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  1. I just spent the morning researching the recent UN efforts to address establishing a middle east free of weapons of mass destruction. Its an eye opener when you dig into it.

    If one discards the postering, semantics, excuses and rationales, what becomes apparent is that the US and Israel will never agree to eliminate Israel’s nuclear arsenal. The catch 22 behind such strategy is obvious. What neighbor of Israel, observing Israel’s actions towards its neighbors, coupled with Israel’s incendiary threats of pre-emptive nuclear strikes, would not desire to seek deterrence through weapons parity?

    As long as Israel maintains its own arsenal, it is reasonable to expect Israel’s nieghbors to desire an arsenal. What happens when the Arab states finally come to the realization that Israel will never give up its WMDs, and that as it has proven in the recent past, it will not hesitate to use them against civilian populations. If I was Iranian, or Lebanese, I would be DEMANDING that my government seek the technology to protect me from Israeli weapons superiority.

    Any “deal” reached with Iran is insufficient if it does not include a provision for disarming Israel of its nuclear weapons, its chemical weapons, and its biological weapons. And Israel should immediately cease threatening Iran with a premptive nuclear strike if it truly is concerned about proliferation in the middle east. And where are our statesmen in expressing outrage against such threats? Why do we demonize Iran for such alleged incendiary posturing while we stand mute as Israel issues very real and recent threats every bit as worrisome?

    1. @poa

      Your confusion stems from a belief that the posturing and policies are primarily based on ideology and/or religion.

      The last 70 years of middle east politics makes more sense if seen through the prism of being driven by an oil-based financial oligarchy that prefers price volatility caused by artificial energy scarcity.

      1. Well…..we can’t blame the oil companies when cluster bombs are dropped on civilian populations, or molotov cocktails incinerate sleeping toddlers.

        I read an article this morning about the rising anti-semitism in Europe. Acts of violence against jews were on the rise considerably last year. The primary reason cited was the Israelis treatment of the Palestinians in Gaza. How do we tie this to the fossil fuel megacorps, Rod? I understand the geopolitical reasoning of our politicians “taking sides” that favor the major oil industry players. But the Israel/Palestine conflict has far deeper historical and religious context than mere market manipulation by major fossil fuel entities.

        I believe if things continue as they are going in the middle east we will soon see WWIll. The spark for such a nightmare may well be struck by an Israeli attack on Iran. Such a scenario provides little hope that things won’t quickly escalate beyond Israel’s or our control. And we are becoming more and more isolated in our support for all things Israel. “Allies” are becoming more and more fru s trated with Israel’s settlement expansion and human rights abuses. And here in the states the BDS movement gathers momentum, and the jewish community is being forced to examine their loyalties.

        Besides the interests of the fossil fuel megacorps, our subservience to the Israeli agenda is driven by the insidious influence Israeli lobby groups have on our policies in the middle east. How much longer will we allow entities such as AIPAC write legislation and dictate our foreign policies as they apply to the middle east? Kennedy was right, AIPAC should be registered as a foreign agency, for it pursues Israel’s interests above our own.

        Make no mistake, Israel is more worried about Iran’s power in the region than it is about any nuclear threat. The pretext of a nuclear threat is simply an excuse to keep Iran in a position of weakness to stifle economic and political growth. Ironic that our actions in the middle east, at Israel’s behest, have actually strengthened Iran’s influence on Israel’s neighboring states.

        This “deal” with Iran may well be a path away from a war that portends utterly unpredictable consequences. And who are we, or Israel, to tell Iran it cannot have self developed and self maintained nuclear energy? It is Iran’s RIGHT under the terms of the NPT.

        1. @poa

          But the Israel/Palestine conflict has far deeper historical and religious context than mere market manipulation by major fossil fuel entities.

          IMO it is difficult to divorce the UK/US decision to push the establishment of a protectorate in the Middle East following WWII from the growing importance of controlling petroleum production in the region. The fair thing to do would have been to appropriate the land from the perpetrators of the horrors visited on the Jews.

          1. Yes, Rod. But that was yesteryear.

            Whatever choices were made back then are now irrelevent to the facts on the ground.

            Get ready for another round of bottle rockets annd Israeli massive and collective punishment. The incineration of this Palestinian toddler is causing massive protests, and rockets are bound to fly. The palestinians do not expect justice, nor do they have reason to expect it. Jewish terrorists are prosecuted under a different set of laws than the palestinians are subjected to, and convictions, percentage wise, is low.

            And it will only get worse. With Israeli’s holding rallies and chanting “death to arabs”, and the investigations and studies showing a rise in Israeli racism, things cannot improve.

            Oops….sorry. I forgot, we aren’t supposed to mention Israeli atrocities and racism. Its anti-semitic.

            1. @poa

              The present cannot be divorced from history. Besides, I can think of several instances over the intervening 70 years in which Israel’s geographic position was part of the planning for a major event to protect control of oil and gas production and logistics.

              Note my phrasing; oil and gas industry profitability is not just about controlling physical reservoirs.

          2. Do you just mean the latest horror, or do you include Muslim atrocities going back to the massacre at the Khaybar oasis?  Russian pogroms?

