Friday, October 23, 2009


Copied below is an amazingly arrogant assessment of Iran's current nuclear situation. It comes from official Israeli governmental sources, Defense Minister, Ehud Barak. Basically, Israel would deny Iran any nuclear rights whatsoever. This, from a country which is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty; a country that does not allow international nuclear inspectors, or abide by IAEA policies.

Is there a serious person anywhere in the world who does not acknowledge that Israel not only has nuclear weapons but also a nuclear weapons arsenal? Western intelligence sources - backed by Israelis themselves who have worked on their country's nuclear facilities - estimate the size of Israel's nuclear arsenal at between a low of 150 weapons and a high of 500. Compare this with the estimate most experts have for North Korea - 4 to 6 weapons, or Pakistan - about 20, or India - approximately 50. Yes, none of these nations, even Israel, matches the tens of thousands of nuclear weapons possessed by the United States or Russia, or the sizable amounts - though way fewer than tens of thousands - thought to be held by England, France and China.

Nevertheless, Israel is an unquestioned nuclear world power - and Iran has no nuclear weapons at all. None. Not a single one. In fact, no one has yet produced anything more than a “fear” that Iran even has a nuclear weapons program. No proof at all. And still, Israel (fundamentally a nuclear outlaw nation) demands that Iran halt all enrichment of uranium. Why? Because they “fear” an Iranian nuclear weapons program - a fear they and others express without a shred of evidence that such a program exists. Does Iran enrich uranium? Yes. And they do so - just like some dozen and a-half other countries do around the world - for the purpose of supplying fuel for atomic reactors - reactors designed not to blow anything up but to provide electric power.

There is nothing new or unique about this. The world already has some 531 such reactors in use or under active construction and they are spread across the globe, located in 31 different countries. We, here in the US, have 104 nuclear power reactors and not a single one of them is connected to our nuclear weapons program. France has 59. Japan has 53 -and no one’s accused the Japanese of having nuclear weapons. In fact, there has never been any claim that any of the world's 500+ electricity generating nuclear reactors is a threat to the nuclear weapons peace. All they make is - electricity!

If nuclear power plants presented a weapons threat, the world’s major powers would not be the United States, Russia and China. Instead they would be ABB Construction Engineering, General Electric and Westinghouse.

Why is nuclear electric power not a threat to world peace? It's simple. Uranium enriched for use in making electric power cannot be used to manufacture nuclear weapons. It just can't. Much as your Honda or Subaru doesn’t scare the folks at NASCAR, so too nobody is going to make bombs from uranium enriched in Brazil, Australia or any of the 31 nations with nuclear power reactors.

It is exactly like nuclear medicine. We've all seen the signs in hospital corridors – “Nuclear Medicine.” Are you afraid? Of course not. Nothing used in nuclear medicine has any applicable usage in nuclear weapons. So, go ahead - do all the heart scans you wish. Nobody's in danger of being blown-up.

My opinion is that no reasonable and rational person would, ipso facto, deny nuclear electric power to anyone. Why would they? Would they deny food or water? Clean sanitation? Roads, dams, tunnels, airports? Of course not. Isn't everyone - no matter where they live - entitled to the use of modern technology for a better life? Can we enjoy all this and refuse to let others do the same?

And yet now officially, Israel would deny Iran any nuclear capacity of any sort whatsoever. Yes, a country that stockpiles nuclear weapons, with contempt for all world nuclear accords, is demanding that another country be denied modern electric power. Draw your own conclusions.
October 23, 2009

