Iran’s Uranium

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently reported that Iran had produced up to 1,010 kilograms of low-enrichment uranium, as of November 2008.

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the joints chiefs of staff of the US armed forces opined publicly that this was a sufficient mass from which to extract the fissile portion to build one atomic bomb, and that a nuclear-(one) armed Iran would be a “very, very bad outcome.” Robert Gates, the US Secretary of Defense, viewed the situation as less alarming, stating that Iran was “not close” to fabricating a weapon.

It requires little imagination to anticipate the obvious lobbying stratagems of the many Treasury Department parasites who cast the Persian uranium horde as a dire threat that can only be allayed by offering the nation’s financial jugular to deep penetration by their zealous fangs, and perhaps to also loose some cathartic aerial bombardments upon the Iranians, that like Zeus’s thunderbolts will dissipate an Olympian distemper. Nuclear weapons contractors, Zionists and American militarists are the ultimate automatons of reductio ad absurdum, regardless of the information thrown into them, their concluding outputs are invariably the same: give us more.

So, for now we bypass the mirage of policy discussion regarding today’s Iranian uranium horde, and instead describe some physical facts about Iran’s bomb-making potential.

Uranium is a slightly radioactive, silver-grey metal 70% denser than lead, which appears naturally as oxides in mineral ores. As with a number of other elements, there are several forms of uranium atoms, which are called isotopes. All uranium atoms have 92 electrons (particles with 1 unit of electrical charge, and with negative polarity) and 92 protons (particles with 1 unit of electrical charge, and with positive polarity). Each isotope of uranium has a different number of neutrons (electrically neutral particles) in its nucleus, and this number ranges from 141 to 146.

It happens that the mass of an electron is slight compared to that of a proton or neutron, and the masses of these latter two types of particles is quite close. So, one can characterize the weight of an isotope by the combination of its total proton mass and total neutron mass (this is slightly inexact, but good enough for a general understanding). The number of protons is called the “atomic number,” and the combined number of protons and neutrons is called the “atomic weight.” So, uranium has an atomic number of 92, and an atomic weight, depending on isotope, of between 233 and 238. (See the End Notes for superfluous details).

The natural isotopic distribution of uranium is: U238 at 99.284%, U235 at 0.711% and U234 at 0.0058% (the sum is slightly off 100% due to rounding).

The nucleus of any atom can be ruptured when impacted by a sufficiently energetic sub-atomic particle or quanta of electromagnetic radiation (high energy gamma rays, cosmic rays). This is nuclear fission. Nuclei heavier than an iron nucleus are less tightly bound as they are increasingly massive. It is easier for them to undergo fission.

Because the neutron is electrically neutral, it will not be deflected by an atom’s protons and electrons, so it is a very effective projectile for initiating nuclear fission. While any atomic nucleus can be made to fission by some form of high energy impact, the term “fissionable” is generally used in an engineering sense for those elements that undergo fission when struck by neutrons.

It is interesting that for all naturally occurring isotopes except one, the neutrons initiating fission must have high energy (e.g., 14 MeV). The exceptional isotope is U235, it will undergo fission when impacted by neutrons of low energy (e.g., 1 MeV). Fissioning nuclei can fragment into multiple parts, and emit neutrons of low energy. This is why a mass of U235 can sustain fission chain reactions, while masses of no other natural isotope can.

The term “fissile” is used to designate materials that can sustain fission chain reactions — materials that fission when impacted by low-energy neutrons emitted from prior fission reactions. Aside from the naturally occurring U235, fissile materials are artificially “bred” in nuclear reactors, the main ones being: Plutonium-239 (Pu239), Pu241 and U233. Pu239 is bred when U238 captures a neutron (and rearranges its now heavier nucleus). This same process sequentially produces Pu240 and Pu241. U233 is bred from Thorium-232. There are fifteen actinoid (rare earth) elements from which fissile isotopes can be produced; uranium and thorium are the only naturally occurring actinoids. Fissile uranium and plutonium are the most convenient materials for use as nuclear reactor fuel and in nuclear explosives.

Refining nuclear fuel begins with the extraction of elemental uranium from mineral ores. Since the elemental mass is less than 1% U235, it is put through an enrichment process, which exploits the mass difference between U238 and U235. The enriched portion is reactor fuel with about 3% to 4% U235, while the remainder is slightly more concentrated U238 called depleted uranium (DU). It is important to note that a major investment in both energy and infrastructure is required to be able to produce reactor fuel, a point about massive CO2 emissions that is glossed over by proponents of nuclear power as a “green” technology.

We can see that if Iran now has 1,010 kilograms of reactor fuel, then this mass will contain a portion of U235 equivalent to between 30 kg to 40 kg. If one had this quantity of U235 as a contiguous mass rather than distributed throughout 1,010 kilos (over a ton) of uranium metal, then one could cut and machine the U235 to shape parts (“the pit”) for a fission bomb. Nuclear weapons-grade fuel may be more then 90% U235, and refining reactor fuel to this extent is a lengthy and extraordinarily expensive continuation of the enrichment process that yielded reactor-grade fuel with 3% to 4% U235. So, Robert Gates is quite correct to say Iran is “not close” to having a nuclear explosive (what we normally think of with the phrase “nuclear weapon”).

A state-of-the-art bomb production industry can make an atomic bomb from 10 kg of weapons-grade U235. As the engineering refinement of and control over the implosion and criticality dynamics of the bomb decrease, the quantity of fissile material needed increases. So, an inexperienced weapons design team might have to use 20 kg to 30 kg of weapons-grade U235 to ensure their device would produce “nuclear yield.” The incredibly inefficient Little Boy gun-type uranium bomb dropped on Hiroshima had 64 kg of U235, of which 0.7 kg underwent fission, and only 0.6 grams were transformed into energy (by E = m C-squared). The blast yield of Little Boy was equivalent to that of between 13 to 18 kilotons of TNT. The Fat Man plutonium implosion bomb dropped on Nagasaki had 6.2 kg of Pu239, of which 1.2 kg underwent fission, and under one gram was transformed into energy. Fat Man’s explosive yield was 21 kT. If Iran’s U235 were to be concentrated to weapons-grade material, they would have enough for at least one bomb.

Electricity can be generated from a power reactor that “burns” nuclear fuel. The fission energy released as the motion of fission fragments is captured by the mass of the reactor core, which heats up, and in turn boils water to drive steam turbines that turn electric generators (there are also other types of reactors that exploit the heating of the core). As the mass of reactor fuel burns, it accumulates substances transmuted by nuclear reactions, such as Pu239, Pu241 and other radioactive isotopes. Some of these new substances poison the process of fission chain reactions, because they absorb neutrons. It is this effect, rather than a complete depletion of U235, which limits the utility of a fuel mass. Spent fuel may still be 0.5% U235.

