War Against Iran Is Inevitable (Revelation 17)

Obama’s Nuclear Deal Could Mean War

Gabriel Scheinmann is Director of Policy at The Jewish Policy Center.

The Obama Administration may be on the verge of completing a deal that leaves Iran with a substantial nuclear capability, but about a year away from a bomb’s worth of fissile material. By not insisting on the dismantlement of any major nuclear infrastructure, or even on the complete cessation of enrichment activities, the White House is betting that not only is Iran likely to heed the deal, but also that the United States would have enough time to act appropriately and decisively if it does not. Believing it has headed-off the seemingly unavoidable march towards war with Iran, the White House is crowing about its impending diplomatic feat.

Unfortunately, rather than obviating the likelihood of war, this deal encourages it. For different reasons, inking this accord increases the chances that both Israel and the United States take military action against Iran to stop its nuclear pursuits. As former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger aptly concluded in recent Congressional testimony, the goal of the nuclear talks has evolved “from preventing proliferation to managing it.” In doing so, the Administration has sown the seeds of future conflict.

For Israel, the deal represents the failure of its decade-long effort to prevent Iranian proliferation. Unquestionably, the country has believed that it would not only be better to dismantle Iran’s program through non-military means, but also, if that option proved impossible, that the United States would take the lead in destroying Iran’s nuclear assets. The deal reveals that neither is true. The Obama Administration has chosen to tolerate rather than disassemble a vast Iranian nuclear program. Having an understandably much lower threshold for what it can tolerate due to its proximity to Iran and the regime’s heinous history, Israel may feel that it now has no choice but to take matters into its own hands, no matter how unattractive the consequences.

Ironically, the deal also likely commits the United States to future military action against Iran. Even the modest restrictions imposed will be removed in a decade, by which time Iran’s warhead and delivery mechanism will be fully operational. If, as time goes by, Washington realizes that it is unintentionally midwifing an Iranian bomb, it will have little choice but to abrogate the accord itself. Faced with the prospect of not just a nuclear-capable but also a nuclear-armed Iran, Washington may be compelled to preempt this scenario.

Moreover, the assumption of Iranian perfidy is baked into this deal. If merely a treaty-bound commitment were enough, then Iran’s longstanding membership in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty should suffice. The concept of any additional negotiations suggests, quite rightly, that Iran is likely to vitiate its own assurances. The one-year break-out time is intended to give the U.S. enough of a lead to identify Iranian cheating and marshal the international community to re-impose sanctions that will make the country heel. Hardly a chess novice, Iran would see that it has nothing to gain and everything to lose by breaking its commitments and sparking a return to the status quo ante of international isolation.

However, such a short break-out time only bolsters the likelihood of American military action. It took seven years of nuclear-related sanctions to coax Iran to the negotiating table, at which Iran has yet to make any irreversible commitments. No matter the president or Congress’ desire for alacrity, it would be impossible for even the most stringent sanctions to have their desired effect in less than twelve months. At that point, the only way the United States can prevent an Iranian break-out will be to credibly threaten the use of force. Perhaps unwittingly, the deal the Administration believes averts war only works if the U.S. is willing to go to war to enforce it.

To avoid war, the United States and Israel have two options: accept Iran as a nuclear power or negotiate a deal that eliminates Iran’s capacity to be one. Such a deal must verifiably dismantle Iran’s entire nuclear infrastructure and remove its capacity to enrich uranium at any level. By doing so, it can extend the break-out time to a matter of years, ensuring that it will indeed have enough time to prevent an Iranian bomb through non-military means.

The impending deal is not final. For cultural and political reasons, Iran may never agree to any deal, even one as advantageous as this one. Yet, unless the United States dramatically reverses the concessions it has made, this deal will not defer the threat of war, but accelerate it.

Pakistan Ready To Produce Plutonium Weapons (Rev 15:2)

Pakistan’s 4th nuclear reactor has just become operational: Govt
nuclear-explosion
Last Updated: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 – 20:58

New Delhi: The fourth nuclear reactor of Pakistan capable of producing plutonium for use in nuclear weapons has just become operational, the government on Wednesday informed the Lok Sabha.

In a written reply in the House, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh said the Indian government is aware of Pakistan’s nuclear reactors at Khushab.

“Government of India is aware that Pakistan is operating nuclear reactors at Khushab capable of producing plutonium for use in Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. According to reports, the 4th such reactor has just become operational,” he said.