            Do the Ukrainians get to demand land from Jews because of the Holodomor?

            1. @Engineer-Poet

              What did Jews have to do with Stalin’s program of extermination by starvation?

              An event that happened nearly 1000 years before the European discovery of North America had no influence on 20th century decisions, nor should it.

          3. What did Jews have to do with Stalin’s program of extermination by starvation?

            They essentially ran the Cheka.

            An event that happened nearly 1000 years before the European discovery of North America had no influence on 20th century decisions, nor should it.

            If you talk about historical rights to land, Jews have a stronger claim to the territory of Israel (West Bank and Gaza included) than any Muslim.  Repelling multiple wars of attempted genocide is a pretty strong claim too.

            1. @Engineer-Poet

              I don’t place much importance on “historical rights to land” that requires generational research. On the other hand, imposing Isreal into Palestine in the 1940s required actual currently recognized land owners to be displaced.

              By your logic, Native American tribes have stronger claims to all land in the U.S. than current owners. I don’t agree and don’t plan to give up my property.

          4. EP….

            Just curious. Do these “historical rights to land” just apply to the jews, or should we apply that right to all indigenous peoples, internationally, that have been displaced from their historical roots?

            And, uh, how far back do you want to go to apply this “right”? Heritage, geographical roots, race, and ethnicity get a bit vague the further back we go, eh?

            Ok, so you give the land to the jews. Might as well, because it is obvious that that is the intent of modern zionism, and they intend to take it, treaties and international law be damned.

            But then what? Whatcha gonna do with those pesky and bothersome Palestinians? Ship ’em off to the Gobi?

          5. I don’t place much importance on “historical rights to land” that requires generational research.

            You have a very short-term view of things (stereotypically American; the English think 100 miles is a long way, Americans think 100 years is a long time).  Muslims lay claim to all land that was ever ruled by Muslims, and events like the slaughter at the Khaybar oasis are part of their current folklore which they hold up as an example of righteous action.  If it’s relevant to Muslims, it’s just as relevant to anyone Muslims consider an adversary—like Jews (and Americans).

            Do these “historical rights to land” just apply to the jews, or should we apply that right to all indigenous peoples, internationally, that have been displaced from their historical roots?

            Going back far enough, practically every group, tribe or nation has been displaced from some part of its historical roots.  The only valid use of the test is to deny claims by any group that has never lived in a given place, such as recent immigrants to Europe and the Americas.

            By your logic, Native American tribes have stronger claims to all land in the U.S. than current owners.

            Native Americans fought many wars over territory, and land belonged to whomever was strong enough to hold it.  Europeans played that game better; as Bad Eagle said, the white man was a worthy adversary.  It’s ours until we are either out-fought or (as is going on) foolishly give it away.

            The Jews have the right to Israel by the same logic, West Bank and Gaza included.  I don’t take claims of “human rights violations” seriously; if Israelis were as bloodthirsty as Muslims, there would have been no “Palestinians” after 1967.

            Whatcha gonna do with those pesky and bothersome Palestinians?

            Remember that when Mark Twain toured the area roughly a century ago, it was a thinly-populated wasteland of desert and swamps.  It took human engineering to make it productive, and most of the Arabs only moved in after that was done… by Jews.  The Arabs were somewhere else doing something else before that, so why can’t they go back?

            My understanding is that the surnames indicate that ones in the West Bank are essentially Jordanians, and the ones in Gaza are essentially Egyptians.  If the Arabs hadn’t penned them up in “refugee” camps (which now have something like their 4th generations of “refugees”) for use as pawns instead of resettling them, this problem would no longer exist.  Instead, tens of thousands have lived their whole lives as chess pieces in a game against the Jews.  Needless to say, this tends to radicalize them.  Neither Egypt nor Jordan wants such troublesome people back.  I’d say they created the problem so they’re morally obligated to deal with it.

    2. @poa, ya its all the Jews fault. True the Middle East is a little safer now than it was in the past. But Iranian politicians sti;; talk about destroying Israel . You ask,”What neighbor of Israel, observing Israel’s actions towards its neighbors,. . . ” Yes indeed and what Israeli politician, observing rockes rain down on his or her country, is ready to forgoe means of self defense in the hope that that there Arab neighbors will prefer peace to their distructipn. Yoy talk about, “Israel’s actions towards its neighbors, coupled with Israel’s incendiary threats of pre-emptive nuclear strikes. . . ” What threats? Iasrael has never admitted having nuclear weapons. True Israel saber rattles at Iran, but Iran is a large, ppotentially powerful and wealthy nation, which has frequently in the past called for the distruction of Israel. This is not a threat of agressive war nad against Israel?

        1. Funny, isn’t it Rod, how it always gets narrowed down to “the jews” when people defend Israel’s actions?

          Anti-semitism is the straw man by which they pull the debate away from the actual policies that Israel engages in.

          Ironic that it is the policies of Israel that account for the rise of anti-semitism internationally, particularly in Europe. Ironic too that american jews are becoming more and more uncomfortable with being associated with Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. And what are those uncomfortable jews called by zionist hardliners? “Self hating jews”. The accusation of “anti-semitism” has becone a transparently weak and disingenuous tactic through its misuse and dishonest application. And thats a real shame, for their is surely very real anti-semitism that deserves exposure.

