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April 8, 2006

No New Nemesis? No New Nukes

By Ron Fullwood

I smell a rat. I think all of this sabre rattling against Iran is more about the future of our own nuclear program than it is about the future nuclear ambitions of the Iranians.


India has detonated nuclear bombs in the past and hasn't signed on to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Yet, Condoleeza Rice said yesterday that India differs from Iran because the U.S. had asked India to "adhere to many of the important elements of the guidelines that are making up the nonproliferation regime".

That's right. India is different from Iran because they were "asked" to "adhere" to "many" of the "important elements" of the "guidelines" that make up the "non-proliferation regime.

If that statement represents the totality of India's obligations and actually intends to distinguish India from Iran, it should give the international community reason to wonder about what the "important elements" actually are, and what the U.S. intends to do about their own lack of adherence to the NPT.

I don't see how the U.N can contemplate sanctioning Iran and not take into account India's nuclear program, especially since the U.S., a signatory of the NPT, just made this deal with India to supply them with nuclear fuel.

Also, Rice told a senate committee that the Bush regime - who broke the U.S. committment to adhere to the NPT by seeking to build new nuclear weapons with new justifications for their use - now wants to re-write the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Seymour Hersh says Bush wants to bomb Iran with a 'refurbished' B61 nuke. B61-11 is the nuclear 'bunker-buster' that was added to our arsenal in 2001. The administration has said that it will have to be 'refurbished' to be effective against 'deep, underground bunkers'.

Is Bush hyping the threat from Iran to justify his plan for new nukes? The 'new generation' nuclear plan Bush just unveiled is being justified by claiming a need to 'refurbish' our nuclear arsenal. The thrust of the program, besides building new plants and plutonium pits, is to replace the casings on the nuclear warheads of the B61 to make them 'more effective'.

Work on preliminary designs for the weapons known as "Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrators" began first at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Livermore's scientists will attempt to modify the existing B83, a hydrogen bomb designed for the B-1 bomber, while those at Los Alamos will work on the B61, which already has been modified for earth-penetrating use.

Bush intends to open the Yucca Mt. site in Nevada to recieve old nuclear waste, and new waste from his new nuclear plants that he intends to build to produce the 'next generation' of nuclear weaponry. Without a waste transport agreement from Congress, Bush won't be able to put his nuclear agenda in motion. There is strong opposition from the districts that surround the Livermore site where the research and production is to take place.

A Democratic congresswoman there, Rep. Ellen Tauscher, reportedly just overcame her objections to the new activity at the lab because the administration promised her the waste would be moving out of the facility as part of the deal. Someone should tell the congresswoman that this Yucca Mt. bill is far from a done deal.

The DOE presented a bill to Congress this week that intends to allow the dumping of nuclear waste in Yucca Mt. The legislation is entitled the "Nuclear Fuel Management and Disposal Act."

I don't think they've gotten approval to modify the B61-11s yet. I don't see any sign that they've overcome the obstacles of waste transport and the falsification of the Yucca data that measured the potential for groundwater to leak into the facility through fissures and become contaminated.

That doesn't mean that they won't go ahead and use the old bomb. But, who really thinks they actually care about Iran's 'nuclear ambitions'? What if all of this action in the U.N., and all of the sabre rattling, is just a stalking horse for their own nuclear plan?

They need an enemy to get us on board with the production of these weapons that can 'penetrate hardened, deep, underground bunkers'. But, as Seymour Hersh points out, officials believe that "even limited bombing would allow the U.S. to “go in there and do enough damage to slow down the nuclear infrastructure."

I smell a rat. I think this is more about the future of our own nuclear program than it is about the future nuclear ambitions of the Iranians.

The current B61-11 bomb only burrows about 20 feet, not deep enough to avoid contaminating and flattening the area, and not deep enough to get at these bunkers they claim to be after. That appears to be what the Nevada non-nuclear, 700 ton bomb test in June is all about. They will reportedly use the blast to gauge its effectiveness (the B61-11 is about 700lbs), and the decision to allow a visible mushroom cloud is likely to gauge the fallout effect of such a blast.

To produce a bomb that would burrow deep enough to avoid a massive radiation cloud they would need to move ahead with their nuke refurbishment program they just presented. Indeed, an advisor from Rumsfeld's sham Defense Science Board is quoted in Seymour Hersh's article saying the DSB is "telling the Pentagon that we can build the B61 with more blast and less radiation."

At some point, I believe, they will stand before us and claim that conventional weapons can't do the job, so they'll just so happen to need to begin production of new nukes.

They need a place to use as an antagonist since Saddam isn't there for them to lie about. They've got Iran to pose as the threat, the evil, that they need to justify their meddling.

I don't think this is as much about Iran, as it's a convienience to have part of Bush's 'evil axis' and the legend of these underground bunkers to serve as an impetus for their meddling with the existing arsenal. That's something they haven't mustered the gravity for up until now.

Curious that they unfolded their 'blueprint' for new nukes (their plans have been known for years) during the same period that they are pushing to deny Iran the capacity to develop their own. You'd think they would shy away from the linkage, but they won't because the association is deliberate.

No enemy with a deep underground target? No need for new, nuclear 'bunker-busters', and no need for new nuclear weapons production plants with the "capacity to produce 125 nuclear bombs a year".

Submitters Bio:

Ron Fullwood, is an activist from Columbia, Md. and the author of the book 'Power of Mischief' : Military Industry Executives are Making Bush Policy and the Country is Paying the Price