Sunday, January 7, 2007
By Kurt Nimmo
"Not to worry. The “mini-nukes” Israel will use against Iran’s Natanz facility and the heavy water reactor at Arak “would each have a force equivalent to one-fifteenth of the Hiroshima bomb,” thus we should not worry about the downwinders, mostly Iranians.
“Two Israeli air force squadrons are training to blow up an Iranian facility using low-yield nuclear ‘bunker-busters,’ according to several Israeli military sources,” reports the Sunday Times. “The attack would be the first with nuclear weapons since 1945, when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
The Hiroshima Bomb was equivalent to 12.5 kilotons of TNT, so a fifteenth would put a Israeli nuclear bunker-buster under a kiloton. Let’s round that off to a kiloton for the sake of argument. According to Robert W. Nelson, writing for Physics Today, an earth-penetrating nuclear weapon of the 1-kiloton range, used in an urban area, “would kill tens of thousands.”
Not a problem for the Israelis and the neocons, of course. After all, we’re talking about Muslims here, Muslims that hanker to “wipe Israel off the map,” never mind there is no evidence Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ever said this. Saddam didn’t have weapons of mass destruction, either, but that didn’t stop the media, with its neocon contrived script, from repeating the lie over and over until millions of Americans took it as fact.
It also does not matter that Iran, under the NPT, is perfectly within its right to develop nuclear energy. In fact, as Dr. Helen Caldicott notes, “Iran was actively encouraged by the United States to develop its own nuclear power program.”
This brings to mind April Glaspie, ambassador to Iraq, telling Saddam Hussein on July 25, 1990 that the United States had “no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America.”
“When the blast breaks through the surface, it carries with it into the air large amounts of dirt and debris, made radioactive by the capture of neutrons from the nuclear detonation, as well as fission products from the bomb itself. The radioactive dust cloud produced in the blast does not rise as high as a classic mushroom cloud, but instead typically consists of a narrow column of vented hot gas surrounded by a broad base surge of ejecta and suspended fine particles.”
“At a depth of 15 meters, a one-kiloton explosion would knock down homes within a radius of one kilometer, killing most inhabitants, states a study by Physicians for Social Responsibility,” writes Cristina Hernández for Tierramérica. “The survivors would absorb hundreds to thousands of rems of radiation, enough to be fatal. The rem is a unit used to measure the biological effects of radiation…. Even limited contact with radiation could affect the brain’s capacity to regulate blood circulation, reduce fertility and increase the incidence of cancer. Furthermore, DNA damage could give rise to genetic mutations in the offspring of affected populations.”
“Radioactive fallout would likely be significant. A 1-kiloton warhead exploding 20 feet underground would eject about one million cubic feet of radioactive debris and form a crater the size of ground zero at the World Trade Center. The radiation dose from the explosion could exceed 100 rads per hour,” notes People for Peace and Justice of Utah. “Mini-Nukes will not limit ‘collateral damage’ (civilian injury and death). Even a very low-yield nuclear weapon exploded in or near an urban environment will disperse radioactive dirt and debris over several square miles and could result in fatal doses of radiation to tens of thousands of civilians.”
Of course, Israel may be simply throwing a histrionic tizzy and has no intention of “mini” nuking Iran. Robert Gates, Bush’s new Sec. Def., has declared attacking Iran will be a “last resort,” but then you can’t exactly hold neocons and intimates of the Bush crime family to their word.
“How seriously should we take the threat of Israeli action? There is, inevitably, an element of sabre-rattling. Any attack would require, at the very least, Washington’s tacit approval. With George W Bush up to his eyes in Iraq and the Israelis still getting over last year’s humiliation at the hands of Hezbollah in Lebanon, this would seem to be the last thing on American and Israeli minds,” declares a Times op-ed. “Looked at in another way, however, these events may have made a tactical nuclear strike against Iran more likely. Ehud Olmert, Israel’s prime minister, refused to rule out military action last month, letting slip publicly for the first time the fact that his country has nuclear weapons; surely one of the world’s worst-kept secrets.”
However, the cachet stamped on the idea of nuking Iran, now lightly discussed in the corporate media—an idea not long ago considered not only taboo, but criminally insane—reveals a whole lot about the mindset of our rulers, or at least one faction. Israel may not nuke Iran, as we are told, but the nation will be attacked one way or another before Bush departs office, as it figures prominently on the hit list.
Floating dire scenarios of nuclear-tipped bunker-busters, complete with casual references to Hiroshima, is part an parcel of the emerging propaganda campaign, as any “conventional” attack will come off as mild by way of comparison.
Of course, killing 650,000 Iraqis over the span of three years, a number cast atop a death toll exceeding 1.5 million over the period of a decade, is hardly mild, no matter the comparison or how you slice it. "