          Israel is its own worst enemy at this point. Look up the word aparthied in the dictionary, and tell me why the definition isn’t apppropriate.

          So where’s it go from here? What if Israel succeeds in derailing this deal? What if they do lodge a pre-emptive nuclear strike?

          Here are the recent words of Moshe Ya’alon, Israel’s defense minister…

          “Now those who claim that this battle is not fair because democracy can’t fight back tyrannical regime — not talking about terror organizations–  I don’t agree with it.”

          “In certain cases, we might take certain steps that we believe that these steps should be taken in order to defend ourselves. I mentioned the discussion about the interception of the rockets’ positions on civilian houses. We decided to do it.”

          “I can imagine some other steps that should be taken. Of course, we should be sure that we can look at the mirror after the decision, or the operation. Of course, we should be sure that it is a military necessity. We should consider cost and benefit, of course.”

          “But, at the end, we might take certain steps.”

          “I do remember the story of President Truman was asked, How do you feel after deciding to launch the nuclear bombs, Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing at the end the fatalities of 200,000, casualties? And he said, When I heard from my officers the alternative is a long war with Japan, with potential fatalities of a couple of millions, I thought it is a moral decision.”

          “We are not there yet. But that what I’m talking about. Certain steps in cases in which we feel like we don’t have the answer by surgical operations, or something like that.”

          1. You don’t think war is the alternative?

            Here is Norman Podhoretz in the Wall Street Journal……

            “Given how very unlikely it is that President Obama, despite his all-options-on-the-table protestations to the contrary, would ever take military action, the only hope rests with Israel. If, then, Israel fails to strike now, Iran will get the bomb. And when it does, the Israelis will be forced to decide whether to wait for a nuclear attack and then to retaliate out of the rubble, or to pre-empt with a nuclear strike of their own. But the Iranians will be faced with the same dilemma. Under these unprecedentedly hair-trigger circumstances, it will take no time before one of them tries to beat the other to the punch. ”

            And here is Sheldon Adelson, THE major donor to the Republican candidates….

            “What are we going to negotiate about? I would say ‘Listen, you see that desert out there, I want to show you something.’ …You pick up your cell phone and you call somewhere in Nebraska and you say, ‘OK let it go.’ And so there’s an atomic weapon, goes over ballistic missiles, the middle of the desert, that doesn’t hurt a soul. Maybe a couple of rattlesnakes, and scorpions, or whatever. Then you say, ‘See! The next one is in the middle of Tehran. So, we mean business. You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with your nuclear development. You want to be peaceful? Just reverse it all,  and we will guarantee you that you can have a nuclear power plant for electricity purposes, energy purposes.”

            And here is Haim Saban, another multi billionarre pumping money into the coffers of all these politicians tripping over themselves trying to derail this deal with Iran…

            “I would bomb the living daylights out of these sons of bitches”

        2. No Rod, but the Jews have been out of all of the Arab lands east of Morocco, and virtually the only Jews left are in Israel. A large majority of Israel’s population is Jewish, with a significant Arab minority. Over half of the jews in the world live in israel. pob points to israel and makes questionable alligations, saying that the problem of Middle Eastern Arms control is allIsrael’s fault. I think he is raising the Jewish question, by ignoring the threats to Israel made bu groups like Hamas, and offered by countries like Iran. Maybe some day everyone will decide to live at peace with Israel, as Egypt and Jordan have. At present, however Israel faces existential threats, and is entitled to defend its self to any nation or group attempting to carry out threats aginst Israeli and Jewish existance.

          1. “No Rod, but the Jews have been out of all of the Arab lands east of Morocco, and virtually the only Jews left are in Israel.”

            Thats not true. Are you purposely ignoring the Iranian Jewish population? And what about Turkey?

            Here is an excerpt from an article that ran in haaretz in november of last year……

            “More than a thousand people trekked across Iran this past week to visit a shrine in this ancient Persian city, a pilgrimage like many others in the Islamic Republic — until you notice men there wearing yarmulkes.”

            “Iran, a home for Jews for more than 3,000 years, has the Middle East’s largest Jewish population outside of Israel, a perennial foe of the country. But while Iran’s Jews in recent years had their faith continually criticized by the country’s previous governments, they’ve found new acceptance under moderate President Hassan Rohani.”

            “The government has listened to our grievances and requests. That we are being consulted is an important step forward,” said Homayoun Samiah, leader of the Tehran Jewish Association. “Under former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, nobody was listening to us. Our requests fell on deaf ears.”

            End excerpt.

            Now we can argue whether ir not Iran and Turkey are “Arab lands”, but not about whether or not jews choose to live and stay on those lands.

            And I do not “ignore” the treats made by hamas. But I do, when considering those threats, ask myself why they were VOTED into power by the Gazan population. What has Israel done that caused the more moderate Palestinian factions to fall from favor?

            And as far as the threats from Iran?Some of the more widely quoted threats are mis-translations advanced by pro-zionist think tanks.

