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The Last Gasp of the Dollar?

Iran bourse opens next week
By Mike Whitney, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info

05/07/06 "ICH" -- -- If one day the world's largest oil producers demanded euros for their barrels, "it would be the financial equivalent of a nuclear strike.” Bill O'Grady, A.G. Edwards commodities analyst

“Everybody knows the real reason for American belligerence is not the Iranian nuclear program, but the decision to launch an oil bourse where oil will be traded in euros instead of US dollars….The oil market will break the dominance of the dollar and lead to a decline of global American hegemony.” Igor Panarin, Russian political scientist

What Can We Do About Iraq and Iran?

By Bob Burnett, http://www.opednews.com

President Bush’s job approval ratings continue to plummet, as increasing numbers of Americans recognize that the Administration lacks the clear thinking required to deal with the critical issues that confront America, such as Iraq and Iran. Nonetheless, many citizens despair of the prospects of changing America’s course, so long as George Bush is President. They ask, “What can we do?” to restore sanity and democracy to the USA.

Defense officials try to allay fears of stirring up nuclear debris

Not just conventional?
By Robert Gehrke
The Salt Lake Tribune

WASHINGTON - A Defense Department official told Rep. Jim Matheson that data gathered at a major explosion in Nevada in June could be used for nuclear-weapons development as well as for chemical munitions, Matheson said.

"It's going to look at shock value from a conventional weapon, but it also gives data that would reflect a nuclear weapon as well," Matheson said. "Let's call it what it is. It's a dual-use test. They should've said that all along."

Strake may mimic small nuke

Nevada may halt test because of insufficient data
The Spectrum, UT
By BRIAN PASSEY
bpassey@thespectrum.com

ST. GEORGE - A Defense Department official reportedly confirmed Thursday morning that the large conventional blast scheduled in Nevada next month will provide data simulating the effects of a low-yield nuclear explosion.

Rep. Jim Math-eson, D-Utah, met with Dr. James Tegnelia, director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, because of concerns stemming from the planned June 2 explosion of 700 tons of ammonium nitrate-fuel oil at the Nevada Test Site, 150 miles west of St. George. Budget documents for the test originally indicated it would simulate a nuclear explosion, but the DTRA later said the test was for conventional purposes only and to help determine the force necessary to defeat hardened targets such as underground bunkers.

Bomb testing valley's patience

Action growing over huge explosion
Public meetings to address concerns on health, environment
By Launce Rake
Las Vegas Sun

A swelling chorus of community concern in Southern Nevada and Utah has prompted planning for town hall-style meetings about a huge explosion scheduled by the Defense Department at the Nevada Test Site.

Defense Threat Reduction Agency officials said Thursday they would schedule the meetings to provide information on the blast and answer questions. The move was in response to requests from Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer cosponsoring "Iran Freedom Support Act" in the senate

http://www.indybay.org/news/2006/05/1820811.php
by benfrank.net

Feinstein we expected but Barbara Boxer! This just after Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey vote for the Iran Freedom Support Act in the House. Someone needs to stop the flow of flouride in the congressional water WTF!!!

Thank you to the WhatReallyHappened reader who has alerted me to the fact that Rick Santorum has already introduced the “Iran Freedom Support Act” in the US senate and with 58 cosponsors the vote is only a formality. It turns out we have 21 democrats to thank for this act’s easy passage and wouldn’t you know it the AIPAC

Ahmadinejad: Lost in translation

By Little Red Email

05/04/06 "Peace Palestine" -- -- It was October last year when we came home, flicked on the radio and listened aghast to the news that the Iranian president denied the Holocaust had happened and said the state of Israel should be wiped off the map. ‘Christ,’ we thought, ‘this nut job’s playing into their hands with this kind of rhetoric.’ Since then “the Cuban missile crisis in slow motion” as one US academic has described the Iran/US imbroglio has ratcheted up to high alert with Seymour Hersch of the New Yorker reporting that the White House is all prepared for nuclear strikes. It would take just 12 hours to deploy nuclear weapons for a bunker busting strike that would kill a million Iranians according to conservative estimates commissioned by the Pentagon. Nuclear armed planes are now on constant alert and public opinion has been framed around those mad, mad statements on Israel by Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Tomgram: On Bombing Iran and Other Fantasies of American Power

http://www.tomdispatch.com

[Note to Tomdispatch readers: The following essay was much influenced by Mark Danner's comments on the "preponderance" of American power in an interview I did with him for this site. His latest book, a tiny but important paperback, The Secret Way to War: The Downing Street Memo and the Iraq War's Buried History (introduction by Frank Rich), has just come out. It includes three pieces that appeared at Tomdispatch thanks to the kindness of the editors of the New York Review of Books. It is, in my opinion, a must-buy. Tom]