Fissile material bred from uranium fuel in reactors can be harvested (“reprocessed”). An advanced fission weapons program will breed plutonium from uranium, and then enrich the plutonium to a weapons-grade purity of Pu239 or Pu241. This is the kind of program carried on by the major nuclear powers. Iran is nowhere near this. But, it is possible it has done “test tube sized” experiments that attempt to breed and extract trace amounts of plutonium from uranium reactor fuel. Any scientific establishment working to learn how to reprocess spent fuel so as to ameliorate the problems of long-term storage and disposal (and/or to design breeder cycles) will of necessity be working on methods for extracting plutonium.

The practical energy yield or “burn up” from a mass of reactor fuel is characterized by the number of 24 hour days at 1 megawatt output of thermal power per metric ton of uranium metal. Typical numbers for existing reactors are 30,000 to 40,000 MW days per metric ton of fuel mass. Let us say the Iranians acquire or build a reactor with 36,500 MW-day/tonne. This is equivalent to 100 MW-year/tonne (ignoring leap year corrections). Given their 1.01 tonne horde, they could expect an energy yield of 101 MW-year. Now, a megawatt of power is equal to 1,341 horsepower, the power of a moderate train locomotive, an early WW2 airplane engine, a good sized charter fishing boat, and a standby emergency power unit for a campus or moderate industrial site. Nuclear power for supplying electricity to the electrical power grid of a small nation or a national region would more likely flow at a rate of 100 MW to 1 GW (gigawatt, equal to 1000 MW). Our hypothetical 100 MW-year/tonne system would use up the 1.01 tonne fuel supply in 1 year and 3.7 days of continuous 100 MW operation, or in 37 days of continuous 1 GW operation. It is evident that the Iranian uranium fuel supply is only a token of what would be needed to operate a useful civilian power system. The most likely application of the present Iranian uranium reactor fuel supply is in powering a small research reactor that is used to enable experimentation in all aspects of nuclear power technology and reactor fuel management and reprocessing.

Are the Iranians trying to produce an atomic bomb? They should be, given their history of experiencing invasions and warfare (Alexander the Great, Mark Antony, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Imperial Russia, the British Empire, Kermit Roosevelt, Jr., Saddam Hussein); their ballistic missile proximity to the Eurasian nuclear powers of Russia, China, India and Pakistan; and to that nuclear-armed Middle East enclave of furious exceptionalism — Israel; their enviable quantities of petroleum and natural gas; and the entrenched hostility of the United States imperialists, miffed at the Iranian refusal to submit to its possessive control and to a cultural deflowering.

The Iranians say they are not building a nuclear weapon, and you cannot disprove their claim on the basis of physical evidence or physics estimates. It does make business sense for Iran to save its petroleum resources for the export market, and to increase that profitability by powering its domestic economy with its own independent system of nuclear power. Also, given the world thirst for oil, it does make sense to develop an alternative now for powering a post-fossil fuel economy. Disbelief of the Iranian characterization of their nuclear energy work is based on political agendas (e.g., Zionism), and simple prejudice aping principled mistrust (e.g., neo-con imperialism). It IS possible the Iranians have not been truthful about their intent, but it is not possible to discern this from physical considerations. And, we must be clear that the Iranians are completely within their rights (by treaties signed) to pursue their nuclear energy work for the purposes they have stated: civilian electrical power.

What is clear is that the physics of bomb-making and the physics of civilian nuclear power are inextricably entwined beyond any possibility of chaste separation that would fully satisfy the political desires of competing states. It is also clear that any nation’s investment in an independent nuclear power system is a de facto national defense program, because the threat of it acquiring nuclear weapons is implicit and physically embedded in the development work for the technology.

What must also become clear is that investment in nuclear energy technology, especially if carried forward to weapons development, is a detriment to the social good because it drains enormous resources that could be used to improve the health and well-being of the public. Some of this public detriment will be due to the ambitions of a national leadership whose machinations for greater power lead to the diversion of national wealth into military programs — and nuclear power is intrinsically a central government and a military program. By the very nature of nuclear material, nuclear fuel and nuclear fuel reprocessing, the central government must control the technology for the sake of security. Civilian nuclear power is at best an attempt by the government to spread the costs of maintaining the nuclear fuel — and nuclear bomb — infrastructure (e.g., a ‘non-bomb’ military application is nuclear-powered warships). This is why the U.S. and Russia have sought, and still seek, client states whose civilian nuclear power systems they would fuel and reprocess (e.g., South Korea).

That Iran does not wish to be such a client state is interpreted by the Washington imperialists as an act of defiance, a declaration of nuclear armament building. This independence on nuclear matters is entirely within Iran’s rights as spelled out in the test ban and non-proliferation treaties. This act of independence may also be an Iranian virtual nuclear weapons program that is a purely psychological illusion, and would be judged successful if the degree of caution and hesitation it introduces into the US approach to Iran outweighs the inevitable increase in US irritation with Iran.

The hostility of large powerful states toward smaller, weaker ones may justifiably motivate some of those lesser states to explore the deterrent potential of nuclear arms. Like the spines of a sea urchin, or the noxious taste of a milkweed (Monarch) butterfly, a small credible capability in nuclear arms may offer significant protection against large unrelenting predators. The entire world can see how gingerly the U.S. treats North Korea, with its puny near-dud atomic bomb (assuming it has another) as compared to, say, Venezuela or Syria or Cuba, which evidently lack nuclear arms.

What is so stupid about US policy regarding nuclear developments in other states is that its ham-fisted belligerence reinforces the fears of small nations that decide to divert resources from economic development to the sprouting of nuclear-armed political spines; and what is so sad is that the objectification of that U.S. hostility and that subject nation’s fear into those armament spines is a heartless tax sapping national wealth that is sorely needed to meet basic human needs. The I Ching might have put it this way: the hostility of the great is the impoverishment of the weak.

END NOTES

The actual physical mass of an atom is the product of its atomic weight — which recall is simply the number of its combined protons and neutrons — multiplied by an “atomic mass unit,” (abbreviated as AMU), which is a precisely defined quantity that we will round for convenience to 1.66/(10 to the 24th power) grams. So, an atom of U238 has a mass of 3.95/(10 to the 22nd power) grams, an exceedingly small mass.

A macroscopic quantity of 238 grams (about half a pound) of pure U238 will contain 6.022 x (10 to the 23rd power) atoms. This last number is called Avogadro’s Number. It is an interesting fact that any pure isotopic mass whose quantity in grams is numerically equal to its atomic weight (the number of combined protons and neutrons in one atom) will contain Avogadro’s Number of atoms.

The numerical value of the AMU is the inverse of the numerical value of Avogadro’s Number.

Manuel Garcia, Jr. is an occasional writer who is always independent. His e-mail address is: mangogarcia@att.net. Read other articles by Manuel, or visit Manuel's website.

41 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Phil said on March 11th, 2009 at 9:13am #

    Excellent, excellent piece!

