Tag Archives: nuclear weapons

Good Signs (for the fight against Russia)

There are good signs in the news today about the world coming to terms with other countries being nuclear powers.  First, India is now able to buy supplies for its nuclear power plants on the open market.

Slashdot | India Joins Nuclear Market
figona brings news that India will be allowed to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). A waiver was approved yesterday that provided an exception to the requirements that India sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. This means India will be able to buy nuclear fuel from the world market and purchase reactors from the US, France, and Russia; something it has been unable to do since it began nuclear testing in 1974 (which inspired the creation of the NSG). 

Second, there is news that Shimon Peres (the President if Isreal) opposes strikes against Iran.   Peace with Iran is important if we are serious about responding to Russia’s invasion of Georgia.  (This follows earlier news that America and Iran have seriously toned down their rhetoric).

Real grand strategy means prioritizing.  Russia’s invasion of Georgia was a crime against peace more serious than anything since the 9/11 attacks or Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.  Weakening Russia, strengthening the New Core around Russia, and absorbing Seam states on the frontier with Russia, are thus important goals of the United States.  More important than enforcing dead-letter nuclear proliferation treaties, that would deny India and Iran nuclear power… and nuclear weapons.

Syria for the Bomb, Again

UK Warns Syria of ‘Pariah’ Status,” BBC News, 4 March 2005, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4317473.stm.

Bush Offers to Help EU Over Iran,” BBC News, 4 March 2005, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4317579.stm.

Repitition today. Trading Syria for a Persian Bomb is old news. American hostility to Baby Assad’s Syria is old news. Syria’s encirclement is old news. Potential WTO Membership for Iran is old news.

Such obvious Atlantic cooperation on the trade is the only novelty here.

UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has warned Syria it risks being “treated as a pariah” if it fails to withdraw its forces from Lebanon.

In a BBC interview, Mr Straw said more UN peacekeepers could be deployed in Lebanon to replace Syrian troops.

His comments come a day after Russia and Saudi Arabia joined growing calls for Syria to withdraw its forces.

He said Syria had to withdraw “in a sensible, swift but phased way” in order for the country to “come back into the fold of the international community”.

“If they don’t,” he said, “they really will be treated as a pariah.”

for the Bomb

US President George W Bush has said he is willing to help European countries in their negotiations with Iran over its nuclear programme.

Mr Bush said he had told the Europeans that the US was looking at how it could help move the process forward.

The European plan could offer Iran economic and trade incentives if it abandons its nuclear programme.

As Dr. Barnett writes, it is not “appeasement,” it is “the fastest way to getting what we want.”

Why the Future Must Be Worth Creating

Don’t blame you for Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” by Masagata, Dear Americans, http://dearamericans.blogspirit.com/archive/2005/03/02/don_t_blame_you_for_hiroshima_and_nagasaki.html, 2 March 2005.

War is a tragedy,” by Dan, Dear Americans, http://dearamericans.blogspirit.com/archive/2005/03/02/don_t_blame_you_for_hiroshima_and_nagasaki.html, 2 March 2005.

Out of the blue I came across this post

I am Japanese and identify myself as patriot and pacifist.

In my country, there is an enormous criticism for that US dropped atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. However, I do not agree with those who criticise your country for that matter.

The following is the reasons for that,

1) Japan was the first one who started the war. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor first. Once the war is started, the rules are maximum damage on the enemy’s side, the minimum damage on your side. The nation knew it when it started the war and the rules would continue until it wins or surrenders.

2) Japan did brutal masscre of civilians like Hiroshima and Nagasaki. During 1930’s and US-Japan war time, Japanese army occupied China and masscred enoumous number of civilians. One of the examples is Rape of Naking in 1937. Not revewing such facts, we shouldn’t blame others’ brutality. In fact, we haven’t reviewed the past brutality enough like Germans did.

However, I do not support US’s dropping atomic bombs because civilian casualties should not happen and it started the age of nuclear war.

What do you think about my opinion?

Wow. You’re not reminded of nuclear war before you go to bed every night, and certainly not so politely.

I thought for a while, and came up with this comment

War is a tragedy. I wish no one had to die in wars. Many bad things happened in the Pacific War. One friend of my grandfather died in Bataan, and another probably would have been killed in Operation Olympic. But bad things happened to Japanese people too. Many, many, many Japanese people died and disappeared in China and Russia even after the war ended.

I am glad Japan and America are friends now. I hope one day all nations will be friends, and there will be no more wars.