U.S. Department of State Invites You to Attend a Special Briefing for Representatives of Nongovernmental Organizations

Gordon Gray, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and David Denehy, Senior Advisor on Iran will brief on:
Iran: Challenges and Opportunity
Tuesday, May 16, 2006 • 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
U.S. Department of State • Room 1105

U.S. policy towards Iran is entering an important phase, as the Iranian regime’s policies deepen that country’s international isolation. Iran’s abysmal human rights record, support for international terrorism, interference in Iraq, and nuclear weapons ambitions all pose challenges that the United States and its allies must address – starting with the UN Security Council’s action on Tehran’s continuing disregard for its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We must also find ways to support the majority of Iranians who seek reform and accountable governance. For a review of these issues, and the overarching challenge of bringing Iran back into the community of responsible nations, please join Deputy Assistant Secretary Gordon Gray and Senior Advisor David Denehy in a discussion of U.S. policy toward Iran.

Sixty-One Congress Members Sign Onto Rep. DeFazio's Letter to Bush on Iran

Signers of DeFazio letter to President Bush re: Iran and congressional war powers
April 2006

White House denies reports that U.S. employs terror groups for special ops in Iran

RAW STORY, www.rawstory.com

Earlier today at the White House Press Briefing, Scott McClellan, the outgoing press secretary, denied reports that the U.S. is employing terrorist groups for special operations in Iran, RAW STORY has found.

When asked if U.S. policy has been changed with respect to three different terrorist organizations that have reportedly been active recently against Iran "based on the notion that an enemy of our enemy is our friend," McClellan insisted that it hadn't.

Once more unto the breach

By Scott Ritter
http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has just released a report concerning Iran's nuclear programme, in which it notes that Iran has failed to comply with the UN security council's demands to cease its nuclear enrichment programmes. The IAEA report finds that Iran has, in defiance of the security council, in fact carried out a successful test to enrich uranium to the low levels needed in the production of nuclear energy. The IAEA also found that Iran had failed to provide a level of cooperation and transparency necessary for the IAEA to exclude the possibility of an Iranian nuclear weapons programme being carried out under the guise of civilian nuclear energy activities.

Hitchens the Hacker; And, Hitchens the Orientalist

http://www.juancole.com

Hitchens the Hacker; And, Hitchens the Orientalist
And, "We don't Want Your Stinking War!

Christopher Hitchens owes me a big apology.

I belong to a private email discussion group called Gulf2000. It has academics, journalists and policy makers on it. It has a strict rule that messages appearing there will not be forwarded off the list. It is run, edited and moderated by former National Security Council staffer for Carter and Reagan, Gary Sick, now a political scientist at Columbia University. The "no-forwarding" rule is his, and is intended to allow the participants to converse about controversial matters without worrying about being in trouble. Also, in an informal email discussion, ideas evolve, you make mistakes and they get corrected, etc. It is a rough, rough draft.

Tell Congress to Stop a Bush-Cheney Attack on Iran

AfterDowningStreet.org/391
George Bush is considering attacking Iran, including using nuclear bombs to do so. Such an attack would be illegal and disastrous. Congress can prevent it, but only if Congres asserts its Constitutional right to decide whether or not the United States goes to war. Congressman Peter DeFazio's H. Con. Res. 391 expresses "the sense of Congress that the President should not initiate military action against Iran with respect to its nuclear program without first obtaining authorization from Congress." This bill is rapidly picking up cosponsors, but needs more. Ask your Congress Member to sign on today. Ask your Senators to take the same step in the Senate. CONTACT CONGRESS.

Is Radioactive Fallout Headed for Idaho?

