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Posts Tagged ‘nuclear weapons’

It’s sort of like the Emperor’s New Clothes, isn’t it?  Everybody pretends that we have waged a successful war. Mission accomplished!!  It’s like we don’t want to admit what surely everyone knows: the whole thing was a fraud.  Remember the reason we went to war? I do. Weapons of mass destruction – that was it. Old George Bush told us the Iraqis had them. He was sure of it. They had nukes. They had yellow cake from Niger. Colin Powell dragged out the high altitude photos – just like the Kennedy administration did before the Cuban Missile Crisis. Remember how the U.S. had taken photos with U-2 spy planes of the Russian ICBMs that were being set up in Cuba? I do. So there was old Colin Powell doing the same thing, showing the world the photos taken from spy planes or satellites. “Look.” he said, “biological warfare equipment!! Chemical warfare equipment!!”

The sabres rattled.  The stern warnings were pronounced. Saddam Hussein loudly protested that he had no weapons of mass destruction. He didn’t have any nukes, he said.  He didn’t have any biological warfare labs. He didn’t have any chemical warfare labs. “Hah!” said George Bush. “You’re a liar, Saddam. A rotten liar.” we all said. (We meaning the U.S. collectively – not necessarily you and me.)  Saddam kept protesting and old, sly George just rattled the sabre more loudly. The we launched. Shock and awe. Death from above. That would do it. Those Iraqis would surrender in a few days, right? No. They didn’t.

Then, as we were constantly told that victory was imminent, this new entity comes along – Al Qaeda in Iraq.  Whoever heard of them anyway? Saddam hated Al Qaeda. You never heard a peep from Al Qaeda when Saddam was in power, but when the U.S. drove him underground (literally), they surfaced. And then the U.S. found that if they  were looking for a fight, well they found one.  And so, the war on weapons of mass destruction (which never existed and old, sly George and old, sly Colin, and old, sick, sly Dick probably knew that all along – from day minus one even) was quietly forgotten and the war in Iraq became a war against the terrorists – who were happily saying goodbye to our troops in Afghanistan who were leaving to fight the war against terror in Iraq.

Well, I am glad to report the war on terror and weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is over. Yep. The last of our combat troops are gone. President Obama was true to his word and now we can all sleep better, knowing we don’t have to worry about those Iraqi “nucular” missiles.

Here’s the thing I don’t understand: as of the end of 2009 there were 4287 Americans killed in Iraq and 30,182 wounded. Where are the protests? Doesn’t anyone get it? This wasn’t a patriotic war. Iraq didn’t attack us. They didn’t have any weapons of mass destruction. George Bush just decided he was going to eliminate Saddam Hussein and he did, all based upon trumped up “evidence” that was shaky on the day it was created.  Where is America’s outrage? Where is the Tea Party when you need them? Where is Sarah with her indignation? Doesn’t she get it?

When I look back at Vietnam and the riots in the streets and the civil disobedience, I wonder why we were so indignant then about a war that had a very tenuous justification and now we are OK with a costly war in both human lives and our treasure. But now I know why. It’s the draft. Or, more precisely, the lack of a draft. See, in the old days when Uncle Sam beckoned you had to go. Now, you don’t because Uncle Sam doesn’t beckon – he just pays good money to people, many, many of whom can’t hope for a job that pays as well as being an Army grunt. We have a professional military these days. (Thanks to Tricky Dick Nixon) Some would say we have  a mercenary army. So why should anyone be outraged about all the unnecessary deaths and ripped apart bodies? They’re all volunteers aren’t they? And that is really it, isn’t it? There are no demonstrations in the streets because if you don’t want to go you don’t have to go.

So what about, you know, the ethics of the whole thing? You know. The lies, the fabrications, the complete ignoring of international law. What about that? Who cares? Or so it seems, anyway.

So, as we celebrate our glorious victory in the name of Pax Americana, our legions return home from the lands of the foreigners. They go to their bases and prepare for their next war. Professional soldiers.

