The Nuclear Horns Ignore The Vienna Peace Conference (Daniel 7:7)

U.S., UK face nuclear disarmament pressure at Vienna meeting

VIENNA

Peace activists demanding nuclear disarmament demonstrate in front of the U.S. Embassy to Ankara April 8, 2010.  REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Peace activists demanding nuclear disarmament demonstrate in front of the U.S. Embassy to Ankara April 8, 2010.
Credit: Reuters/Umit Bektas

(Reuters) – The United States and Britain took part for the first time on Monday in an international conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and were expected to face pressure to do more to eliminate their atomic arsenals.

The three other officially recognized nuclear weapon states — Russia, France and China — shunned the Dec. 8-9 meeting. Many of the 157 states taking part are critical of what they see as too slow headway on nuclear disarmament.

The conference, the third in a series which began in 2013, comes amid talk of a new Cold War between the West and Russia over the Ukraine crisis, during which President Vladimir Putin has pointedly stressed Moscow’s nuclear arsenal.

Explaining its decision to come to Vienna, the United States said last month it had decided “there were real prospects for constructive engagement with conference participants”, but added it would not engage in disarmament negotiations at the meeting.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said the attendance of two of the five permanent U.N. Security Council members was a “first success” of the conference, adding: “It is high time to move from words to real action.”

Under the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the five recognized atomic bomb “haves” agreed to work towards eliminating their bombs, while the “have-nots” pledged not to pursue them. A treaty review conference is scheduled for 2015.

Critics say there has been more emphasis on meeting the non-proliferation goal than getting the five major powers to fulfill their part of the deal. The five argue that much progress has already been made, with stocks much lower than at any time in the past half century.

“STILL TOO MANY”

The U.S. atomic arsenal has been cut by 85 percent from its Cold War heights to 4,800 weapons, a U.S. official said last week. But, “that is still too many and we know it”, said Rose Gottemoeller, under-secretary of state for arms control.

U.N. disarmament chief Angela Kane said countries without nuclear bombs were “becoming increasingly exasperated” that disarmament negotiations were not happening. It seems the weapon states “don’t really see that the NPT is an obligation to disarm”, she told Reuters.

Pakistan and India, which both have nuclear weapons, have not signed the NPT. They attended the Vienna talks, as did Iran, which rejects Western accusations it too wants to build a bomb.

Israel, which is believed to have the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal and is also outside the NPT, did not attend.

(Editing by Gareth Jones)

The Great And Little Hypocrite

The U.S. Seeks the Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in the Middle East

nuke-alert-iran-cartoon

by MATT PEPPE
December 8, 2014
When Condoleeza Rice argued for a U.S. invasion of Iraq by claiming that “we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud,” she touched on a real threat of the nuclear war that could wipe out entire countries and destroy civilization as we know it. Rice and the rest of the Bush administration knew that Iraq didn’t have nuclear weapons and never presented such a threat. They also knew that there was one country in the Middle East who did: a nuclear-armed rogue nation who has proven throughout its history to be possibly the most lawless and bellicose country of modern times.That country, of course, is Israel. Since at least the early 1980s, Israel has had nuclear weapons. Instead of waging a war to get rid of them, as the Bush administration argued was necessary with Iraq, the U.S. has done everything it can to help Israel continue and grow its nuclear program and keep the Middle East from becoming a nuclear-free zone.

Last month, the United Nations General Assembly sought to counter “the risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East” with a resolution recognizing that this “would pose a serious threat to international peace and security.” This threat necessitates “the immediate need for placing all nuclear facilities in the region of the Middle East under full-scope safeguards of the Agency.”

The resolution passed by a margin of 151-4. Only the United States, Israel, Canada and Micronesia voted against it. In a separate resolution, the U.S. and Israel stood alone against 177 other countries who supported further efforts to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. That resolution calls for a “prohibition on the development and manufacture of new types of weapons of mass destruction and new systems of such weapons.”