            Frankly, Charles, your attempt to paint me as anti-semitic is despicable, and dishonest. Unable to attribute any anti-semitic comments or stances to me, you resort to this vague and convoluted comment that contains falsehoods and insinuation, and little else.

            I suggest you get back to the drawing board with your argument. If you can’t do any better than that, you better stick to arguing why we should be utilizing NE. But, then again, maybe not. Someone might ask you why Iran can’t enjoy the same manner of producing energy as we can. Darned anti-semites!

          2. “Maybe some day everyone will decide to live at peace with Israel, as Egypt and Jordan have”

            Egypt is working very hard to establish a middle east that is devoid of all so called WMDs, nuclear, biological, and chemical. Israel has arsenals of all three. It is widely believed that Iran has none of any of the three. Israel and the United States are working very hard to block Egypt’s efforts. Successfully, I might add.

            While screaming about the Iranian threats, it is Israel that refuses to join in Egypt’s efforts to remove any ability Iran may have to carry out such threats.

            Point of fact, Iran has decried the presence of WMDs in the middle east for many decades, and has NEVER been known to use them, even when Iraq used chemical weapons, (provided by the United States), in its war with Iran.

            And Israeli use of cluster munitions in populated urban areas, as well as their use of white phosphorous, is well documented. Considering Israel’s periodic razing of the Gaza strip, inflicting collective punishment on a civilian population, why would one assume that Israel is beyond nuking a population? Heck, it would probably be cheaper than their long term system of ethnic cleansing, and I’m sure they could come up with a way to blame whoever it is they nuke. And who can doubt their minions in our own Congress would cheer loudly at such an action in exchange for a few bucks in their campaign coffers and an all expense paid trip to Israel proper.

          3. “Lebanon……No Rod, but the Jews have been out of all of the Arab lands east of Morocco, and virtually the only Jews left are in Israel”

            Excerpt from an article on Foreign Affairs magazine’s website… (I am purposely not posting links, for fear the post will not appear. Surely the excerpts provide plenty of fuel for a google search)…

            “Fewer than 200 Lebanese Jews still live in Lebanon today.”

            “But some Lebanese are now hoping this trend can be reversed — and there is cause for cautious optimism. In a posh but heavily guarded area of downtown Beirut, a symbol of religious coexistence seems poised to gain new life. The Maghen Abraham Synagogue, the only Jewish religious temple left in the capital, is set to reopen after over three decades of ruin. When the synagogue’s near-complete restoration was announced on its Facebook page in late August, the post was showered with “Likes” and positive comments. “I hope the community will be able to congregate soon. Our country needs all the reconciliation it can achieve. Wish you all the best,” posted one Lebanese commenter, a professor at the American University of Beirut.”

    3. If one discards the postering[sic], semantics, excuses and rationales, what becomes apparent is that the US and Israel will never agree to eliminate Israel’s nuclear arsenal. The catch 22 behind such strategy is obvious. What neighbor of Israel, observing Israel’s actions towards its neighbors, coupled with Israel’s incendiary threats of pre-emptive (preemptive) nuclear strikes, would not desire to seek deterrence through weapons parity?

      …” postering[sic], semantics, excuses and rationales” …
      lol. Never in the eye of the beholder…

      Also, Israel never “owned up” to having WMD, much less threatened preemptive Nuclear strikes.
      A reasonable expectation is that Israel won’t use such weapons with the ensuing political burden if they do, which will certainly follow, unless the protective state of Israel itself is doomed with Hezbollah and Persian armies destroying Tel Aviv either by WMD or by Kalashnikovs & RPGs.

      It just might be that Iran sees Nuclear Weapons as a burden. If we all go to war over Nuclear Technologies, it might be more to protect the current state of financial affairs rather than the threat of Iran having doomsday weaponry. Our Plutocracy seems to like *NOT* solving the issue of the 50 year old relationship between Nuclear Technologies and Nuclear Weapons. It seems to me it would be an easy problem to solve.

      1. “Also, Israel never “owned up” to having WMD, much less threatened preemptive Nuclear strikes”

        Read the post above yours, where I quote Moshe Ya’alon . Then twist yourself into a pretzel trying to claim that is not a threat of a pre-emptive nuclear strike.

        And it always blows my mind when people say things like….”Also, Israel never “owned up” to having WMD….” What, are you denying they have them? And isn’t that the very thing you claim Iran is doing, which you say deserves crippling sanctions or even war? Hiding its nuclear intent or capabilities? This “Israel hasn’t admitted” argument only underscores the hypocritical and dishonest manner of defending Israel that has become the norm. So exposed, perhaps now you better fall back on the ‘ol “anti -semite” argument.

        1. The fact that such oppenions are voiced in Israel is testimony to its openess as a Democratic society. This not not mean that the statement is true. In fact most of the people in Israel do not agree with this statement, and this probably includes many members of the Israeli left. The public is tired of the present situation, and would probably wellcom a serious peace efforts.

          1. I agree Charles. There’d be heck to pay politically in any preemptive Nuclear strike on Iran by anyone. No-one in power in Israel is saying they’ll preemptively engage a Nuclear Strike on Iran. Hmmm. How is that for a “pretzel”?

