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Bush's Middle Eastern Quagmire and Apocalypse Future

12-11-2003, 09:33

Mark Dankof for Al Bawaba

One trusts that an American electorate mesmerized by Reality TV and the NFL/NBA regular season schedules will stop long enough to contemplate the apocalyptic implications of Gordon Thomas's October 27th exclusive for the American Free Press: that George Bush's neo-conservative regime has secretly flown 100 Harpoon cruise missiles tipped with nuclear warheads to the joint American-UK military base stationed on the remote Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia. Thomas informs us that it is now known where 72 of these Harpoons have been subsequently assigned--to three Israeli Dolphin-class submarines (24 apiece) that have subsequently left Diego for the Gulf of Oman. The purpose? To target Iranian nuclear facilities well within the range of the Dolphins and their collective nuclear-tipped payload supplied by the United States. Most ominously, these instruments of mass death and destruction are under the command-and-launch decision making authority of one Ariel Sharon, whose moral, political, and military mindset is best revealed by his pivotal role in the Sabra and Shatila massacres in southern Lebanon in 1982, along with occupational policies on the West Bank and Gaza that have recently included the deliberate IDF bulldozing to death of Olympia, Washington's Rachel Corrie, an unarmed peace activist protesting Palestinian house demolitions sanctioned by the Sharon government.

It gets worse. The Thomas story has subsequently been confirmed by a senior aide to Bush National Security Advisor Condolezza Rice for both the Los Angeles Times and London's Guardian newspaper.

Where, pray tell, is the American media and Congress in confronting George Bush with the absolutely incomprehensible decision to supply any government--much less the Sharon regime in Tel Aviv--with American nuclear weaponry and the accompanying authority to decide if, when, and against whom the Apocalpyse is to be unleashed? Who are the powers in his Administration who have set this obviously reckless and derailing course of action in motion? May we conclude that they are largely the same advisors--with direct connections to the Likud regime in Israel--who urged the President to involve American men and women in an ill-conceived preemptive strike against Iraq, where the fraudulent Administration claims about Weapons of Mass Destruction in that country are made all the more maddening by the obvious, enveloping quicksand of death, debt, and international ill-will increasing exponentially by the day? And where are the medallioned luminaries of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in this nightmare--scheduling this week's tee times at the Congressional Country Club?

Pat Buchanan correctly observes that Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Wurmser and Company have now placed themselves, and their countrymen, in mortal peril with the neo-conservative strategy on preemptive military action against Iraq and the subsequent occupation. As Mr. Buchanan analyzes things, the Project for the New American Century crowd has only three options in the political and military morass created since March. The first is to withdraw from Iraq completely, an option made problematic by the subsequent power vacuum, civil war, and outside interventionism that would surely follow. A second involves continuing the present course of action by priming the pump of American lives and dollars in the elusive hope that a responsible government and economic infrastructure for the Iraqi people can emerge from the present chaos and violence. Buchanan notes here that the elusiveness of the goal is matched by the thinning of the patience and political will of the American electorate for Mr. Bush's version of the War on Terrorism and For World Democracy. The third is the most ominous of all--a deliberate escalation of American military interventionism in the Middle East by preemptive attacks against Syria and Iran, with all of the attendant risks.

The Thomas report on Harpoons for the American Free Press must be seen as the most significant sign yet that it is the third option which has been selected in the secret and dark inner counsels of the Bush national security team. The Boys of Empire and Sharon lead us to Apocalypse Future.
 

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Article 1

"This is unquestionably a bomb programme," [ ... ] "The purpose is to develop a weapons material capability. Nothing else makes sense given the scale of the Iranian nuclear power programme." ... Gary Samore , a nuclear expert and director of studies at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London and former Clinton advisor

Article 2

"I must say that the report's assertion is simply impossible to believe," [ ... ] "I repeat: The United States believes that the massive and covert Iranian effort to acquire sensitive nuclear capabilities make sense only as part of a nuclear weapons program." ... John Bolton , Undersecretary of State for Non-proliferation and Arms Control

"it's dumbfounding that the IAEA, after saying that Iran for 18 years had a secret effort to enrich uranium and separate plutonium, would turn around and say there was no evidence of a nuclear weapons program. If that's not evidence, I don't know what is." ... Thomas Cochran , Scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council

Article 3

"Iran will have nuclear capability in one year" [ ... ] "We believe Iran can reach the point of no return in one year from now," ... Shaul Mofaz , Israeli Defense Minister

Article 4

"For a country that claims it just wanted nuclear energy, Iran has gone about it in highly suspicious ways.

