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by Robert Koehler, http://www.opednews.com
Will residents of Las Vegas be seeing a mushroom cloud over their city next month?
As I write this, "Divine Strake," the big bang with the macabre and vaguely blasphemous name (the military-industrial complex is playing God again), has been postponed from June 2 to June 23, thanks to legal proceedings against the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the National Nuclear Security Administration, related to unanswered environmental-impact questions. Maybe the delay will be enough of a wedge to allow the passionately bitter opponents of the blast - and they are legion - to build the necessary momentum to stop it altogether.
Cindy Sheehan to Lead Delivery of Petition to White House
Ray McGovern to Lead March to Sec. Rumsfeld's Home
Delivery of petition to White House opposing attack on Iran
When: 1-3 p.m., Thursday, May 18
Where: Lafayette Square Park, in front of White House, Washington, D.C.
March to Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld's House
When: Departing at 3 p.m., Thursday, May 18
The Fellowship of Reconciliation
May 8 - 20, 2006
Despite the rise in tensions between the United States and Iran, and talk of sanctions or military intervention, the Fellowship of Reconciliation's second interfaith delegation departs tonight (May 8) for Iran on a mission of peace and friendshiip towards the Iranian people.
The delegation, which will spent 12 days in the country, is part of FOR's ongoing commitment to working for peace, justice, and the nonviolent resolution of conflict.
By Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune
WASHINGTON - Sen. Orrin Hatch is pressing the Pentagon harder to back up its claims that a massive detonation at the Nevada Test Site, known as Divine Strake, will not spread contamination from Cold War nuclear tests.
The Utah senator was dissatisfied with assurances he received as a result of his earlier inquiry. He said the Defense Threat Reduction Agency's response failed to explain why the agency concluded the test would not throw contaminated material into the air, and didn't say how far tunnels used for past nuclear tests are from the Divine Strake test site.
By KEN RITTER, Associated Press
LAS VEGAS - A non-nuclear explosion expected to generate a mushroom cloud over the Nevada desert will be postponed at least three weeks, while a federal court reviews plans for the blast, test officials said Tuesday.
"The planned Divine Strake experiment will not be conducted earlier than June 23," said Cheri Abdelnour, spokeswoman for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency at Fort Belvoir, Va. The blast was originally scheduled for June 2.
Published on Tuesday, May 9, 2006 by TomPaine.com
by Shadi Hamid
The uproar and controversy over purported U.S. plans to attack Iran show no sign of dying down. While President George W. Bush assures us that talk of impending war is little more than “wild speculation,” Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently threatened to assemble a “coalition of the willing” against Iran outside the U.N. if the security council fails to take action. All this has convinced many Iranians that "the nuclear issue is just the latest stage in a struggle between Washington and Tehran dating back to the 1979 Islamic Revolution,” according to The Financial Times.
Published on Tuesday, May 9, 2006 by Inter Press Service
by Omid Memarian
BERKELEY, California - The United States is struggling with Iran's fundamentalist government on two fronts -- while U.S. diplomats are negotiating with other members of the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions on Tehran, Washington has allocated 75 million dollars to inspire "regime change".
The money is to be spent on empowering civil society, providing supplemental requests, broadcasting into Iran, promoting democracy, offering scholarships and fellowships, and enhancing communication.
Ahmadinejad proposes 'new solutions'
In a press conference on Monday, Tony Blair stated that any consideration of a nuclear attack against Iran would be "absolutely absurd," and said the issue had no bearing on his decision to demote his foreign secretary. As reported in the China Daily, Blair said: "I don't know anybody who has even talked or contemplated the prospect of a nuclear strike in Iran and that would be absolutely absurd."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has written President Bush an 18-page letter discussing religious values, history and international relations. Following is an unofficial translation from the original written in Farsi:
"Mr. George Bush, president of the United States of America
For some time now, I have been thinking, how one can justify the undeniable contradictions that exist in the international arena -- which are being constantly debated, especially in political forums and amongst university students. Many questions remain unanswered. Those have prompted me to discuss some of the contradictions and questions, in the hopes that it might bring about an opportunity to redress them.
Environmentalists, politicians see time as chance to probe risks
By Judy Fahys and Robert Gehrke
The Salt Lake Tribune
Red tape has snagged the federal government's plans next month for a massive explosion at the Nevada Test Site.
Court papers filed by Pentagon and U.S. Energy Department lawyers say the Divine Strake test will be delayed by three weeks.
"The proposed detonation of Divine Strake will take place no earlier than June 23," said Jay H. Horman, acting manager of the National Nuclear Security Administration's Nevada Test Site office, in a statement presented to the U.S. District Court in Las Vegas on Monday.