          2. “No-one in power in Israel is saying they’ll preemptively engage a Nuclear Strike on Iran”

            You choose to pretend the Defense Minister of Israel did not say what he said?

            Thats an interesting approach. With that kinda power of thought, why not just pretend Iran doesn’t exist? Abra cadabra, problem solved!

          3. Here is an excerpt from an opinion piece from some time ago that the Israeli News Agency ran….

            “Israel Needs A Preemptive Nuclear Strike against Iran”

             By Jonathan Ariel 
            Israel News Agency

            Jerusalem —– June 24…… “One of the best ways to ensure the world doesn’t get wobbly over Iran, is to make it understand that although Israel prefers to regard the rogue Islamic regime as an international problem, we will, if necessary, do whatever it takes to ensure our survival, including a preemptive nuclear strike.”

        2. I’ve been staying out of this whole Israeli discussion, but I would note that a Lebanese friend pointed out to me that the Arabs may be Semitic too.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semitic_people

          When you figure all the moving and mixing all these groups of people have done over the centuries, anti Semitic could almost mean anti-human.

  2. “This not not mean that the statement is true”

    Its not a statement, it is a policy THREAT uttered by Israel’s Minister of Defense.

    “In fact most of the people in Israel do not agree with this statement…..”

    Uh oh. I think you may be misinformed. When time allows, I will demonstrate that fact. But as an aside, you think all the Iranian people agree with the alleged “threats” that Iranian religious leaders have made against Israel? Uh huh, I get it. Its alright with you that the Israeli government issues threats, because not all Israelis agree with the theeats. But its not ok for the Iranian government to issue threats, because all the Iranians agree with those threats. Is that about it, Charles? Pretty much sum up your argument?

  3. poa, note that I said Arab, not Moslem. Neither Turkey and Iran a not Arab Societies. You blundered by treating Moslem as if if it means the same thing as Arab. I see the no point in trying to educate you.

    1. @Charles Barton

      Sorry, but I don’t get your point. POA acknowledged that you might have been splitting hairs by specifically mentioning Arab states and not just Muslim states. (Moslem is as obsolete as Colored.)

      A main topic of discussion in this thread is Israel’s reaction to the Iran nuclear deal. Many also introduce Iran’s support of Palestinian groups, so the Jewish population in Iran is at least as relevant as the Jewish population in Arab countries.

      1. Do people like Charles marvel at how absurd the whole thing is? Iranian troops on the ground in Iraq, fighting ISIS, while being portrayed as the evil entity intent on exterminating the jews and incinerating Israel and the United States.

        And it is Israel and the United States, through false pretense and epic incompetence opened the door for Iran’s expanding influence and power throughout the middle east.

        Meanwhile, Israel’s ally in seeking to derail this “deal” with Iran, (Saudi Arabia), won’t issue visas to Israeli jews. And spawned the architects and perpetrators of the 9/11 attack.

        Of course, this strengthens Rod’s argument about fossil fuel interests determining alliances and dynamics at play in the middle east. A weak and powerless Iran cannot compete globally. A non-existent “threat” is contrived to bring Iran to its knees via sanctions, and voila, Iranian oil can’t flow into the market place, further driving the cost of crude downward.

        Does anyone seriously entertain the notion that Iran can develop a modern nuclear weapon, a delivery system for that weapon, and a large enough arsenal of missiles mated to bombs that they actually would dare to launch a nuclear attack against Israel or the United States?How long? As Brian contends, ten years or less? (You gotta be kidding.) Twenty years, despite the inspections mandated in this deal? Thirty??

        This ain’t about a weapons threat. Its about a threat to Israel’s, Saudi Arabia’s, and the United States’ power in the region. We are still paying for the last war we were bullshitted into, and the middle east is on fire due to that blunder. Rummie told us it would last no longer than five months. Powell told us he knew where the WMDs were. Rice told us we were looking at a mushroom cloud. The iraqi oil was gonna pay for the adventure. Israel told us we needed to invade sooner than later to avoid an attack by Iraqi WMDs. And finally, Bush told us “mission accomplished” and “hostilities are over”.

        Here we go again. Are we really that ignorant?

      2. Rod, the argument amounts to quibbling. There are linguistic, historic, cultural and polutical differewnce between Arab sociewties and the societies of Turkey and Iran.The Jews of these two countries have received decidedly different treatment than the Jews of Arab States, Poa proves nothing by pointing this out.

        1. Charles….

          Browsing through your comments, I note that you offer nothing substantial here. Dubious opinion, and claims lacking substantive sourcing.

          Despite being shown an example of the Israeli Defense Minister waging the threat of a pre-emptive nuclear strike, you deny such threats have been made. You claim that most Israelis do not desire a pre-emptive military action, while offering nothing to substantiate your claim.

          Point of fact, racism is on the rise in Israel, particulary amongst young jewish adults. Don’t take my word for it, do a little research. Or simply lie, and deny it.

          I find it impossible to take you serious as long as you just type short unsubstantiated assertions that fly in the face of the facts, even when you are shown evidence that your assertions are BS.

  4. He was attempting to make a “point”???

    Hmmmm…..I missed it too.

