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The Next Nuclear Holocaust

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Forty five years ago in October 1962, people watched in horror as the superpowers went to the brink of a global nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis when the Soviets attempted to place nuclear missiles in Cuba, to match U.S. deployments in Europe near the Soviet border. What followed next was nearly 30 years of constant fear of a nuclear holocaust. But 16 years after the fall of the Soviet Union the threat of a new nuclear disaster still remains.

The recent report by the Sunday Times [1] that 'Israel has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran's uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons' may have come as little surprise to those closely following these reports first hint of which surfaced during an MSNBC Interview with U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney in January 2005 when he literally gave U.S. approval of a unilateral Israeli attack on Iran:

"One of the concerns people have is that Israel might do it without being asked...Given that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards"

Missing in the rhetoric and media reports since are the actual consequences of such an attack and the fact that a nuclear assault on Iran will usher in the very disastrous scenario the world managed to avoid for over half a century during the cold war and that the ensuing mess will not be so easy to clean.

The high risk neo-con strategy for gaining unchallenged U.S.-Israeli dominance in the region has already burdened the American people with one enormous mess in the Iraqi debacle and if left to make good on bringing about a nuclear attack on Iran, the rest of the world will share and experience the very calamity they've so far managed to evade.

Even a conventional attack on Iran could have a catastrophic impact on global economy as Iran produces nearly 4 million barrels a day and can cause havoc for or impede delivery of nearly 25% of total oil passing through the Straights of Hormuz on its way to the world markets.

But the Israeli pushed and US supported plan for "surgical tactical nuclear strikes" holds far more serious consequences which are ironically packaged and presented by an acquiescent media as means of preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Missing, is any debate on the undesirable outcome -- destruction of human life on a grand scale in what will undoubtedly be the next nuclear holocaust.

Let us have no delusions; despite their claims of unilateral action, Israel can not pull off a nuclear attack on Iran alone which means such an attack will come with full coordination and logistical support from the United States with strict guidance from Pentagon's Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations [2].

I had a chance to read this dreadfully horrific document last night. While the 2002 Nuclear Posture Review [3] and the earlier PNAC document 'Rebuilding America's Defenses, Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century' [4] set the stage for preemptive use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states like Iran , the DJNO has completely blurred the distinction between "defensive" and "offensive" military action by describing war planning as simply a management decision making process, where certain military and strategic objectives are to be achieved with little or no concern for the resulting loss of human life.

In a recent article [5] Sherwood Ross quoting Dr. Helen Caldicott, a nuclear weapons expert, states that such an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities will release huge amounts of radioactive material into the air contaminating the people of Iran and surrounding countries for years to come. A report published in February 2006 by the Oxford Research Group [6] estimates that even a conventional aerial attack on Iran's nuclear facilities can cause up to 10,000 civilian casualties and if tactical nuclear weapons such as the earth-penetrating "bunker buster" bombs are used, the radioactive fallout would become even more disastrous pushing the number of fatalities into millions.

Once again the unsuspecting public is being primed to accept such an illegal act of aggression as a necessary 'peace-keeping operation' but the world must wise up to such deceptive tactics and realize that no peace can be achieved through violence. What is urgently needed is a sustained, and growing nonviolent opposition to the chain of preparations that will lead to the very kind of disaster we managed to avoid in October of 1962. Now is the time to take decisive and direct action against the warmongers in defense of human life everywhere on this fragile planet.






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Daniel M Pourkesali is a Project Manager with an Aerospace company in Northern Virginia specializing in development and manufacturing of flight dynamics, engineering and control systems.

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