Meanwhile, sly George smugly sits and gloats while sick Dick lurches from hospital to hospital and Colin is still trying to figure out what happened to his career and his reputation. And the American people? What do they think?

Tea Party People!  Please enlighten me!  Was the whole thing just a big mistake? Was it a secret plan crafted by geniuses in the White House basement? Was it all for nothing? Are we wrapping up a glorious era or a gory error?

You can Go ask Sarah, I suppose, but I don’t think she’ll know. (My apologies to Grace Slick.)

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The world has now learned that Iran has been secretly building a second uranium enrichment facility.  There has long been suspicion that Iran’s original uranium enrichment facility could be used for making weapons grade uranium.  Iran has strongly denied that this is the case, stating that their only goal was to produce enriched uranium for nuclear power plants – a capability that is allowed by United Nations regulations.  The problem with the second facility is that it has been kept secret – and it has been under construction for years. One has to ask: if this facility is only for peaceful purposes, why has its existence been kept secret?

Recently, Iran had national elections with the result that President Ahmadinejad was reelected. As the entire world is aware, this result was strongly contested by many Iranians and protests were put down with lethal force. Many people do not believe that Ahmadinejad won.

A week ago, President Ahmadinejad made an address in Iran and stated that the Holocaust is “a lie and a mythical claim”.  Yesterday, he told NPR that it was a “historical event”.  Like the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, it seems that this man’s words mean exactly what he wants them to mean.  However, for those of us less gifted, we have to deal with the commonly accepted meanings of words, and that is where we have a problem with President Ahmadinejad.  To put it kindly, we don’t seem to speak the same language.  When he says “right”, does he mean “left” or “right”?  When he says “yes”, does it mean “yes” or “no”?

Now we are dealing with a serious issue.  Is the new nuclear enrichment site in Iran intended to produce uranium for the production of electricity or for the production of a nuclear bomb?  President Obama stated that the design of the facility is such that it is not suited for producing uranium for power plants. It is instead suited for producing uranium for nuclear bombs.  Nevertheless, President Ahmadinejad insists that President Obama, along with the leaders of other European countries, are incorrect and that he is being wrongly accused of building weapons of mass destruction.

It seems only yesterday that George Bush invaded Iraq, claiming that Saddam Hussein was building weapons of mass destruction.  If George was president now, what would he do? (Hint: George knew about the existence of this secret Iranian facility for a long time.  He even told Barack Obama about it shortly before Barack became president.) OK.  So now we know: George would do, and did do, nothing.  He invaded Iraq and found absolutely no trace of nuclear weapons, but he didn’t invade Iran which, for all intents and purposes, sure looks like it is developing a nuclear weapon.  The inaction of George Bush in this deadly serious matter is as hard to understand as are his foolish actions in Iraq.  However, there is one interesting thing we can deduce: it appears that George Bush and President Ahmadinejad speak the same language – a language no one else in the world understands.

Now we, and the world, now face two problems with Iran – a short term problem and a long term problem. The short term problem is: what do we do now?  Do we let Iran complete construction of a facility designed to produce nuclear bombs? Do we just blow it up? Do we make a deal, and if so, do we really trust Ahmadinejad to keep his word – whatever that means?  Assuming we get past this problem in the near term, how do we prevent this same scenario from happening again and again, not only in Iran, but is so many other countries?

Here’s a long term solution: Create a global uranium enrichment facility in a neutral country, like Switzerland.  All countries have to agree that in the future all enriched uranium for power production purposes will only be made in this single facility.  This facility will belong to the United Nations.  All existing enrichment facilities that produce uranium for  power plants will be shut down.  So what about facilities for building weapons grade uranium? No new facilities will be allowed anywhere in the world, including in those countries that already have such facilities.  It then remains for those countries (a fairly small club) that have weapons grade enrichment capability to negotiate an end to these capabilities.

It may not be a perfect solution, but at least we would know that there won’t be any new players in the nuclear weapons game, especially ones who cannot be trusted and whose words mean nothing at all.

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