Iran said it needed a uranium-enrichment facility to produce fuel for the energy reactors it is constructing at Bushehr on the Persian Gulf. The enrichment equipment could also be capable of producing weapons-grade nuclear material. Iran has no need to enrich uranium for fuel since Russia has agreed to supply the fuel it needs, but Iran began building the plant anyway.

Iran also wants to produce heavy water, a liquid containing a form of hydrogen that's useful in making bomb-grade plutonium, yet its energy reactors will use only ordinary water.

"The conclusion is inescapable that Iran is pursuing its `civil' nuclear energy program not for peaceful and economic purposes, but as a front for developing the capability to produce nuclear materials for nuclear weapons," said John, Bolton , Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.

Combine that with well-established connections to terrorists in Lebanon and the result is unacceptable to both Washington and Jerusalem."

Article 5

"Iran has been caught secretly developing the technology to produce a nuclear bomb, The Independent can reveal."

"This is a big deal. There has been systematic deception over a length of time. The only difference between a process to make missile material and a process to make nuclear weapons is a policy decision. IAEA inspectors cannot look inside the heads of the Iranian rulers." ... Michael Levi , Brookings Institution in Washington
 

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Why is it suddenly a big deal that the Israelis have nuclear weapons? They have had them since the early 1970s.
 

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Hello,

Some thoughts on the above two posts and the earlier thread.

My personal belief is that something dramatic is going to happen in the Middle East within 12 to 24 months.

The major countries have drawn up sides.

Russia and China amongst others are supporting Iran. It is clear Iran will have a nuclear weapon within a reasonably short period of time. This being the case, Israel and the USA have to act quickly before the destruction of the Nuclear plant in Iran could have civilian collateral damage.

It is inevitable that the countries that support other beliefs than those held by the USA will eventually confront them, one way or another.

It really is a crap shoot .... when you have human beings making decisions 'Murphy's Law' - eventually something *will* go wrong.

Cordially,

Gunny Bunny
 

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Mus said:
Why is it suddenly a big deal that the Israelis have nuclear weapons? They have had them since the early 1970s.
The harpoon missiles are submarine launched, therefore, they will survive a first strike. With Iran receiving Sunburn missles from Russia that can be nuclear tipped, it is a clear signal that both the USA and Israel are nervous about Iran and 'when' not 'if' they take out Iran's nuclear plant, what or who will attack Israel ? Or even the USA ?

Some very serious issues here, that involve us all.

Cordially,

Gunny Bunny
 

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I fail to see how the US or Israel are responsible for Russia or China allying with Iran and causing problems.

I cant look at that alawaba website since it requires you to download something which I am not willing to do for security reasons, but I suspect it is an islamic radical anti semite website.
 

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Where, pray tell, is the American media and Congress.....
Hopefully, they are waiting for a RELIABLE source to confirm this story, not some whacked out anti-America web site.
 

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Wacked-out website or not; it is common knowledge that the state of Israel has had weapons of mass destruction for a long time, in many flavors. It is also common knowledge that any country in the middle east that has the money could or can buy similar off the shelf items - whether they be antagonistic towards the state of Israel or not.

And it is also quite likely that if backed into a corner - unlike the ousted Hussein government in Iraq - some of the truely wacked-out regimes such as that in Iran might readily use them.
 

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Yeah anyone who refers to the atomic bomb as the Sword of Islam or the Islamic Bomb is definetly suspect in regard to using them at the drop of a hat.

;)

On the other hand, Israel has been very careful with theirs. They would have dropped the bomb in the 1973 war if they were just lookin for a reason.
 

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I don't think it's a policy of Israel to use nuclear weapons / WMD on an offensive basis. Defensive, yes. Offensive, no.

I think Israel has shown restraint thus far when it comes to the almost daily suicide bombings against innocent noncombatants. They have the capabilities to wipe the "Palastinian State" off the face of the Earth if they wanted to, using only conventional weapons, but they haven't.

Would Israel use nukes if struck first? Probably. Same goes for the USA, if someone launched nukes at us, we would retaliate before they even landed. Same goes for China, Russia, and many other countries with that capability.
 

