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Iran and the future
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Arnaud de Borchgrave, waxing pessimistic about the situation in the Middle East, says the "best" is yet to come:
Just days before the United Nations Security Council deadline for Iran to cease and desist enriching uranium, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave the West the Iranian bird. By inaugurating a "heavy-water" reactor, Iran instantly doubled its chances of acquiring nuclear weapons. Adding insult to injury, the military mullahs test-fired a new long-range missile — the Thaqeb, or Saturn, a submarine-to-surface weapon.

The new reactor runs on natural uranium mined by Iran and skips the difficult enrichment phase to produce plutonium, which gives nukes the power to obliterate entire cities.
Iran, who many experts claimed was 5 to 10 years away from a nuclear weapon, seems to have reset the timeline to a much closer date. And that closer timeline puts the possibility of an Iranian nuke happening on George Bush's watch. De Borchgrave's concerns center around how the Bush administration might eventually react to Iran given that diplomacy is going so swimmingly:
Iran is now confident neither Russia nor China will go along with meaningful economic sanctions. Moscow says sanctions have never worked, ignoring those that collapsed South Africa's apartheid regime. The handwriting on the geopolitical landscape has convinced Israel and its core support in the U.S., from the neoconservatives to the Christian Right, that a military solution is inescapable.
It is that creeping realization that diplomacy is a dead letter with Iran that has de Borchgrave, and frankly me, concerned. As the diplomatic effort seems headed to certain failure, and as Iran finds that its defiance costs it nothing, what's a superpower to do?
Mr. Bush believes deeply that Iran poses an existential threat to close ally Israel. Congress recently voted a resolution that said an attack on Israel is an attack on the United States. Mr. Bush also believes Iran is determined to sabotage American hopes of establishing a new democratic Middle East.
I believe all of that is precisely correct. Iran does pose a serious threat to Israel and it is doing its level best to sabotage American efforts in Iraq. I'm also convinced that diplomacy isn't going to work. Unfortunately, I'm further convinced that a military strike won't change anything either. At best it would slow down their nuclear program (assuming we hit the proper facilities hard enough to destroy them) but at the same time it would simply kick over an ant hill of violence and confrontation in and around Iraq that we don't want right now (and aren't in the position to handle).

Iran has the upper hand in this situation and it knows it. If it plays its cards right, it can have its way ... maybe. And it's that "maybe" that bothers de Borchgrave even more:
Mr. Bush's national security advisers have also pointed out that an escalating danger of U.S.-Iran military confrontation automatically intensifies internal and regional opposition to U.S. objectives in Iraq. The president keeps reminding private interlocutors to think of how history will judge this critical period 15 to 20 years hence. He sees personal and national humiliation if he were to leave office having acquiesced to an embryonic Iranian nuclear arsenal.

So odds makers bet sometime before the end of his second term President Bush will order a massive air attack on a wide range of carefully selected targets in Iran, in partnership with Israel, and against the advice of many of his advisers. Mr. Bush is convinced a nuclear Iran would pose an intolerable threat to U.S. national security and, as one former intelligence topsider put it, "he is firm in his faith that God agrees with him on that point, and certain that history will eventually recognize and properly appreciate his courageous and visionary leadership."

This raises the question of congressional approval. As George Will said to CBS' George Stephanopoulos two Sundays ago, when was the last time this president ever worried about getting approval in advance from the Congress or the public?
De Borchgrave, for some reason, finds it necessary to imply religious fanaticism on the part of the President, which I can only imagine, is done in an attempt to put him on par with the fanatics we're fighting or the mullocracy in Iran. I find it to be a stretch at best and really unnecessary to his argument.

However, I can't, with any honesty, say his other reasoning doesn't resonate with me somewhat. I believe George Bush thinks a nuclear Iran would not only be unacceptable, but intolerable. I further think that he is more than willing at this point to watch diplomacy fail as a prerequisite to any military strike (having learned that lesson with Iraq). It's a necessity, a part of the process to justify such a strike. As for Congress, President's don't really need their approval for a strike to take out nuclear facilities or hit other targets (ask Kadaffi or the owners of the aspirin factory in the Sudan). Invade? Yes. Strike? No.

