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April 19, 2008

Obama Channeling Cheney


by Gordon Prather

Well that tears it. At least for you who considered President Barack Obama our best chance to avoid a war of aggression with Iran. Apparently Obama has been invaded by the same spirit that has long been speaking through Dick Cheney.

According to his campaign aides, Obama told a synagogue in Philadelphia last week that:

"As president, I will do everything that I can to help (Israel) protect itself ... We will make sure that it can defend itself from any attack, whether it comes from as close as Gaza or as far as Tehran."

Cheney, last month, just prior to meeting with Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, had told reporters that:

"America's commitment to Israel's security is enduring and unshakable, as is our commitment to Israel's right to defend itself always against terrorism, rocket attacks and other forces dedicated to Israel's destruction,"

On the other hand, John "Bomb, Bomb, Bomb – Bomb-Bomb Iran" McCain acknowledged this week that it would be "difficult" to convince the American people of the necessity of going to war with Iran.

Why? Because the scare campaign waged in 2002 by the Cheney Cabal and associated media sycophants to convince the American people of the necessity of going to war with Iraq has been proven to be totally unfounded.

They told you then that Saddam was pursuing a nuclear weapons programs, totally unbeknownst to the International Atomic Energy Agency, which, after years of totally intrusive inspections, had, since 1997, annually certified Iraq to be "in compliance" with its Safeguards Agreement.

The Cheney Cabal and associated media sycophants have been similarly telling you for years now, that the Iranian Mullahs are pursuing a nuclear weapons program, totally unbeknownst to the IAEA, which, after years of totally intrusive inspections, annually certifies Iran to be "in compliance" with its Safeguards Agreement.

Then came the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran of 2007, which contained this "assessment":

"We assess with high confidence that until fall 2003, Iranian military entities were working under government direction to develop nuclear weapons."

Followed by this "judgment";

"We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.

"[For the purposes of this Estimate, by "nuclear weapons program" we mean Iran's nuclear weapon design and weaponization work and covert uranium conversion-related and uranium enrichment-related work; we do not mean Iran's declared civil work related to uranium conversion and enrichment.]"

So, Iran may have done some "weaponization' work prior to 2003, but after thousands of man-hours of go-anywhere see-anything inspections, at sites "declared" by the Iranians and at others, some military, suggested by our intelligence community, IAEA Director-General ElBaradei has declared there is "no indication" that Iran has – or ever had – a nuclear weapons program.

So, that ought to be that. Right?

Wrong!

You see, according to the Likudniks, in Israel and elsewhere, Iran's Safeguarded civil nuclear programs are a threat to Israel.

Why?

Well, according to Cheney et al, "Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel." Hence, any program or policy that strengthens Iran is a threat to Israel that must be countered or defended against.

In an interview aired on MSNBC's "Imus in the Morning" show, a few hours before President Bush's second inaugural address, Vice-President Cheney wryly noted that "the Israelis might well decide to act first" to eliminate Iran's "fairly robust new nuclear program" and "let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess, afterwards."

Diplomatic mess?

Was Cheney referring to the international crisis – which, according to UN Security Council Resolution 487, potentially had "grave consequences for the vital interests of all [UN] States" – that resulted from the "premeditated Israeli air attack" of June 7, 1981 on Iraq's IAEA Safeguarded nuclear research center "in clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations"?

UNSCR 487 "strongly condemns" the military attack on Iraq and "considers" that the attack on IAEA Safeguarded facilities "constitutes a serious threat to the entire [IAEA] safeguards regime …which is the foundation of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons."

On that occasion, the diplomatic "mess" which resulted from the destruction of an IAEA Safeguarded research reactor – with little or no loss of life, but in the midst of a decade-long war of aggression by Iraq against Iran, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths on both sides – was, nevertheless, such that the United States dared not veto UNSCR 487.

Now, in the aftermath of the first Gulf War the IAEA was able to determine from examination of captured Iraqi records that Saddam Hussein did not have a nuclear weapons program in 1981. He could not have produced weapons-grade plutonium in the IAEA Safeguarded research reactor, nor had he any intention of withdrawing from the NPT in order to produce nuclear weapons.

So, the Israeli destruction of IAEA Safeguarded facilities in Iraq – which the Likudniks claimed to be a threat to Israel – was as UNSCR 487 declared, "a serious threat" to the IAEA-NPT nuke proliferation prevention regime.

Can there be any doubt that the premeditated destruction of dozens of IAEA Safeguarded facilities in Iran – which the Likudniks again claim to be a threat to Israel – will be anything less than cold-blooded murder of the IAEA-NPT nuke proliferation regime?

In 1981, under Ronald Reagan, the United States condemned Israel for its premeditated attack on IAEA safeguarded facilities, and called upon Israel to "refrain in the future from any such acts or threats thereof."

So, truly alarmed at the threats being made by Likudniks, in general, and by advisors to some of our current Presidential candidates, in particular, to commit many such acts against Iran and the IAEA-NPT regime in the near future, all our leaders and would-be leaders take great pains to warn Israeli officials that – at a minimum – we would once again join the international community in condemning such acts. And in the event Iran was somehow able to retaliate against Israel, we would make no effort to prevent that.

That's what Bush and Cheney and McCain and Hillary and Obama have all told the Israelis. Isn't it?


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Physicist James Gordon Prather has served as a policy implementing official for national security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Army. Dr. Prather also served as legislative assistant for national security affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla. -- ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and member of the Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations Committee. Dr. Prather had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico.

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