In March 2003, George W. Bush proclaimed that he was authorized by UN Security Council Resolution 687 to use force against Iraq to rid the country of WMD. Iraq presented such an existential threat that an immediate war was the only conceivable means of dealing with the situation. After Bush did invade Iraq and kill 500,000 Iraqis and create millions of widows, orphans and refugees, what was obvious all along was proven: the administration’s claims about Iraqi WMD were nothing more than lies and distortions.

The administration knew full well that Israel, however, did have a large-scale, rogue WMD program when Bush cited UNSC Resolution 687 as his legal justification for invading Iraq. Four U.S. Presidents have all ignored the actual text in Resolution 687 which declares “the goal of establishing in the Middle East a zone free from weapons of mass destruction and all missiles for their delivery and the objective of a global ban on chemical weapons.”

The only country to ever have used nuclear weapons – by dropping two on a country that had been trying for weeks to surrender – has consistently provided Israel with a diplomatic shield in the United Nations. On top of guaranteeing their right to violate international law with impunity, the U.S. has showered Israel with over $140 billion in military aid that amounts to more than $3 billion per year.
Even without its WMD, Israel would pose a grave threat to peace with its army and conventional
weapons alone. Israel has repeatedly violated the sovereignty of its neighboring countries, the most flagrant example being the aggressive invasion and occupation of Lebanon in 1982 which killed 20,000 people. Unlike Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Israel has even attacked the United States itself. In 1967, Israeli warplanes bombarded the USS Liberty, killing 34 American servicemen. Israel’s possession of WMD only compounds their destructive capacity.

Israel is one of only four countries in the world (India, Pakistan and South Sudan) that has never signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). This landmark treaty, in force since 1970, binds signing nations to work together stop the spread of nuclear weapons and work towards disarmament.

Robert Wood, the U.S. lackey who defended Israel’s right to maintain nuclear weapons recently in the UN, claimed the UN resolution demanding Israel to renounce nuclear arms “fails to meet the fundamental tests of fairness and balance. It confines itself to expressions of concern about the activities of a single country.”As Ali Abunimah noted in the Electronic Intifada: “The fact that Israel is indeed the single country with nuclear weapons in the region, and the single country that has not signed the NPT, apparently escaped his notice.”

Israel has not only amassed its own nuclear arsenal, but they have exported nuclear technology and capabilities abroad. Not to just any country, but to the racist, pariah state of apartheid South Africa, the most despicable regime of the last century, other than possibly Israel itself.

While it was long understood that the two ethnic exclusivist regimes maintained close military ties, the first concrete evidence that Israel tried to sell South Africa nuclear warheads emerged several years ago when American scholar Sasha Polakow-Suransky obtained declassified documents from the South African archives.

“South African documents show that the apartheid-era military wanted the missiles as a deterrent and for potential strikes against neighbouring states,” reported the Guardian.

The paper goes on to note that “the collaboration on military technology only grew over the following years. South Africa also provided much of the yellowcake uranium that Israel required to develop its weapons.”

South Africa easily could have followed through with potential nuclear strikes against its neighbors. In 1988, the SADF were being chased out of Angola by Cuban troops assisting the Angolan government. South Africa was illegally occupying the Southeastern part of Angola in a bid to topple that country’s government and install a puppet government friendly to the apartheid regime. Years later, Fidel Castro recounted the potential danger of nuclear strikes Cubans faced as their forces pushed forward to repel the aggression of the South African troops.

“The main problem was the fact that the racist South Africans possessed, according to our calculations, between 10 and 12 nuclear arms,” Castro wrote. “They had carried out tests in oceans or frozen areas to the South. President Ronald Reagan had authorized such tests, and the device necessary for blasting the nuclear charge was among the equipment delivered by Israel.”

Since it developed and used the first nuclear weapons, the United States government has supported weapons of mass destruction on principle. They also refuse the concept of nuclear weapons solely as self-defense, never having accepted a no-first-use policy for nuclear weapons as the Soviet Union had.

The U.S. has never had any moral or legal inhibitions about countries it chooses having a right to WMD. For countries that support the U.S. government’s self-professed right to rule the world, there is no danger to peace or to the survival of civilization itself that Washington will not tolerate and enable.

 
Matt Peppe writes about politics, U.S. foreign policy and Latin America on his blog. You can follow him on twitter.