Singh, however, said the government is committed to taking all necessary steps to safeguard India’s interests on the basis of India’s national security requirements.

In reply to another question on alleged spying on Indian missions, he said government is aware of reports stating that US national security agency spied on 38 diplomatic missions of foreign countries, including the Indian Embassy in Washington, by implanting bugs and using specialised antenna.
“Government has expressed concerns over the reports of monitoring of the Indian embassy and our mission to the UN in New York by US agencies. Government has raised these concerns with the US authorities at senior levels,” he said.

In reply to another question, Singh said that during the current financial year India has spent Rs 580.52 crore (till January 2015) on assistance to Afghanistan.

PTI

The Bowls Of Wrath (Revelation 16)

Have We Stopped Fearing Nuclear War?

Have We Stopped Fearing Nuclear War?
It came up the other night as dinner conversation. “Where do you think the next nuclear war will break out?” I asked. Everybody had an opinion.
“Obviously on the Pakistan border,” said one person.
Another, known for his weird opinions, piped up: “In the arctic, of course. Either to protect new trade routes, melt the rest of the ice, or both.”
“What about China?” somebody mused.
“No, I think they’re more interested in economic power,” replied the person next to me, joining the conversation. “I don’t think they really want all-out war.”
What did I think? I was inclined to agree with the person who referred to Pakistan — and, by extension, India. I could also see it breaking out in the Middle East. Obvious places, where militaries have atomics and war is already tearing communities apart.
Let’s set aside the issues with who Sarah Connor is, and retcons and all that. What really busted my chops was the reason why the movie wouldn’t be focused on averting nuclear holocaust.
According to Entertainment Weekly:
The film also adapts to our current cultural anxieties. The threat of nuclear holocaust that freaked out ’80s audiences has been eclipsed by our fear of cyberattack. “Skynet no longer has to break down our front door because we line up in front of Apple stores to invite it in,” [producer David] Ellison says. “We’re constantly giving away our privacy.”
So worrying about global thermonuclear war is retro, like 80s teen flick Wargames.
Let’s just take what Ellison says at face value for a moment, and consider that people might find digital attacks scarier than nukes. Maybe that’s true, but one of the best-known cyberattacks in history was the Stuxnet worm, unleashed by the US government against — you guessed it — a uranium enrichment facility in Iran. (Enriched uranium is used both for making bombs and nuclear power facilities.) So “cyberattack” isn’t really something that we can separate out from “nuclear holocaust” very easily. The two things have become wedded, both in reality and in the public mind.
Even in cheesy pop culture stories about the deadly cybers, the usual fear at the bottom of the “stop that hacker” plot is that somehow an evil computery thing will be used to unleash a bomb. Indeed, that trope grows partly out of Cold War classics like Wargames and the original Terminator movies, where many audiences first because acquainted with the idea that we don’t need Soviets and Americans punching red buttons to start a war. With computers controlling our weapons systems, nuclear annihilation could happen because of a software bug — or because the weapons system itself became sentient (as so often happens in these situations).
Journalist George Johnson recently had a moving piece in the New York Times about visiting the site of the “Woodpecker” in Ukraine — a massive wall of radio towers designed to give distant early warning of a U.S. nuclear attack on the U.S.S.R. Though the place is slowly crumbling to rust, he ponders how the threat it monumentalized is far from over. He imagines the “next nuclear catastrophe — deliberate or accidental, and of a vastly more devastating scale.” These decaying defenses aren’t signs that nuclear war is no longer terrifying to us. They’re simply a previous generation’s way of dealing with a horror that still haunts the world.
I think probably the science fiction writer Maureen McHugh, in her short story collection After the Apocalypse, comes the closest to capturing our nuclear fears in this century.
Civilization-erasing weapons are part of our everyday background stress in the twenty-first century. We don’t fear nukes less than the idea that the NSA and Uber dipshits are tracking our movements through our phones. But we also don’t see a big distinction between controlling people’s computers and controlling a massive arsenal. It’s all connected.
I hope by now you understand that I’m not just talking about flaws in the new Terminator movie’s alleged plot. I am talking about how nuclear holocaust is still an almost incomprehensible horror to most of us. But now we know it is not the only way that the world might end. There are other ways, maybe slower or less obvious, that might come first.