So if that's a probability, when, you ask, might it happen? Not anytime soon. Not until the planned turn over of Iraq to Iraqis is all but complete, when (and if) the sectarian violence has cooled considerably, we're successfully drawing down there. IOW near the end of his term.

And if he doesn't do it? It will happen anyway:
In any event, Israel is not taking any chances. Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres said last week Israel would not be the first to attack Iran. Other Israeli voices say Israel will have to do just that. Israel recently added a new command to the IDF — the "Iran Command." Its new commander is Maj. Gen. Elyezer Shkedy, Israel's Air Force chief. He is responsible for all conflicts with countries "not bordering Israel." The Jewish state's strategic thinkers and military planners take the diminutive Mr. Ahmadinejad at his word when he says Israel must be "wiped off the map."
The confrontation is certainly building and Iran isn't helping defuse it one bit. Why should it? To this point it has had its way penalty free. In the meantime, fewer and fewer viable options are left to the rest of the world, and especially the US and Israel. Unless Iran does a complete about face, becomes cooperative and really, honestly and completely eschews the pursuit of nuclear weapons (and allows international verification to that effect) I look for something "military" in '08.

And that's not a good thing.
 
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The new reactor runs on natural uranium mined by Iran and skips the difficult enrichment phase to produce plutonium, which gives nukes the power to obliterate entire cities.
Nonsensical statement. Naturally ocurring Uranium will STILL have to be enriched to make "Weapons Grade Uranium", HEU runs at 90%-plus U-235. To produce HEU is time and power-consuming. Technical nit-pick but it’s just silly when people want to talk about something and then get it wrong.

 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
HWR’s use unenriched ("natural") uranium as fuel and produce plutonium. The statement is perfectly "sensical."
 
Written By: Terry
URL: http://
I believe Terry, you’ll discover that Reactor Grade Uranium is also enriched. Only U-235 sustains reactions. ALL Uranium is enriched in the nuclear weapons/fuel cycle...Reactor grade may be enriched FAR less, but it is still enriched, IIRC. And anyway, it’s not necessary to use HEU to create P-239 anyway. The slugs use U-235 or U-238 and are "cooked" until the PU-239 reaches a certain level. But HEU is NOT used, DIRECTLY, in the production of PU-239.

Of course I freely admit I could be wrong here, it’s NOT my field, and it’s been a while since I read Sublette’s Nuclear FAQ, Rhodes, or Hansen.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Lets see...lets get the prerequisites out of the way before I get serious:

1) MK will show up and blame either Bush, the Jooos or perhaps both

2) Glasnost or someone like him will show up decrying war pimps and going on about how Iran nukes really aren’t much a threat comparatively, etc etc etc

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, there is no reason for them to comment, since they will have nothing to add that hasn’t already be posted here.

/snark
___
The confrontation is certainly building and Iran isn’t helping defuse it one bit. Why should it? To this point it has had its way penalty free. In the meantime, fewer and fewer viable options are left to the rest of the world, and especially the US and Israel. Unless Iran does a complete about face, becomes cooperative and really, honestly and completely eschews the pursuit of nuclear weapons (and allows international verification to that effect) I look for something "military" in ’08
Yeah, it really s*cks when you can see the trainwreck coming from pretty far away, you see it, everyone sees it, can’t do a damn thing about it either. I imagine they must’ve felt this way in the days leading up to WWI.

The options left to us are the best (worst?) of a bad lot. Noted was the Iranian test of a submarine launched nuke missle. I don’t know what kind of surplus Russian/Chinese/NoKo platform they have, if they have a sub that can get within firing range of a US city, that’s some of the worst news I can imagine. Even granting that it’s probably some sort of short-range sub, Israel also recently acquired 2 nuke-powered subs as a direct counterthreat for Iran. This is serious business. Israel may have doked around w/ Hezbollah but there’s no fooling around if they go against Iran (and Syria since Boy Assad will follow his idiots pals)

If a fight is inevitable, we need to do it at the time and place of our choosing, in conjunction with our regional ally, with overwhelming force.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Going to be tough to defeat Iran... the sites are secret, secured, dispersed, and hardened. Going to be a long multi-day campaign, invovlving the USN, RAF and USAF and lots and lots of heavy, guided munitions.

