Posts Tagged ‘nuclear weapons’

Nuclear weapons are necessary to avoid another Hitler

July 8, 2017

Yesterday the UN again demonstrated its uselessness. More, it demonstrated, again that majorities are very often wrong and can be just plain stupid.

Countries without nuclear weapons voted among themselves that countries with nuclear weapons should not have them. The stupid voting among themselves that the more intelligent should not be so intelligent.

The UN adopted a global treaty banning nuclear weapons. Only 124 nations of 193 participated. The treaty was adopted by a vote of 122 countries in favor with one NATO member, the Netherlands, voting against and with Singapore abstaining.

The stupidity of the resolution and the vote lies in that neither those who have nuclear weapons, nor those who have experienced a nuclear strike, even participated.

 

  1. None of the nine countries that possess nuclear weapons — the United States, Russia, UK, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel — took part in the negotiations or the vote.
  2.  Even Japan — the only country to have suffered atomic attacks, in 1945 — boycotted the talks and the vote.
  3. The only NATO country to participate, the Netherlands, voted against.
  4. The other NATO countries not participating were Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.

The UN is good at sanctimonious, feel-good resolutions which are “full of sound and fury” but “signifying nothing”. It is, in fact, the presence of nuclear weapons which has put a cap on the number of deaths by war.

Time:

During the 31 years leading up to the first atomic bomb, the world without nuclear weapons engaged in two global wars resulting in the deaths of an estimated 78 million to 95 million people, uniformed and civilian. The world wars were the hideous expression of what happens when the human tendency toward conflict hooks up with the violent possibilities of the industrial age. The version of this story we are most familiar with is the Nazi death machinery, and we are often tempted to think that if Hitler had not happened, we would never have encountered assembly-line murder.

…… As bad as they are, nukes have been instrumental in reversing the long, seemingly inexorable trend in modernity toward deadlier and deadlier conflicts. If the Nobel Committee ever wants to honor the force that has done the most over the past 60 years to end industrial-scale war, its members will award a Peace Prize to the bomb.

Nuclear weapons cannot be uninvented.

The simple fact is that it is the existence of nuclear weapons which has prevented the blood-letting of WW1 and WW2 from happening again.

And which prevents another Hitler from appearing. And which will prevent Kim Jong-un from ever becoming another Hitler.


 

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Sweden among the leaders of the sanctimonious claptrap at the UN again

March 28, 2017

Austria, Ireland, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and Sweden are leading a UN conference to ban nuclear weapons globally. Very politically correct and a marvellous opportunity to be self-righteous and sanctimonious. 123 countries and lots of NGO’s are going to participate in New York. Also an opportunity for a little holiday in New York.

Image result for un talking shop

The only problem is that about 40 countries are not participating. Every country which has nuclear weapons is boycotting the conference. It is just another talking shop and an opportunity for the irrelevant to posture. Maybe some of these countries attending are there in good faith but I have serious doubts as to their common sense.

Agence France Press + PRI:

More than 100 countries on Monday launched the first UN talks aimed at achieving a legally binding ban on nuclear weapons, as Washington led an international boycott of a process it deems unrealistic. Before the conference had even begun, the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, spoke out to reject the proposal in the light of current global security threats. “As a mom and a daughter there is nothing I want more for my family than a world with no nuclear weapons,” Haley, who represents the world’s largest nuclear power, said on the sidelines of the meeting. “But we have to be realistic,” she added. “Is there anyone that believes that North Korea would agree to a ban on nuclear weapons?”

Haley spoke in a group of some 20 ambassadors from US allies which are boycotting the negotiations, including Britain, France, South Korea, Turkey and a number of countries from eastern Europe. The ambassadors of Russia and China were notably absent, but both major nuclear powers are also sitting out the General Assembly talks.

Haley estimated that “almost 40 countries” were not participating.

The push for a ban was announced in October by 123 UN members who say the threat of atomic disaster is growing thanks to tensions fanned by North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and an unpredictable new administration in Washington. Leaders of the effort include Austria, Ireland, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and Sweden, supported by hundreds of nonprofit organizations. But Britain, France, Israel, Russia and the United States all voted no, while China, India and Pakistan abstained — together accounting for most of the world’s declared and undeclared nuclear powers.

