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Friday, 9 July 2004
A nuclear free zone in the Middle East... Dream on.
"Israel's Atomic Energy Commission unveiled today a Web site on the country's highly secretive nuclear program, though it is limited to the most basic information and a few long-distance photos...(New York Times.)

The Web site notes that Israel has two nuclear research centers, including a nuclear reactor in the Negev Desert, outside the southern town of Dimona.[Whoa, don't give away too much there!]

There is no reference to nuclear weapons on the Web site, which says the Dimona facility is for "expanding and deepening basic knowledge of nuclear science and related fields and providing an infrastructure for the practical and economic utilization of atomic energy.....[Yeah, right.]

The country has never signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and has not allowed international inspectors to visit the Dimona reactor...

Israel argues that its shrouded nuclear program serves as an effective deterrent in a region where several of its enemies have sought nuclear weapons.

Israel points to past nuclear projects in Iraq and Libya, and says that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons.

Many senior Israeli officials regard Iran's nuclear program [They did sign the "nuclear non-proliferation treaty."] as the most serious security threat facing Israel in the coming years, though Iran denies it is attempting to build such weapons.

Israel's critics have argued that Israel is able to maintain its clandestine program with the blessing of the United States, while other countries in the region have faced tremendous international pressure over their nuclear weapons programs, real or perceived."

Israel is bent on preventing Iran from getting nukes.

On Feb. 17, 2003, under secretary of state John Bolton met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to discuss, ironically, weapons of mass destruction.

According to Ha'aretz:

After Bolton told Sharon of the impending Iraq invasion:

"In a meeting with Bolton on Monday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that Israel is concerned about the security threat posed by Iran. It's important to deal with Iran even while American attention is turned toward Iraq, Sharon said."

Interestingly, the Guardian reported:

"So excited was Israeli premier Ariel Sharon about this whole new Middle East order [Post Iraq invasion] in the making that he told the Times, 'the day after' Iraq, the US and Britain should turn to that other 'faraway' enemy - Iran.

For Israel, the ayatollahs' Iran had always seemed the greater menace of the two, by virtue of its intrinsic weight, its fundamentalist, theologically anti-Zionist leadership, its more serious, diversified and supposedly Russian-assisted nuclear armaments programme, its ideological affinity with, or direct sponsorship of, such Islamist organisations as Hamas or Hizbollah. "

In the same article the point is hammered home that Israel is preoccupied most intensely with Iran...

"...Former Minister Moshe Sneh was warning that Israel 'cannot possibly put up with a nuclear bomb in Iranian hands'... he said, 'since Iran threatens the interests of all rational states in the Middle East'...'If the Western states don't do their duty, Israel will find itself forced to act alone, and will accomplish its task by any [ie including nuclear] means.'

The hint of anti-American blackmail in that remark was nothing exceptional; it has always been a leitmotif of Israeli discourse on the subject...'

Within two years,' said John Pike, director of Globalsecurity.org, 'either the US or Israelis are going to attack Iran's [nuclear sites] or acquiesce in Iran being a nuclear state.'"

Now, the scary part:

Israel now has the capability to strike Iran with nuclear tipped Harpoon Cruise Missiles from German built submarines:

Walter Pincus has reported in the Washington Post:

"Israel has acquired three diesel submarines that it is arming with newly designed cruise missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, according to former Pentagon and State Department officials, potentially giving Israel a triad of land-, sea- and air-based nuclear weapons for the first time.

(Three 1,925 ton Type 800 Dolphin class submarines have been built in German shipyards for the Israel Navy. Modern submarines with the most advanced sailing and combat systems in the world, they combine extensive sophistication with very easy operation. The purpose of these submarines is to enable the Israel Navy to meet all the tasks faced in the Mediterranean Sea in the 21st century. The submarines cost $320 million each, and are twice as big as the aging Gal-class submarines that the Israeli navy has relied on to date.)

The U.S. Navy monitored Israeli testing of a new cruise missile from a submarine two years ago off Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean, according to former Pentagon officials.

"One former senior American official said U.S. analysts have studied the nuclear capability of the cruise missile. But, according to a former Pentagon official, "It is above top secret knowing whether the sub-launched cruise missiles are nuclear-armed." Another former official added, "We often don't ask."

The possible move to arm submarines with nuclear weapons suggests that the Israeli government might be increasingly concerned about efforts by Iraq and Iran to develop more accurate long-range missiles capable of knocking out Israel's existing nuclear arsenal, which is primarily land-based.

Although developing a sea-based leg would preserve the deterrent value of Israel's nuclear force, according to analysts, it would complicate U.S. efforts to keep other countries in the Middle East and elsewhere from seeking to acquire nuclear arms. It also could spur a nuclear arms race in the Middle East."

To say the least...

Active Duty says:

"Though Iran says it has no hostile designs , Tehran's atomic program heads the list of Israeli fears. Navy chief Adm. Yedidiya Ya'ari said submarines were a crucial deterrent.

The ultimate role of the submarine is to linger for extended periods, almost anywhere it needs to be, undetected," he told Reuters, declining to comment on foreign analysts' assessments that the vessels carry nuclear-tipped missiles.


It has a range of functions including hitting the enemy from where he least expects it. You can understand that as you wish," he said. "



Jonathan Pollard:

America's worst traitor, who spied for Israel and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 1987, coincidentally was in Naval intelligence. Much of what he gave the Israelis had to do with how the U.S. monitored Soviet submarines.

From Free Rpublic

"A significant percentage of Pollard's documents, including some that described the techniques the American Navy used to track Soviet submarines around the world

They also revealed how America was able to learn what it did -- a most sensitive area of intelligence defined as "sources and methods." Pollard gave the Israelis vast amounts of data dealing with specific American intelligence systems and how they worked.

For example, he betrayed details of an exotic capability that American satellites have of taking off-axis photographs from high in space...

While orbiting the earth in one direction, the satellites could photograph areas that were seemingly far out of range. Israeli nuclear-missile sites and the like, which would normally be shielded from American satellites, would thus be left exposed, and could be photographed. ("Israel's highly secretive nuclear program, though it is limited to the most basic information and a few long-distance photos." Wonder why?)

"We monitor the Israelis," one intelligence expert told me, "and there's no doubt the Israelis want to prevent us from being able to surveil their country."

The data passed along by Pollard included detailed information on the various platforms -- in the air, on land, and at sea -- used by military components of the National Security Agency to intercept Israeli military, commercial, and diplomatic communications."

[The main reason this is so disturbing is that, we can't track Israeli submarines.]



See also,

The wacko fringe trying to get Pollard released:

In particular: U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Kew Gardens)

He is busy saving the world from Armageddon. Specifically, asteroid strikes(i.e. Big time military nuclear contracts. Star Wars through the backdoor. Search long enough and you'll find "Palestinian animals" somewhere along the line.)

W is on the ball with this issue though,

From the Book on Bush by Eric Alterman:

"Asked for instance, in July 2003, whether he might revisit the case of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, Bush replied, "Well, I said very clearly at the press conference with Prime Minister [Mahmoud] Abbas, I don't expect anybody to release somebody from prison who'll go kill somebody..."

Clearly Bush had never even heard of Pollard, who is only the most famous foreign spy to be captured and tried in the United States in the past thirty years and whose jail sentence remains a significant bone of contention in U.S.-Israeli relations."

[Another four years ought to take care of that little problem.]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:08 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 10 July 2004 9:22 PM EDT
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