And BTW, I blame Bush and his incompetence, how’re you going to like $100 barrel oil? If only people weren’t such War Pimps, looking at Shark, this would not be an issue. All this is going to make Iran SUPREME in the region and lead to a giant, sucking QUAGMIRE, I hope you regret voting for the Neo-Cons NOW!
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
If only people weren’t such War Pimps, looking at Shark, this would not be an issue. All this is going to make Iran SUPREME in the region and lead to a giant, sucking QUAGMIRE, I hope you regret voting for the Neo-Cons NOW!
Don’t forget about the Zionists!
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Don’t forget about the Zionists!
D@mn, forgot them...OK AND the Zionists and their Running Dog-Lackeys of Neo-Fascist Monopoly Finance Capitalism whose Exploitative Predations Damage Gays, Lesbians, the Transgendered, Womyn, People of Colour, and the Poor. There that should pretty much do it.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I think that the President should state, and also push for a resolution in Congress that backs this, that the US is willing to accept the price of oil going to any level rather than let Iran possess the ability to create nuclear weapons. This statement should be combined with demands that IAEA inspectors have unfettered, unannounced access to any sites within Iran for the purpose of determining Iran’s compliance with NPT. This would remove any illusion that Iran can get the US to back off by threatening oil supplies, and would make clear that we are content with tough inspections that could assure Iran is not developing nuclear weapons capability.

For domestic critics, the President can simply note that if the price of oil goes higher, the market will rapidly develop alternatives to oil use, thus solving the strategic problem America has in its dependence on oil. The short-term costs would be outweighed by the long-term strategic gain.

Within days after such an announcement, the US should begin a blockade of Iranian ports to prevent imports of gasoline or weapons. This would, of course, require first that the IAEA referral to the Security Council be acted on one way or another.

While these are largely symbolic acts (except for the gasoline import ban, and Iran might be able to make that up through overland routes), the point is to use a combination of non-lethal pressure and symbolic acts to avoid war.

If Iran does not cave within a year or so (and there is no reason to believe they would), the US should certainly have military options on the table. Even delaying Iranian acquisition of weapons would be a win - because when they get close again we can delay them again. But we might be able to bring about either revolution (from people who blame the leadership for us attacking their power, roads, etc) or actually neuter Iran (by seizing their oilfields without occupying the entire country).

But ideally, we can avoid such decisions altogether: if Iran is serious about pursuing only peaceful nuclear power, the blockade and declarations should be sufficient to get them to a reasonable accomodation.
 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
Jeff, that’s nice and the ensuing resession will see a Democratic Congress and President, and then more years of blockade, UNTIL Iran explodes a nuclear device and then politely suggests that the blockade force needs to evacuate the area or "bad things" will happen to them.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Joe, why do you blame Bush for world apathy about Iran’s nuclear program? That seems non-sensical to me.

And out of character: you tossed-out that sentiment as though you were Howard Dean in front of an NAACP convention. It’s not your usual form.

I think, if you want to blame Bush’s "incompetence" for the defacto repeal of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (because that’s the true horror we confront today), then I invite you to make your case here.
-Steve
 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
Steve... the internet is wonderful but limited. Without facial expressions or intonation it’s hard to discern irony or satire...are YOU being ironic or satirical?

I believe my follow-on post to Shark should suggest that my tongue was firmly in my cheek in blaming....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
You can make a natural metal uranium reactor, it just won’t be as easy to operate as one with enriched material. Once you run it for a while, you chemically refine—not enrich—the plutonium it forms.

Yours, TDP, ml, msls, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Some of the "toughness" in defeating Iran will depend on how much excuse Iran gives us to move in for an invasion.

Remember that the invasion of Iraq was dirt cheap, it’s been the occupation that has been long and expensive.

Destroying the facilities with airstrikes may be difficult or impossible. Destroying the relevant facilities with troops on the ground would probably be relatively easy. The formal Iranian military wouldn’t be able to take a position without painting a gigantic target on their heads, and terrorist/guerrilla tactics won’t work against an enemy that is darting in, blowing a facility to smithereens, and darting back out again; such tactics require a target where you can predict their position hours in advance. In a way, the military would be out guerrilla-ing the guerrillas.