The Large Horn Helps The Small Horn (Daniel 8:3)

Iran pilgrims flock to Iraq with message for jihadis

 iranian-pilgrimage
ZURBATTIYAH, Iraq: Iranian pilgrims are pouring across the border into Iraq in unprecedented numbers for a huge annual religious gathering but also to flex Shiite muscle in the face of ISIS.
Scrapped visa fees and an appeal by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, unleashed a million-strong human tide that bemused Iraqi border guards have struggled to control.
General Ali Tamuz, the top Iraqi security official at Zurbattiyah border crossing, about 160 kilometers east of Baghdad, has many bruises and a couple of cracked ribs to show for it.

On Saturday, the handful of translators employed at the desert border had long been swallowed by the crowd and Tamuz only knew one word of Farsi to manage the flow: “beshin” (sit down).
“That achieved pretty good results until a colleague from the police came over to help,” he told AFP, laughing.

“He tried another word he thought he knew but it means ‘come’. When the pilgrims heard that, they all stood up, the fence was broken and things got crazy.”

The annual pilgrimage to Karbala for Arbaeen, which marks the end of the 40-day period of mourning for the revered Shiite figure of Imam Hussein, is consistently one of the world’s largest religious gatherings.

In addition to the millions of Shiite devotees who flock to Karbala, some of them on foot, from across Iraq, a large contingent of Iranians traditionally make the trip.

Buses usually ferry them across eastern Iraq to Karbala. This year the number of Iranians on their way to the place where Hussein was killed in battle and beheaded in 680 AD has doubled.

The fact that Iraq waived visa requirements for the duration of the religious event, which culminates on December 13, has made the pilgrimage more affordable.

‘We are here’

But more than the 80-dollar saving, Khamenei’s call to take part in the commemoration as a means of defying ISIS appears to have been the main trigger.

Hussein Rahimi, a resident of Iran’s Kerman province who had just crossed the border into Iraq, had no visa in his passport but a Khamenei sticker on the back cover.

“We came here on his orders,” said the man of 40.

“We want to convey the message that we will always obey the marjaiya (Shiite religious leadership) and that we are ready to fight the terrorists right here and right now,” Rahimi said.

Iraqi security chiefs see the presence of millions of Shiite faithful trekking across the country on open roads as a red flag to the Sunni extremist ISIS and its seemingly endless supply of suicide bombers.

However, recent battlefield victories against the jihadists, notably in the Jurf al-Sakhr area south of Baghdad, have helped clear a corridor for the pilgrims.

Wearing a green headband inscribed with the words “Labaik ya Hussein” (We are here at your service, Hussein), pilgrim Ali Akbar Ridhaie put in simply: “We came to show our presence here in Iraq.”

Iran’s involvement in Iraq was once somewhat of a taboo but in recent weeks, the key role played by Tehran in the anti-jihadist military effort has become more open.

Said Ohadi, who heads Iran’s body in charge of organising pilgrimages, said on the country’s official IRNA news agency that “so far more than 750,000 Iranian pilgrims have entered Iraq.”

The deputy governor of Iraq’s border province of Wasit, Adel al-Zargani, said he expected the total to reach one million this year.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said after a meeting in Tehran with his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari: “These pilgrims’ entry… is a symbol of the cooperation and union between our two countries.”

Obama Desperate For A Nuclear Deal

Top Iranian Official: Obama Begs to Meet Rouhani

What Nobel Peace Prize?

What Nobel Peace Prize?
 
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 12/8/2014, 2:30 PM
The head of the office of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei insists that US President Barack Obama is chasing after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, according to footage provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“When you see the American president knocking on every door just to meet our president for a few minutes, this is no trivial matter,” Mohammad Golpayegani stated in an IRINN (Iranian news channel) broadcast. “Some people lurk in the UN corridor just to get the chance to shake (Obama’s) hand, and he does not deign to even do that.”

“Yet he sends mediators and goes to such efforts (in order to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani),” he continued. “This demonstrates our strength.”

