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House passes 'Iran Freedom Support Act'
by Justin Raimondo
It is "a steppingstone to war," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich, during the debate over the so-called Iran Freedom Support Act, and if this vote is any measure of the degree of congressional opposition to the looming prospect of war with Tehran, then we have a lot to worry about.
Only 21 members of the House stood up against the overwhelming bipartisan wave of support for the bill, which would impose economic sanctions on the Iranians – and openly proclaims the goal of effecting "regime change." Rep. Ron Paul, a Texas Republican, said the bill reminds him of a 1998 congressional resolution – the Iraq Liberation Act – that paved the way for the Iraqi debacle. Yet most of the "antiwar" contingent in the House of Representatives caved and voted in favor, including Democrats John Conyers, Maxine Waters, Jack Murtha, Bernie Sanders, Barbara Lee, and Lynn Woolsey.
Wednesday, May 3, 2006
Conference Room 6
United Nations, New York
This panel will explore the intricate connection between nuclear energy production and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Participants will explain why nuclear power is not the answer to climate change and why it will not play a major role in slowing the rate of greenhouse gas emissions.
Steve Sawyer, Climate Policy Director, Greenpeace International
By Leslie Feinberg, Workers World
“Divine Strake”—the strange name for a scheduled test blast of 700 tons of explosives on Western Shoshone land on June 2—is nothing but a Pentagon end-run around the ban on nuclear weapons testing. It is scheduled at a time when a wing of the U.S. military and political establishment is considering the use of a new generation of tactical nuclear “bunker-bus ters” that they hope can drill far deeper underground into case-hardened facilities.
By Judy Fahys, The Salt Lake Tribune
Add Gov. Jon M. Huntsman to the list of Utahns with suspicions about a huge upcoming explosion at the Nevada Test Site.
Speaking Thursday at his monthly news conference, the Republican governor shared a demand voiced this week by Utah members of Congress: that the Pentagon and the Energy Department must do more to prove the June 2 "Divine Strake" won't harm Utahns.
Pentagon apparently looks for an optimal size of a 'bunker buster'
by Robert Gehrke, Salt Lake Tribune
Washington - A powerful blast scheduled at the Nevada Test Site in June is designed to help war planners figure out the smallest nuclear weapon able to destroy underground targets. And it has caused a concern that it signals a renewed push toward tactical nuclear weapons.
The detonation, called Divine Strake, is intended to "develop a planning tool to improve the warfighter's confidence in selecting the smallest proper nuclear yield necessary to destroy underground facilities while minimizing collateral damage," according to Defense Department budget documents.
“How can we have a nuclear program when we actively discourage (other countries’) nuclear programs?”
By RYANN RASMUSSEN,
Southern Utah University Journal
The U.S. Department of Energy will detonate a 700-ton non-nuclear bomb on June 2 at the Nevada Test Site, but some Iron County residents and officials are concerned.
They are afraid the expected 10,000-foot debris cloud will have a negative effect on public health.
A so far little noticed plan to simulate a nuclear strike on an underground bunker will be carried out this summer in Nevada. It has so far been given little attention. The sheer clutter of daily news stories indicating that our government is off its rocker has served well to desensitize us to these frequent and shocking revelations.
The bomb, named Divine Strake will involve detonating an ungodly amount of explosives in order to help design a new line of 'smart nukes' to use against bunkers, specifically with Iran in mind. A group of scientists have written the president and explained that even a small, one ton device in Iran would likely kill millions of people by the fallout and spread of radiation to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Google it.
Wednesday April 26,
5 PM, Lafayette Park, opposite the White House, Washington, DC
NUCLEAR OPTION OFF THE TABLE
An adhoc group of activists will join
Dr. Jorge E. Hirsch: Professor of Physics, UCSD
To deliver the letter to President Bush
Hirsh has been widely published in progressive and mainstream
publications. See a collection at http://antiwar.com/hirsch/
The Urgency of stopping the US next war in Middle East is upon us.
By Sherwood Ross, Middle East Times
NEW JERSEY -- American troops are already in Iran "to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups", according to a report in the April 17 issue of The New Yorker, published in New York City.
The covert military units have been working with the Azeris, in the north, the Baluchis, in the southeast, and the Kurds, in the northeast, wrote Seymour Hersh, a prize-winning investigative reporter. A government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon told Hersh the troops "are studying the terrain, and giving away walking-around money to ethnic tribes, and recruiting scouts from local tribes and shepherds".
A blast being planned for the Nevada desert revives some old atomic-age concerns
By MARGOT ROOSEVELT, Time Magazine
Will a 10,000-foot cloud of dust from a massive bomb spread radioactive particles across the West? It sounds like a nightmare scenario from the 1950s. But that’s the question a U.S. district court in Las Vegas will seek to resolve next month.
A Western Shoshone Indian tribe and representatives of two Salt Lake citizens groups have filed suit against the U.S. Defense Department to stop the June 2 detonation of a 700-ton ammonium nitrate and fuel oil bomb 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The test, announced by the Pentagon on April 4, and dubbed "Divine Strake," is designed to determine how a bomb might penetrate fortified underground bunkers. It will be the biggest open-air chemical blast ever conducted at the Nevada Test site — 280 times more powerful than the explosion that destroyed the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995. "The concern of downwind communities is ‘Here we go again,’" said plaintiff Stephen Erickson of the Salt Lake City-based Citizens Education Project. Though not a nuclear test, Erickson is afraid the huge blast "could kick up radioactive dust from previous nuclear testing," and claims "the Pentagon has sprung it on everybody with no examination of its effects."
"The more I look into this the more upset I become," Hatch said in a statement....Nevada Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Shelley Berkley were briefed on the planned test [Divine Strake], and said it could be conducted safely."
Concerns grow over possible dispersal of old radioactive material in Nevada
By Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune
WASHINGTON - Sen. Orrin Hatch has joined a group of Congress members voicing concerns about "Divine Strake," a massive explosion planned this summer at the Nevada Test Site that critics say could have nuclear implications.
SALT LAKE CITY U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch wants reassurances that a massive explosion test planned for Nevada this summer won't disperse radioactive material from past nuclear weapons tests.
Hatch, R-Utah, has joined a group of Congress members voicing concerns about "Divine Strake," the detonation of a 700-ton ammonium nitrate and fuel oil bomb scheduled for June 2 over the Nevada desert.
Although the bomb isn't nuclear, there are concerns that it could shake loose radioactive material from past tests at the Nevada Test Site, about 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
“This is our lives and our children’s lives that are at stake. I ask of humanity what is so divine about a weapon with a name like Divine Strake that will contaminate all living life forms?” said Bennie “BlueThunder” LeBeau.
GOP Senator, shareholders offer support in crusades against Pentagon, mining company
Sam Lewin 4/25/2006
A Western tribe currently engaged in battles with two powerful opponents- the largest gold producer in the world and the Pentagon- - is now receiving moral and legal support from shareholders in the company involved in the former controversy and a Republican Senator concerned about the latter’s plan for a huge explosion.
ATHENS, April 25 (Xinhua) -- Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asserted here on Tuesday that all options regarding Iran remain on the table, stressing that Washington's priority at this time was to intensify diplomatic efforts.
At the joint press conference after the meeting with her Greek counterpart Dora Bakoyannis, Rice told reporters that Washington was "aware that Iran was not Iraq," adding that U.S. President George Bush "has not withdrawn any options from the table."
"While the Pentagon calls it ''Divine Strake,'' Western Shoshone said there is nothing divine about a massive explosion on their traditional lands. "
By Brenda Norrell / Indian Country Today
ELKO, Nev. - Western Shoshone opposed the Pentagon's planned 700-ton detonation on aboriginal Western Shoshone land, as a delegation of Western Shoshone returned from Geneva, Switzerland, with support from the United Nations for protection of their human rights and territory.
Hatch said initially it was said the bomb site [Test called Divine Strake] was 2.5 miles from where nuclear testing had been done. However, he said, it seems like the detonation is creeping closer to the old test site. He is also concerned that the bomb could raise a cloud up to 10,000 feet.
Sen. Hatch talks to group at DRMC
By PATRICE ST. GERMAIN
ST. GEORGE - Speaking to a group at Dixie Regional Medical Center Thursday afternoon, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said he has been blasted and praised by Downwinders, but apologized for not being more effective and promised to keep working in their behalf.
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