I wonder if Iran will really be as difficult to attack as everyone is supposing. Remember when Iraq was going to be that difficult to invade? I can’t imagine we’re going to try to hold Iran, just whack the facilities, the suspected facilities, and the government.
 
Written By: Jeremy Bowers
URL: http://www.jerf.org/iri
I don’t think Bush will do it. I think that the "leaks" we’ve been seeing are an effective use of the media as a disinformation/intimidation tactic, directed against Iran.



 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
I think that the "leaks" we’ve been seeing are an effective use of the media as a disinformation/intimidation tactic, directed against Iran.
And HOW, and is it ever working! How QUICKLY the Iranians have foregone their nuclear ambitions in the face of these leaks...oh wait.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
How QUICKLY the Iranians have foregone their nuclear ambitions in the face of these leaks...oh wait.
Yeah. It’s shuttin’ them right down, in’nit?

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
I don’t think Bush will do it. I think that the "leaks" we’ve been seeing are an effective use of the media as a disinformation/intimidation tactic, directed against Iran.
Hey, I actually agree that these sorts of leaks usually have some sort of agenda behind them. It serves the purpose well to let it be known that the military option is on the table.

As to if Bush would "do it" - I think he would. I hope he does if it becomes necessary.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
As far as the legalities go, Bush doesn’t even need Congressional approval to invade. He simply has to do what he wants to do in 60 days, and from what we saw in Iraq, if the invasion happens, it will be success or failure in much less time than that.
 
Written By: Phelps
URL: http://phelps.donotremove.net
As far as the legalities go, Bush doesn’t even need Congressional approval to invade.
True, and if its a punitive raid, 60 days may be more than ample. But after that he must go to Congress (and ask for the declaration necessary to keep them in the field and pay for the incursion).
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Unfortunately, the calculus is becoming far more difficult. Here’s why: According to the Federation of American Scientists,“Heavy water is the key to one type of reactor in which plutonium can be bred from natural uranium.” and “In addition, a source of deuterium is essential for the production of tritium and 6LiD, two ingredients of thermonuclear weapons. A nation seeking large quantities of heavy water probably wishes to use the material to moderate a reactor, and may be planning to produce plutonium.” Add to this their new ability to launch subsurface missiles and we have a classic PsyOp going here.

The Terrorists want desperately to embarrass GWB and will pull out the stops to pull off another attack before he leaves office (and if that happens to be a nuke that inflicts maximum damage, so much the better.) If Iran gets a nuke, they will gladly let a surrogate do the dirty work as well as provide funding, security and intelligence. So, the odds of an attack (both here and there) will rise exponentially with each passing month and my read on GWB is he will not leave that little ‘Baby Ruth in the punch bowl’ for someone else to clean up.

Let’s hope Iran comes to their senses before it is too late.

(Note: I posted similar comments at Macsmind.)
 
Written By: Unscripted Thoughts
URL: http://
To those who posit a nuclear terror strike...one technical point. Most devices have singular finger-prints, that is the after products will tell investigators the composition of the weapon. Radio-chemical analysis is quite good and it is more than likely that IF a nucler wespon explodes in Tel Aviv/NYC that the origin of the fissile material can be determined. IF Tel Aviv/NYC is gone or badly damaged by a nuclear detonation AND an Iranian weapon is "fingered" I think it is safe to say a large response will occur.

Just learened yesterday, that ISRAEL is maintaining a nuclear patrol off Iran, transiting, supposedly, the Cape of Good Hope. The submarines ae armed, if they exist, with nuclear missiles, short-ranged YES, but then it’s only a hsort distance from their aptrol areas to their targets. And theat ignores the Israeli Air Force’s F-16I’s and the various Jericho missiles that Israel has. And all that is ignoring the not insubstantial US nuclear arsenal.

