Sino-Russian Guarantees?

Did you see where Russia and China are conducting "unprecedented" joint military exercises "involving air, sea and land forces"?

Two countries possessing intercontinental ballistic missiles tipped with thermonuclear warheads!

Thousands of them!

All aimed at us!

Some concerned observers suppose the Sino-Russian exercises were meant to forestall a threatened pre-emptive nuke attack by Bush-Cheney on North Korea. Others – including some Russians and Chinese – suppose Bush-Cheney are more likely to preemptively nuke Iran.

Over and over Bush-Cheney tell the media we will only nuke North Korea or Iran as a ‘last resort’. Meanwhile, they claim to be pursuing a ‘diplomatic’ solution to the nuke "crises" in North Korea and Iran.

What crises?

Soon after September, 2001, Bush-Cheney and their media sycophants began claiming that Iraq, North Korea and Iran had ongoing nuke development programs, being conducted right under the noses and other sensors of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

In his first State of the Union address, Bush essentially threatened to preemptively "take out" all those alleged nuke programs.

When it became obvious to the whole world [as a result of months of IAEA go-anywhere see-anything inspections] that Iraq did not have the nuke program Bush alleged it did – and Bush launched a preemptive invasion, anyway – North Korea and Iran reacted very differently.

In October, 2002, Bush had unilaterally abrogated the agreement Bill Clinton obtained, whereby North Korea remained a signatory to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, but had all nuclear program activities "frozen," in return for a US promise (a) not to attack North Korea with nukes, (b) to provide them two large nuclear power plants, and (c) to provide free fuel oil until the nuclear power plants were operational.

So, on the eve of Bush’s impending preemptive attack on Iraq, North Korea announced it was withdrawing from the NPT, ejected IAEA verifiers, tore off the IAEA seals, began recovering "frozen" weapons-grade plutonium, restarted their plutonium-producing reactor, and announced their determination to develop a "nuclear deterrent" against Bush.

North Korea did not have nukes when Bush first threatened them with preemptive attack. If the North Koreans now actually do, then there is no question that Bush and Cheney are responsible.

But the Russians and the Chinese doubt that they do. And even if they do, their Russian, Chinese, and Korean neighbors doubt that North Korea is a "threat to peace in the region".

So, if Bush preemptively attacks North Korea – or even takes the alleged "threat to peace in the region" to the Security Council for "action" – there is little doubt that the Chinese, Russians and perhaps the South Koreans will oppose him.

President Roh has already announced that he will not allow any attacks against North Korea to be launched from South Korea.

But what about Iran?

In the immediate aftermath of Bush’s attack on Iraq, Iran voluntarily signed – and agreed to immediately adhere to – an Additional Protocol to their Safeguards Agreement. Iran agreed to undergo – and has undergone for the past two years – essentially the same go-anywhere see-anything inspections by the IAEA that Iraq had endured in the final months before Bush’s war of aggression.

Director-General ElBaradei continues to report to the IAEA Board that he can find no evidence that Iran has – or intends to have – a nuclear weapons program.

Of course, that’s what he reported to the Security Council in the months just preceding Bush’s war of aggression against Iraq.

And, as the Bush administration did with Iraq, they continue to insist that Iran does have a nuke program ElBaradei can’t find. In any case, Bush, Cheney, and the Likudniks insist that by keeping their plans secret to eventually have a uranium-enrichment capability, the Iranians have forfeited the right to have any nuclear programs, peaceful or otherwise.

However, under their old Safeguards Agreement, the Iranians were under no obligation to tell anyone about their plans – or even activities directed towards obtaining such a capability – until shortly before they actually introduced "source of special nuclear materials" into the facility.

Nevertheless, the Bush administration put so much pressure on the Brits, French, and Germans, that they did demand last week that Iran give up all their nuclear programs, in return for some sort of guarantee against preemptive attack by the Bush administration.

Now, the principal reason the Iranians have been engaged in these negotiations for the past two years with the Brits, the French, and the Germans is to obtain such guarantees.

So, who do you suppose the super oil-rich Iranians will attempt to get such guarantees from now?

You guessed it.

The other guys with the thermonuke-tipped ICBMs.

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.