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Divine Strake -- Nobody knows much, or is speaking forthrightly, about this weapon.
The Spectrum, UT
The role of an aggressor is rarely empathetic. It smacks of imperialistic intentions based on jingoist jargon and embarrasses those who have a grasp of the world view.
Such is the sad state this nation finds itself in today as it stands on the threshold of Divine Strake, the test of a 700-ton bomb scheduled to take place at the Nevada Test Site on June 2.
In their suit, tribe officials say the test, dubbed "Divine Strake," would desecrate ancestral lands that the Western Shoshone say were not turned over to the U.S. government.
By Geoffrey Fattah, Deseret Morning News, UT
Two Utah anti-nuclear activists have joined with a Nevada Indian tribe in filing a federal suit to try to stop a planned large-scale non-nuclear explosion in the Nevada desert next June they say will kick up radioactive fallout left over from previous nuclear testing.
By David Isenberg, www.tompaine.com
David Isenberg is a senior research analyst at the British American Security Information Council, a member of the Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy, and an adviser to the Straus Military Reform Project of the Center for Defense Information. The views expressed are his own.
Is Iran’s nuclear program really an immediate threat? There is reason to be doubtful. In fact, the entire debate over the prospect of Iran getting nuclear weapons has been unduly alarmist, if not outright hysterical. Recent media reports indicate that the Bush administration has gone beyond mere saber-rattling and is now deep into contingency planning for military strikes against Iran.
By Jackie Cabasso
Published on Sunday, April 23, 2006 by the Sunday Herald (Scotland)
UK Foreign Office Lawyers Warn: Support for Bush Military Action Would Be Illegal
Army Warns: We're Too Stretched to Cope With Any More Military Action
by Westminster Editor James Cusick and Neil Mackay
Foreign Office lawyers have formally advised Jack Straw that it would be illegal under international law for Britain to support any US-led military action against Iran.
Sunday, April 23, 2006 (Baghdad):
Three explosions occurred outside the heavily guarded Green Zone on Sunday, killing seven Iraqi civilians and wounding eight.
The official said the blasts, caused by mortars or rockets, occurred near Iraq's Defence Ministry, which is located just inside the Green Zone on the west side of the Tigris River.
One of the explosions went off in a parking lot.
Well-known journalist calls Bush’s statements on Iran’s N-programme ‘ridiculous and nonsense’
Pakistan Daily Times
LAHORE: Renowned American journalist Eric Margolis has said that the US will “go for” Pakistan and Saudi Arabia after Iraq and Iran.
“We have leaks from reliable sources that after Iraq and Iran, the US plans to go for Pakistan and Saudi Arabia,” Margolis said in an interview with IWT NEWS on Saturday. Margolis supported Iran’s nuclear weapons programme, saying that it poses no threat to the world community. US President George W Bush’s statements on Iran’s nuclear programme were “ridiculous and nonsense”, he said. “Iran has no nuclear bombs and no capability to bomb a country with these weapons,” Margolis said.
Published on Saturday, April 22, 2006 by CommonDreams.org
by Karen Horst Cobb
On June 2nd the god of America will be paraded before the people of the earth causing them to tremble in fear. Americans will again marvel as they worship the god of their own creation. Just like the restless Israelites in the desert who grew inpatient with god and fashioned a golden calf to protect them we have grown inpatient with god and fashioned a shiny idol of power. Southern Methodist University is working with the new clergy of death who have named the idol Divine Strake.
This tidbit about President Bush’s schedule was buried in today’s Washington Post:
Bush traveled Friday night to Stanford University, where he met privately with members of the libertarian Hoover Institution to discuss the war. He concluded the day with a private dinner held by George P. Shultz, a Hoover fellow and former secretary of state.
Why is this significant? The Hoover Institution is a think tank that has been aggressively promoting the viability of a preemptive military strike in Iran. Here’s just a couple of recent examples —
What Iran really wants is serious negotiations with the U.S. So why are we gearing up for a preventive military strike?
By Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies, http://www.motherjones.com
The airwaves and the headlines are full of talk of a U.S. military strike against Iran. That is as it should be - the danger of such a reckless move is real, and rising, and we should be talking about it. The Bush administration claims that negotiations are their first choice. But they have gone to war based on lies before, and there is no reason to believe that they are telling the truth this time.
By Alice Slater, GRACE Policy Institute
There most definitely is a diplomatic solution to the crisis being manufactured over Iran’s nuclear ambitions--but it goes much further than the current impotent suggestions being offered for jaw-jaw rather than war-war with Iran. The US must honor its own disarmament agreement under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, put a halt to the development of new nuclear weapons, and take up Putin's offer of several years ago to cut our mutual nuclear arsenals of about 10,000 weapons to 1,000. Once the US and Russia get down to reasonable numbers approaching the arsenals of the other nuclear weapons states--China, UK, France and Israel, who have stockpiles in the hundreds, and India, Pakistan, and North Korea who have less than one hundred bombs in their arsenals-- then we can take up China's offer to negotiate a treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons and call all the nuclear weapons states to the table. Civil society has already produced a Model Nuclear Weapons Convention drafted by scientists, lawyers, and policy makers in the international Abolition 2000 Network, which was introduced into the UN General Assembly by Costa Rica as a discussion document. It lays out all the steps for dismantlement, verification, guarding, and monitoring the disassembled arsenals to insure that we will all be secure from nuclear break-out.
By Don Williams
The end of the world "comes in on little cat feet," to borrow a phrase Carl
Sandburg once used to describe fog.
Silently, deceptively it arrives, largely because talking heads on TV and
syndicated columnists allow a fog of disinformation and distraction to
settle in. For instance, you likely know lots more about the Duke lacrosse
team than about this news from the L.A. Times of April 6:
Today we present to you a new interview with Eric Margolis on the developing confrontation between the US and Iran.
Please go to www.TheRealNews.com (formerly Independent World Television) to see the interview.
Eric Margolis is a journalist, author, contributing editor to The American Conservative magazine and member of
The Real News advisory committee. This interview is an example of the provocative analysis and opinion that will be
By Colin Buchanan, www.iransolidarity.endofempire.org
Public meetings addressed by Professor Abbas Edalat, founder of The
Campaign against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran
(www.campaigniran.org ). Professor Edalat is a London-based Iranian who has
worked tirelessly to alert us to this dangerous escalation of the war. He
recently spoke at the New York, 18th March, antiwar demonstration and his
By Larisa Alexandrovna
The Department of Defense and Vice President Dick Cheney have retained the services of Iran-Contra arms dealer and discredited intelligence asset Manucher Ghorbanifar as their “man on the ground,” in order to report on any interaction and attempts at negotiations between Iranian officials and US ambassador to Iraq, Zelmay Khalilzad, current and former intelligence officials say.
American University International Law Review Annual Conference
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty:
A Legal Framework in Crisis?
Panel on Iran and Article IV of the Non-Proliferation Treaty
Limits of the Non-Proliferation Regime- And why Multilateralism is the Only Solution
Michael Spies, Program Associate
Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy
Compliance assessment under the NPT is a flawed process, as I will explain. The problem of Iran is therefore a problem inherent in the NPT framework. And, as I will conclude, only effective multilateralism will be sufficient to solve the crisis we face now and will successively face in the future.
By Michael Spies, http://disarmamentactivist.org
The US and the EU3 have said that Iran’s resumption of uranium enrichment activities amounted to crossing a “red line”. But a story run by Reuters on Sunday indicates that IAEA Director-General Mohammed ElBaradei may also be stepping over that line. Reuters quotes a diplomat close to the IAEA who said ElBaradei “told diplomats that Natanz (pilot enrichment plant) is Iran’s bottom line, a sovereignty issue, a reality we may have to deal with.” In any deal involving the pilot plant, Iran would be expected to foreswear proceeding with plans to establish a commercial scale enrichment facility.
Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy
On 4 February 2006 the IAEA Board of Governors adopted a resolution on Iran requesting the Director-General “to report to the Security Council all IAEA reports and resolutions, as adopted, relating to this issue.” The resolution further requests that the Director-General provide a report on Iran’s implementation of IAEA resolutions to the Council immediately after the next meeting of the Board in March, together with any additional resolution. The response of the Security Council will be crucial in halting further escalation of the situation into crisis and ensuring that the IAEA is able to complete its investigation of Iran’s past nuclear activities and present intentions, allowing it to determine if Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful use. We offer the following points and recommendations for your consideration.
Andrew Lichterman, http://disarmamentactivist.org
Jeffrey Lewis at Armscontrolwonk.com responded today to the Seymour Hersh article on U.S. preparations and planning for an attack on Iran. Hersh reports that a debate is raging in the government over use of nuclear weapons against certain hard to destroy targets. Lewis suggests that it is unlikely that use of nuclear weapons is under consideration, arguing that the underground facility built for Iran’s uranium enrichment operations can be destroyed with existing U.S. conventional weapons. But there remain unanswered questions, and Hersh’s report that vigorous debate regarding nuclear weapons use against Iran is going on inside the government is as important as how “practical” such use might be.