Bottom-Line: an "anonymous" nuclear explosion isn’t all that likely, in that NO ONE WILL KNOW WHO PROVIDED THE WEAPON. Given that and the substantial level of damage a nuclear weapon would yield a nuclear response on a state is not unlikely. Doesn’t mean that Hizb’Allah and Iran won’t try it, or that Iran is entirely rational, but even if Iran THINKS they can execute this plan I don’t think they’ll be able to.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Noted was the Iranian test of a submarine launched nuke missle. I don’t know what kind of surplus Russian/Chinese/NoKo platform they have, if they have a sub that can get within firing range of a US city, that’s some of the worst news I can imagine. Even granting that it’s probably some sort of short-range sub, Israel also recently acquired 2 nuke-powered subs as a direct counterthreat for Iran.
1. It was not a nuke missile. Might be a US cruise missile design that the US gave Israel, Israel covertly sold to China for Walmart bucks, then China sold the copied missile to Iran for their global quest to lock up mineral resources for China’s exclusive use when the market system is disrupted.

2. Israel did not buy 2 nuclear-powered subs from Germany. It bought 2 conventionally propelled subs with a firing system that enables launch of either torpedos or cruise missiles.

Jeff Medcalf -
I think that the President should state, and also push for a resolution in Congress that backs this, that the US is willing to accept the price of oil going to any level rather than let Iran possess the ability to create nuclear weapons. This statement should be combined with demands that IAEA inspectors have unfettered, unannounced access to any sites within Iran for the purpose of determining Iran’s compliance with NPT. This would remove any illusion that Iran can get the US to back off by threatening oil supplies, and would make clear that we are content with tough inspections that could assure Iran is not developing nuclear weapons capability.

For domestic critics, the President can simply note that if the price of oil goes higher, the market will rapidly develop alternatives to oil use, thus solving the strategic problem America has in its dependence on oil. The short-term costs would be outweighed by the long-term strategic gain.
1. It’s one thing for Congress to lick their AIPAC paymasters shoes when it is just a few billion in annual tribute to Israel and Egypt to perpetuate the Carter "Deal" - which BTW isn’t written anywhere that they get billions in perpetual annual welfare checks. It’s one thing for Congress to favor Israel in lopsided declarations of support that cost them nothing but animosity of "Furrners". But it is another thing to favor Israel in direct conflict with the vital interests of their constituents. The member of Congress or Party that makes it policy that they want oil to "go to any level", the sellers of oil "to make any profit imaginable" so "Israel, God-Blessed Israel is safe" - is a politican about to find out an enraged public trumps Zionist money, neocon insiders, and threats to use the media against a politican.

2. Iran knows that America is bogged down in Iraq and that the American public doesn’t trust the current President to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. Leaving it pretty free to act as it wishes - just as Israel - as all other nations point out to the US, has been free to develop a large, covert WMD program. A "surgical strike" would still leave most Iranian energy facilities intact, the people with the talent alive, and 1800 miles of coastline from which Iran could shut down all Gulf Oil unoccupied and free for mobile missile launch.

3. If the insistance is on IAEA, why shouldn’t Iran just withdraw from the NPTs and seek the same deal Israel gets as a non-signatory from it’s big nice patron, the USA? Top line weapons, missile technology, regular "aid" packages? For oil, China would be happy to oblige AND send Iran some of it’s WalMart dollars for goods, vs. just giving Iran the dollars.

4. Offering the American consumer "The Deal" of 200 a barrel oil so they can have a 2nd Great Depression, see Russia, US oil companies, and Canada prosper until Gulf oil can be restored years later and The Free Market Can Work It’s Genius............doesn’t sound too good. Most Americans believe, not without cause, that the Free Market is now owned and operated by the Ruling Elite, who twist market forces for only their benefit through globalizing or manufacturing "foreign threats" meant to manipulate the US public. Iran is far away from America. We have the ability to wipe them out. Europe, Russia, the Sunnis live next to or close to the Iranians. Let them deal with it. If they believe Iran is a threat, the US can come in and help, but not alone...with only our "Special Friend" of Christian Zionists like Bush cheering their Big Golem on.
 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://
I think they already have a few bombs probably bought off the black market. That makes sense as to why Russia all of a sudden begins to act like Tehrans lap dog.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
CFord thank you Pat Buchanan...and that’s not a compliment. Yeah that whole Free MArket thing, what has it EVER done for America? Beyond making us richer and freere than most, and even making our POOR on par with Scandinavian middle class folk, even as the Gini coefficients got larger in the US. And AIPAC masters good line, Dude, I’m not sure if you’re Buchanan or Justin Raimondo. And when the US plunges into DEPRESSION everyone else will too, or have you not figured that out yet, in your economic ignorance, sometimes it seems more than ignorance and verges on wilful stupidity.
I think they already have a few bombs probably bought off the black market. That makes sense as to why Russia all of a sudden begins to act like Tehrans lap dog.

