Nuking Hezbollah

In his 2002 State of the Union Address, President Bush threw down the gauntlet before Iraq, North Korea and Iran.

“States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.

“I will not wait on events, while dangers gather. I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world’s most destructive weapons.”

He claimed to have “intelligence” that Iraq, North Korea [DPRK] and Iran – all signatories to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and subject to the Safeguards regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency – each had illicit un-detected nuke development programs.

We now know that by September, 2002, Bush had already made the decision to effect “regime change” in Iraq by launching a pre-emptive invasion.

Bush-Cheney intended to use as their principal rationale their “intelligence” that Saddam intended to give the nukes he was allegedly constructing to terrorists.

You see, the public opinion polls told them the only rationale acceptable to you soccer-moms for launching pre-emptive attacks on Iraq, Iran and DPRK would be the prospect of being nuked in your jammies by terrorists.

Of course, to get you soccer-moms really scared, they would have to either discredit the IAEA or provoke Iraq, Iran and DPRK into withdrawing from the NPT (and, hence, the IAEA Safeguards regime).

So, in September 2002, a Bush-Cheney munchkin claimed that a DPRK diplomat told him at a cocktail party that the DPRK had a secret uranium-enrichment program.

DPRK officials immediately and vehemently denied it. All DPRK nuclear programs had been subject to IAEA lock, seal and continuous surveillance under the US-IAEA-DPRK Agreed Framework of 1994.

If Bush-Cheney actually had such intelligence, it should have been provided – as the NPT requires – to the IAEA to be checked out. But apparently there was no intelligence to provide.

Nevertheless, in October, Bush-Cheney unilaterally abrogated the Agreed Framework – by ceasing requisite oil shipments – and in November DPRK gave notice it was withdrawing from the NPT.

There is no doubt that – thanks to Bush-Cheney – DPRK now has sufficient fissile material to make 10-12 nukes, and may have the nukes, themselves.

In November, Bush-Cheney demanded that Saddam allow unconditional inspections of Iraq by the IAEA, never dreaming Saddam, having (literally) nothing to hide, would welcome such inspections.

So, by March, when Bush-Cheney launched an unauthorized [by either Congress or the UN Security Council] war of aggression against Iraq, everybody except perhaps you soccer-moms knew Saddam didn’t have a secret nuke program.

That knowledge has made it somewhat difficult for Bush-Cheney to use the same “secret nuke program” script – with “Iran” substituted for “Iraq, and “mullahs” substituted for “Saddam” everywhere those words appear – to scare you into supporting another war of aggression and/or to provoke Iran into withdrawing from the NPT.

But, fortunately for Bush-Cheney, the Islamic jihadists in the Middle East have provided Israel an excuse – the capture of two Israeli soldiers – to invade the Gaza Strip and Lebanon and perhaps attack Syria and Iran.

And that, in turn, provides Bush-Cheney and Congress a rationale – much, much better than a non-existent nuclear weapons program – to launch a pre-emptive attack against Iran.

Last week, by an overwhelming margin, the House passed HR 922 [.pdf]: “Condemning cross-border terrorism against Israel by Hamas and Hezbollah and the complicity in these acts of terrorist aggression by Syria and Iran.”

“Whereas Hezbollah and Hamas are both responsible for the murder of dozens of United States citizens;

“Whereas Hezbollah and Hamas have regularly declared their enmity for the United States and their unwavering opposition to a negotiated settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict that will result in the State of Israel living side-by-side in peace with all of its neighbors, including a separate Palestinian state;

“Whereas Hezbollah and Hamas refuse to acknowledge the sovereignty of Israel and its right to exist;

“Whereas Hezbollah and Hamas are known proxies, and nearly wholly dependent on the patronage of Iran and Syria for arms, political direction and support, intelligence, and financial assistance; and

“Whereas Iran and Syria are the most active state sponsors of terrorism in the world

The House, inter allia,

“calls upon the international community to join with the United States in holding Iran and Syria accountable for their support for unprovoked international terrorist aggression against Israel.”

So, perhaps Bush-Cheney can now nuke Iran, even though the IAEA has verified Iran to be nuke-less.

Read more by Gordon Prather

Author: Gordon Prather

Physicist James Gordon Prather has served as a policy implementing official for national security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Army. Dr. Prather also served as legislative assistant for national security affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla. — ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and member of the Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations Committee. Dr. Prather had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico.