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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
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.