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The White House on Monday said it had little information about Egypt's plans to relaunch its nuclear power program but declared itself "generally supportive" of civilian atomic power.
"I don't know a lot about it. In general, we are supportive of countries pursuing civil nuclear energy. It's clean burning. It provides electricity in a clean-burning and affordable way for citizens," said spokeswoman Dana Perino.
"We are working with some countries in order to help them get there. But in regards to the Egyptian program, that report just came across. I don't know any more specifics about it," Perino told reporters.
She was speaking shortly after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said that Egypt planned to build several nuclear power stations, relaunching a nuclear program frozen more than 20 years ago.
Egypt initiated a nuclear energy programme in the 1970s but abandoned it in 1986 after the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe. Mubarak's regime recently outlined plans to revive it.
Secret move to upgrade air base for Iran attack plans
The US is secretly upgrading special stealth bomber hangars on the British island protectorate of
in the Indian Ocean in preparation for strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities, according to military sources.
The improvement of the B1 Spirit jet infrastructure coincides with an "urgent operational need" request for £44m to fit racks to the long-range aircraft.
That would allow them to carry experimental 15-ton Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) bombs designed to smash underground bunkers buried as much as 200ft beneath the surface through reinforced concrete.
One MOP - known as Big Blu - has already been tested successfully at the US Air Force proving ground at White Sands in New Mexico. Tenders have now gone out for a production model to be ready for use in the next nine months.
The "static tunnel lethality test" on March 14 completely destroyed a mock-up of the kind of underground facility used to house Iran's nuclear centrifuge arrays at Natanz, about 150 miles from the capital, Tehran.
Although intelligence estimates vary as to when Iran will achieve the know-how for a bomb, the French government recently received a memo from the International Atomic Energy Agency stating that Iran will be ready to run almost 3000 centrifuges in 18 cascades by the end of this month. That is in defiance of a UN ban on uranium enrichment and would be enough to produce a nuclear weapon within a year.
Diego Garcia, part of Britain's Indian Ocean Territory, has several current missions. US Air Force bombers and Awacs surveillance planes operate from its 12,000ft runway and the USAF Space Command has built a satellite tracking station and communications facility.
The Ministry of Defence says the US government would need Britain's permission to use the island for offensive action. It has already been used for strategic strike missions during the 1991 and 2003 Gulf wars against Iraq.
The UK "sovereign territory" has a garrison of 50 British and 3200 US military personnel.
The atoll, the largest in the Chagos Archipelago chain, lies about 1000 miles from the southern coasts of India and Sri Lanka. It is ideally placed for strategic missions in the Middle East.
The US Department of Defence request for special bomb racks was hidden in a £95bn request to the US Congress last week for extra emergency funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The new Big Blu bomb is 20ft long, weighs 30,000lb and carries 6000lb of high explosives. It is designed to go deeper than even existing nuclear bunker-busting weapons.
The bomb is designed to be dropped from as great a height as possible to achieve maximum velocity and penetrating power, guided on to target by satellite and accurate to within a few feet.
Each B2 bomber would be able to carry only one weapon because of its weight. The B2s, normally based at Barksdale, Missouri, flew round-trip strikes against Baghdad in 2003, but would ideally be positioned closer to its targets for missions against Iran.
The Pentagon has drawn up contingency plans for a range of attacks on Iran. The likeliest is a five-day bombardment, aiming to disable nuclear facilities and all major airbases and radar facilities; the most devastating would involve air and cruise missile attacks on 1000 targets, including headquarters and barracks of the Iranian Republican Guard Corps, over more than a month.
The US branded the Revolutionary Guards a terrorist organisation last week in the latest round of diplomatic sanctions against Tehran.
WHY HR 1955 WAS RAMMED THROUGH UNDER COVER OF FIRE
"Paper is poverty, .... it is only the ghost of money, and not money
itself." -- Thomas Jefferson, 1788
Last week while the horrific fires were burning up Southern California
and every major news network, including cable were providing non-stop
coverage, a very dangerous bill to liberty and freedom was passed by 404
members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Called the 'Violent
Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007'
"First let's take a look at the definitions of violent radicalization
and homegrown terrorism as defined in Section 899A of the bill. The
definition of violent radicalization uses vague language to define this
term of promoting any belief system that the government considers to be
an extremist agenda. Since the bill doesn't specifically define what an
extremist belief system is, it is entirely up to the interpretation of
the government. Considering how much the government has done to destroy
the Constitution they could even define Ron Paul supporters as promoting
an extremist belief system. Literally, the government according to this
definition can define whatever they want as an extremist belief system.
