted against it except: Wyden, Nelson, Lieberman, Conrad, Bayh
15 Republicans voted against it: Alexander, Bennett, Chafee,Cochran, Enzi,Gregg, hagel, Lugar, McCain, Shelby, Smith, Specter, Thomas, Warner

WOULD WAR WITH IRAN HELP OR HURT U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY?

Congressional Progressive Caucus
“64 Strong and Growing”

PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS CO-CHAIRS AND MEMBERS TO HOST SECOND IN SERIES OF PUBLIC FORUMS AND AD HOC HEARINGS: WOULD WAR WITH IRAN HELP OR HURT U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY?

Who: Progressive Caucus Co-Chairwomen Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey, and U.S. Representatives Peter DeFazio and Dennis Kucinich, and additional Progressive Caucus Members hosting:

Pentagon confirms Iranian directorate as officials raise new concerns about war

By Larisa Alexandrovna, http://www.rawstory.com

Current military and former intelligence officials remain concerned about a US-led strike on Iran, despite the recent appearance of diplomacy on the part of the US State Department and the offer of an incentives package to Iran.

Officials point to new developments, such as a recent meeting in Rome between an Iranian arms dealer and controversial neoconservative Michael Ledeen and the March creation of the Iranian directorate inside the Pentagon, as examples of recent events similar to the lead up with war in Iraq.

US Seen as a Bigger Threat to Peace Than Iran, Worldwide Poll Suggests

Published on Thursday, June 15, 2006 by the Guardian / UK
· Findings also show fall in support for war on terror
· Decline in America's image 'all to do with Iraq'
By Ewen MacAskill

George Bush's six years in office have so damaged the image of the US that people worldwide see Washington as a bigger threat to world peace than Tehran, according to a global poll.
The Washington-based Pew Research Centre, in a poll of 17,000 people in 15 countries between March and May, found more people concerned about the US presence in Iraq than about Iran's alleged nuclear weapons ambitions.

The Tripolar Chessboard, Putting Iran in Great Power Context

From Tomdispatch today, Michael Klare's "The Tripolar Chessboard, Putting Iran in Great Power Context" http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=92161

For months, the American press and policy-making elite have portrayed the nuclear crisis with Iran as a two-sided struggle between Washington and Tehran, with the European powers as well as Russia and China playing only supporting roles. Energy and geopolitical expert Michael Klare suggests in his latest piece for Tomdispatch that our media focus is far too narrow. "An informed reading of recent international diplomacy surrounding the Iranian crisis suggests," he writes, "that another equally fierce -- and undoubtedly more important -- struggle is also taking place: a tripolar contest between the United States, Russia, and China for domination of the greater Persian Gulf/Caspian Sea region and its mammoth energy reserves."

Right Against War with Iran

Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy Presents:
Right Against War with Iran

The speakers include:
Chuck Pena (Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy):
"Refocusing the War on Terrorism"

Ivan Eland (Independent Institute)
“The United States Might Have to Accept a Nuclear Iran.”

Phil Giraldi (former CIA officer, contributing editor, The American Conservative):
"Iran: Same Bad Intelligence, Same Catastrophic Results"

Pentagon confirms Iranian directorate as officials raise new concerns about war

By Larisa Alexandrovna, http://www.rawstory.com

Current military and former intelligence officials remain concerned about a US-led strike on Iran, despite the recent appearance of diplomacy on the part of the US State Department and the offer of an incentives package to Iran.

Officials point to new developments, such as a recent meeting in Rome between an Iranian arms dealer and controversial neoconservative Michael Ledeen and the March creation of the Iranian directorate inside the Pentagon, as examples of recent events similar to the lead up with war in Iraq.

Iran offers settlement as Bush prepares nukes

By the War and Law League
http://www.warandlaw.org/files/index.html

I. Iran renounces bomb and offers nuclear concessions, but Bush keeps threat of atomic attack ‘on the table’

A representative of Iran’s supreme leader has renounced nuclear weapons and offered extensive concessions in a document ignored by Bush and his subordinates, who seem hellbent to carry out war plans against Iran.

Will the White House Moron Bring On Armageddon?

By Paul Craig Roberts
http://www.antiwar.com

John Bolton, a notorious neocon warmonger who could not be confirmed as America's ambassador to the UN by even the compliant and corrupt U.S. Senate, got the job as a recess appointment. He is using the platform to push America into war with Iran.

Bolton told the Financial Times (June 9) that the Bush Regime has no intention of reaching an agreement with Iran. Time is running out for diplomacy, Bolton told the Financial Times. Iran has a short time remaining in which it can give up its right under the nonproliferation treaty to enrich uranium for nuclear energy or be attacked. Bolton said that U.S. security guarantees for Iran "were not on the table."

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