And what happens when the tritium in the boosted primary decays and/or escapes? When the U-235 and PU-239 in the primary decays, sufficiently to intefere with proper yield out put? And the Tritium and deuterium in the secondary will decay and leak away too. In short, Nuclear Weapons are NOT wooden rounds and within a few years of NO maintenance they become very expensive, but dicey projects...Someone go get Dale, he was with that other service, the one that deals with these weapons, he might have a thing or two to say about the numbers of folks at the weapons igloos and the amount of maintenance required for their upkeep.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Personally,
I think Bush is a politician first and a religious man second.

So the most important question in asking what would GWB do in 2008 is: how would it play in the elections?

A strike that either really set the program back, or could be propagandized as such, might play quite well. A strike that set off chaos in the ME, initiated Iranian proxy wars in 3 or four places, and killed a lot of people, including some Americans... might not play so well.



 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Joe -
C Ford - And when the US plunges into DEPRESSION everyone else will too, or have you not figured that out yet, in your economic ignorance, sometimes it seems more than ignorance and verges on wilful stupidity.
Joe, you are an ideologue and not a very smart one at that. Normally a nitpick, but when you call someone stupid it’s normally a smart move not to misspell "stupid" or any modifying adjective used, to avoid being self-defeating. Your messianic faith in Free Market & Globalization as controlled by the Ruling Elite simply is not shared by people watching the "fruits" of the Ruling Elite’s machinations unfold in America.

I don’t believe the Chinese, all whom in their lives have known belt-tightening, would sweat going back to their bicycles for a bit. Nor would Islamic countries suffer much for a Depression that advanced Islam’s goals while far disproportionately punishing America. And Russia, if it abandoned predatory free markets and gave Europe oil and gas at reasonable prices and avoided "gotcha by the balls capitalist profiteering", would win huge credit with ALL Europeans. The Depression would hit the USA hardest...no telecommute possible, New Englanders burning their furniture to stay warm, no unlimited shelves of vitally needed China electronic stuff to buy at WalMart, even if they could drive there. No, it would give America far more pain than the rest of the world...many of whom would see a Depression as a way their path to victory for their way of life (Islam, Communist Command w/capitalist markets), Russia-Eurosocialism..over America and the transnational globalizers.

But that is an aside. McQ has some good concerns about Bush, Iran and the bomb, but this thread is now riddled with your massively ignorant pontifications about atomic physics, bomb physics, weaponry. So it’s time to educate you a bit...
Only U-235 sustains reactions. ALL Uranium is enriched in the nuclear weapons/fuel cycle.