  2. Doug Page said on March 11th, 2009 at 12:45pm #

    Manuel: I do not suppose that scientists are much taken with “blessings,” but bless you for this. I would like to see much more output from your restless brain. Retired Professor of International Relations, Marshall Windmiller, got death threats when he wrote objectively about Zionism a few years ago, so beware. We simply have to stand up to and discredit the Israel Lobby. It’s lies and positions are not my positions, nor are they the positions of all Jews whether inside Israel or here in the US.
    Doug Page

  3. Gordon Arnaut said on March 11th, 2009 at 3:43pm #

    Manuel, this kind of information is sorely needed. It is the ignorance of the people on basic matters of fact and science that allows the government to sow fear and loathing.

    It is true that Iran is pursuing nuclear science for energy. As a signatory to the non-proliferation treaty, it has every legal right under international law to pursue nuclear research for peaceful purposes. Canada, the country where I live has had its own nuclear reactor technology, CANDU, for decades, and so do many other countries that do not posess nuclear weapons, nor have nay interest in obtaining them.

    It is a fact, however, that each and every industrialized country could produce a nuclear weapon in a short time, perhaps a couple of years — if it chose to do so.

    So why apply different rules to Iran? That is the real issue. It is the United States that is breaking the rules, not Iran.

    The important point that you made and which is never heard in the mainstream media — aka giant brainwashing machine — is that, technically speaking, the science and infrastructure needed for nuclear energy is practically the same as that needed for weapons programs. Yet why does our so-called media never point this out?

    It would be absurd to throw accusations at countries like Canada and Japan because they are enriching uranium, because this is a necessary part of nuclear energy. But when Iran is doing the same thing, then it is “proof” that they are building a bomb?

    That is absurd. It is just one more case of the media not doing its job of informing the public accurately and fairly.

    PS: I greatly enjoyed the technical info in your article.

    You mentioned that 238 grams of U238 will contain exactly 6.022 x 10 to the 23’rd power atoms. This is Avogadro’s number, of course, and that amount of substance is called one mole, as you know — a very useful measure in both physics and chemistry because it lets us quickly find the mass of any pure substance by simply looking up its atomic mass number.

    This applies to every substance, or element, in the periodic table, of course. One mole of Oxygen, for example, which has an atomic mass of 16 (8 protons and 8 neutrons) will weigh exactly 16 grams. A mole of Carbon 12 will weigh 12 grams, etc.

    What a great convenience! For those that are trying to follow the math in your worked example of U238, where you come up with the actual weight of a single atom of U 238 as being 3.95 grams x 10 to the minus 22’nd power, I will take the liberty of filling in the blanks.

    We simply divide the weight of our chunk of U238, which happens to be 238 grams, by Avogadro’s number, 6.02 x 10 to the 23’rd power, which happens to be the number of atoms in one mole, 238 grams, of U238.

    The answer is 3.95 grams x 10 to the minus 22’nd power.

    The conversion factor you mentioned, 1.66 x 10 to the minus 23’rd power, is simply the weight of one atom, as calculated above, 3.95 grams x 10 to the minus 22’nd power, divided by the weight of our chunk of uranium, which is 238 grams.

    Hence, 3.95 grams x 10 to the minus 222’nd power / 238 grams = 1.66 x 10 to the minus 23’rd power. This is the conversion factor between atomic mass units and grams.

    Best Regards,

    Gordon in Ontario.

  4. Shabnam said on March 11th, 2009 at 7:17pm #

    Thank you Mr. Garcia for pointing out that Iranian uranium enrichment program for peaceful purposes is Iran’s legal right under NPT. I do not know why anyone doesn’t bring this point up to Obama in case he has forgotten what the treaty says. In fact US and Israel and those countries that have nuclear weapons are violating the international law since they are not bringing their nuclear weapons to zero to save the planet from destruction.

    Many thanks for your presentation of science behind this kind of weapon and what is required to reach to that point to expose propagandists who exaggerate the Iranian legal enrichment program to take illiterate people hostage and direct the world toward conflict where we should avoid it at any cost.

    Despite the attention being paid to claim that Iran has ‘enough uranium’ hypothetically to build a nuclear bomb, the IAEA says that Iran is less likely to have such a capability to do so.

    Israel is more active than ever mobilizing “the Arab moderate States” known as trio where are working closely with Israel to sabotage any policy regarding the administration that might be interested in resolving the issue peacefully. Instead they like to see a policy of Iran containment by passing harder sanction against Iran to weaken Iran’s economy to bring chaos and direct Iran towards destabilization to make it easier for a military strike.
    Israel Military intelligence chief Major-General Amos Yadlin told the cabinet meeting that: “Iran has crossed the technological threshold, so that reaching a military nuclear ability is only a matter of matching the strategy to the goal of creating a nuclear bomb.” He continued: “the middle east is viewing the plan for Iran’s nuclearization and the dialogue with the new administration in Washington cautiously.”
    Thus, they are determined to use their agents in Washington to design a policy pretending they are interested in ‘diplomacy’ but in fact directs the US toward confrontation with Iran. When Israel wants war, Washington generally follows Tel Aviv’s line. Obama may not be interested to drag the US into another confrontation but he cannot afford to turn the lobby against him and his ‘economic recovery’ plan. He has a very difficult task ahead of him. Obama must abandon Israel policy of working closely with Russia against imaginary nuclear weapon program of Iran, a policy where has been designed in Tel Aviv. Instead, we should protect the planet from destruction and save its natural beauty. The following link makes this point more convincing. Once again many thanks for this paper Mr. Garcia, I appreciate it.

  5. Shabnam said on March 11th, 2009 at 7:18pm #

    I forgot to include the link:

    http://www.payvand.com/news/09/mar/1022.html

  6. Ray said on March 12th, 2009 at 5:29am #

    Thanks for the science lesson, which is no revelation as that knowledge is available to anyone with access to a public library or the Internet.
    Rather, it’s a nice way of lending superficial credence to your political and ideological claims. Claims that you can’t back up by evidence, as you graciously concede in part.

    Disclaimer: I’m no neo-con and I’m no Zionist (in any sense, considering the “interesting” use of that term in many articles on this site). I have no cultural or political affiliation with either and no particluar sympathies either. So I have no agenda in that regard apart from my personal observation:

    What I see is a country run by what is effectively a theocracy based on the bronze age mythology/ideology called Islam, complete with the implicit agenda of spreading that ideology throughout the world by any means, including warfare, which is specifically condoned and even encouraged by the religion (and history is witness to the fact that it makes liberal use of that means). A country that openly hosts Holocaust denial conferences and has made quite clear what it has in store for the state of Israel (and it doesn’t matter whether the literal translation of certain statements by Iran’s leadership comes out as “to wipe off the map” or “erase from the pages of history”, just in case some imbecile is wondering). A country that backs various known terrorist groups and has a human rights violations record that your “evil Zionists and neo-cons” couldn’t get close to even if they tried.

