Is Israel Planning Act of Desperation ?

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by Gordon Duff

It still holds two stolen nukes for possible port attack

Whenever the gang that has seized power in Israel wants to move forward their agenda-their plan to use American lives to dominate not only the Middle East but Central Asia-they reach into their bag of tricks. Sometimes it’s a simple story: “rockets from Gaza” or another phony Bin Laden audio tape. However, too often, as we have learned time and time again, something very bad happens at just the right time. Some imaginary terrorist group with no planning ability, no logistics, and no influence or history of being able to move men or material shows up in New York, Detroit, London, Dubai, Madrid or Mumbai. The signature is always the same: help through airports, high quality documents and timed perfectly to advance the Israeli agenda. This time, with two stolen nuclear weapons in play, bombs built by South Africa and Israel available for detonation in a shipping container at any American or European port, we wonder, “Would Israel really go this far?”

The stolen nukes are part of the original ten weapons, Uranium-235 based, built by Israel in South Africa. The first one was tested on September 22, 1979 in the Indian Ocean and discovered by an array of sensors and satellites. The Israeli lobby in the US suppressed an American reaction and kept the story out of the press. However, as the story of these nuclear weapons is now established fact and subject of a recent speech by President Obama, denial is a waste of time. But what President Obama wasn’t told when he thanked South Africa for destroying these weapons is that three of them “went missing.”

While six weapons were shipped to the US and destroyed, three were in British hands but were hijacked, we were told initially, by Saddam Hussein and later Syria. This was the real reason for the invasion of Iraq. This was a useful story that killed off a rival of Israel’s-a useful lie that also killed 5,000 Americans.

Israel also told us Syria had them but we didn’t buy it. Then, Israel convinced the US that these bombs might show up in Gaza and be smuggled through tunnels into Israel. America agreed to support turning Gaza into a prison camp with us building the wall around it, using the Army Corps of Engineers.

This is another lie. The bombs have been in Israel all along, for the past 18 years-except for one that mysteriously exploded in North Korea.

Israel has been trying to hang that one on Pakistan. They are also setting the stage for nuclear terrorism by spreading continual stories about terrorists having access to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. It isn’t to get America to go in and seize it. Pakistan has a one million-man army, highly trained and well equipped. Not only are terrorists not going to get Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, the United States isn’t up to the task either. Pakistan has never lost nuclear material but America has-several times. But that is another story.

Some time ago, Israel began preparing the US for a nuclear weapon to be detonated in a shipping container. Through Israeli assets in the US, starting with Senators Schumer, Waxman, Lieberman and McCain, to the mainstream media, to Chertoff, to the storytellers of Hollywood, the story has been planted in the minds of every American. “America can’t protect her ports.” “A ‘loose nuke’ can be used at any time.” “Billions need to be spent on Israeli technology to protect America.” “A weapon is ready to be unleashed at any time…”

The continual stories, the daily fabrications that Israeli security forces feed America’s intelligence network are never seen by most Americans. First, we are told Saddam has them. Then, Israel says Syria has them. Then, Israel tells us Syria sent them to Lebanon. Then, we are told they are in Iran. Then, we are told Hezbollah has them and is trying to smuggle them into Israel from Lebanon. Then, Israel tells us that they are on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla on a Turkish ship, loaded by “Islamic extremists.” Read more of this post

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NSS & Pakistan

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Dr. Shireen M Mazari

President Obama has called a Nuclear Security Summit in Washington in April (12-13) this year and more than 40 heads of state are expected to attend. This is a follow-on from Obama’s Prague speech of April 5 in which he outlined his arms control and nuclear nonproliferation objectives with nuclear terrorism topping the list. Now there is a growing lobby within Washington that sees Obama’s nuclear arms reduction and disarmament pledges as threatening to US long-term interests; and so far Obama has not managed to move substanti-vely on his commitments in this field – as has been the story with him since he began functioning as the US president. In fact, so far his foreign policy in actual actions has not strayed too far from that of his predecessor.

Be that as it may, since the Pakistani president will also be present at this Summit, the country needs to evolve a policy on nuclear security that ensures Pakistan’s interests for the future. One does not expect President Zardari to actually take a strong nationalist position against the Western tide at the Summit, but we can at least highlight what does need to be done and live in hope. A beginning needs to be made by preparing our interpretations of the four main points of the Obama nonproliferation objectives. The environment envisaged is not a UN-type international framework for nuclear security but a US-led framework, with the US firmly in the driving seat. So, the first thing Pakistan needs to build support for the view that any such framework must be within a UN framework and support for this view can be built amongst the developing states, who are critical to the success of this Summit.