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Dear Gunny Bunny,

Do you have any evidence of the European Powers or China making any comments on getting involved in the Gulf Area should Israel attack Iran's reactor? You might be right that they do intend to but without any evidence it's a little hard to believe. They did nothing when Israel bombed Iraq's reactor back in the 80s so if the past means anything the result this time (should it occur) will probably be the same. If you have some evidence to the contrary please share it with us. The situation is not similar to WWI and WWII in that to the best of my knowledge none of the countries you mentioned have mutual defense treaties with Iran. The UN is another matter of course but we have veto power in the Security Council.

This isn't to say however that if Isreael does possess the things mentioned in the articles that it is not worrisome for us. The last thing we really need right now if for there to be further disruption of any kind in that region. I'd imagine that if it's true our government is handling the situation quietly and firmly to insure that something does not occur. It is a scary thing to contemplate but is probably not very likely. Stay safe, Gary
 

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Baer1911 said:
I don't think it's a policy of Israel to use nuclear weapons / WMD on an offensive basis. Defensive, yes. Offensive, no.
Article

"Israel does not have an overt nuclear doctrine beyond its insistence that it will not introduce nuclear weapons into the region. Instead, it follows a policy of what Avner Cohen calls "nuclear opacity" - visibly possessing nuclear weapons while denying their existence. This has allowed Israel to enjoy the benefits of being a nuclear weapons state in terms of deterrence without having to suffer the international repercussions of acknowledging their arsenal. Israel also has a strong commitment to preventing its potential adversaries in the region from becoming declared nuclear weapon states, as evidenced by Israel's 1981 raid on Iraq's Osirak nuclear installation. "

They certainly have a conventional weapons first strike policy :)
 

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Gary W Trott said:
Dear Gunny Bunny,

Do you have any evidence of the European Powers or China making any comments on getting involved in the Gulf Area should Israel attack Iran's reactor?
Hello Gary W Trott,

Article 1

"Second, it was reported to me in April of 1991 by a high-ranking officer of Israel's Mossad that he had personally verified a secret agreement made between Russia and Iran in February of 1991. I was sworn to secrecy until this was made public some six months later.

The essence of the agreement was this: Iran pledged to Russia that it would not interfere in any way with the Islamic republics that had been part of the old Soviet Union. Russia greatly feared Islamic fundamentalism being spread into these states. Chechnya proved their fears were well-founded. It is important to observe that Iran, contrary to their usual policy, did not interfere with heavy Russian attacks on Chechnya. They kept their agreement.

In exchange, Russia pledged to furnish Iran with some of its world-class nuclear and missile scientists. These were to be paid a befitting salary and necessary equipment was to be bought from Russia. The first 273 of the scientists arrived in Iran in late February of 1991. They, plus others, have continued to work on helping Iran develop its own nuclear-weapons program. I have reported on this many times since late 1991.

Viktoriya Sokolova gave tacit evidence of this agreement in Itar-Tass on Monday:


The Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Hassan Rouhani has described Russia as a traditional, historical partner of his country in the nuclear sphere. At a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin Rouhani said [Russia is] one of the reasons why Iran had made a decision to sign the supplementary protocol with friendly countries. Rouhani said his country would invariably stay side by side with its friendly neighbor – Russia."
Iran Maintains Its Right to Develop Nuclear Weapons

Iran has stated all along as a soveriegn nation they have the right to develop nuclear weapons. This is not correct, under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty they are bound not to do this. However; let's remember that Hitler made an agreement with Chamberlain and broke that agreement, officially starting WW2.
 

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Here is a decent and well balanced article outlining the Iranian nuclear bomb program. It reflects that Iran was in the process of making their own nuclear material until the USA found the sites.

Let's factor in that Iran is a fairly large country, that could build a secret site under ground, similiar to the V2 factories of WW2. I think it is clear that Iran will eventually have nuclear material and they already have the missiles to deliver them.

We may feel that the attacks could only happen against Israel, but what if they launched a defensive nuke at a USA aircraft carrier group....Allot of damage could be inflicted and this would give the USA the green light to retaliate in kind with Nuke's :mummy:

Article 1

Produced by the Monterey Institute's Center for Nonproliferation Studies

updated July 28, 2003

The Islamic Iranian Revolutionary government may threaten Israel and moderate Arab states, such as Saudi Arabia, with chemical and possibly biological weapons. It has tested a missile capable of reaching Israel, the Shahab-3, and is developing a longer-range missile or space launch vehicle. The United States believes that Iran is actively pursuing the development of nuclear weapons but has not yet reached this goal.

