Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Nuke Em

... In an article in the Asia Times, independent journalist Jim Lobe interviews Ivan Oelrich, of the Federation for American Scientists, who says one of the things that concerns him about the [draft Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations plan] is the way that it conflates several different levels of threats into one form of WMD threat.

"What we are seeing now is an effort to lay the foundations for the legitimacy of using nuclear weapons if [the administration] suspects another country might use chemical weapons against us," he said. "Iraq is a perfect example of how this doctrine might actually work; it was a country where we were engaged militarily and thought it would deploy chemical weapons against us."

Philip Giraldi, former CIA analyst and member of the Defense Intelligence Agency, wrote in The American Conservative last month that Vice President Dick Cheney's office has requested the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) to draw up a plan to respond to another "9/11 type attack on the US."

The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing--that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack--but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections.


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