Adrian Arambulo, Reporter
KLASTV.com Las Vegas
Plans for a massive experimental explosion at the Nevada test site have been delayed. An energy department spokesperson says the earliest that "Operation: Divine Strake" would take place would be June 23.
Some concerned residents, who are worried about potential health hazards, want the explosion cancelled all together.
A woman, who wants to be known as Karen, is on a mission. She's worried about how a planned explosion at the Nevada Test Site might affect her health.
By: Associated Press -
TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran took a step on Friday toward establishing an oil market denominated in euros, a plan analysts described as highly unlikely to materialize but which in theory could have serious consequences for the U.S. economy.
Iranian state-run television said the country's oil ministry granted a license for the euro-denominated market, an idea first floated back in 2004, though just who would trade on it remains unclear.
Article: Between The Lines
Between the Lines Q&A
A weekly column featuring progressive viewpoints
on national and international issues
under-reported in mainstream media
for release May 7, 2006
Use of Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Iran Could Kill Hundreds of Thousands
Interview with Dr. Kurt Gottfried, chairman of the Union of Concerned Scientists, conducted by Scott Harris
Recognizing the dangers posed by nuclear weapons and calling on the President to engage in nonproliferation strategies designed to eliminate these weapons of mass destruction from United... (Introduced in House)
HRES 373 IH
H. RES. 373
Recognizing the dangers posed by nuclear weapons and calling on the President to engage in nonproliferation strategies designed to eliminate these weapons of mass destruction from United States and worldwide arsenals.
KBCI CBS 2
By Thanh Tan
EMMETT - U.S. Defense officials tell KBCI CBS 2 News today they still plan to detonate 700 tons of explosives south of Idaho next month at the Nevada Test Site.
The department says this is not a nuclear test, but Idahoans who live in Emmett say they're concerned the explosion could disturb some radioactive dust leftover from the Cold War-- and fly in the northern direction toward Gem County. Officials confirm several nuclear tests were conducted at least one mile away from the site where the June 2 explosion-- dubbed Divine Strake-- is scheduled to be tested.
Rice: Iran Letter Doesn't Resolve Standoff
By Anne Gearan / Associated Press
NEW YORK - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice dismissed a letter that Iran's president sent to President Bush on Monday, saying the first direct communication from an Iranian leader in 27 years does not help resolve the standoff over Tehran's disputed nuclear program.
Iran's top nuclear negotiator called the surprise letter a new "diplomatic opening" between the two countries, but Rice said it was not.
Summary of Amendments Submitted by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) to H.R. 5122, the Fiscal Year 2007 Department of Defense Authorization Act
The DeFazio amendment would prohibit any funds authorized by the bill from being used to take military action against Iran except (1) pursuant to a declaration of war by Congress (2) in accordance with specific statutory authorization by Congress or (3) to repel an armed attack by Iran on the U.S. or our armed forces, to retaliate for such an attack or to forestall the direct and imminent threat of such an attack.
by Julie Rose
"Divine Strake" Could Send Radiation Downwind to Utah
(KCPW News) Should Southern Utah residents stay indoors and worry about radiation on June 2 -- the day federal officials plan to detonate 700 tons of explosives at the nuclear test site in Nevada? Congressman Jim Matheson says without more information, it's hard to know if Utahns will be in danger of downwind contamination. He's requested detailed analysis of the surface soil at the test site to determine if any radioactive material will be blown into the air during the blast. Without that information, Matheson says it's hard to know how dangerous the test will be.
By Susan Lees, A member of Greater Boston United for Justice with Peace
As the Bush administration increases its volume on Iran, we in the peace movement are moving to prevent a military attack on that country. Part of our challenge is to frame our messages on this issue well for our activists, our Congresspeople, the broader public and the media – and for our ongoing movement work. These are my thoughts about framing. I hope they will engender will more discussion, because I think wide discussion is greatly needed at this time.
By Marjorie Cohn, t r u t h o u t | www.truthout.org
Now that the mission - whatever it was - has not been accomplished in Iraq, Bush is setting up a potentially bigger disaster in Iran.
Last month, Seymour Hersh revealed that the US military is making preparations for an attack on Iran. Recent events confirm Hersh's report.
The Bush administration is stepping up the pressure on the Security Council to pass a resolution that the US will use to justify an invasion. John Bolton, the US ambassador to the United Nations, is pushing Council members to vote on a resolution this week.
TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has written a letter to President Bush proposing "new ways" to resolve their differences, an Iranian government spokesman says.
In the letter -- believed to be the first from an Iranian leader to an American president in 27 years -- Ahmadinejad proposes "new ways for exiting from the current critical situation," Gholam-Hossein Elham said Monday.
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
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.
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."
Nevada may halt test because of insufficient data
The Spectrum, UT
By BRIAN PASSEY
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.
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.
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
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.
[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]