Iran's plans for building a civilian nuclear power program have prompted much concern regarding its intention to develop nuclear weapons. Russia is assisting Iran to construct a light water reactor at Bushehr, which is now nearing completion, and will supply the nuclear fuel needed to run it. Although the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) allows transfers of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes to non-nuclear weapon states, the United States has vehemently opposed the Russian-Iranian deal. The United States believes that nuclear energy is not necessary in a country with Iran's large oil supply. It fears that the deal is being used as a cover for the transfer of more sensitive nuclear technology to Iran and to provide training for Iranian nuclear specialists that could be used to support a nuclear weapons program. Russia, however, has expressed its intention to complete the deal. But even Russia has begun to express doubts about Iran's nuclear ambitions. In March 2003, the Russian Atomic Energy Minister claimed that Russia did not know for certain that Iran was not pursuing nuclear weapons. Later, according to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, President Vladimir Putin announced during the June G-8 summit that Russia would halt "all nuclear exports" to Iran until that country agreed to more stringent international inspections of its nuclear facilities. This claim, however, was later refuted by the Russian Foreign Ministry, which insisted that Russia would begin supplying nuclear fuel to the Bushehr plant as soon as Russia and Iran sign an agreement requiring Iran to return the spent fuel to Russia. Nonetheless, Russia joined the G-8 countries in a statement that expresses the need to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Iran has denied the charges that it is pursuing a nuclear weapons program, and argues that nuclear technology for civilian use is the right of every non-nuclear weapon state party to the NPT.

U.S. concerns over Iran's nuclear program intensified in mid-2002, when U.S. intelligence learned of the existence of two secret nuclear facilities. According to an Iranian opposition group, the two sites, a uranium enrichment facility at Natanz and a heavy water production plant near Arak, had been funded by front companies.

In February 2003, Iranian leaders announced a new plan to develop a nuclear energy plan using entirely domestic resources. This development is of particular concern, considering the revelation of the two secret facilities. The United States believes that these facilities might contribute to Iran's development of a complete nuclear fuel cycle, which would enable Iran to build nuclear weapons without importing nuclear material.

Later in February 2003, an IAEA delegation visited the pilot-scale gas centrifuge enrichment plant at Natanz, which is nearly ready for operation. The inspection team learned that Iran has the capability to build more centrifuges. During the IAEA's visit to Iran, Iranian officials indicated that Iran would honor its safeguards agreement with the IAEA, but did not clearly indicate Iran's willingness to accept the Additional Protocol. This means that Iran will place the Natanz facility, and any enriched uranium it produces, under IAEA inspection but that, as long as no nuclear materials are present, the IAEA would have no ability to examine locations in Iran where it believed nuclear weapons design research might be under way. Another visit by the IAEA to Iran in June 2003 resulted in a report in which the IAEA faulted Iran for not declaring the purchase of two tons of natural uranium in 1991. The report also urged Iran to show restraint in its nuclear program, but did not cite Iran as violating the NPT. The United States is concerned that if Iran stockpiled enriched uranium, it might, in the future, withdraw from the NPT (as North Korea has) and then build nuclear weapons rapidly, perhaps even in a matter of months.

It is possible that construction of the Natanz plant violated Iran's IAEA safeguards obligations. Such a violation would have occurred if Iran introduced nuclear material into the facility to test it without informing the IAEA. Reports in the Western media in March 2003 charged that Iran may have taken this step. Iran responded by strenuously denying the charges, but also maintained that it reserved the right to possess nuclear weapons to counter Israel's weaponry.

Iran's WMD programs are directed partly at Iraq, against which Iran fought a bitter war from 1980-1988. During that war, Iraq used chemical weapons (CW) extensively against Iranian forces. Both countries used conventionally armed missiles against each other's cities. During the war, the United States and other Western nations "tilted" toward Iraq and hence did not impose sanctions on Iraq in response to its use of CW against Iran. After the 1991 Gulf War, UN inspections revealed that Iraq had also developed and deployed biological weapons (BW) and had made significant progress towards producing nuclear weapons. Iraq's potential to develop such weapons in the future has been another factor leading Iran to pursue WMD and missiles of its own.

It is not clear at this time what impact the fall of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein will have on Iranian nuclear ambitions. On the one hand, the change of government in Iraq may reassure Iran and reduce its motivations for acquiring nuclear weapons. On the other hand, Iran may consider that only by acquiring nuclear weapons will it be able to prevent a future U.S. invasion of the kind Iraq experienced.