Even Japan — the only country to have suffered atomic attacks, in 1945 — voted against the talks, saying a lack of consensus over the negotiations could undermine progress on effective nuclear disarmament. Japan’s ambassador, Nobushige Takamizawa, addressed the General Assembly to explain why. “Efforts to make such a treaty without the involvement of nuclear weapon states will only deepen the schism and division” in the international community, he said.

NDTV:

India is not participating in the first UN conference in more than 20 years on a global nuclear weapons ban which opened here amid objections from major nuclear powers. More than 120 nations in October last year voted on a UN General Assembly resolution to convene the conference to negotiate a legally binding treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination. Britain, France, Israel, Russia and the US voted no, while China, India and Pakistan abstained from voting on that resolution.

The first substantive session of the conference began yesterday. In its Explanation of Vote (EoV) given for its abstention on the resolution in October, India had said that it was “not convinced” that the proposed conference could address the longstanding expectation of the international community for a comprehensive instrument on nuclear disarmament. India also maintained that the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament (CD) is the single multilateral disarmament negotiation forum.

It had further said that it supports the commencement of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a Comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention, which in addition to prohibition and elimination also includes verification. It had said that international verification was essential to the global elimination of nuclear weapons, India feels that the current process does not include the verification aspect. In line with its position that India articulated in the EoV, India has decided not to participate in the current conference that will run through March 31.

It will, however, continue to follow the developments in the event.

The US, France and the UK led a group of over 40 nations that are strongly protesting the UN talks.


 

Saudi Arabia, Netanyahu and GOP make unusual bedfellows

March 16, 2015

The nuclear non-proliferation treaty is fundamentally flawed. Establishing a monopoly for some selected countries is unsustainable in the long run. But the opposition of the GOP, Benjamin Netanyahu and now Saudi Arabia to any nuclear deal with Iran makes an unholy alliance against a deal but which is counter-productive. It provides an unusual indication that Barack Obama – by accident rather than by design – is on the right track with his negotiations with Iran. The general expectation of course is that a deal is inevitable. It will be reached (at some time if not now) where Iran will – with certain safeguards – continue the enrichment of uranium for the production of nuclear fuels and the UN sanctions will be lifted. As far as nuclear weapons are concerned, no international treaty can succeed unless all member countries sign up to the same obligations. It cannot be a few reserving special positions for themselves and imposing different obligations on all others. Four of the nine nuclear countries are not signatories to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

SIPRI: At the start of 2014 nine states—the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea—possessed approximately 4000 operational nuclear weapons. If all nuclear warheads are counted, these states together possessed a total of approximately 16 300 nuclear weapons (see table 1) compared to 17 270 in early 2013.  

…. all five legally recognized nuclear weapon states—China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA—are either deploying new nuclear weapon delivery systems or have announced programmes to do so. India and Pakistan continue to develop new systems capable of delivering nuclear weapons and are expanding their capacities to produce fissile material for military purposes.

There is an emerging consensus in the expert community that North Korea has produced a small number of nuclear weapons, as distinct from rudimentary nuclear explosive devices.

world nuclear forces 2014

* ‘Deployed’ means warheads placed on missiles or located on bases with operational forces.

Source: SIPRI Yearbook 2014 

The GOP letter to Iran makes for an interesting precedent. It emphasises – again – that the US is now highly polarised  and that the government does not represent a very large section of the country. But the GOP actions (their Iran letter and their invitation to Netanyahu to make a speech) are primarily about opposing Obama and secondly about supporting Netanyahu. The support is for Bibi himself and not for any “socialist Israel” which they – and Netanyahu – fear. (In fact most of the Republican business world would quite welcome the lifting of UN sanctions).

Netanyahu’s opposition to any deal with Iran is not unexpected. Israel is the sole nuclear force in the region and this underpins its existence. Even its massive superiority in conventional forces could not prevail against another country in the region prepared to use nuclear weapons. The deterrence strategy – based on overwhelming superiority – which has served Israel very well would fail against a more “equal” opponent who was more ready to use nuclear force than Israel. “A mad mullah would be more ready to destroy himself while destroying the enemy than a mad rabbi”.