By Andrew Lichterman, http://disarmamentactivist.org
There have been two related sets of news stories in the past week involving nuclear weapons. Seymour Hersh, writing in the New Yorker, and the Washington Post ran stories regarding planning for a possible use of nuclear weapons in an attack on Iran. The reported rationale for considering nuclear weapons use is that some underground Iranian facilities might be difficult to destroy with conventional weapons. A scattering of newspapers have reported that a large conventional test explosion called “Divine Strake,” planned for June at the Nevada Test Site, will simulate nuclear weapons use. One purpose of the program of which that test is a part, according to Department of Defense budget documents, is to “develop a planning tool that will improve the warfighter’s confidence in selecting the smallest proper nuclear yield necessary to destroy underground facilities while minimizing collateral damage.”
For the New York Times, Washington is NPT's enforcer, not a violator
By Steve Rendall, http://www.fair.org
The U.S. is violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
That view, far from exotic or extreme, was expressed repeatedly by arms control experts and international officials at the month-long NPT review conference held at the U.N. in May. It is embraced by U.S. establishment figures such as former President Jimmy Carter and Kennedy-era Defense Secretary Robert McNamara.
Today we are renewing the call for a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone in the Middle East. Re-opening negotiations toward achieving that goal is the best way—perhaps the only way—to halt without violence the prospect of a nuclear arms race in that deeply troubled part of the world. Additionally, achieving a Nuclear Free Zone in the Middle East would bring the world one step closer to eliminating both the problem of nuclear proliferation and the threat of nuclear war and could serve as a model solution for resolving similar tensions in other regions of the world.
By Tad Daley and Jodie Evans and Mimi Kennedy
Three years ago last month, in more than 600 cities around the world, as many as 14 million people marched in their streets to prevent the United States from launching a unilateral, preemptive, illegal, unprovoked, and unwise invasion of Iraq. The "Guinness Book of World Records" has identified Feb. 15, 2003 as the largest global antiwar mobilization in history. Now this same peace and progressive community (which the New York Times has called "the other superpower") is slowly beginning to turn its attention from the last war to the next war -- a looming military showdown between the West and Iran.
UFPJ Talking Points #39
By Phyllis Bennis
Institute for Policy Studies
Escalating rhetoric, continued losses in Iraq, Bush's political problems, and an ideologically-driven pursuit of power make the possibility of a U.S. military attack on Iran - however reckless and however dangerous its consequences - a frighteningly real possibility.
Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has not violated the Treaty. While there appear to be unresolved issues regarding full transparency, its nuclear program, including enriching uranium, is perfectly legal under NPT requirements for non-nuclear weapons states.
By Andrew Lichterman, http://disarmamentactivist.org
The American Society of International Law adopted the following resolution at its recent annual meeting:
The American Society of International Law, at its centennial annual meeting in Washington, D.C. on March 30, 2006, Resolves:
1. Resort to armed force is governed by the Charter of the United Nations and other international law (jus ad bellum).
By John Burroughs, http://disarmamentactivist.org
In a stunning article, “The Iran Plans,” to appear in the April 17 New Yorker, Seymour Hersh reports that the Bush administration has intensified planning for bombing Iran; that it is giving serious attention to the option of using nuclear weapons to attack buried targets; and that U.S. combat troops are already in Iran preparing for military operations and recruiting local supporters from minority groups. As a whole, the article conveys that the administration is prepared to launch an attack should Iran not accede to U.S. demands, above all not to proceed with uranium enrichment activities. But the potential conflict goes beyond that: the administration seems committed to regime change regardless of whether the nuclear issues are capable of resolution (which they probably are, given any willingness to compromise on Washington’s part).
"There is a growing conviction among members of the United States military, and in the international community, that President Bush's ultimate goal in the nuclear confrontation with Iran is regime change," Seymour Hersh writes in the new issue of The New Yorker. He also reports: "One of the military's initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this winter, calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites. ... The Pentagon adviser on the war on terror confirmed that some in the administration were looking seriously at this option, which he linked to a resurgence of interest in tactical nuclear weapons among Pentagon civilians and in policy circles.... He also confirmed that some senior officers and officials were considering resigning over the issue." Full Article
by SEYMOUR M. HERSH
Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb?
The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups. The officials say that President Bush is determined to deny the Iranian regime the opportunity to begin a pilot program, planned for this spring, to enrich uranium.
By Matthew Yglesias, The American Prospect, tompaine.com
Should we go to war with Iran? The short answer is, "No." The long answer is, "Hell no."
As the rumbles of war are heard over the horizon, many feel they've heard this whole story before. But with all due respect to those who correctly ascertained in advance that backing Bush's march on Baghdad was insane, following the neoconservatives to Teheran would be far, far, far more insane.