Israel Signals Concern on Iran Talks
JERUSALEM — The Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, said on Thursday that Iran must cease all uranium enrichment, a statement that reflected Israeli concern over a draft agreement taking shape in Vienna, where earlier this week Iran took part in nuclear talks with the United States, Russia and France.
Under the agreement, about three-quarters of Iran’s known stockpile of nuclear fuel would be shipped to Russia for enrichment to levels suitable for a peaceful nuclear reactor but too low for weapons. Such a deal would delay Iran’s ability to build a nuclear weapon for about a year, buying more time for President Obama to search for a diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff.
In the first response by a senior Israeli leader, Mr. Barak said what was necessary was “the cessation of enrichment by Iran, and not just the removal of the enriched material.” Speaking at a conference hosted by Israel’s president, Shimon Peres, in Jerusalem, Mr. Barak urged “all the players” that “under no circumstances should any option be removed from the table,” meaning that the threats of tougher sanctions and military action should remain.
The emerging deal with Iran, while not yet approved, is generally being treated here with caution and suspicion
One former Israeli official with intimate knowledge of the nuclear issue said that it was better to have the fuel shipped out than left in Iran, but that there may be more nuclear fuel reserves in covert facilities in Iran.
Iran is openly and vehemently hostile to Israel, but insists that its nuclear program is intended for civilian purposes only. Israel is believed to have a large nuclear arsenal but maintains a policy of nuclear ambiguity, neither confirming nor denying its status as a nuclear power.
Earlier Thursday, Israeli officials confirmed that Israeli and Iranian envoys participated in discussions at a recent multilateral forum on nuclear issues in Cairo, but they said the two representatives held no private meetings and played down the significance of the event.
A spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization also denied that any separate meetings took place between the Iranian and Israeli delegations on the sidelines of the gathering, according to the Web site of Iran’s state broadcasting authority.
The regional meeting took place over two days in the Egyptian capital from Sept. 28 under the auspices of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, a forum of experts established at the initiative of the Australian and Japanese governments. Israel was represented by Meirav Zafary-Odiz, director of policy and arms control for the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, and Iran by Ali Asghar Soltanieh, ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
“There was a conference,” said Yael Doron, a spokeswoman for the Israel Atomic Energy Commission. “She was there and he was there, but there was no direct contact or dialog between them.”
Several other Middle Eastern countries took part in the discussions, including Saudi Arabia, which, like Iran, has no diplomatic relations with Israel.
The gathering was held behind closed doors, but details emerged last week in the Australian newspaper The Age.
The paper reported breathlessly that Australia had “helped accomplish the seemingly impossible — bringing Israel and Iran into the same room for high-level talks on nuclear weapons.”
The Web site of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz on Thursday published more details of the meeting.
But Israeli officials said it was not unusual for Israeli and Iranian officials to be in the same room and present their positions at international bodies and forums. The Iranian delegate, Mr. Soltanieh, has attended at least one such informal gathering with Israelis in the past.
The timing of the Cairo meeting may have added import, however, with the growing concern both in Israel and internationally over Iran’s nuclear program and a sense in Israel that time to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons may be running out.
In a separate development, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled for the first time Thursday in a case regarding a West Bank road where Palestinian traffic is prohibited by military order. Saying the measure caused disproportionate harm to the local Palestinian population, the court instructed the state to come up with alternative arrangements for the road — a thoroughfare south of Hebron — in the next three months.
The state argued that Palestinians were barred from using the road for the past eight years for security reasons, to protect the 150 or so Israeli residents of a Jewish settlement and an unauthorized outpost in the area. An Israeli human rights organization, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, petitioned the court in 2006 on behalf of 22 Palestinian villages with a combined population of some 45,000.
Several cases involving other so-called segregated roads in the West Bank are pending in the Israeli court.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Is this a joke?

Where is Barack Obama? Where is the mandate he won at the polls last November? Where is the Presidential leadership on healthcare reform? Why has Barack Obama abandoned his campaign pledges and promises on single payer, universal healthcare reform?

Four questions – all with the same perplexing answer: “I don’t know.”

Barack Obama got almost 70 million votes from the American people. He received more votes for President of the United States than any candidate who has ever run for that office. His personal mandate is both unquestioned and politically secure. This is especially true following a President who actually lost the popular vote in his first election and won a second term with questionable results. On top of Obama’s personal victory in 2008, his political party won huge majorities in both the House and Senate. In a partisan political system, the partisan debate has been settled. The Democrats won. The Republicans lost. Didn’t they?

Barack Obama and the Democratic Party have an obligation to those who voted them into office. They have a duty to lead not to conciliate.

If Obama and the Democratic Party are nowhere to be found on healthcare reform, who then is driving this policy question, forming this legislation, forging the future direction for the entire country on this literally life and death public issue?

That answer is sadly obvious: Senator Max Baucus and Senator Olympia Snowe. A senator from Montana. And another one from Maine. What about the rest of the United States of America? What about the will of the people as expressed in the democratic act of electing a President and a Congress?

The President represents all the states and all the people. The senators from Montana and Maine represent a tiny constituency. Baucus and Snowe each received fewer votes than Fernando Ferrer. Who’s he, you ask? Ferrer ran for Mayor of New York City – and LOST! But he got 503,219 votes. The winner in New York’s Mayoral election received more votes than Senators Baucus and Snowe combined. Why not let Bloomberg and Ferrer decide what sort of national healthcare we should have. All in favor raise your hands.

Again, I ask – Is this a joke?

Take a look at Obama’s mandate and compare it with the electoral voice Senators Baucus and Snowe speak with:

President Barack Obama 69,456,897
Senator Max Baucus 348,289
Senator Olympia Snowe 402,598

If this is a joke, the joke’s on us.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Propaganda was invented by the Catholic Church. Yes, it was. It was a long time ago - 387 years to be exact - in1622, when then Pope Gregory XV decided the Church needed a special section, a unit or body to institutionalize the dissemination of the “message,” to handle training of foreign missions. Five years later, Pope Urban VIII created the Collegium de Propaganda. A lot has happened in the last 400 or so years, but propaganda hasn’t changed much. Those in power use public information – that which we now generally refer to as “the media” – to further their agenda via the spreading of false or misleading information. The power of propaganda is unchallenged. It can be employed to murder millions or to shape the thinking of hundreds of millions – all with little or no regard for the facts.