Fox 12 Boise

More than 50 years ago the Nevada test site was used for testing nuclear weapons. The next test, called Divine Strake, is designed to modify U.S. made bunker busting bombs, for use in overseas conflicts. But some worry it could have negative affects, a little closer to home.

A tunnel in Nevada's nuclear test sight is scheduled to be destroyed on June 2, by 700 tons of explosive ammonium nitrate-fuel oil.

Divine Mistrake

By Tracy Medley, New West, MT

In typical form, Sen. Orrin Hatch attempted to ease Downwinders’ concerns over the planned Divine Strake test scheduled to take place on June 2 , at a Nevada testing site, 150 miles east of St. George. The location was originally used for nuclear testing in the 1950’s and 60’s.

Speaking to a group at St. George’s Dixie Regional Medical Center, he initially dismissed the crowd’s trepidation over having a 700-ton, non-nuclear, mega bomb denoted in their back yard and kicking up a dust cloud that could reach upwards of 10,000 ft. “I’m a great stopper,” he said, offering that if he had any real concerns about the test, he would surely put a stop to it.

US and Europe Draft Iran Resolution

By Elaine Sciolino, New York Times

Paris - The United States, Britain and France have drafted a binding Security Council resolution requiring Iran to stop key nuclear activities, but Russia and China are already resisting, officials involved in the negotiations said today.

The Americans and the Europeans want to move swiftly against Iran, and to that end, the resolution will be introduced in New York on Wednesday or Thursday, according to R. Nicolas Burns, the under secretary of state who has led American diplomatic efforts concerning Iran.

Of Imperial Presidents and Congressional Cowards

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Now that Congress is back fromspring break and looking ahead to Memorial Day, July 4, the August recess and adjournment early in October for elections, perhaps it can take up this question.

Does President Bush have, or not have, the authority to take us to war with Iran? Because Bush and the War Party are surely behaving as though this were an executive decision alone.

Iran Threatens Israel if U.S. Attacks

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press

A top Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said Tuesday that Israel would be Iran's first retaliatory target in response to any U.S. attack.

"We have announced that whenever America does make any mischief, the first place we target will be Israel," the Iranian Student News Agency quoted Gen. Mohammad Ebrahim Dehghani as saying.

Dehghani, a top commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards, also said Israel was not prepared to go war against Iran.

The Untold Story of Israel's Bomb

By Avner Cohen and William Burr
Washington Post, April 30, 2006; Page B01

On Sept. 9, 1969, a big brown envelope was delivered to the Oval Office on behalf of CIA Director Richard M. Helms. On it he had written, "For and to be opened only by: The President, The White House." The precise contents of the envelope are still unknown, but it was the latest intelligence on one of Washington's most secretive foreign policy matters: Israel's nuclear program. The material was so sensitive that the nation's spymaster was unwilling to share it with anybody but President Richard M. Nixon himself.

After hyping Iraqi nuclear threat in 2002-03, conservative media now doing the same with Iranian nuclear program

Media Matters for America

Summary: On the third anniversary of President Bush's premature declaration of victory in Iraq, Media Matters has compiled examples of media that sounded alarms over Iraq's purported weapons of mass destruction capabilities now sounding similar alarms over Iran.
In recent months, Media Matters for America has noted numerous instances in which conservative commentators and media sources have hyped Iran's progress in developing a nuclear capability and have made assertions that contradict the public estimates provided by the United States intelligence community and independent experts. Many of these same commentators similarly touted Iraq's purported efforts to develop nuclear weapons in 2002 and early 2003 while making the case for war. On the third anniversary of President Bush's premature declaration of victory in Iraq, Media Matters has compiled examples of media that sounded alarms over Iraq's purported weapons of mass destruction capabilities now sounding similar alarms over Iran:

Iran Seeks `Urgent' UN Action Against U.S. `Threats'

May 1 (Bloomberg) -- Iran is asking United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the Security Council to take unspecified action in response to what it says is the threat of a U.S. attack against its nuclear facilities.

A letter from Javad Zarif, Iran's ambassador to the UN, describes ``public and illegal threats of resort to force'' by the U.S., according to a copy provided by Iran's mission to the world body. Zarif seeks an ``urgent, concerted and resolute response'' from Annan and the Security Council.