The statement follows news that Obama had sent a secret letter to Khamenei in October without informing its regional partners (Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) in which he called for cooperation against Islamic State (ISIS) and a nuclear agreement.

Earlier that month, American and Arab officials revealed to the Wall Street Journal that Obama has moved closer to Iran and its terror proxies Hamas and Hezbollah, citing “secret channels of communications” to Iran via senior Shi’ite sources in Iraq.

Just Another Ben Of Hypocrisy

Netanyahu calls for increased pressure on Iran to abandon nuclear ambitions

Israeli Nukes
Associated Press in Washington
Sunday 7 December 2014 14.49 EST

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Sunday an extension of nuclear talks with Iran should be used to further increase pressure on the country to give up its atomic weapons ambitions and capabilities. His comments came as US secretary of state John Kerry cited movement in the negotiations and urged patience while vowing that the process would not continue without “tangible progress”.

Speaking to the same middle east policy conference in Washington, Netanyahu and Kerry both pointed to cooperation between moderate Arab states and others in the fight against Islamic State (Isis) extremists as a potentially hopeful sign for defeating the group and improving prospects for Arab-Israeli peace. But they also noted tremendous hurdles in achieving those goals.

Netanyahu said it was fortunate that international negotiators from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany did not meet last month’s deadline for a deal with Iran because he said an agreement reached then “would have effectively left Iran as a threshold nuclear power.”

Those talks have been extended until July 2015, with the goal of reaching a framework for a deal by the end of March.

Netanyahu said Israel’s “voice” and “concerns” had played a critical role in preventing a bad deal from being reached in November. He added it is imperative to use the extra time to step up and reinforce demands that Iran prove its nuclear program is peaceful as it claims and not, as many suspect, a cover for atomic weapons development.

“Now we must use the time available to increase the pressure on Iran to dismantle its nuclear weapons capability,” he said in a videotaped message to the conference at The Brookings Institution.

Netanyahu did not elaborate on how the pressure should be increased. Some Israeli officials and US lawmakers have called for the US to impose more sanctions on Iran but the Obama administration is resisting this, saying more sanctions would violate the terms of an interim agreement reached with Iran and crater the ongoing negotiations.

In his remarks, which followed Netanyahu’s taped speech, Kerry acknowledged differences between Israel and the US on how to approach Iran but stressed that the two countries’ goals are the same.

“While we may disagree on tactics from time to time, when it comes to the core strategic goal – no nuclear weapon – there is not an inch of daylight between the United States and the state of Israel,” he said.

Kerry maintained that the interim nuclear accord with Iran is holding and that fears that the Iranians would cheat have proven to be unfounded thus far. He said new ideas on how to achieve a more durable agreement have been presented and that it was his hope that the late March target for a framework would be met with little need for further negotiation.

“We have no intention of negotiating forever,” Kerry said. “Absent measurable progress, who knows how much longer this could go on.”

But he also stressed the importance of sealing a deal that keeps Iran from having nuclear weapons.
“If we succeed in reaching an agreement, the entire world, including Israel, will be safer for it,” he said.

In his comments, Netanyahu said that cooperation between Israel and moderate Arab states in the fight against Islamic extremism could “open the door to peace” between Israel and the Palestinians. However, he said that the Palestinian leadership must end incitement against Israel if that is to occur.

“The collapse of the old order has made clear to pragmatic Arab governments that Israel is not the enemy,” he said.

Kerry expressed similar thoughts and noted that common cause against extremists was already “making steady, measurable progress” against Isis in Syria and Iraq.

Kerry, who invested considerable time and energy in an unsuccessful attempt to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, said he believed that redefining strategic interests among states throughout the middle east could lay the groundwork for a resumption in talks.

He lamented, however, that conditions are not yet ripe for new peace negotiations, particularly due to heightened tensions between Israel and the Palestinians that have led to an unprecedented amount of frustration. And Kerry once again denounced continued Israeli settlement activity as “undermining the prospects for peace”.

Another wild card, he said, are Israel’s upcoming elections.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Syria said Israeli jets had bombed two installations, one near the capital, Damascus, and the second in a town near the Lebanese border. A report by Syrian state television described the attack as “an aggression”.