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This is about one thing, and one thing only.


Having learned from the Israeli destruction of the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak, the Iranians have taken the step of locating most of their facilities well beneath the surface. Further, they've located many of them beneth civilian centers.

The Israelis (military) remain convinced that they can take out these facilities with conventional weapons, but the US has been working for several years to conduct conventional tests to simulate the effect of a low yield nuclear weapon on geological formations similiar to the conditions at Iranian facilities.

The name of this program is Divine Strake, officaly it has been cancelled due to intense public opposition in Nevada, and later in Indiana when news leaked of an intended test in that state.  In the latter case, the test was to occur in a limestone quarry in the southern part of the state.  Although the test consisted of multiple tons of conventional high yield explosives, the  yield being appromiately 0.5 kiloton, roughly in the same range as nuclear artillery deployed by the US in Europe during the Cold War. (It may have taken the Soviets 15 minutes to take Berlin, but a nuclear counterforce option could have annihlated a Soviet tank division crossing through the Fulda Gap.)

The point of nuclear weapons is that by raising the stakes of conflict to unacceptable levels, they help ensure peace.  That's MAD doctrine, mutually assured destruction, however a second doctrine called NUTs, nuclear utilization theory (no I am not making this up), argues for the development of subkiliton weapons to fill the gap between the blockbusters of the Second World War and Thermonuclear Armageddeon.

Would you like to play a game? (Y/N)  

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 05:31:52 AM EST
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And Iran is about one thing and one thing only: oil.

Iran has nothing to do with security or proliferation or any of the otherf nonsense. Iran is another oil grab by Washington and the Saudis.

Peace with Iran is the worst possible outcome, because the oil keeps flowing, a hostile-ish state entrenches itself in one of the most useful positions on the game board, and it decreases the financial leverage of both the Saudis and the Washington Oil cabal.

War would push up prices, constrict supplies, enhance the stability of the rather wobbly Saudi regimes (at least they believe it would - whether it would actually do that is a different issue), and increase the possibility of a sympathetic new government (qv 'puppet') in Iran.

Threatening a nuclear first strike seems harsh, but it's all part of the same campaign of political pressure.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 07:08:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is not just about Iran. It's also about Russia. New Napoleonic call to burn Moscow, unless it comes to fold.
by vladimir on Wed Jan 23rd, 2008 at 11:07:13 AM EST
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