    Other than me being an an anti-semite, the threats made by Israel’s defence minister being irrelevent……golly, there must be another point in there somewhere…..

  5. Regarding the actual subject of Rod’s post, I watched the first part of “Dragon’s Tail” earlier this week. I have the DVR set to record the second part, which presumably goes into nuclear electric power development.

    There were some aspects of the first episode I liked, and some aspects I didn’t. The presenter did a great job in showing how uranium and radioactivity are completely NATURAL, and did not always create fear amongst the public. The history presented was accurate for the most part, but I suppose some things were left out for brevity. No mention was made, as I recall, that the New Mexico test device was a plutonium bomb. An uninformed viewer would have thought that it must have been a uranium bomb.

    Near the end of the first part, the depiction of radiation sickness, showing Japanese people horribly disfigured by burns was a little misleading I thought. Depending on the dose, the main effect of acute radiation poisoning is the attack on people’s digestive tracts, not burns to the skin. Nevil Shute’s On the Beach gives a sadly more accurate description of radiation sickness. I think the conventional firebombings of Tokyo earlier in the war would have produced just as many disfiguring burn injuries, and certainly destroyed large areas of the city.

    1. Pete 51,
      I agree. Acute radiation sickness kills the intestinal epithelium. If electrolytes are replaced the intestinal mucosa will return in a matter of days. If survival of this phase of radiation sickness occurs the patient may need blood transfusions in the second phase because the bone marrow will have been damaged so that RBCs are not being produced. It will take a few weeks for the bone marrow to regenerate. If the bone marrow is wiped out the only hope is a bone marrow transplant. We talking about a large dose all at one time, about 400 to 500 mSv for LD50. It is interesting that A bomb victims are out living their fellow countrymen.

      The LNT also got in the way. Since the amount of radiation in the exclusion zone was so low that the continuing restriction is not necessary at Fukushima.

      1. @John Tjostem

        I think you might have made a unit conversion error. LD50 is 4-5 Sv, or 400-500 Rem. 400-500 mSv would most likely not result in any immediately detectable health problems.

        1. Thank you Rod for the correction. I realized the mistake and I came to make the change and you had already caught it.

  6. “There were some aspects of the first episode I liked, and some aspects I didn’t. The presenter did a great job in showing how uranium and radioactivity are completely NATURAL, and did not always create fear amongst the public”

    I am old enough to remember when the atom was our new hero. Nuclear powered ships were modern marvels, and animated Disney style ads on TV touted this new and wonderful source of energy.

    And I am also old enough to remember the TWA pilot, the father of one of my chums, spreading the word through the nieghborhood kids that he had a Thompson sub-machine gun, and would shoot whoever tried to get in his bomb shelter when the russians sent their missiles at us.

    With this knowledge, we kiddies plodded off to grade school, where our teacher would scream “DROP” at the top of her lungs, and we all would scurry under our desks, careful to face away from the windows that we were informed would throw great amounts of sharp shards at us as they shattered from the nuclear blasts.

    Which campaign do you think carried the loudest message to our young brains?

    You all have an uphill battle separating the atom from the apocalypse in the minds of the public. And if you don’t engage in this debate about Iran’s nuclear intent and rights under the NPT, you aren’t doing yourselves any favors.

    1. And if you don’t engage in this debate about Iran’s nuclear intent and rights under the NPT, you aren’t doing yourselves any favors.

      I know very well what the NPT says about nations’ rights to develop peaceful nuclear energy. I also know how Iran purposefully kept several parts of its nuclear program secret until outed by internal dissidents. The Iranians have not been cooperative with the IAEA. I don’t know for a fact Iran is attempting to develop nuclear weapons. I do believe they want all of their neighbors in the region to believe the Iranians are capable of such technology. This may allow them to intimidate their neighbors, or something. Anyway, its all coming down to a slow-developing three-way (or more) regional civil war. You might be surprised to learn of some major recent cooperation between the Arab states and Israel in thwarting the Iranian and ISIS threats. Israel helping Egypt in the Sinai to fight ISIS. Israel recently sold attack helicopters to Jordan. These things would be unthinkable a generation ago.

      1. From the Council on Foreign Relations:

        http://blogs.cfr.org/zenko/2015/03/31/putting-iran-nuclear-program-in-context/

        It is essential to recognize that Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapons program, nor does it possess a nuclear weapon. On February 26, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Ayatollah Khomenei, the supreme leader of Iran, ended his country’s nuclear weapons program in 2003 and “as far as we know, he’s not made the decision to go for a nuclear weapon.” This repeats the “high-confidence” judgement of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) that was first made in November 2007. Clapper added that Iran “wants to preserve options across the capabilities it would take to build [a nuclear weapon], but right now they don’t have one, and have not made that decision.”

  7. Good grief. Not another Arab sympathizer trolling a good blog. Go away and let us focus on nuclear matters.

    I’m glad I normally see this blog in the Nuclear Industry News where the comments are only rarely included.

    1. “Good grief. Not another Arab sympathizer trolling a good blog. Go away and let us focus on nuclear matters”

      Actually, I don’t recall seeing you before, so who is the “troll”? The odds are far greater that you are simply a hasbarist, such as who invariably crawl out of the woodwork to launch attacks such as you just did when strong criyicism of Israel is waged.