    Always nice to see the same old relativists’ drivel being perpetuated by people like the author. Even nicer to see the herds of unthinking sheep follow them. What is insulting is the fact that this is done under the banner of peace, equality and morality.

  7. joed said on March 12th, 2009 at 6:31am #

    hey ray, you’ll go to hell for lying. iran is one of the most peaceful of countries. and your israel is hate-filled fear-filled and full of murderous thugs, “ditto” fer amerika.
    the author of this article is concerned about humanity and is offering some interesting ideas and you are trying to spread division and fear.
    so, go back from where you came from why don’ ya’. there is enough hate and fear and bad stuff on earth already without you creating more.

  8. Phil said on March 12th, 2009 at 7:07am #

    Ray, get a clue.

    -Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has never, ever made a threat against the state of Israel. He’s only pointed out the criminality of its leading regime, and even if he wanted to do some harm to said regime (which he’s never threatened to put into action), he doesn’t even have any power to. He’s only the president, not the shah.

    -Questioning the official facts/story/evidence of the holocaust is not the same thing as denial. Not even close.

    -If Islam is a bronze age mythology/ideology, it’s no more so than Judaism or Christianity, and far less guilty of spreading itself throughout the world by warfare.

    -Iran’s leaders have made it perfectly clear they have no intention of attacking anyone. All they’ve promised is that they’ll fight back if attacked. The govts of America and Israel, on the other hand, have outright declared (proudly no less) that they’ll be the aggressors in any conflict.

    While we’re at it, you also really need to learn the difference between terrorist groups and resistance movements.

  9. Shabnam said on March 12th, 2009 at 7:23am #

    Iran says it is ready to host tourists who wish to visit its nuclear power plant in Bushehr during the Persian New Year holidays. Iranian officials seek to highlight their “peaceful” nuclear intentions by opening the nuclear installations in southern Iran during Nowruz, the New Year. (March, 21)
    On the other hand Israel has built Nuclear Weapon plant, and according to Olmert, Carter and merchandi Ventuno has made, at least, more than 250 nuclear bombs illegally and is ready to use it along with phosphorus, depleted uranium bombs and other WMD as they have done in Gaza, yet dares to use the United States as PROXY to push for a nuclear war against Iran.

    It is the time for ‘international community’ to demand from Israel to open its nuclear plant to UN inspectors, like IRAN, to get rid of its WMD and force Israel to sign NPT and behaves like a legitimate state by honoring the ‘international law’ if Israel is interested in peace and does not view herself above the law according to a man made myth “chosen people” which is nothing but a rubbish.

    Unfortunately, Israel’s short history shows otherwise because Israel since 1948 not only has decided to steal all of Palestinian land but also is determined to erect ‘greater Israel’ through wars and genocide. This is so obvious that no one can afford to let Zionism get away with it on expense of regional countries, Palestinian toddlers and peace in the world, Thus all feel is their duty to speak out against war crimes committed by the world Zionism and its supporters.

    The Zionists who have just killed more than 1500 people, many toddlers, and wounded thousands and destroyed what was left from the earlier bombardment should take advantage of this offer to see the reality in Iran by their own eyes not through zionist glasses.

    http://www.payvand.com/news/09/mar/1116.html

  10. Ray said on March 12th, 2009 at 7:30am #

    Hey Joed,

    First off, there is no hell, except here on earth when trying to talk rationally to people like you.

    Secondly, it’s not my Israel. I did make that clear in my post but of course that doesn’t jive with your black-and-white worldview. Incidentally, I’m the citizen of a country that is famous for its feat of systematically murdering six million “Zionists” not too long ago in history. Is it really that perplexing to you that someone can objectively find fault with the idea that one nation has promised to completely eradicate another, even when you’re not a citizen or supporter of either, or directly involved in any other way?

    I’m sure the author of this article is concerned about humanity. That in itself is no big deal. Am I supposed to praise him for that? After all, one can expect any civilized person to hold that intention. The point is that the way he — like so many others — goes about it is naive and misleading.

    Go back where I came from? Fuck you, too, buddy. Who are you to tell me where I should go?

    As for me “creating” hate and fear and “bad stuff”: That’s not my intention. I’m simply worried about a regime like Iran with its world view potentially having the ability to wield nuclear weapons, and that a lot of people are finding pretty naive excuses to the contrary. Of course, other nuclear powers like Israel, Russia, North Korea, Pakistan, India, France or the U.S. might trigger a catastrophe too, but for their own various respective reasons, one can assume more restraint from them than from a country like Iran that is run by a bunch of religious and ideological crazies who leave no doubt about their intentions. Give me one good reason why Iran should not strive to “get the Bomb”.

  11. Ray said on March 12th, 2009 at 7:49am #

    Dear Phil,

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has never, ever made a threat against the state of Israel. He’s only pointed out the criminality of its leading regime, and even if he wanted to do some harm to said regime (which he’s never threatened to put into action), he doesn’t even have any power to. He’s only the president, not the shah.

    “Our dear Imam said that the occupying regime must be wiped off the map and this was a very wise statement.” M.A., Oct 2005

    You know damn well he has the power to.

    Questioning the official facts/story/evidence of the holocaust is not the same thing as denial. Not even close.

    Again, you know damn well that Haolocaust denial is an ancient argument against the Jews, along the lines of “they just fabricated that in order to gain sympathy” blah blah. I’ve been to Auschwitz, have spoken in person to survivors, we have stacks of confessional evidence from Nazi planners. We have evidence and details ad infinitum. I’m not even going to lose my dignity by following this path further, it’s just disguisting that you actually seem to believe what you’re saying. Besides, why should Iran have such an interest in questioning details? Does it matter whether there were a few hundred thousand victims more, or less? One or two camps more, or less? You get a clue, my friend.

    If Islam is a bronze age mythology/ideology, it’s no more so than Judaism or Christianity, …

    At last we agree on something.

    and far less guilty of spreading itself throughout the world by warfare.

    And the point is? Oh, you think you’re the type that thinks if A and B do something bad, then it’s OK if C does it, too.

    Iran’s leaders have made it perfectly clear they have no intention of attacking anyone. All they’ve promised is that they’ll fight back if attacked. The govts of America and Israel, on the other hand, have outright declared (proudly no less) that they’ll be the aggressors in any conflict.

    Evidence?

    While we’re at it, you also really need to learn the difference between terrorist groups and resistance movements.

    Any person or group who intentionally kills civilans, no matter in what context, with the intention of instilling terror as a martial tactic is, hence, terrorist. It doesn not matter one bit whether it’s part of resistance, invasion/occupation, or whatever. Get your head out of your ass.

