Nuclear Orientalism.

Again, relevant for tonight.


"People’s skin could be burnt [when coming in contact with the plumes], they could become blind, their lung could be destroyed, their kidneys could be damaged, and in the future they could face other health problems such as skin cancer and [other forms] of cancer," Semnani says. The report analyzed the impact of preemptive conventional strikes on four key nuclear sites: Isfahan’s uranium conversion facility; Natanz’s fuel-enrichment plant; Arak’s heavy-water plant; and Bushehr’s nuclear power plant. Workers at those sites — who include scientists, workers, support staff, and soldiers — would be among the first victims of a bombing campaign. The report estimates that the casualty rate at the sites would be close to 100 percent.

"According to our estimates, the number of casualties of the bombing of the four sites would be about 5,000 people," Semnani says. "If the bombing would include more than those four sites, then the immediate casualty would be up to 10,000 people." The report warns that the grim scenario could be magnified by the lack of readiness on the part of Iranian authorities, who have a poor record of disaster management and who lack the capacity to handle deadly radioactive fallout in the aftermath of a strike on its nuclear sites.






If someone doesn’t photoshop in a map of Israel’s illegal settlements, I am going to be disappointed.

You’re welcome.

You win all of the internets.



Evidently, according to Israel, not only is Iran the greatest enemy of freedom ever, it is also making cartoon bombs in its underground supervillain lair.

I mean, honestly, this is like the thing you would do if you were trying to sabotage your chances of people taking you seriously.


Evidently, according to Israel, not only is Iran the greatest enemy of freedom ever, it is also making cartoon bombs in its underground supervillain lair.

"The United States has decided to remove the Iranian dissident group Mujahadin-e Khalq (MEK) from its list of terrorist organizations, U.S. officials said on Friday, handing a political victory to a group once sheltered by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein that claims to have abandoned its violent past."

New York Times

A group that is actively committing assassinations in Iran and has a long history of terrorism is now being de-listed because its goals coincide with American interests. More proof that terrorism is a meaningless phrase that is only used to describe people who use  violence that the government does not like.

"This particular form of sanctioning a nation has been unprecedented in the history of the world. The only similar type of sanctions, were implemented for a short period of time, and were intended to prevent the illegal transfer of funds by Qaddafi within the framework of the activities of Libya’s Central Bank. But even during that time, [the sanctions] weren’t implemented in this fashion [as we see against Iran’s Central Bank], … not all the transactions of the Libyan Central Bank were sanctioned and the sanctions focused only on the illegal transfer of funds and money laundering…[The Iranian sanctions] are not related to a specific sector or industry nor to business entities or specific individuals. In this framework, all monetary transactions, currency transactions and business credit accounts for imports as well as exports and for the coverage and payment of insurance, which in every country falls under the responsibilities of the Central Bank of that country, will be made illegal in Iran. Iran’s Central Bank will no longer be able to carry-out these duties, because it has now been identified as a center for money laundering. In this framework, international corporations, governmental organizations, non-governmental bodies or security organizations will no longer be able to transfer funds or open credit lines for trade, using the Central Bank."

Many of Washington’s more hawkish voices have sought to downplay or drown out discussions about a possible military attack on Iran’s nuclear program. Even as the Obama administration has kept all options on the table regarding iran’s nuclear program, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign attacked the administration for trying to have an honest discussion of the possible consequences of a military strike.

Now, three Members of Congress — Reps. John Conyers (D-MI), Keith Ellison (D-MN), and Barbara Lee (D-CA) — are introducing an amendment to an intelligence authorization bill that would demand a government report about the possible consequences of an attack. Conyers and Ellison, among others, also used the amendment process to tag the Defense authorization — another big appropriations bill likely to pass — with language stating that Congress was not authorizing war with Iran.

The first public comments by members on the amendment, which has the support of pro-peace groups, could come this afternoon when the Rules Committee meets to decide on its inclusion in the larger bill. The amendment, Section 306 of the new bill, reads in full that:

Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director of National Intelligence shall submit to the congressional intelligence committees a report containing an assessment of the consequences of a military strike against Iran.

The Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has already said that Iran has not made a decision to build a nuclear weapon — an estimate in line with reported U.S. assessments and also the U.N. atomic watchdog and Israeli assessments — and made clear that he thinks Iran can be dissuaded from building a bomb.

But his views on the consequences of a strike are unlikely to satisfy militaristic voices in Congress. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a prominent hawk on Iran, publicly disagreed with Clapper’s Iran assessments during a hearing this winter. Last year, Graham called on Clapper to resign.

While President Obama, like others, considers a potential Iranian nuclear weapon a threat, this Spring he lamented the “loose talk of war” and called on those who are pushing an attack on Iran to hold open discussions about the possible consequences:

If some of these folks think that it’s time to launch a war, they should say so and they should explain to the american people exactly why they would do that and what the consequences would be.

Instead of hawkish bluster, the Obama administration maintains its options while pushing a negotiated diplomatic solution, which the administration considers the “best and most permanent way” to end the crisis. That’s because Israeli and American experts have noted that attacking could push Iran into building a weapon, and potentially ignite a regional war. Those are exactly the sorts of potential consequences of an attack on Iran that the Obama administration has called for a forthright conversation on, which Conyers, Ellison and Lee are now bolstering. And its exactly the conversation the hawks don’t want to have.

This could be a positive step. If you can get the military to say how disastrous a strike against Iran would be, it could shut up some of the GOP members who have been pushing for this. Although, in all probability, it won’t matter to them anyways.

"You don’t wait until they acquire the capability and they build it and they deploy it—then it’s too late, you cannot act,” Mr. Barak said. “The Iranians are patient. They say to themselves, ‘We waited 4,000 years until we have a nuclear power, we can wait another four weeks or four months or four quarters.’ "

Israeli Defense Minster Ehud Barak

That sound you hear is my head hitting my desk.