      Ok, now launch into the ‘ol “anti-semite” meme. Its obvious you won’t debate with substance.

  8. “You might be surprised to learn of some major recent cooperation between the Arab states and Israel in thwarting the Iranian and ISIS threats. ”

    The Iranian and ISIS threats??? Do you have any idea how bizzarre that statement is?

    ISIS is Sunni, Iran is Shiite.

    IRAN IS ON THE GROUND FIGHTING ISIS IN IRAQ.

    Are we or the Israelis? Jordan? Egypt?

    Egads.

    1. ISIS is Sunni, Iran is Shiite.

      And both are threats to the Powers That Be in the Arab oil states. Like I stated above, it is a three-way (or more) regional conflict. Now we even have Turkey getting into the fray attacking ISIS and the Kurds (some of whom we like, some we don’t like. The Iraqi Kurds are the “good” Kurds.The socialist PKK Kurds are the “bad” kurds.)

      Americans generally like our wars as us versus them- two sided, perhaps with allies on each side. The situation is the Middle East is far more complicated, and is becoming more complicated with the rise of ISIS and the nuclear technology developing Iran. It is time to let go of your preconceived notions of the way things are.

      1. “It is time to let go of your preconceived notions of the way things are.”

        Thanks for the chuckle. Watch the video I just posted, and pay careful attention to what Queen Noor of Jordan has to say. Coupled with your comment about Egypt/ Israel military cooperation on the Sinai ISIS threat, you might wanna reconsider who needs to examine their “notions”.

  9. BTW Pete, I suggest you get your facts straight….

    Here is an excerpt from today’s online Middle East Monitor……

    “Egypt slams Israeli warning about attacking ‘terrorists’ in Sinai”

    “Egyptian officials have criticised Israeli warnings about carrying out a “pre-emptive” strike against Wilayat Sinai (affiliated to ISIS), Quds Press reported on Friday.”

    “These remarks have no value,” the sources were quoted by Al-Watan newspaper. “The Egyptian army will not allow any Israeli violation on even a tiny piece of Egyptian land. It is able to face terror without external support.”

    “On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Israeli army, Avichay Adraee, posted on Facebook, “If Wilayat Sinai attempted to target our citizens, we have to strictly carry out a pre-emptive attack against it.”

    “Adraee quoted the Commander of the Southern District in the Israeli army: “Terrorism, led by Ansar Baytul-Maqdis, known today as Wilayat Sinai, is escalating in Sinai. This organisation pledges to target Israeli citizens and Israeli army. It could fulfil its pledges any time.” The dramatic changes on the other side of the [Israeli] borders require getting prepared for any scenario or deterioration of the security situation, added the senior officer.”

    End excerpt.

  10. Rod:

    Thanks for the post.

    One small thing to be noted is how the writer H. G. Wells influenced these people. Good writers can have a tremendous influence.

  11. Well, on Rod’s side side of the debate….

    http://tinyurl.com/plt6k6m

    Excerpt…..

    The real cause of the continuing consternation over the Iran deal is a linkage between regional pride and energy supremacy. Iran’s vast oil and gas reserves would compete in the global market and could lead to greater price volatility. More importantly, the deal looks set to reboot an economy that has been starved by sanctions for three decades. With a citizenry that boasts some of the highest university graduation rates for men and women in the region, Iran could capitalise on this cash influx for major economic growth.

    Israel is most concerned that such growth could give Iran greater latitude in funding Islamist militant groups such as Lebanon-based Hezbollah. However, if the funding of terrorists is the primary concern, the target of action should be the transactions themselves, which would mean working with the Lebanese government to prevent them. Punishing a nation of almost 80 million people over a relatively narrow issue is unjustifiable, particularly given the past documented history of strategic manipulation of Iran’s vulnerability by regional powers.

    Furthermore, Iran’s economic growth is likely to have the same kind of emancipating impact on regional relations that we have seen in China’s thawing relationship with Taiwan. Iran and Israel had strong ties before the 1979 revolution, and economic cooperation might well trump the political hardliners in due course

  12. I just realized. Has anyone on this thread offered even a small snippet of an idea what an alternative to this “deal” might be? Unilateral sanctions? Thats a dead end obviously. One nation imposing sanctions? Toothless.

    So whats the alternative? Charles? John? Pete? Should we just assume you think war with Iran is a good idea?

    1. I don’t know if anyone here knows what is the “deal”, but for starters, we could have the same deal, except free the international political prisoners.

  13. Rod, you need an off-topic forum for this political crap. This is getting ridiculous.

    1. @Cory Stansbury

      I understand your perspective, but it’s hard to discuss making progress in nuclear energy development without “political crap” intruding. This is not a purely technical question or a primarily technical forum.

    2. Seconded.

      A feature to ignore the comments of one of the more prolific “contributors” to this site might also be an option. The comments section on the website of The Washington Post offers such feature, for example.

      1. @Brian Mays

        I suppose I also understand your perspective, but you often participate in the “political crap” diversions. I don’t know why it seems difficult for some people to simply ignore extraneous or uninteresting comment threads. It’s certainly possible to just read the main articles and skip comments altogether; that is my approach to most NY Times or WSJ articles.