No, several other fissile materials exist that sustain chain reactions. The most common besides U-235 are PU isotopes, other isotopes of Uranaium except 238. Thorium is a breeder material. All uranium is not enriched. CANDU-style heavy water reactors forgo any enrichment activity, same with certain graphite-natural uranium matrix reactors. A country can go nuclear using a plutonium-only track.
To those who posit a nuclear terror strike...one technical point. Most devices have singular finger-prints, that is the after products will tell investigators the composition of the weapon. Radio-chemical analysis is quite good and it is more than likely that IF a nucler wespon explodes in Tel Aviv/NYC that the origin of the fissile material can be determined
You lack the technical knowledge to make your technical point. Only in Hollywood is a "origin" readily discovered on a HEU weapon using a common design. You can tell from the explosion what type of weapon was used and eliminate several candidates if it was a sophisticated device beyond certain countries or terrorist groups abilities. Using other intelligence means, like everyone NOT involved -spilling what they know so as not to be blamed, people suspects grilled, electronic intercepts - you have better than even odds of getting the source. But getting the culprit by having a technician wave a rad meter at a bomb crater and go "Ah! Hah! HEU originally mined in Gabon, enriched to 92% as only India does, using an Israeli bomb design they gave S Africa who sold it to Syria who passed it on to Turkey, which uses Japanese steel tampers..." very unlikely.
Just learened yesterday, that ISRAEL is maintaining a nuclear patrol off Iran, transiting, supposedly, the Cape of Good Hope.
Please explain why an Israeli sub based in the Red Sea would transit DOWN two thousand kilometers off it’s target area. Explain how you "maintain a nuclear patrol" while off S Africa??
And what happens when the tritium in the boosted primary decays and/or escapes?
What tritium? What boosted primary?
When the U-235 and PU-239 in the primary decays, sufficiently to intefere with proper yield out put?
Neither U-235 or PU-239 decays at a rate appreciable enough to interfere with the yield or critical mass of an atomic bomb. Not for 50-60 years in the case of Pu-239, and U-235 in a bomb is "good to go" for millons of years.

********************************************
McQ -
As for Congress, President’s don’t really need their approval for a strike to take out nuclear facilities or hit other targets (ask Kadaffi or the owners of the aspirin factory in the Sudan). Invade? Yes. Strike? No.
Before Bush’s bungling became a pattern, you could say that. When he had the approval of a majority of the American public, you could say that. Now, both the Congress and the people do not back him on a new military "adventure" without first wanting to know why, what the criterion of victory is, what repercussions like oil at 200 a barrel and nat gas quintupling again in price are, what the exit strategy is. No way can Bush move the military into a prestrike position on Iran - save our strategic nuclear forces - without Congress getting ample warning of the massive manpower and material movement, and demanding hearings and a vote on AUF. Demanding to know if the Bushies have even got a post-strike plan to deal with repercussions and a global depression from an oil shutoff. And hearings on if Bush by striking is going to force America to resurrect the American Draft to finish a war started to save Israel’s regional nuclear monopoly.

McQ -
Unfortunately, I’m further convinced that a military strike won’t change anything either. At best it would slow down their nuclear program (assuming we hit the proper facilities hard enough to destroy them) but at the same time it would simply kick over an ant hill of violence and confrontation in and around Iraq that we don’t want right now (and aren’t in the position to handle).
I agree wholeheartedly with that.

McQ -
De Borchgrave, for some reason, finds it necessary to imply religious fanaticism on the part of the President, which I can only imagine, is done in an attempt to put him on par with the fanatics we’re fighting or the mullocracy in Iran. I find it to be a stretch at best and really unnecessary to his argument.
De Borchgrave just remarks on the Christian Right, which has a religious fealty to what Israel wants. It is central to his argument over why some in America are nearly hysterical about Iran. Not because it is consonant with defending America’s true security interests, but because it fits their reading of the Bible, saving the Gathering of The Jews for the End of Days. Various members of the Religious Right - Delay, Army, Robertson, Brownback have all admitted they are unreservedly pro-Israel for religious reasons, not for love of Israeli lives over others. Many on the Christian Right say they are Christian Zionists...and while the real Zionists carefully cultivated these Fundies, they are pretty uncomfortable with Gentiles that see the Book of Revelations coming to pass, and triggering global armageddeon is the way to Christs 2nd Coming. It is the fear that Bush’s kneejerk support of what Israel wants comes from his religious beliefs that makes many people leering of Bush’s motives. His track record with siding with the neocons and touting the advice of Right Wing Israeli Zionists like Anatoly Saransky, his remarks to Jewish audiences on the centrality of Israel to his life - has not been observed without growing concern..
 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://
Before Bush’s bungling became a pattern, you could say that. When he had the approval of a majority of the American public, you could say that Now, both the Congress and the people do not back him on a new military "adventure" ....
You missed the point, Mr. Ford ... he doesn’t need anyone’s permission (much less approval) to strike at another nation. Never has. He can order it tomorrow if he so chooses.