Even before the U.S.-led war against Iraq, relations between the United States and Iran were tense, creating a political motivation for Iranian WMD development. Some Iranians blamed the United States for brutal repression they suffered under the U.S.-backed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. The Shah was reinstated to power in 1953 through a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)-backed coup. Since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, which overthrew the Shah and brought in a fundamentalist Islamic government, Iran has called the United States "the Great Satan." Iran held U.S. diplomats hostage for 444 days, from mid-1979 to early 1981. In 1983, a truck bomb detonated by an Iranian-backed group at a barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, killed 241 U.S. Marines on a peacekeeping mission. In 1990, President Bush awarded a medal to the captain of the U.S.S. Vincennes, which accidentally shot down a civilian Iranian airliner in 1988, killing all 290 people aboard. A bitter foe of Israel, Iran supports terrorist organizations based in Lebanon, Syria, and the Palestinian Authority territories in order to undermine the Middle East Peace Process through acts of violence against Israeli soldiers and civilians. Iran has also instigated political unrest in more traditional Arab states, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The United States considers Iran to be a state sponsor of international terrorism.

Iran's current president, Mohamed Khatami, who was democratically elected, and much of the Iranian population want to improve relations with the United States. But hard-line fundamentalists, led by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (who has more power and authority than the president in Iran's political system), appear to control the country's foreign policy and its WMD and missile activities. This group is opposed to President Khatami's efforts to reform the Iranian government and strengthen relations with Western countries. Still, if Iran improved relations with the United States, the threat posed by its WMD and missiles might be reduced.
 

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Dear GunnyBunny,

That's very interesting about the Russians and Iran with the nuclear program. That still however doesn't lead to the possibilty of a "World War" as you suggested. What I was asking for is any evidence of other powers giving the impression that they would intervene in any middle eastern conflict. Stay safe, Gary
 

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The Harpoon is a relatively short range anti-shipping missle. It would not be used against land targets.

I assume the rest of the article is as much propaganda and bulls###.
 

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Harpoon nuclear capable? Possible, but not the normal payload. Tomohawk cruise missle, which is also carried by properly outfitted subs? Yes. I think there's some confusion as to the proper delivery system here. And there';s no denying it, the world is fast becoming a scarier place, propoganda or not.
 

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DHMeieio said:
Gunny Bunny, have you decided to make your function here the posting of loony propaganda and outright lies?
It seems like it... It's obvious by this and a previous thread that the starter is more worried about ISRAEL having WMD than Russia or Iran.
I'd like to remind those who discuss armaggedon that according to Judeo/Christian theology, the middle east is the area where the events will unfold that bring about the end of the world. Can we delay it? Change it? I think not. People have been 'seeing' signs of the end since the begining. If it will come 'like a thief in the night' than you can't predict it. I know people who thought it was over when the six- day war started. BTW, if my theology is correct, apocalypse occurs when Israel IS ATTACKED BY THE NATIONS.
Sorry if I'm off topic here, Gary, but better threads have been closed.

Garry
 

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Gary W Trott said:
Dear GunnyBunny,

That's very interesting about the Russians and Iran with the nuclear program. That still however doesn't lead to the possibilty of a "World War" as you suggested. What I was asking for is any evidence of other powers giving the impression that they would intervene in any middle eastern conflict. Stay safe, Gary
You seem to be misquoting me, I never stated there was a written agreement and I never stated there would be a World War.

My personal belief is something is going to happen in Iran within 12 to 24 months.

I believe that US/Israel will knock out the several known Iran nuclear material plants with conventional weapons.

My fear is that the reprisal with the Sunburn and nuclear tipped weapons. I know Iran has the Sunburn now, I have no confirmation they are nuclear tipped. However; Russia certainly has them.

I believe we could have a limited theatre nuclear war in the middles east using small tactical nuclear warheads, a sort of muscle flexing, to scare the opponents.

Virtually all experts in warfare disagree that a limited nuclear theatre will last, their doctrine is that it will quickly escalate to 'Total War'. Targeting both military and civilian targets.

Here is one man's 'possible' scenario:

http://www.joevialls.co.uk/myahudi/sunburn2.html

To the people who have posted that Harpoon's cannot and have not been nuclear tipped. I disagree, I believe the US has provided 72 of them to Israel for their three subs. This has been confirmed by Condolezza Rice, US National Security Advisor.
 
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