        1. … but you often participate in the “political crap” diversions.

          Get dragged into them is probably a more accurate description, but yeah, guilty as charged. Sometimes it’s just too tempting to play devil’s advocate to someone who is enjoying too much time on his high horse or on his soap box. I’m in a twelve-step program to get out of this addition. If you haven’t noticed, I comment much less frequently on these trash threads than I used to in previous years. I’m trying to stay on the wagon.

          I think that what Cory and I are saying is that much of this stuff is just a pointless distraction. Rather than adding value to your blog, it removes value. It allows others to co-opt your blog for their own ends. Whether or not they are part of an organized movement (as has been suggested) doesn’t matter.

          Does your audience really need yet another rant on Israel by POA, for example? Remember, “troll” is a part of “control.” You can’t have the latter without taking care of the former.

      2. “Seconded.”

        That might be because everytime you get into it you show yourself to be remarkably un-informed and ill-informed.

        The current state of affairs between Israel and the United States over Iran’s nuclear ambitions has HUGE ramifications for the middle east, and possibly the entire global community. It is far too important an issue to take second fiddle to practically any issue I can imagine. And it is far too important an issue to fall prey to the usual partisan media propaganda that gives rise to the kind of implanted blind ignorance that the public seems to be more and more subceptable to.

        The agents of a foriegn goverment, in the form of deep pocket lobbying groups, such as AIPAC, and a number of other entities serving the same interest, are currently flooding our airwaves with advertisements seeking to derail any internationally supported deal forged with Iran. This is a no holds bared effort to influence the foriegn policy of the United States, contrary to our own security, to serve the agenda of a foriegn nation. This should be of concern to all citizens of the United States, not just to a very few that are paying attention.

        Its seems some of you are content to live in a bubble, and would rather not confront issues that fall outside your bubble. But guess what? If we go to war with Iran because of Israel’s efforts, your bubble is going to be popped wide open.

        What amazes me about it is this really isn’t outside your bubble. Yet most of you stand mute and meek. And remarkably ill-informed, if those who have spoken up are any indication. Keep your heads in the sand, and when you finally have the guts to pull them out you may just discover your kids are being shipped off to the middle east for another round of dying for lies.

        1. And … here is exactly what I was talking about in the comment that Rod has yet to get through his automatic comment moderation system.

          1. Brian…..

            Whats your story? Can’t debate the facts, so you choose to work to censor?

            Why don’t you just ignore threads like this one, Brian?

            Or does the truth just bother you too much?

          2. I’m just agreeing with Cory. Why don’t you go badger him?

            The WP’s feature doesn’t “censor”; it merely allows someone with an account on their system to shut off the garbage posted from another account. It’s useful if you don’t want to waste your time plodding through racist tirades, spam, and other such boring and nonproductive stuff. Everyone else (who don’t elect to “ignore” it) can read the garbage. There is no censorship unless the system administrators choose to delete a comment because it violates their policies.

          3. Rod – I was just thinking out loud. If I had the answer, I’d develop it, patent it, and either sell it for a very small fee or make boatloads of money from advertising by having it implemented on all of the various blogs out there.

            Having spent years on DailyKos, the one thing that I don’t recommend is an online community policing itself with a “Bozo Feature,” because I have seen how it just leads to online bullying. It’s one thing when the bully sweeps down and hurls abuse whenever one bothers to make a comment (examples here are not difficult to find … see above), but allowing bullies to completely silence someone without redress is counterproductive to having an intelligent conversation. If you ask David Jones, I think that he would agree.

            I stand by my support of what Cory said. You’re letting too many of the comment threads on your blog be hijacked by just a handful of people. (Strangely, many of the usual suspects are conspicuously absent at the moment, but it is summer and perhaps they are on vacation from their day jobs … more later.)

            If that’s the way you want it, then fine, but I think that this policy will drive away more readers than it will attract, and certainly, the quality of the readers who stick around will be adversely affected as well.

            That’s just my two cents. Take it or leave it. It’s your blog. Carry on and bonne chance!

        2. For instance….. (google if you want the whole article. Links seem to make posts disappear here.)

          “The American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF), the educational wing of hardline right-wing pro-Israel lobbying organization the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is taking all but three freshmen US lawmakers on a tour of Israel, in hopes of turning them against the Iran nuclear deal.”

          “Over 50 US congresspeople will meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu in Israel in August.”

          “Two separate trips are being organized along partisan lines—one for Democrats, and another for Republicans.”

          The Democrat trip begins on August 3, and will be led by House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland).

          The Republican trip begins on August 8, and will be led by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California).

        3. More…from USA Today…..

          “As the Senate opens a two-month congressional review of the nuclear agreement with Iran on Thursday, opponents of the deal are spending tens of millions of dollars to rally the American public and U.S. lawmakers against it.”

          “The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran, United Against a Nuclear Iran and the Republican Jewish Coalition are among groups that will spend between $20 million and $40 million to blast the deal with TV commercials that began airing last Friday, social media ads and new websites that include alleged flaws in the agreement and contact information for members of Congress.”

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