  12. joed said on March 12th, 2009 at 7:51am #

    gosh ray, dont have a cow! don’t make a federal case out of it. hate and fear may not be your intention ray, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions–dont you know that! how hate-filled and murderous do you want to be ray?
    “I’m the citizen of a country that is famous for its feat of systematically murdering six million “Zionists” not too long ago in history.” ray, the zionists all went to palestine. the jews etc that were murdered were just regular folks like you and me. the zionists went to Palestine. better read your history book again.
    and try to relax ray.

  13. joed said on March 12th, 2009 at 8:32am #

    ray, another thing that humbles me to no end is the humanism of this whole tragic tragic situation in palestine. the minute the jews get some power thay turn around and do the same thing to the palestinians that the germans did to the jews. what kind of animal is humanity?!

  14. dino said on March 12th, 2009 at 8:32am #

    I read every interview with Ahmadinajad and he said endless times that Iran means to attack no country.He said that Israel will collapse in the same way as URSS did ,he didn’t threaten and he revealed to be a very rational man.I read that he and Aytollah Khatami said that Islam forbids to hold wmd.I propose to read a speech of Ahmadinajad and one of Olmert or bush or Sharon or Clinton.Or give these speeches to a brilliant 18 age young not infested by Israel-USA propaganda and ask him who seems to be a danger.I saw Ahmadinajad speech at Colombia University-where he obtained a right to speech so hardly-and i saw the students applauding him many times.But if someone look for the speech on net he will see only a lot of remarks about his blunder on homosexuality on Iran nothing more from what he said.

  15. Ray said on March 12th, 2009 at 8:36am #

    I put Zionists in quotation marks tongue-in-cheek because I know that many people love to call all Jews that.

    Contrary, to what you may like to believe, there is no clear-cut, definite, easy answer to “who Palenstine belongs to”. If you read your history books, you’ll see it’s been always been a fluctuating region. There simply is no way to say that it belongs to A or B, or that A or B has no right to be there etc. This type of conflict is not unique to that region, btw. Take South Africa: The “first” tribes to inhabit the area were “bushmen”, who are pretty much extinct today. Then came black tribes from Central Africa, the last of them actually in parallel with the first European settlers. Of course, apartheid was a load of crap, but people who argue that Zulus, Xhosas etc are the “true” inhabitants of the land are just as wrong as people who claim that “Palestinians” or Jews are the “true” inhabitants of the current conflict zone. The fact is, it’s pretty useless in terms of people living together in peace today. It’s time to dump the historical baggage and move on. Religious zealots on both sides are not making things easy.
    That said, eradicating any party is not acceptable, and Iran’s threats to that effect are therefore not acceptable either. Which brings us back to the subject at hand.

  16. Shabnam said on March 12th, 2009 at 8:37am #

    Holocaust is not limited to one group. Many groups and population of different countries have been killed not once but number of times. In World War I, Iran lost more than 8 million people as a result of British occupying force war policy when they transferred Iranian crops to feed their own occupying army and let Iranians die to make it possible for them to expand their empire. This can be read in a book by Mohammad Gholi Majd titled: “the great famine and genocide in Persia, 1917-1919”. Thus, Jewish experience is not ‘unique’ and has been taken place many times in history. Why no one is not allowed to raise a question about a historical event, according to Ahmadinejad’ while everything else is allowed for questioning, investigation and revision to raise our understanding of that particular historical event?
    However, the Zionists have created an inquisition system forcing scientific community to censor whoever dares to say anything different from the official line to maintain zionist’s account of the event to maintain Palestine under occupation. They have turned this into a world religion where everyone has to accept what has been established earlier.
    People can watch the following video to see what Ahmadinejad has actually said on the subject.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykd-syzZ4ZY

  17. Ray said on March 12th, 2009 at 8:47am #

    @dino: Sure, Bush is a nutcase who thinks Jesus gives him political advice. I agree, the world is just a little bit safer now that his administration is gone. True, most leaders will use bravado and macho talk to appear strong.

    But don’t you think you’re just being a teeny weeny bit naive by thinking Ahmadinajad really means what he says? That he’s telling the truth, just because he says so? Come on. Of course he’ll try to appear as the calm, reasoned noble guy, especially when talking to the West. But his policy at home is completely at odds with that. Talk to an Iranian dissident. Since people on this site seem to love “leaked documents”, take a look at those executive orders and consultational correspondence documents between the Iranian government and the mullahs.
    And you should study the history of Islamic warfare (incl. the religion itself) a: Deception is expressly encouraged as a tactic. That means lying and appearing to be peaceful. Making the enemy look like the aggressor. Etc ad nauseum.

  18. Ray said on March 12th, 2009 at 8:57am #

    Shabnam:

    However, the Zionists have created an inquisition system forcing scientific community to censor whoever dares to say anything different from the official line to maintain zionist’s account of the event to maintain Palestine under occupation. They have turned this into a world religion where everyone has to accept what has been established earlier.

    Are you fucking serious? Yes, the whole world is under the yoke of the Big Zionist Conspiracy That Is So Perfect That Not A Single Person, Group Or Nation Is Left Outside Its Grasp! Your statement is the exact type of argument that Neo-Nazis here use to distort things. Congratulations!

    Why no one is not allowed to raise a question about a historical event …

    Okay, so let’s cut the crap and please tell me: What questions about the historical event? What exact little detail about the Holocaust of the Jews do we need to dicuss, investigate, and why is it so important to Iran or you, for that matter?

  19. Shabnam said on March 12th, 2009 at 9:46am #

    Ray:
    You are so narrow minded that do not allow anyone with best intension do research about a historical event. As Ahmadinejad asked: why don’t you? He believes the more research, help transparency and bring better understanding. Are you serious when raising the same tactic of intimidation: What questions? Those who have asked questions are lying in Prison around the world. Why is that? This is the question. We are not interested in your intimidation gesture. You turn the table around and make yourself the investigator and interrogators to ask others what kind of questions do you have? What has been offered is not satisfactory to make you shut up and go away? If there are no questions left to ask then why do we persecute so many people of whom some end up in jail? Iranian genocide has not been recognized by British or the Zionists yet. You cannot stop people by erecting memorial museum in every city to spread the official line in every single village while denying Gypsies to have one. You cannot intimidate and imprison people raising question to conduct research while your zionist propagandists, such as Bernard Lewis who was hired by turkey to deny Armenian genocide to get away with it. When Bernard Lewis finally brought to justice in France and was convicted, due to zionist power, received no jail time and only one franc for his punishment but his reputation among Zionists was not damaged and still can carry the torch without having a character assassinated around his neck like those who are in jail and outside the jail. Why?

