Nuclear proliferation is a major threat

  • #26
Morbius
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ophecleide said:
I hate reading really lengthy posts, so I'll try to keep this one brief.

4.Iraq was not about preventing the spreading of nuclear weapons. Please tell me why you think it was.
ophecleide,

First - because Iraqi scientists knew how to design a nuclear weapon - they
came VERY close previous to the first Gulf War. Check out the scientific
journal "Physics Today" published by the American Institute of Physics -
the July 1992 edition. [The library of any university with a Physics
Department should have that journal] There is an article starting on
page 20 by Dr. David Kay - chief nuclear weapons inspector, and
Dr. Jay Davis, then Associate Director of Lawrence Livermore National
Laboratory.

Or to quote from Dr. Kay's Senate testimony in January 2004:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/KAY401A.html

"KAY: Yes. You have to realize, this was a country that had designed and
had gone through a decade-long nuclear program. They knew the secrets."

The only question was whether Iraq could get the material. Dr. Kay
also addressed this in his testimony. There is a "black market" in
nuclear weapons material because of the Soviet Union. [ We are
attempting to secure this material:

http://www.llnl.gov/str/Dunlop2.html

Or read the book "One Point Safe" by Andrew and Leslie Cockburn

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/...09-2884700?v=glance&s=books&tag=pfamazon01-20

You will find it most authoritative and well researched ]

However, there's weapons material out there. Dr. Kay was concerned
that Iraq could just buy the material it needed - in the words of his
opening statement -that "...a willing buyer would meet a willing seller".
In the Senate testimony, Senator Cornyn referred to this portion of
Dr. Kay's statement:

"CORNYN: You said something during your opening statement that
intrigues me, and something that I'm afraid may be overlooked in all of
this back and forth; and that has to do with proliferation.

You said that there was a risk of a willing seller meeting a willing buyer
of such weapons or weapon stockpiles, whether they be large, small or
programs, whether it's information that Iraqi scientists might be willing
to sell or work in cooperation with rogue organizations or even nations.

But do you consider that to have been a real risk in terms of Saddam's
activities and these programs -- the risk of proliferation?

KAY: Actually, I consider it a bigger risk. And that's why I paused on the
preceding questions. I consider that a bigger risk than the restart of his
programs being successful.

KAY: I think the way the society was going, and the number of willing
buyers in the market, that that probably was a risk that if we did avoid,
we barely avoided."

To reiterate Dr. Kay's final point above; in his testimony, Dr. Kay stated
that we "barely avoided" the risk of proliferation by Iraq.

To me, that speaks volumes!!!

I wonder why the news media failed to pick up on this point - they only
picked up Dr. Kay's comments about "we were all wrong" about chemical and biological weapons.

Dr. Gregory Greenman
Physicist
Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory
 
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  • #27
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It's interesting that you (Morbius) only quote one person and tell me to read a book written by one other person. Whether they could acquire nuclear weapons or not, there still isn't any proof that they were. Moreover, the evidence compiled by the CIA suggests that the weapons program Saddam had before the first Gulf War was essentially destroyed (http://www.cia.gov/cia/reports/iraq_wmd_2004/) and that he was not actively restoring the program or even had any actual plans to do so (although he did want to, had the intent to, and may have done so given the opportunity). Is this evidence enough to justify an invasion? Perhaps, but in my opinion, no. The point is that invasion would only be necessary if we knew that he did have WMDs or that he was actively producing them and we were unable to stop it without force.

I also need to point out to juju that "weak analogy" was supposed to be a nice way of saying "invalid analogy". You still have not shown why WWII politics can be applied today. I agree there are similarities, but similarities alone do not valididate an analogy.

Finally, juju just told me that because Saddam is a mean guy, the war in Iraq is about nuclear weapons. That's illogical.
 