I want a future where cities do not get blowed up. I want a future without death marches, without hundreds of thousands of disappeared, and without war. If we need a star chamber to name the wicked, a leviathon to enforce the star chamber’s will, and a reformed system administrator to rebuild those states, fine.

The democratizations and freedoms of globalization are man’s greatest hope of avoiding war. Let’s hope it is enough.

Le Grande Syria for Le Grande Bomb

Bush, Schroeder to Iran: Stop with nukes,” by Tom Raum, Associated Press, http://www.journalstar.com/articles/2005/02/23/top_story/doc421cd41737533948517170.txt, 23 February 2005.

Keep off Lebanon, Iran tells US,” Aljazeera, http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/172841F4-FA99-4643-A920-D88CF8F1AD28.htm, 23 February 2005.

America, Europe See Nuclear Iran As Not In Atlantic Interests

President Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder insisted Wednesday that Iran must not have nuclear weapons, but remained divided on how to coax Tehran into giving up its suspected ambitions for such an arsenal.

“It’s vital that the Iranians hear the world speak with one voice that they shouldn’t have a nuclear weapon,” Bush said at a news conference with the German leader.

Both sought to play down the differences between the United States and Europe.

“We absolutely agree that Iran must say, no, to any kind of nuclear weapon,” Schroeder said.

Iran see Atlantic Interference in Greater Syria As Not In Iranian Interests

US President George Bush on Wednesday said Syria should withdraw its military and its secret services from Lebanon.

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said Washington was trying to protect its chief ally in the region, Israel.

The Lebanese must beware of falling into the trap of foreigners who, using beautiful words, pursue their own political objectives,” he said.

“To secure the interests of Israel in the region, the Americans are putting pressure on Syria to withdraw its forces,” Kharrazi told the official IRNA news agency in Tehran on Wednesday

If only America and Europe had something they could trade in exchange for Iran getting the bomb (it is happening anyway). If only Iran had something it could trade in exchange for Atlantic interference in Greater Syria (it is happening anyway).

Hmm…

Six Weeks From the Bomb

Nuclear ‘Breakout’: Risks and Possible Responses,” by Andrew Mack, Department of International Relations, http://rspas.anu.edu.au/ir/working%20papers/97-1.pdf, June 1997.

Just-in-time nukes,” The Acorn, http://www.paifamily.com/opinion/archives/000769.html, 24 May 2004.

Re: Tokyo Needs Nukes,” by Jonah Goldberg, The Corner, http://www.nationalreview.com/thecorner/05_02_13_corner-archive.asp#056263, 15 February 2005.

One of Japan Unbound‘s claims is that the U.S. has been pressuring Japan to build an atomic bomb. A post at the Corner implies this isn’t as far-fetched as it seems

From a well-placed military research guy:

Jonah: Japan is classified as a “Virtual Nuclear State”. They have developed a complete nuclear fuel cycle (including plutonium breeding and extraction) but have only refrained from developing nuclear weapons because of the cultural stigma involved. North Korea’s antics over the last decade have been eroding this cultural taboo at an ever-increasing rate. Serious analysts of Japan’s nuclear industry argue (including a very senior member of the National Security Council) that Japan could go nuclear within six weeks of deciding to do so.

Also, Japan has several delivery systems, including a orbital rocket that could be developed into an ICBM rather quickly.

Fear is a dangerous thing. Especially when you are a couple of hundred miles from a madman.

More on the concept of virtual nuclear weapons states (emphasis original)

States that have both the technical expertise to make nuclear weapons and large stockpiles of plutonium are sometimes called ‘virtual’ nuclear weapons states. They are able to ‘go nuclear’ far more quickly than states which would have to produce fissil material from scratch.

Acorn blog earlier chimed

Taiwan could be the first ‘virtual’ nuclear state to cross the Rubicon. The balance of conventional forces is still in Taiwan’s favour, but the Mainland is fast beefing up its strike capability, investing in both enhanced air and naval power.

Virtual nuclear states are in a powerful position. They can use their virtual status both ways, gaining diplomatic benefits from being “peaceful” while using the possibility of going nuclear as a threat.

Persian Bombs and Terrorist Bombs

Hariri Killed in Huge Car Bombing in Beirut,” by Juan Cole, Informed Consent, http://www.juancole.com/2005/02/hariri-killed-in-huge-car-bombing-in.html, 14 February 2005.

U.S. Warns of U.N. Penalties After Lebanon Killing,” by Steve Holland, Reuthers, http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=7625023, 14 February 2005.