If he wants a sustained war of over 60 days, that’s another question altogether.
De Borchgrave just remarks on the Christian Right, which has a religious fealty to what Israel wants.
No, it was more than that and, frankly it was a weak argument.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
CFord you live in an interesting world yourself...those PRC employees busy making stuff for the US will just LOVE being unemployed. And CFord know one of the reasons for unrest in the Middle East, LOW OIL PRICES! Translated into LOWER STANDARDS OF LIVING for the denizens. So that Depression is going to affect EVERYONE, negatively...Your nationalistic economics notwithstanding.

Actually THORIUM ISN"T a Fissile material rejected early in the Manhattan Project.

poor CFord... radio-chemical analysis reveals the details of the composition of the weapon, and that’s the FINGER PRINT. Each reactor and development process produces a fairly distinct if not UNIQUE finger print.
Please explain why an Israeli sub based in the Red Sea would transit DOWN two thousand kilometers off it’s target area. Explain how you "maintain a nuclear patrol" while off S Africa??
Because Egypt doesn’t allow Israel to base submarines in it’s Eliat seabase....

Explain how you "maintain a nuclear patrol" while off S Africa??
I was obviously unclear or you were reading it garbled and stupid. The submairnes patrol off Iran, they transit the Cape of Good Hope, IF the Stategypage.com is correct.
And what happens when the tritium in the boosted primary decays and/or escapes?
What tritium? What boosted primary?
You didn’t read well, it was in reference to the idea of STOLEN or purchased Soviet/Russian weapons. Almost ALL strategic weapons are Thermo-nuclear weapons, using primaries, usually boosted primaries, booosted by tritium. Read Carey Sublette or Hansen...
Neither U-235 or PU-239 decays at a rate appreciable enough to interfere with the yield or critical mass of an atomic bomb. Not for 50-60 years in the case of Pu-239, and U-235 in a bomb is "good to go" for millons of years.
And I’M the ignorant one. Your argument beggars description. Actually weapons do need regular maintenance, to include the fissile material. Weapons need 90-95% U-235 and a similar amount for PU-239. And PU-239, BTW is the element for nuclear weapons. So whilst I’m not a weapons engineer I’m not ignorant of the subject matter.

And of course it’s all those RELIGIOUS FUNDIES that are the problem. Not the fundamental religious fanatics in Teheran. And of course Iran is only a threat to Israel, not the US.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"Each reactor and development process produces a fairly distinct if not UNIQUE finger print."

How does one obtain the exemplar for these finger prints? Can these finger prints be imitated? What would happen if they mixed their locally produced material with some obtained from elsewhere? What if they claimed that some of their material was lost or stolen, perhaps years before it was used?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Hey buddies!

I think you all are Over-confident. I don’t think that US has enough power to invade Iran without help of UN. And this time UN is not going to help US.

And for your kind information...

Russia is going to build a new proposed neuclear plant inside IRAN so if you think you are going to invade Iran please have a look at China and Russia, key allies of IRAN.

And US can’t do anything against any country after the terrible results of Afghanistan and IRAQ.

INDIA has completed the agreement to buy nuclear technology from US on its own terms. Don’t you know INDIA is not a member of IAEA, but still US is forced to do this agreement because of it’s falling popularity among the World’s Developing countries.

So don’t worry no one is going to do anything...

it will run like this for next five years.

:)
 
Written By: INDIAN
URL: http://
How does one obtain the exemplar for these finger prints? Can these finger prints be imitated? What would happen if they mixed their locally produced material with some obtained from elsewhere? What if they claimed that some of their material was lost or stolen, perhaps years before it was used?

IAEA actually has samples of reactor outputs and reactor operating specifications. It allowed the IAEA to determine that reactor rod samples submitted by No. Korea were NOT from the reactor IAEA was monitoring as the output did not match previous smaples and the composition of the rods nuclear material was INCONSISTENT with the reactor’s previous output and operating characteristics. The end result being that the material from each program has fairly distinct characteristcs...also the nature of the weapon can be determined from the fission/fusion by-products giving some clues as tot eh origin of the weapon. And whilst the US has let some of its nuclear monitoring capabilities slip since the Cold War, even the Clinton Administration bolstered them in it’s tenure.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://

 
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