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July 21, 2007

Bush's Next War of Aggression


by Gordon Prather

Well, if you're worried that Bush's next war of aggression will involve nukes, there's good news and bad news.

First the Good News.

The Cheney Cabal has apparently concluded that their previous ridiculous argument isn't working. That Iran's nuclear programs – albeit Safeguarded by the International Atomic Energy Agency – are somehow an existential threat to you and yours and have to be "taken out," using nukes "if necessary."

So, increasingly, the Cheney Cabal argues that we have to launch a war of aggression against Iran because the Shi'ite Iranians are somehow responsible for the "murder" of American soldiers in neighboring Iraq by Sunni Iraqi insurgents.

Last week Senator Joe Lieberman got the Senate to pass (97-0) a "Sense of Congress" that

"(1) the murder of members of the United States Armed Forces by a foreign government or its agents is an intolerable and unacceptable act of hostility against the United States by the foreign government in question; and

"(2) the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran must take immediate action to end all training, arming, equipping, funding, advising, and any other forms of support that it or its agents are providing, and have provided, to Iraqi militias and insurgents, who are contributing to the destabilization of Iraq and are responsible for the murder of members of the United States Armed Forces."

According to Lieberman;

"The threat posed by Iran to our soldiers, to our allies, and to our national security is a truth that cannot be wished or waved away. Congress today began the process of confronting it.''

Who does Lieberman consider "our allies"?

Well, apparently, the puppet governments we have installed by force of arms in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And, right on cue, U.S. News and World Report chronicled current US efforts to confront the alleged Iranian threat to our soldiers and to our national security in Afghanistan.

According to "Afghan officials," Iran "is supporting local warlords" who control most of Western Afghanistan "with trained men and arms."

So, that's the good news. Bush's next war of aggression will be probably be against a country which everyone now knows doesn't have nukes or even a nuke program. Bush's new rationale for his war will not involve nonexistent Iranian nukes, but rather unproven Iranian complicity in the "murder" of Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now, here's the bad news.

Suppose Bush's next war of aggression is against Pakistan.

A few days ago, some dirty guys ambushed a Pakistani military convoy somewhere "near the Afghan border," killing 17 Pakistani troops.

The Bush-Cheney White House immediately demanded that our "ally," Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf, establish control of those "tribal" areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan over which he obviously now has little, if any, control.

Spokesman Tony Snow even threatened attacks against – and invasion of – Pakistan because "it is clearly of the utmost importance to go in there and deal with the problem in the tribal areas."

Howzat?

Well, according to the most recent National Intelligence Estimate, over the past two years al Qaeda has reestablished it central organization, training infrastructure and lines of global communication in those "tribal" areas, resulting in a "heightened threat environment" for our "homeland."

But White House threats to "go in" to those "tribal areas" can only magnify the already serious threats, to Musharraf's life, as well as to his control of Pakistan and its arsenal of "Islamic" nukes.

Recall that, on 28 May, 1998, Pakistan stunned the world by answering Indian nuke tests with nuke tests of its own, of at least two different designs, at least one being Uranium-235 based and another Plutonium-239 based.

Proud Pakistan is the only country among the 57 members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to not only have a nuke arsenal, but to have developed from scratch a complete nuke weapons infrastructure, including state-of-the-art weapons-grade uranium enrichment, plutonium and tritium production facilities.

Pakistan currently produces enough highly enriched uranium to make nine or 10 nukes each year. Furthermore, since 1998, they could have been producing 10 to 15 kilograms of Plutonium per year in their heavy-water, natural-uranium reactor at Kushab.

But, the Kushab reactor can be used to produce tritium – rather than Plutonium – to be used in "boosted" weapons. If you know what that means, keep it to yourself. If you don't, it means the Pakistanis know how to make small deliverable fission nukes. The Kushab reactor – if used to produce tritium – would produce enough to boost perhaps 20 or so small sophisticated fission weapons, with design yields of up to 100KT.

Pakistan is also manufacturing very pure reactor-grade graphite and has its own heavy-water plant. Hence, Pakistan has the capability to build additional plutonium-tritium production reactors and is now constructing one which will be at least as productive as the existing Kushab reactor.

Pakistani, like India and Israel, is not a signatory to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

So, unlike an invasion of Iran, an invasion of Pakistan – resulting in Musharraf being killed or deposed – could easily result in nukes being used, not all of them ours.

Here is what Dictator Musharraf had to say seven years ago in an awards ceremony for the "fathers" – both named Kahn – of Islamic nukes.

"I would like to reiterate this resolve on this occasion, loud and clear in military terms: Death before dishonor.

"I would also like to say to you, the new custodians of the nation's nuclear capability, that my government will provide you with every possible political and financial support.

"We will take whatever pressures come.

"We will do whatever it takes to ward off such pressures.

"We will find the resources to back your work.

"The nation is united on this issue. There are no ambiguities whatsoever here."

So, here‘s the good news. If Bush next attacks Iran, nukes probably won't be used. Unless, of course, Bush uses them.

Which would be bad news since Russia and/or China may well then honor their NPT commitments to come immediately to Iran 's assistance.

Finally, here's the really bad news. Suppose Bush next attacks Pakistan, hoping to kill Osama bin Laden and to destroy al-Qaeda. Well, according to the Terrorist Threat to the US Homeland;

"We assess that al Qaeda will continue to try to acquire and employ chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear material in attacks and would not hesitate to use them if it develops what it deems is sufficient capability."


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Physicist James Gordon Prather has served as a policy implementing official for national security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Army. Dr. Prather also served as legislative assistant for national security affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla. -- ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and member of the Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations Committee. Dr. Prather had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico.

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