  20. bozh said on March 12th, 2009 at 10:12am #

    ray,
    by calling DV posters “neonazis”, you have avoided to write dwn what the “neonazis” say/write.
    i for one do not call land robbers anything else but land stealers; with intent to murder/expel indigenes, if in robbers bodyminds, it is necessary.
    this is what the same euros have done in n. amerca. so, what is new?
    on occasion i call the robbers also “criminals”, using it as short cut to their actuall deeds. and their deeds are deemed as violation of many of our dearest panhuman rights.

    does one think that rabin, dayan, meir, begin, et all wld have not volunteered to face ICC to prove their innocnece if indeed they have not commited the crimes accused of having done.

    what innocent person wldn’t face courts to clear her/his name?
    similarly with ohlmert, barak, et al. if they’re innocent, why not show to whole world that they are innocent?

    i do not recognize “zionism” nor “zionists”. ashk’c volken have no connection to zion or to n.kingdom nor judean kingdom or judea.
    they are an euro-asian peoples of slavo-germanic-asian origin but armed with one the worst cults imaginable; much more perilous than islam. tx

  21. Ray said on March 12th, 2009 at 10:31am #

    What an intelligent, relevant response. Of course, it always comes back to the same issue, doesn’t it: Zionists rule the world and are responsible for any and every little grievance you and your permanently offended and “suppressed” pathetic little friends can conjure up.

    Have fun in your little think-alike group of antisemites posing as champions of peace. Go on humping each other intellectually. It’s so much more fun not to have to think when you huddle together, repeat the same old song to each other, smugly feel morally superior and actually believing you’re doing anything constructive, while and ranting and raving against all things evil: “Imperialists”, Zionists, the arrogant West in general, fascist capitalist swines, etc etc.

    I’ll take your clue and shut up and go away, there’s no use trying to have any meaningful exchange with dull-witted morons like you, anyway.

    But I’ll leave you with some advice, too: Don’t come crying for Mommy when full-fledged Sharia comes to your town and has its way with you. The more genetic waste of your kind crawls around on this planet, the sooner that day will come.

  22. joed said on March 12th, 2009 at 10:48am #

    ray there is enough hate and violence in the world why do you think it necessary to create more hate and divioion and violence. you’re stuck on some really stupid idea about iran. YOU HAVE NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER

  23. joed said on March 12th, 2009 at 10:52am #

    THAT IRAN IS DOING ANYTHING BUT WHAT THEY SAY THEY ARE DOING. that’s a problem with being a person that doesn’t tell the truth–you think everyone is lying. so take a break ray and listen-up because you could learn a thing or two about the murderous state of israel.

  24. bozh said on March 12th, 2009 at 11:05am #

    thus far no land robbers have ever robbed all of the world; thus, no land robbers ever ruled the entire planet.
    and we fervently hope that no criminals ever rule the world. i do not want to speak for all or even one DV poster, but do think our end goal is to prevent rule of planet by any people.

    we have no tanks, artillery, jets, warships, etc.; we merely educate.
    so ray join us in education. join us in giving adequate and accurate information.

    however, judging by ray’s last post, i don’t think anyone is going to waste time in such a wasteland. tnx

  25. Phil said on March 12th, 2009 at 11:21am #

    Thanks for the thoughts, Ray. Polite as always.

    Our dear Imam said that the occupying regime must be wiped off the map and this was a very wise statement.” M.A., Oct 2005

    If you read that in the context of the whole speech, you’d know that it’s about terrorist governments being ultimately unsustainable, and not a call for attack. But translation quibbles aside, you did notice that word regime, right? Regime. Remember that. Regime. It’s important. Regime. Obviously, there’s an enormous difference between a state and its regime. Besides which, you’d have to stretch logic beyond all credibility to turn Mahmoud’s quoting that as “a wise idea” into an actual threat.

    You know damn well [Ahmadinejad] has the power to [do something violent or other].

    That would be news to Khameini, since Iranian law is clear about the Supreme Leader being the one with all power over the military and foreign policy. Last I heard, this particular Supreme Leader had decreed a fatwa against nuclear weapons production, and — in the same speech you so blithely misquote — declared “the Islamic Republic has never threatened and will never threaten any country.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/apr/05/comment.military

    And you know what? In the past century, despite being invaded more than once, and while Israel (with its 250 nukes) has conducted sixty-year occupations, uncounted aggressions and constantly violated every international and moral law in existence, Iran has attacked and threatened….. no one.

    Besides, why should Iran have such an interest in questioning details?

    As Shabnam said, understanding. Because since the holocaust is Israel’s single biggest excuse for committing genocide against others and deflecting all criticism of its crimes against humanity, it’s in everyone’s interests (especially those in Israel’s crosshairs, like — say — Iran) to dispel the hysteria around it. At the very least, the world needs to regain enough perspective to realize that “people did it to our parents/grandparents” doesn’t translate to “it’s ok for us to do it to others.”

    It’s not even so much about the holocaust itself as it is about further debunking the delusion that Jews are special, that they’re above the law or that they must never be questioned or criticized. It’s about fighting the injustice of people being locked up for nothing more than asking questions.

    Oh, you think you’re the type that thinks if A and B do something bad, then it’s OK if C does it, too.

    Not in the least, but I do wonder why you were singling out C when it’s by far the least of the offenders, especially in today’s world.

    Evidence?

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-12/04/content_10456538.htm

    http://consortiumnews.com/2009/030409a.html

    http://tinyurl.com/6jh4q8

    http://tinyurl.com/25cu6n

    Any person or group who intentionally kills civilans, no matter in what context, with the intention of instilling terror as a martial tactic is, hence, terrorist. It doesn not matter one bit whether it’s part of resistance, invasion/occupation, or whatever.

    And so you neatly sidestep the thorn of resistance groups that don’t intentionally kill civilians. Convenient, that.

  26. Ray said on March 12th, 2009 at 11:55am #

    P.S. Sorry, I missed this gem before:

    the minute the jews get some power thay turn around and do the same thing to the palestinians that the germans did to the jews.

    Another classic piece of idiocy, conveniently used by the likes of you over and over again. The comparison must make any sane person vomit who actually knows the slightest bit about the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei and its ideology and practices.

    Let me assure you that you can be one hundered percent confident of the following fact: If Israel had the same attitude towards the Palestinians as the Nazis had towards the Jews, there would not be a single Palestinian alive in palestine/Israel today.

    Over and out. You people make me sick.

  27. Adnan said on March 12th, 2009 at 1:20pm #

    Ray, nobody needs to make you sick, only sick person can support racist regime of Israhell. Sick bastards!

  28. joed said on March 12th, 2009 at 1:33pm #

    gosh ray, you sound like some kinda’ tough guy.
    “If Israel had the same attitude towards the Palestinians as the Nazis had towards the Jews, there would not be a single Palestinian alive in palestine/Israel today.”
    seems the israelis are working pretty hard to affect your desires here.
    Moshe Dyan said it as well as you do; “genocide works” and the palesinians are feeling your cowardly wrath.
    israel is like uncle sam; neither would dare pick on someone their own size.

  29. Canon said on March 12th, 2009 at 2:04pm #

    A most eloquent piece.

    I wonder what Iran’s reception would be to a Th232/U233 fuel technology.

  30. Ray said on March 12th, 2009 at 2:20pm #

    seems the israelis are working pretty hard to affect your desires here.