The former Prime Minister of Lebanon was killed in a bomb blast. He resigned his position after Syria changed Lebanon’s constitution to keep its man President. Hopefully, PM Rafik al-Hariri’s death will not be in vain

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States condemned the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri in Beirut on Monday and said it would consult with the U.N. Security Council about taking punitive measures against those responsible.

At the same time, the 15-nation Security Council planned a formal meeting on Tuesday about the killing as well as its resolution demanding Syrian troops get out of Lebanon.

But in a thinly veiled warning to Damascus, which has occupied Lebanon for years, McClellan said the United States will consult with other governments in the region and on the Security Council about “measures that can be taken to punish those responsible for this terrorist attack.”

A goal, he said, will be “to end the use of violence and intimidation against the Lebanese people and to restore Lebanon’s independence, sovereignty and democracy by freeing it from foreign occupation.

We continue to be concerned about the foreign occupation in Lebanon. We’ve expressed those concerns,” McClellan added.

The attack came at a sensitive time for U.S. policy in the Middle East. The Bush administration is hoping Iraq’s elections will produce a representative government that will ultimately pave the way for a U.S. withdrawal, and is working with Israel and the Palestinians on a peace deal.

The United States and France had engineered a resolution in September telling Syria to withdraw its troops from Lebanon and refrain from intervening in Lebanese affairs. They sought unsuccessfully to head off a constitutional amendment that extended the term of the Syrian-backed president of Lebanon, Gen. Emile Lahoud, by three years.

“This murder today is a terrible reminder that the Lebanese people must be able to pursue their aspirations and determine their own political future free from violence and intimidation and free from Syrian occupation,” McClellan said. (Additional reporting by Adam Entous and Evelyn Leopold)

Juan Cole reports the Syrians were probably not behind the bombing

A shadowy and previously unknown group called “Aid and Jihad in the Lands of Syria” claimed responsibility in a videotape that I saw on al-Jazeerah. The spokesman reading the message was dressed as a Muslim fundamentalist big posters were behind him with Muslim fundamentalist slogans.

Personally, I find the likelihood of the Saudi connection generating al-Qaeda-type violence against him somewhat more plausible than that it came out of local politics, since local politics had been fairly civil in Lebanon.

That’s probable. The Iraq War is spreading the fire of freedom and salafism throughout the Middle East. The status quo, shattered during the invasion of Iraq, continues to melt away. Good.

medium_bashar_syria.jpg
But given the fluid situation, how should we shape it? Syria should be our target. They support anti-Israeli attacks from Lebanon. They support anti-Iraqi attacks from Syria. They have harbored anti-Turkish terrorists. As the joint Franco-American resolution made clear, their geeky dictator has squandared his father’s network of friends. The only thing that keeps Syria in the game is Iran.

But Iran’s foreign relations are in flux. Iran is well positioned to be Iraq’s long term guide. Further, Iran is placed to cause trouble by supporting the Shia’s in Saudi’s Eastern Province.

Iran has big interests in the Middle East. Between the present Iraq and a future Eastern Arabia, Persia is looking to be a permanent regional hegemon. How does supporting a diplomatically inept Syria help Iranian interests? It doesn’t.

We should use the tension of Iran’s quest for the Bomb, along with events like al-Harari’s assination, to make a deal with Iran: the Bomb for Syria. It’s in their interests. It’s in our intersts. It’s in the interests of the peace of the world.

And the Bush administration may be bright enough to see this.

Good.

Update: Cliff May quotes Walid Phares with another take

“Rafiq Hariri was close to Syria in the 1990s; he distanced himself from Syria after the war in Iraq. Last summer, he resigned in protest of the continuing Syrian occupation of Lebanon. As a consequence, he was threatened by the Syrian Baathists. Hariri was close to the French and the more moderate Saudis, and was seeking rapprochement with the Lebanese Christians and Druze, and with the United States.

“Last fall a car bomb – almost certainly planted by Syrian intelligence agents in Lebanon — missed one of his allies, a Druze former minister. In September 2004, the United States and France introduced UN Security Council Resolution 1559, calling for Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon. Hariri supported the resolution. Media in Lebanon yesterday quoted French and Western sources warning the Syrians not to harm Hariri. Today, sources from the Lebanese opposition charge that the Syrian regime was behind the assassination.

“Other sources have said that Hariri endorsed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ plan to disarm Hamas and Islamic Jihad. It is known that Hezbollah, a close ally of Syria, has vowed to support the radical Jihadists against Israel, and against any settlement between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

“This assassination may trigger a significant confrontation between the Lebanese opposition and the Syrian military occupiers.”