Then comes the Obama agenda, beginning with the desire to “lead a global effort” to secure all vulnerable nuclear weapons materials at vulnerable sites within a time frame of four years – Obama’s term in office! Now clearly, Pakistan will be targeted on this count but we need to point to the truly vulnerable sites which actually are primarily in the US. After all, it is from the US that a USAF plane simply took off with live nuclear weapons and no one knew who had authorised it or where it was headed. So there are serious question marks about US command and control and till these are cleared, US nuclear sites need to be under extra international supervision. Also, Pakistan needs to demand at this Summit that all past incidences of “loose nukes” be evaluated and the most vulnerable or accident-prone sites should then be secured. Of course no such incidents have ever cropped up in Pakistan so we should ensure that our nuclear sites do not even come up for discussion – although that will be part of the US agenda.

Then Obama is seeking, according to his Prague speech, new partnerships and new standards to protect sensitive nuclear materials. Well, if Obama is really committed to this objective, the first thing he needs to do is to move out of the nuclear deal with India – the 123 Agreement – since that widens the scope for diversion of nuclear materials for weapons purposes, given the lose safeguards agreements and the freeing of Indian fissile material for the production of more nukes. So far the US has set regressive standards for nuclear material safety through this deal with India and through its continuing proliferation to Israel – so let the US move towards setting new standards that truly ensure nonproliferation. Many states will be prepared to enter into nondiscriminatory partnerships with the US on this count.

Obama also wants to convert coalitions of the willing effectively into international institutions – such as the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and the Global Effort to Combat Nuclear Terrorism. PSI should certainly be open to all states but for Pakistan it is essential to ensure that this does not contravene the Law of the Sea agreements. As for the Global Effort to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, there are already international treaties that exist like the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material Treaty. Why not simply stren-gthen these? Also, the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference is coming up in May and it is time the NPT was brought in line with the prevailing ground realities where two overt nuclear weapon states are not accommodated as such within the Treaty.
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Dangerous games in the Gulf

THE more things change in the Middle East, the more they seem to remain the same. As if tensions in the world’s most volatile region weren’t high enough, the United States has decided to “upgrade” its military presence in the Gulf. Washington is deploying new defences against possible Iranian missile attacks by placing battle ships off the Iranian coast and anti-missile systems in at least four Gulf countries. It goes without saying that the ostensible provocation and justification for the US moves is the increasingly hawkish posturing and rhetoric of the Iranian regime and the apparent threat potential to America’s allies in the region. However, you do not have to be a genius to know that the real reason behind the US actions against Iran is Israeli pressure on the Obama administration. Tel Aviv has never really kept its designs against Iran and its nuclear ambitions a secret. Of late, with an increasingly belligerent regime in power in Israel, an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear installations looks like an increasing possibility.

So maybe the Obama administration is trying to send the message to both Iran and Israel that Washington means business and takes the so-called threat from Teheran seriously. For this dangerous situation, Iran has to blame no one but itself. Whether its nuclear programme is peaceful or not, its jingoistic rhetoric and confrontational posturing have provided the Western powers with a perfect excuse to increase their involvement and presence in the region. Teheran may be entitled to nuclear power under the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty). However, with its aggressive approach to acquiring it, it has isolated itself internationally and alienated itself from its Arab neighbours. Read more of this post

Obama’s UNSC nuclear agenda

The UN Security Council is to meet on September 24 in a session to be chaired by President Obama. The focus will be on arms control and disarmament, specifically within the nuclear context. The Obama Administration has already put forward a draft for a UNSC resolution on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Disarmament. Ironically, the Obama draft has many crucial elements reflecting the thinking of the Bush Administration. This should not come as a total surprise given how many of the emerging foreign and security policies of the Obama Administration are seeming more and more like a continuation of the Bush policies – especially in relation to Afghanistan and Pakistan and nuclear proliferation.

In the latter context, despite rhetoric to the contrary, the Obama Administration has gone along with the Bush policy of fast-tracking a US sponsored draft of a Fissile Material Control Treaty in the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva. The problem is that this draft fails to include some of the basic points demanded by most of the other main players – including China and Pakistan. For instance, the US draft leaves out provisions for a verification structure regarding fissile material stockpiles. Instead it refers only to national technical means of verification. Now Pakistan has already learnt the hard way that without verification provisions, international agreements relating to weapon material stockpiles are unreliable. After all, despite a bilateral Pakistan-India treaty relating to chemical weapons, Pakistan was duped by India until the multilateral Chemical Weapons Convention revealed Indian stockpiles of these weapons — which India had informed Pakistan it had already destroyed! Nor does the US draft FMCT deal with PAROS – the prevention of an arms race in outer space – a major issue with China. But for the US with its Ballistic Missile Defence programme, PAROS is hardly a priority.