The Saudi Arabia opposition to anything which benefits Iran is the front-line of the Shia – Sunni war. Moreover Saudi has plans to build 16 nuclear plants over the next 20 years. The idea that Iran could produce nuclear fuel while they had to import all theirs is unthinkable. Anything Iran gets is something that Saudi Arabia also must have.

BBC: A senior member of the Saudi royal family has warned that a deal on Iran’s nuclear programme could prompt other regional states to develop atomic fuel. Prince Turki al-Faisal told the BBC that Saudi Arabia would then seek the same right, as would other nations.

Six world powers are negotiating an agreement aimed at limiting Iran’s nuclear activity but not ending it. Critics have argued this would trigger a nuclear arms race in the region spurred on by Saudi-Iran rivalry.

“I’ve always said whatever comes out of these talks, we will want the same,” said the prince, Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief. “So if Iran has the ability to enrich uranium to whatever level, it’s not just Saudi Arabia that’s going to ask for that. The whole world will be an open door to go that route without any inhibition, and that’s my main objection to this P5+1 [the six world powers] process.”

…… Riyadh has also signed nuclear co-operation agreements with China, France and Argentina, and intends to construct 16 nuclear power reactors over the next 20 years. ….. 

Another Israeli assasination? Iranian deputy minister killed

November 11, 2013

It may be just my perception. But I don’t think it is so far-fetched that Israeli foreign policy in support of its perceived security interests is supremely pragmatic and uncluttered by any ethical concerns. In matters of security of the Israeli State, it seems that ethics is just not relevant. While most of their diplomatic efforts are often channeled through friendly nations (the US or France ..) it does not seem unlikely that they also have extensive covert activities as a back-up.

That Israel conducts targeted killings as an almost routine activity does not seem implausible and has led to much speculation. The alleged poisoning of Arafat (by radative polonium) has also been put down to Israeli agents. The possibility of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons and rendering their own relatively toothless is serious enough that systematically assassinating key figures in Iran’s nuclear programme would seem justified to Israel.

This particular killing is apparently of a relatively unimportant deputy minister — but who knows?

BBC: An unknown attacker has shot dead Iran’s deputy industry minister. Safdar Rahmatabadi was driving in Tehran’s Sabalan Square late on Sunday when he was shot once in the head and once in the chest, the state news agency IRNA reported. A police officer told the agency that the attacker appeared to have been inside Mr Rahmatabadi’s vehicle and spoke to him before opening fire. …..

Assassinations of officials are not unheard of in Iran, in particular scientists connected with the country’s nuclear programme. In January 2012 a car bomb killed university lecturer Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, who also worked at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility. 

Earlier in November a public prosecutor and his driver were killed in the restive frontier province of Sistan Baluchistan, which borders Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, Mr Rahmatabadi, whose portfolio also included mining and commerce, was seen as a low-profile official. He served in a similar role under the country’s previous President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 

The shooting comes as Iran, under newly-elected President Hassan Rouhani, engages in talks with six world powers on its nuclear programme. Tehran maintains it is enriching uranium for civilian uses but Western countries have long suspected Iran of a secret nuclear weapons programme.

Iran’s foreign nuclear scientist – who never was

November 10, 2011

The last few days have been full of headlines about a UN report that showed that Iran was getting help from foreign scientists to develop nuclear weapons. Speculation has been rife about pre-emptive strikes by Israel or the US against Iran’s “weapons facilities” and the consequences of such a strike. Discussions about sanctions have been wide-spread from nations to US Presidential candidates. But now it seems that the so-called UN evidence is actually nothing more than information manufactured by an intelligence agency (probably Mossad) and speculation from a Washington “think tank”  which is just another lobby group. The so-called foreign nuclear scientist does not exist and is actually a prominent Ukrainian  nanotechnology and nanodiamond expert, Vyacheslav Danilenko who has been in the same field all his career.

Moon of Alabama  first revealed the background of Danilenko.

November 7th: The Washington Posts alleges that the IAEA says foreign expertise has brought Iran to threshold of nuclear capability. This is of course, well, a lie. The IAEA has said nothing like that. It is simply an assertion made by the reporter and some “nuclear Iran” scare propagandists based on misinterpreting some factual points in the IAEA “evidence”. What that “evidence” says is: Iran is working on nanodiamond production.

(more…)


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