Don't Start a War in Iran

Dennis Kucinich speaking from the Floor of the House
http://www.kucinich.us

Speaking in opposition to H.R. 282, the Iran Freedom Support Act, Congressman Kucinich said:

"Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Texas [Ron Paul] for the point that he made that is well taken.

"With all due respect to my colleagues who may have a difference of opinion about this bill, I think that most American people know that this administration has already made a mess of international relations with respect to the illegal and unwarranted invasion of Iraq.

Iran shells Kurdish rebel positions in Iraq

Associated Press

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iranian forces again shelled a border area used by Iranian Kurdish rebels, forcing some families to flee their homes Monday but causing no casualties, a Kurdish official said.

Mustafa Qader, a member of the political bureau of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party, said the shelling began at about 9 a.m. Sunday and continued until 5:30 a.m. Monday.

"It was so heavy that it forced families in these villages to flee the area to find shelter with their relatives," Qader said in a telephone interview from Sulaimaniyah, which is 160 miles northeast of Baghdad. advertisement

Test blast linked to nuke weapons

By LAUNCE RAKE, Las Vegas Sun

LAS VEGAS -- Contrary to the Pentagon's earlier denials, a government official overseeing a test explosion at the Nevada Test Site in June says the blast could help with the development of nuclear weapons.

The detonation could simulate "a number of weapon concepts," said Doug Bruder, director of the counter-weapons of mass destruction program for the Defense Department's Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

IRAN: THINK IT WON'T HAPPEN? THINK AGAIN.

STOP THE WAR COALITION NEWSLETTER
No 2006/10: May 1
Email office@stopwar.org.uk
Telephone 020 7278 6694
Web www.stopwar.org.uk

*************************************************
IN THIS NEWSLETTER
1) IRAN: THINK IT WON'T HAPPEN? THINK AGAIN.
2) THE COST OF ONE US SOLDIER IN IRAQ
3) REGISTER ONLINE FOR THE STW CONFERENCE
4) HEAR NEIL YOUNG'S ANTI-WAR BARRAGE FOR FREE

*************************************************

At the Rubicon: US Asks Turkey to Host Iran Attack

http://aliberaldose.blogspot.com

YNet News reports we are at the threshold of the most terrifying moment in human history: a pre-emptive nuclear strike on Iran. Contrary to the public story, the Bush Administration is proceeding full speed ahead, Congressional authorization be damned:

Turkey won't let U.S. attack Iran from its land
Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said Sunday that his country refused a request from the United States to attack Iran from its Air Force base in Incirlik, despite the U.S. offer of a nuclear reactor, according to a report in Al Biyan.

US should call for direct talks with Iran

Communication could help alleviate tension from historical grievances.
By John K. Cooley, http://www.csmonitor.com

ATHENS - It's time to soften the Bush administration's hard position against direct talks with Iran. A good time for both Washington and Tehran to begin overtures toward such talks would be following the UN Security Council's April 28 deadline for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, which Iran rejects.

Reliving past with 700-ton blast

"It's time to divorce ourselves from King George the XLIII before he destroys innocent people and whatever's left of this country's once-good reputation."
The Spectrum, UT, http://www.thespectrum.com

Uh-oh, if Orrin Hatch is getting nervous about a military project, we'd better all be nervous.

The Republican senator from Utah sent his aides to the Nevada Test Site to check out the location where a 700-ton ammonium nitrate-fuel oil bomb will be exploded on June 2.

Target: Negroponte & Iran

By Robert Parry, http://www.consortiumnews.com

In a replay of the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction charade, neoconservative supporters of George W. Bush are pushing the U.S. intelligence community to take a more alarmist view about Iran’s nuclear program – only this time, the nation’s top spy John Negroponte is resisting the pressure unlike former CIA chief George Tenet.

Tenet joined in Bush’s hyping of the WMD evidence about Iraq – famously telling the President that the case was a “slam dunk.” But Negroponte is defying hardliners who want a worst-case scenario on Iran’s capabilities. Instead, he is citing Iran’s limited progress in refining uranium and their use of a cascade of only 164 centrifuges.

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