Sunday, June 04, 2006

Poor faith

The government in Iran has once called the United States the “Great Satan” (thanks God – well, whose God? – Iranians believe at least in the biblical Satan) and George W. Bush names Iran, with Iraq and North Korea, as the “axis of evil.” The other “evil empire,” by courtesy of Ronald Regan, was of course the former Soviet Union. Now that the parties have identified each other, one senior administration official, according to several news sources, believes one of them as regards the controversy over Iran’s pursuit of nuclear technology may intend to “negotiate in poor faith.”

The White House official was clearly alluding to Iran as the dishonest party. But some neoconservatives who are ideologues rather than realist and hawkish on foreign policy (i.e., it’s perfectly alright for them to use military force to prevent an imagined threat with or without the consensus of the “international community” or U.N. authority) were quick to denounce the supposedly radical diplomatic shift toward Iran, not since the Iranian Revolution, with which Condoleezza Rice, U.S. secretary of state, has surprised the world. A “betrayal” of the “Freedom Agenda,” the neocons carp at the announcement of Ms. Rice last week for direct negotiation with Iran subject to the condition that Iran agree to suspend uranium enrichment and processing activities.

The agenda is about the ideology President Bush also articulated during his second presidential inaugural address that the U.S. should lead the charge for the “success of liberty in other lands”; Rice’s overture about direct talks with Iran, “the leading terrorist nation in the world" according to U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, betrays the neoconservative creed.

Many may still remember the senior Bush toasting with Marcos, the Filipino tyrant, “for his adherence to democratic principles and the democratic process” at the height of the dictatorship. Wasn’t this a creedal betrayal?

According a U.S. Senate committee report, didn’t the U.S. approve private business sales of intermediate compound for biological weapons to Iraq during the massacre at the Iraqi Kurdish town of Halabja? This was in the face of a preliminary study at the time by Defense Intelligence Agency imputing to Iran the responsibility for the Halabja attack.

While U.S. denies it, weren’t there accounts to the effect that U.S. supported Osama bin Laden’s organization Maktab al-Khadamat, which served as conduit for financial support, arms and mujahideen fighters into the Afghan war?

And wasn’t the nuclear technology Iran has started under the Shah supplied by the U.S.?

Read in part below a Jan. 2006 commentary by Professor William O. Beeman of Brown University which provides a different perspective on the so-called nuclear standoff and go to the full piece here:
The White House staffers, who are trying to deny Iran the right to develop its own nuclear energy capacity, have conveniently forgotten that the United States was the midwife to the Iranian nuclear program 30 years ago. Every aspect of Iran’s current nuclear development was approved and encouraged by Washington in the 1970s. President Gerald Ford offered Iran a full nuclear cycle in 1976, and the only reactor currently about to become operative, the reactor in Bushire, was started before the Iranian revolution with U.S. approval.

Kenneth Timmerman, in Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran presents a misleading description of this plant, claiming again and again that the facility might be used to produce nuclear fuel.

As the late Tom Stauffer and I wrote in June, 2003, the Bushire (Bushehr) reactor--a “light water” reactor--does not produce weapons grade Plutonium. It produces Pu 240, Pu241 and Pu242. Although these isotopes could theoretically be weaponized, the process is extremely long and complicated, and also untried. To date no nuclear weapon has ever been produced with plutonium produced with the kind of reactor at Bushire. Moreover, the plant would have to be completely shut down to extract the fuel rods, making the process immediately open to detection and inspection. (The plant IS shut down to change the fuel rods, but only every 30-40 months to provide longer and better energy generation)

By contrast, the Dimona reactor in Israel--a “heavy water” reactor--is an example of a reactor that is ideal for producing weapons fuel. It produces Pu239 and the fuel rods can be extracted “on the fly” without any need to shut down the plant or alter its operation. The fuel rods are exchanged every few weeks.
Poor faith, bad faith or false faith?

Meanwhile, after speaking with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, the firebrand Iranian President, said on June 2 that Iran would study the proposal or “package of carrots and sticks” from the U.S., U.K., France, Russia, China (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council) and Germany.

Is Rice joining a peace offer or issuing an ultimatum?


Blogger R. O. said...

Haha, funny intro on Satanology vis-a-vis evil Iran-vs.-the evil west.

June 09, 2006 12:25 AM  
Blogger Abe N. Margallo said...


well, is it not that politics, like religion, is personal?; it is also "the continuation of war by other means" where both are simply means to a mutual end, presumably that of personal or self interest.

btw, you've got great entries in your blog.

June 09, 2006 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hallo I absolutely adore your site. You have beautiful graphics I have ever seen.

July 22, 2006 5:20 AM  

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