We have seen the Obama Administration recognize the need for safeguards, but it is not prepared to alter the Bush-introduced FMCT draft. Perhaps the most critical issue for Pakistan is that there is no provision for reduction of existing stockpiles – without which an FMCT would put Pakistan at a permanent disadvantage. Despite all these adverse factors, Pakistan is being pushed into accepting the US-drafted FMCT without movement on the related issues – which is against the international consensus achieved in the Shannon Mandate.

So undoubtedly, in the forthcoming session of the UNSC we are going to see Obama push the US draft resolution on nuclear proliferation through. This would be detrimental for countries like Pakistan because some of the clauses in the US draft are deliberate attempts to politicize technical nonproliferation issues by widening the scope of the UNSC and reducing the role of the IAEA – despite the fact of the independent El Baradei’s departure and the coming of a US-compliant DG at the IAEA.

Amongst the clauses that are of concern are Articles1 and 2.

Article 1 is a dangerous clause because it seeks to bring nuclear matters, which normally come under the IAEA, to the UNSC – thereby politicizing them and giving the UNSC a wider scope of punitive action. In fact, such a clause will prevent the IAEA from seeking compromise solutions through a technical focus and an apolitical approach – something Baradei tried to maintain vis a vis Iran despite enormous US pressure. Also, this clause would encourage powerful states like the US to politicize genuinely technical issues in order to punish hostile states.

Article 2 presents indirectly an absurd interpretation of Article IV of the Non Proliferation Treaty by demanding that states comply fully with their NPT obligations but that the benefits of the NPT were conditional with such compliance. There is in fact no conditionality factor present in Article IV which is supposed to offer civilian nuclear technology to NPT members as well as allowing them equal rights to develop civil nuclear technology.

All in all, the US draft resolution for the UNSC is wrought with the same problems that surfaced in the Bush Administration’s approach to nuclear nonproliferation. It tries to bring in the terrorism issue into the nuclear ambit despite the fact that terrorists do not need to acquire nuclear weapons to implement their agendas. Preambular para 16 is interesting because it talks of a grave concern over the “threat of nuclear terrorism, including provision of nuclear material or technical assistance for the purpose of terrorism”. Pakistan should be wary of this as it will be used against the country and its scientists, especially Dr A Q Khan. The US has tried so many different tacks to get access to Dr Khan and this is bound to be another stick with which to beat Pakistan and Dr Khan.

The constant US refrain of a nuclear terrorist attack on the US homeland from our part of the world is so ridiculous that one cannot seriously discuss it. Suffice it to say that how would a terrorist with a nuclear device or even material transport it across the ocean to the US? Would he parcel it to an accomplice and hope the radioactivity would go unnoticed through all the multiple security checks? Or would he carry it on his person and hope no one would detect it? No. If there were to be an act of nuclear terrorism in the US it would have to be carried out from within the US – where nuclear security is a major issue. Not only have there been nuclear material leaks at power plants; the US Air Force temporarily lost live nuclear weapons as recently as 2007. So much for stable command and control structures!

Unfortunately, the Obama draft ignores the real security concern regarding nuclear issues. This is the safety of nuclear installations in terms of leakages and missing fissile material. The most abysmal record on this count is that of Japan, Russia and India, while the US has been proliferating to Israel for decades now. Japan has one of the most developed civil nuclear programmes in the world and has caused concern in its neighbourhood with a controversial reprocessing plant and with the accidents at its nuclear plants. With the end of the Soviet Union, there have been a spate of reports dealing with stolen Russian and Ukrainian uranium being sold in the black market. Reports have also been published of missing radioactive material in India.

So, if the Obama Administration really wanted to zero in on the security factor in the nuclear domain, it would have focused more on nuclear safety and less on nuclear terrorism – which, while it can never be eliminated as a concern, is not rationally a viable one at present. However, it does have abundant political mileage which the US and its allies never tire of exploiting.

All in all, it is unfortunate to see Obama’s electoral rhetoric on nonproliferation dissipate so quickly – just as his rhetoric on the so-called war on terror has slipped into Bush gear!

With such a hostile and discriminatory nonproliferation draft resolution before it, what will Pakistan’s stance be? Will Haqqani push the US agenda as always or will the FO hold its ground in the absence of its Secretary? Will our rulers make us victims of yet another deal? We shouldn’t hold our breath. Dr. Shireen M Mazari

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