    Those are not my desires, you brainless dimwit. Holy shit, you’re even more mentally deprived than I suspected. Can’t you read? Never mind, you’re not alone. Fuck you for trying to put words in my mouth, thank you.

    Israhell — you really, truly believe that’s wonderfully clever and original, don’t you?

    It seems that to you guys this is all an entertaining little game to make yourselves feel better about your pathetic existence. In the real world, nobody listens to you (I don’t blame them) so you take refuge in deluding yourselves that you’re taking part in serious discourse here, when in fact you’re all just wanking each other off, your common Vaseline being the same old leftist wannabe revolutionary ideas that we’ve been hearing for the last 40 years or so. Yawn. I should stick to talking to adults.

  31. Suthiano said on March 12th, 2009 at 2:29pm #

    “If Israel had the same attitude towards the Palestinians as the Nazis had towards the Jews”

    I can’t help beating a sophist on the ropes.

    How can Israel have an attitude? You are using it same way as Moses? You are referring to Jacob father of Joseph?

    Why are Palestinians, and Nazis individuated but “Israel” stands as one? This is nifty trick in accordance with trying to conflate Zionism and Judaism into the same thing. Which, as far as I know, is a trick only used by defenders of zionism.

    The fact is Ray, we all know that Judaism was very split on issue of Zionism… in fact Lord Montague (a Jewish Brit) suggested Zionism=Anti-semetism, which is much more accurate than the sophistry that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semetism, the day after the Balfour Declaration in 1917!

    Ray, a little trivia, when did “Nazis” state they desired to exterminate the whole Jewish population? Could you please give me a quotation, or a date… a reference (not from Hollywood).

    Ray, what was the reason for World War One? Did the results of WWI have anything to do with WWII and nazism?

    Ray, I agree with you, the comparison between Nazi Germany and Israel is not perfect, mostly because almost all Israelis are recent immigrants (last 100 years) with only ‘mystical’ connection to land, and persecuted population is indigenous. In this way, Israel is closer to U.S. of A or South Africa, and is clearly a colonial experiment…

    We all know what the issue is Ray, you’re a sophist.

  32. Manuel Garcia, Jr. said on March 12th, 2009 at 3:07pm #

    As to Thorium-232/Uranium-233 technology, see this article.

    http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/feature/thorium-fuel-for-nuclear-energy

    There is less Plutonium bred, but it is not entirely absent; and one needs a “starter” uranium nuclear reactor to introduce this technology. In any case, it remains nuclear power with the same types of security, radioactive waste, and processing/reprocessing problems.

    A pro-nuclear (PN) letter-writer asks “about the practicabilty of thorium fuel in nuclear reactors [as] a realistic alternative to uranium.”

    MG, Jr.: Thorium has its problems, and all nuclear power schemes have the same types of social costs. Nuclear power is unnecessary, there are much
    better alternatives in wind and solar.

    PN: “wind and solar have serious problems, too.”

    MG, Jr.: It all boils down to what kind of society you imagine powering: who runs it, who controls it, who profits. Nuclear power is to energy use what capitalism is to economy, and fascism is to politics. With nuclear power the “problems” and “costs” are all social and maximally exploitative, while the benefits/profits are private and maximally exclusive. Concentrated power serves concentrated economics (i.e., plutocracy), distributed power — as solar and wind are intrinsically — naturally meshes with a flatter system of economic distribution.

    Given human nature, it is inevitable that nuclear power will continue to be used widely around the world (despite my preferences or technical opinions).

    Finally, I think it is possible to have strong opinions and to make forceful arguments without lapsing into personal insults — at least not freely. When you reach that point, you should take it as a signal that further discussion is pointless.

    MG, Jr.

  33. Tony C. said on March 12th, 2009 at 4:40pm #

    Ray –

    Speaking of drivel…

    “What I see is a country run by what is effectively a theocracy based on the bronze age mythology/ideology called Islam, complete with the implicit agenda of spreading that ideology throughout the world by any means, including warfare…”

    What an educated and enlightened perspective – especially the last part, considering the fact that Iran – in blinding contrast to the countries you are apparently most concerned about – hasn’t invaded another country for over 200 years.

    No one is claiming that Iran doesn’t have faults, or shouldn’t be carefully scrutinized, but the notion that it shouldn’t be allowed to develop nuclear power because it poses some kind of dire threat to Israel and the U.S. is absurd.

  34. Barry99 said on March 13th, 2009 at 8:30am #

    Ray – The land belongs to those who live there. Indeed, in the land that became South Africa there lived in part – Kung and San people. Bantu tribes began pushing into the area from the north much later and Boer Dutch followed them – coming from the South. While the latter two groups can be said to be invaders – especially considering their hostility to the indigenous people, they’ve all now been there hundreds of years, there is no other land for them to go to.

    In Palestine, the Zionist colonizers, like the Boer colonists in South Africa, came into a land already inhabited and long-settled (thousands of years to be sure). That’s who the land belongs to. Why would anyone think otherwise? That European Jews have now been born there forseveral generations means they have no where else to go (at least not forcibly) – but no one should consider it the ‘Jewish state’ without a sense of irony. It’s still Palestine, after all.

    I think if Iran had nuclear weapons, Israel would think twice – or should I say, Israel would not have massacred Gazans in January. Apparently, there is an upside to the possibility of mutual destruction.

    And while Iran rightly rejects the notion of a “Jewish state’ in Palestine – it has said nothing of attacking it. (Israel on the other hand, has declined to say it would not attack first – in fact, it threatens Iran even now.) Iran has attacked no one in centuries. Not so re Israel they have not attacked anyone in days.

  35. George Salzman said on March 13th, 2009 at 8:36am #

    Oaxaca, Friday 13 March 2009
    Dear Manuel,
    I so much admire your ability to combine rationality and compassion, precisely the quality of your writing that sets some folks frothing at the mouth. Unlike you, I certainly couldn’t write without manifesting the hatreds I feel deeply for the governing institutions of most of global society. The only thing you wrote that I would challenge, and it was in the comments, not the essay, is your statement, “Given human nature, it is inevitable that nuclear power will continue to be used widely around the world (despite my preferences or technical opinions).”
    I don’t agree with your pessimistic assessment of ‘human nature’. It is not ‘human nature’ that has caused the industrial and military development of nuclear technology, but the panoply of the governing ideology. Our task, those of us who love life and want a good world for all children, is to change that ideology, a real but worthwhile challenge.
    In my new website, at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/s/00.htm, I will focus on this need. More than anything else we must start with absolutely uncensored communication on a global scale.
    All best wishes,
    George
    P.S. If I were not optimistic about ‘human nature’ I would logically have to renounce my faith in anarchism.

