Saturday, April 08, 2006
Bush Plans a Nuclear War Against Iran
. . . at least four hundred targets would have to be hit . . . Some of the facilities may be too difficult to target even with penetrating weapons . . . One of the militaryÂs initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this winter, calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites . . . the conventional weapons in the American arsenal could not insure the destruction of facilities under seventy-five feet of earth and rock, especially if they are reinforced with concrete . . . The lack of reliable intelligence leaves military planners, given the goal of totally destroying the sites, little choice but to consider the use of tactical nuclear weapons. "Every other option, in the view of the nuclear weaponeers, would leave a gap," the former senior intelligence official said. " 'Decisive' is the key word of the Air Force's planning. It's a tough decision. But we made it in Japan." He went on, "Nuclear planners go through extensive training and learn the technical details of damage and fallout -- we're talking about mushroom clouds, radiation, mass casualties, and contamination over years. This is not an underground nuclear test, where all you see is the earth raised a little bit. These politicians don't have a clue, and whenever anybody tries to get it out -- remove the nuclear option -- they're shouted down." The attention given to the nuclear option has created serious misgivings inside the offices of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he added, and some officers have talked about resigning. Late this winter, the Joint Chiefs of Staff sought to remove the nuclear option from the evolving war plans for Iran --without success, the former intelligence official said. "The White House said, 'Why are you challenging this? The option came from you.' " . . . “There are very strong sentiments within the military against brandishing nuclear weapons against other countries,” the adviser told me. “This goes to high levels.” The matter may soon reach a decisive point, he said, because the Joint Chiefs had agreed to give President Bush a formal recommendation stating that they are strongly opposed to considering the nuclear option for Iran. “The internal debate on this has hardened in recent weeks,” the adviser said. “And, if senior Pentagon officers express their opposition to the use of offensive nuclear weapons, then it will never happen.” The adviser added, however, that the idea of using tactical nuclear weapons in such situations has gained support from the Defense Science Board, an advisory panel whose members are selected by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. “They’re telling the Pentagon that we can build the B61 with more blast and less radiation,” he said. The chairman of the Defense Science Board is William Schneider, Jr., an Under-Secretary of State in the Reagan Administration. In January, 2001, as President Bush prepared to take office, Schneider served on an ad-hoc panel on nuclear forces sponsored by the National Institute for Public Policy, a conservative think tank. The panel’s report recommended treating tactical nuclear weapons as an essential part of the U.S. arsenal and noted their suitability “for those occasions when the certain and prompt destruction of high priority targets is essential and beyond the promise of conventional weapons.” Several signers of the report are now prominent members of the Bush Administration, including Stephen Hadley, the national-security adviser; Stephen Cambone, the Under-Secretary of Defense for Intelligence; and Robert Joseph, the Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. (Link)
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
"The Iraqi resistance high command asked al-Zarqawi to give up his political role and replaced him with an Iraqi because of several mistakes," said Mr Azzam in an interview with al-Arabiya, the Arabic news channel. "Al-Zarqawi’s role has been limited to military action," he said.
The fugitive al-Qaeda leader, who has a $25 million American bounty on his head, is credited with masterminding some of the bloodiest episodes in the Iraqi war, including suicide bombings against the United Nations, Shia Muslims and US forces and the videotaped execution of Western and other hostages.
But his tactics have alienated many Iraqis, even those sympathetic to the insurgency. Mr Azzam, whose father is known as the "prince of the Mujahidin", said that he was accused of "creating an independent group" in Iraq, "making political mistakes" and hijacking the Iraqi insurgency for his own cause.