Bush, Pakistan and the Bomb

This article from today’s International Herald Tribune gives an excellent example of what Chalmers Johnson calls “blowback”, from the title of his 2000 book (revised ed. 2004) Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, in which he essentially predicted a 9/11-like attack as one of the “unintended consequences” of American policy towards so-called “developing nations” in the 20th century.

Johnathan Schell, author of a recent book on current nuclear dangers, argues that Pakistan was effectively all those things claimed of Iraq (ruled by a dictator, albeit one less cruel than Saddam Hussein al-Majid al-Tikriti; supported and harbored terrorists; possessed nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons programs and facilitated proliferation) but because “they were on our side” Bush overlooked both the possession and attempted proliferation of nukes. He sketches a disturbing picture of the possibility of proliferation run amok should Pakistan’s current internal turmoil reach a critical state. Anyone who cares about anything pertaining to the issues of terrorism, nuclear weapons, and Bush’s “you’re for us or you’re against us” and pre-emptive war doctrine should read this article.

In a related article, Gary Sick compares the current situation in Pakistan to the breakdown of the Shah of Iran’s regime and the Islamic Revolution that placed the Ayatollah in power.

We have constantly supported regimes whose methods and actions contradict our stated ideals of democracy and freedom while spreading so-called “free markets” all over the world, conveniently ignoring the fact that our economic development not only utilized but even depended on (and still depends on) the kinds of internal protections we deny other nations through agencies such as the IMF and WTO. The situation in Pakistan is another chapter in this long history of American imperialism, and I fear people in America and all over the world will continue to suffer the consequences through terrorism, domestic unrest, repressive government and police actions, and other effects.

Chalmers Johnson, “Blowback”, from The Nation, Sept. 27, 2001
Summery of Blowback from Third World Traveller

Super Bomb!

So I just watched a little AP news cast on the new Super Bomb. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/68556170-60ff-11dc-bf25-0000779fd2ac.html

What I found interesting about the video I watched was a few things.

1. This bomb is better for the environment. Keeping up with the line of eco-friendly products coming out this fall Russia has made their bomb as powerful as a Nuke, but without the fallout or nuclear winter, yay! So at least when you and your family are maimed or dead the world will continue with non-nuclear air.

2. The U.S. was claimed to be unthreatened by this and this is not the start of a new arms race. I have to wonder though does it matter at this point if there is an arms race at all? We already have enough to destroy the world why not add enough to destroy any life in the solar system?

3. Allegedly though the people of the world should not be afraid. The report says that this is more to show the people of Russia how powerful their military is.

So my plea to Americans. Please don’t be afraid of Russia and their eco-friendly bomb. Be afraid of your own country with their environmentally unfriendly line of weapons. Perhaps we all can get the Sierra Club to start a petition to have the U.S. trade out its nuclear bombs for these eco-friendly ones? Whose with me?

Iran and Nuclear Energy

Given the connections we hear on the official news and in the government’s pronunciations literally every day, probably multiple times per day, between Iran and terrorism, one cannot help but get the strong impression that the only (or at least primary) motives Iran would have for wanting nuclear power would be military. We have been so influenced by this dominant dialogue that other possibilities are not likely to come to mind; however, a very strong and reasonable voice does exist in the media and in academic and diplomatic enquiry to suggest that Iran perhaps actually perceives an actual need for nuclear energy for domestic use – and furthermore, it appears this need may actually exist.

While the technology to generate electricity by nuclear means is closely related to the technology to make bombs, a relation that cannot be discounted, we tend to be so quick to jump to judgment of Iran based on what we hear from our government and media masters and therefore discount other possibilities (this aside from the fact that, if I were Mahmoud Ahmadinejad I would sure as heck want anything I could get to protect my country from perceived American imperialism, but that’s beside the point). These are some articles from the past few years that discuss the possible need for domestic energy production in Iran, that they see nuclear as the best solution to that problem, and that they (understandably) want to control the process themselves without interference from the international lobby (which they see, not without some justification, as being essentially an extension of US interests), and discussion of other related questions.

The articles come from an array of sources and offer different arguments and perspectives so you can be more informed without feeling like I’m trying to ram a point down your throat – I don’t necessarily think nuclear power is a good option for anyone for any reason, but I think people ought to understand that there is far more at play here than a simple issue of “terrorism” and nuclear weapons.

Energy: Iran needs nuclear power – analysis from the International Herald-Tribune, 2003

Iran needs nuclear energy, not weapons – from Le Monde diplomatique, 2005

Iran needs nuclear energy for for its economic survival – from Payvand News, July 9, 2007.

Q & A on Iran and the nuclear issue – from BBC News, September 3, 2007

Potentially disturbing news from the Middle East

Absolution Revolution has moved! You can read this article at http://absolutionrevolution.com/blog/2007/01/09/potentially-disturbing-news-from-the-middle-east/