In the last couple of centuries we have seen how the American Indians, European Jews and Gypsies, and various ethnic groups in the old Soviet Union have suffered the effects of propaganda campaigns. Many others have suffered too, albeit away from the attention of most Americans. Today it appears that propaganda is being employed on a widespread basis against Muslims in particular and others who have been cast as enemies – temporary or long-term – of entrenched western powers – the Axis of Evil threatening western civilization.

For example: Although there are nearly 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, the actions of only 19 of them on a single day, September 11, 2001, have thrown the western world into two wars and a fit that has already lasted more than 8 years. The West has entered into a never ending “War on Terror.” We are afraid of shadows, if those shadows have the glint of Islam about them. By comparison, no one seems at all concerned about young, blonde, white men – despite Oklahoma City, April 19, 1995. Most recent news reports are all about a supposed nuclear weapons program feverishly underway in Iran… dangerously, even precariously close to fruition. Condoleezza Rice’s vision of “a mushroom cloud” virtually haunts the airways.

Another example: In today’s newspapers, and on TV around the western world, we are being dealt the propaganda about North Korea testing missiles. Oh, my God! You can see the images on television – not of the missile tests in question (because no one has TV footage of those!) but stock video of awful and dangerous missiles being fired from… somewhere and of course designed to hit… something.


Remember, propaganda is false and/or misleading information. Consider the nuclear “situation” in Iran. No one has produced or presented any evidence or proof that Iran really has a nuclear weapons program or that any structural facilities Iran may have or may be building are intended for that purpose. What we have instead are claims, accusations and fearful conclusions – i.e., propaganda.

There is a story in today’s New York Times about the current budget crisis in the Iranian Parliament. Did you think we were the only country fallen on hard economic times? While we spend our tax dollars bailing out Wall Street and the banks, Iran is faced with spending 30% of its national budget on fuel subsidies so people can heat their homes this winter! That’s almost one-third of all their money just to keep themselves alive through the coming cold months. What’s left to spend on nukes? Don’t ask because that doesn’t fit the model for our newest campaign of propaganda.

And what to make of North Korea, you ask? No one denies they did fire a total of 5 test missiles the other day. We know they did because like other nations that also test missiles, the North Koreans issued an international advisory telling naval ships to avoid the area where the missiles were being fired. No secrets here. There are no laws against testing missiles. Many countries do it. And, you’re supposed to warn naval traffic – just like the North Koreans did. The question is: just how “dangerous” were these missiles? Why would we be so worried? Why would we even report it? You had to read through all the propaganda to find out. The range of the North Korean test missiles was… 75 miles. Yes, 75 miles. No, not 7,500 or even 750 miles. Only 75!

If the North Koreans mean to attack New York City with this equipment they better find a way to stack-up their rockets across the bay somewhere on the Connecticut shore or maybe launch them from someplace out in the Hamptons on Long Island. How likely is that?

Be afraid! Be very afraid! And while you’re at it – watch out for the propaganda.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Know who any of these guys are? Ever hear of any of them?

Charles Gobat – Ernesto Moneta – Alfred Fried – Fridtjof Nansen – Arthur Henderson – John Mott – Arthur Lutuli – David Trimble

Can’t say that you have? Well, they’re all men, aren’t they? How about a woman? Okay, let’s throw in Betty Williams? You know her, don’t you?

Still nothing?

They’re all Nobel Peace Prize winners. Every one of them. Sure, some of them won their Prize many years ago, but not David Trimble. He won the Prize in 1998. Almost yesterday, and he’s English too. Looks like us. Speaks our language. But you don’t know who he is or who they are. Some prize, huh? Really important. Marks a man’s life forever, right? Hey, it is the Nobel Peace Prize.

How much do you know about the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Martti Ahtisaari? Not much? Maybe nothing at all? Ahtisaari, who’s from Finland, was the key negotiator in the Namibian independence agreement from South Africa in 1990. In 1999, Ahtisaari was credited with convincing the Serbian leadership to call it quits in Kosovo. And six years later, in 2005, he successfully negotiated a settlement between Indonesia and the rebels in Aceh Province. He won the Nobel Prize – now you know why - and you’ve still never heard of him.

Perhaps you are familiar with these men - Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho. Who hasn’t heard of the likes of Russia’s Gorbachev, the Israelis Rabin and Peres, and of course Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat? A fine group of dictators, terrorists, insurrectionists, warmongers… even an international war criminal in this bunch. Surely none of them could be a Nobel Peace Prize winner. It is a "peace" prize. Right? Wrong. They all are. Everyone’s a winner. And only Le Duc Tho, from North Vietnam, had the good manners and common decency to decline the honor.

So, what’s the “Big Deal” about Barack Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize this year? The Golden Globes are just around the corner. Can the Oscars be far behind? Don’t they have something called the Teen Spirit Award? Doesn't country music have some kind of winners? When is the Miss America Pageant?