  36. bozh said on March 13th, 2009 at 10:51am #

    barry99,
    invasion of palestine by euro-asians appear like no other invasion. if we look at the anglosaxon, bulgarian, magyar, visigoth, vandal, lombard, frank, german, et al’s ‘invasions’ we wld not encounter [or at least historians don't mention it] much if any expulsion or mass murder of gauls in france, portugal, and spain.

    celts,picts, or gaels appear not have been expelled or slaughtered by anglosaxons. one can see even today an english person without a trace of germanic features.
    this analyses are valid also for bulgars, magyars, croats, lombards, franks, et al.

    however, more amicable melting pots took place because there were so few inhabitants in the regions to which so many peoples migrated.
    in addition, ideas about nationalism were diff’t 15-18 centuries ago.
    ‘religion’ [i love to call that "cult"] was also absent.

    palestine was invaded with expressed desire to drive out pal’ns from all of palestine. so, i’m not sure that if palestina wld be established that at least ashk’c folk shldn’t leave.
    but i wld let pal’ns decide whom the want in their millennial habitat. tx

  37. Barry99 said on March 13th, 2009 at 11:15am #

    Bozh – There are similarities between the European settlements in South Africa and Palestine. In both instances, the colonizers moved, removed, and killed the natives as necessary. In the case of South Africa, they also enslaved the natives. The colonization of Palestine also bears resemblance to that of the New World and Australia – kill and displace, claim the land, repeat until all land is expropriated.

  38. Eddie said on March 13th, 2009 at 12:10pm #

    “I put Zionists in quotation marks tongue-in-cheek because I know that many people love to call all Jews that.”

    So it seems that at least we can agree that they’re not equivalent terms. Therefore referring to Zionists does not include all Jews, nor does it exclude non-Jews.

    On Iran:
    “What I see is a country run by what is effectively a theocracy based on the bronze age mythology/ideology called Islam, complete with the implicit agenda of spreading that ideology throughout the world by any means, including warfare, which is specifically condoned and even encouraged by the religion (and history is witness to the fact that it makes liberal use of that means).”

    “Spreading the word by any means” would hardly be a monopoly of Islam. Furthermore, if past behavior is the basis for present suspicion, Christianity wins the bloodshed pageant hands down. Just ask any Native American from Alaska to Cape Horn. And though past misbehaviours by one do not excuse present misdeeds by another, we might consider that as the “West” has become increasingly secular, the Christian iconography has been replaced by the ideas of Patriotism, and of Democracy and Freedom (for us), and therefore I would argue that there is much more reason to be afraid of this latest-and-very-much-present incarnation of the Crusaders than there is to be afraid of Islam. On a Grand Scale, can Islam even compare?

    “And you should study the history of Islamic warfare (incl. the religion itself) a: Deception is expressly encouraged as a tactic. That means lying and appearing to be peaceful. Making the enemy look like the aggressor. Etc ad nauseum.”

    So, after you’ve lambasted half the commenters here for being paranoid enough to believe that the whole world is under the Yoke of the Great Zionist Conspiracy (and maybe some are a bit paranoid, zugegeben), you wish to teach us that it’s the Great Islamic Conspiracy we should be REALLY worrying about? Hey, if they’re being peaceful, it’s only part of the deception…right? That’s how Muslims are, is this your point? Or have I misunderstood something?

    “But I’ll leave you with some advice, too: Don’t come crying for Mommy when full-fledged Sharia comes to your town and has its way with you. ”

    So…that’s where the Great Islamic Conspiracy is going, world domination which is “so perfect no one is outside its grasp”, to use your terminology, am I getting this right?

    “The more genetic waste of your kind crawls around on this planet, the sooner that day will come.”

    And…those whose ideas you dislike are obviously genetically inferior, correct? Sound familiar?

    “Are you fucking serious? Yes, the whole world is under the yoke of the Big Zionist Conspiracy That Is So Perfect That Not A Single Person, Group Or Nation Is Left Outside Its Grasp! Your statement is the exact type of argument that Neo-Nazis here use to distort things. Congratulations!”

    Well, apparently they draw some people’s attention…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

    “Of course, other nuclear powers like Israel, Russia, North Korea, Pakistan, India, France or the U.S. might trigger a catastrophe too, but for their own various respective reasons, one can assume more restraint from them than from a country like Iran that is run by a bunch of religious and ideological crazies who leave no doubt about their intentions.”

    So, no religious or ideological crazies ever run any of those 6 other countries, nope! What was that thing about George Bush talking to God again?

  39. kalidas said on March 13th, 2009 at 2:30pm #

    “Ray, what was the reason for World War One? Did the results of WWI have anything to do with WWII and nazism?”

    Well, the Germans also killed six million Jews in WWI, did they not?
    I saw it in the news paper. The BIG news paper. The NYT.
    Didn’t I?
    Oh, that’s right…. never mind.

  40. bill rowe said on March 14th, 2009 at 4:20pm #

    I am waiting for some technologically savvy country (most likely Japan) to put the necessary resources into developing the “holy grail” of commercial nuclear power: an inherently safe nuclear reactor where you fuel once during the life of the plant (or very infrequently) that generateds power and its own nuclear fuel during operation and also removes (or burns) the higly radioactive fission products continuously. So only a very very little radioactive waste leaves the site. Its not so much a fairy-tale as a concept known as the molten salt breeder reactor concept . The concept has been around since the beginnings of nuclear power ,but it never got the development funds that other concepts have. Its not as far-fetched as the international fusion project, and an internationally funded project would probably be less expensive,more likely to succeed in a reasonable time, and solve or put a big dent in concerns about shipping irradiated nuclear fuel all over the world to be reprocessed and shipping weapons grade plutonium around to be fabricated into fuel going back into curect concept breeder reactors.I wold like to see a similar article on the necessity of reprocessing and breder reactors in a widespread nuclear expansion and where the molten salt breeser concept advantages lie.Of-course the drawbacks of the concept also.

  41. sastry.m said on March 17th, 2009 at 8:35am #

    An excellent article by Manuel Garcia Jr. followed by a host of spirited discussions which go to show that the laws of nature and that of science are searched and researched by the human mind in a rational and logical manner and with the sharpness of intellect probing atomic and sub-atomic states of matter which even the Sun cannot illuminate. The recognition of radioactive materials such as Radium,Uranium,thorium etc. among many inert elements is in itself a great achievement of human intellectual precocity not to speak of methods of extracting enriched fissionable materials. So far so good for the scientific zeal of discoveries. But what about their practical service to human application? Why the same positve human mind of predictable scientific progress should go astray and irrational when it comes to positive human applications? Which holy faith whether dating from bronze age or modern scientific conventions can destroy or protect humanity with the present destructive potential of a possible nuclear holocaust vested with ” Great Powers” of human beings on Earth which can result in a thermo-nuclear inferno irrevocably destroying all life on It for many millenia to come? It is the basic responsibility of all human beings to clearly distinguish ” What is at Stake ” and ” What is in the Make ‘ in this maze of phenomenal world for realizing lasting benefits from any human progress.