Essentially they have defined violent radicalization as thought crime."
Bush and Cheney are steering the U.S. into a collapse. Only strong public voices by influential people can prevent the coming disaster. We desperately need for men and women who are known to the public and have credibility to speak up in the critical period ahead to avoid catastrophe.
A few weeks ago, Israel bombed a alleged nuclear facility in Syria. This is a warm-up for an attack on Iran.
In the last few days, the U.S. unilaterally tightened sanctions on Iran. Russia and China do not support this move.
A week ago Bush warned Iran that its attainment of nuclear arms would lead to World War III.
Russia, which has been assisting Iran in its nuclear construction program for decades, regards Western military action against Iran as unacceptable.
China has been arming Iran with missiles. Its relations with Iran have been improving for years.
We know that Bush and Cheney are capable of pre-emptive attack. We know that Bush will act if he believes he is right no matter what the costs are. In his distorted worldview, Iran with nuclear weapons is a scenario worth any cost to avoid.
We know that Bush, Cheney, and Rice have repeatedly warned Iran of meaningful consequences if Iran arms itself with nuclear weapons. We know that their terms in office end in 15 months. These are the critical months.
But it is by no means clear that the front-running candidates for office who may replace them hold substantially different views. Hillary Clinton has publicly called for sanctions against Iran and has called Iran a threat to Israel.
Why may an unprovoked attack on Iran lead to WWIII and why may it lead to the collapse of the U.S.?
Imagine this scenario. The U.S. encourages Israel to bomb the Natanz nuclear facility in Iran. Russia attempts to restrain an Iranian response but fails. Iran responds in any of many ways, such as launching missiles on Israel, firing on shipping in the Straits of Hormuz, mining the Straits of Hormuz, sending troops into Iraq, or allying its military with Hezbollah and attacking Israel from Lebanon.
The U.S., citing Iran’s aggressions (that will be the story), launches a full-scale attack on Iran designed to devastate the country. This attack has actually been planned by the U.S. for years. Syria is unable to maintain neutrality and quickly becomes a battleground between Iran and Israel.
The price of oil by this point has already soared to $200 a barrel. The U.S. begins to use its strategic reserve and to divert Iraqi production. Russia responds by taking steps to prevent its oil production from reaching the U.S. China responds by cutting off its support of the U.S. Treasury market. Venezuela halts oil shipments to the U.S. The first stages of WWIII are economic warfare designed to cripple the U.S. and halt its war-making capacity.
The U.S., unable to finance its deficits and fund its sovereign debt, is forced into raising interest rates drastically in order to borrow. The Fed is forced to print money. An inflationary spiral occurs. Meanwhile the high interest rates and high oil prices, not to mention the shock of a spreading conflict, drive the U.S. economy into severe decline. The U.S. attempts to raise taxes in order to fund itself, further crippling the economy. Gold soars to $1,500–$2,000 an ounce.
The U.S. attempts to bolster its military forces. The draft is reinstated. The severity of the emergency allows Bush and Cheney to assume emergency powers and begin a dictatorship. Elections are postponed.
The U.S. collapses.
Unfortunately, even if this scenario does not occur, the position of the U.S. is so precarious that any number of other scenarios equally disastrous lie in wait. This house needs urgently to be put in order or it will fall, and especially if it does not terminate its imperial adventures. The very fact that Bush and Cheney (or any major U.S. political officials) gain by starting WWIII is a terrible indictment of our entire political system.
Who can stop this? Who can prevent this? It will only take a few well-placed people to prevent this catastrophe. My guess is 5–20 people could sway public opinion against war or provide enough cover for Congressional dissenters to screw up their courage. Maybe even as few as 3 or 4 influential people could derail the Bush-Cheney train to disaster. They need to speak out at the right times and they must be heard. Previously mute or muted voices simply must speak out. They know who they are. They know that their silence will mean silent approval of a U.S. collapse.
October 27, 2007
Michael S. Rozeff [send him mail] is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York.