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  • #28
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ophecleide said:
I also need to point out to juju that "weak analogy" was supposed to be a nice way of saying "invalid analogy". You still have not shown why WWII politics can be applied today. I agree there are similarities, but similarities alone do not valididate an analogy.
Similarities are what analogies are all about. But I won't belabor the point. If you want to remain blind, it's your choice.

ophecleide said:
Finally, juju just told me that because Saddam is a mean guy, the war in Iraq is about nuclear weapons. That's illogical.
I said because Saadam gassed 10-100 thousand of his own people, he wouldn't hesitate to use those WMDs we know he was intent on acquiring on us. Or give them to someone who would.

Open your eyes dude. "Peace in our time" doesn't cut it and never did.

juju
 
  • #29
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You're all blinded by your ideology, here is a fact, Saddam Hussein on national television called for suicide fighters to attack American interests on the first aniversary of 9/11. He was obviously placing himself as a key enemy in the war on terror.

Those who assert the war was about oil and other benefits, I've got news for you, oil is over $50 a barrell.

Without Weapons of Mass Destruction, the war is easily justified, Saddam Hussein is a terrorist, a terror enabler and he was planning on going to which country when he was caught in that rabbit hole?

Go read up on the increased border activity with that country before the war. We are talking trucks, mobile facilities, and the like -- not people.
 
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  • #30
Morbius
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ophecleide said:
It's interesting that you (Morbius) only quote one person and tell me to read a book written by one other person. Whether they could acquire nuclear weapons or not, there still isn't any proof that they were. Moreover, the evidence compiled by the CIA suggests that the weapons program Saddam had before the first Gulf War was essentially destroyed (http://www.cia.gov/cia/reports/iraq_wmd_2004/) and that he was not actively restoring the program or even had any actual plans to do so (although he did want to, had the intent to, and may have done so given the opportunity). Is this evidence enough to justify an invasion? Perhaps, but in my opinion, no. The point is that invasion would only be necessary if we knew that he did have WMDs or that he was actively producing them and we were unable to stop it without force..
ophecleide,

First, Dr. David Kay is not just "one person" - he was the LEADER of the
entire nuclear weapons inspection team [called UNSCOM after the first
Gulf War - later called the Iraq Study Group].

In essence, Dr. Kay is THE authority on the Iraqi nuclear weapons
program [ which is why HE's the one testifying to the Senate! ].

[By the way - the CIA is NOT the ultimate authority with respect to
assessment of nuclear weapons activities. That responsibility rests
with the Dept. of Energy which can call upon the expertise of the
scientists that designed the USA's nuclear weaponry. See:

http://www.llnl.gov/50science/threat.html [Broken]

which describes LLNL activities in the area of National Security,
Arms Control and Intelligence (NAI).]

You state above that Iraq's nuclear weapons program was substantially
dismantled after the first Gulf War - it was Dr. Kay's group that did that!!

However, now Dr. Kay has reservations as to the effectiveness of that
effort - and you say that every thing is OK because the program was
dismantled by Dr. Kay. ????

You state above that you believe an invasion would only be justified IF
the Iraqis actually had the weapon in their possession - fully assembled,
ready to use. [ I hope I've stated your position accurately ].

My question to you is - "What signal do you expect to see that tells you
that the Iraqis have a weapon ready to use?" Do you believe that they
will announce to the world that they have it? Do you conceed that they
might just use it without any warning - just like the USA did with the
Japanese at Hiroshima?

This was one of the points that President Bush raised in his speech to the
United Nations General Assembly before the war. He stated that the
first indication that Iraq had a nuclear weapon could very well be a
mushroom cloud over a US city.

Iraq is a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iraq has
promised not to seek or pursue the development of nuclear weaponry.
I don't believe we have to wait for them to succeed at developing a
weapon - the mere act of pursuing nuclear weaponry is actionable -
because Iraq has foresworn any action in that area.

The real question here is how much latitude one gives a proliferant
country. You evidently feel that we have to wait for them to actually
develop the weapon - and then we can move when we catch them
"red-handed".

The problem I see - is that you are putting an AWFUL LOT of faith in our
ability to detect nuclear weapons activity. Might I also recommend to
you a video available from the History Channel called "Saddam's
Arsenal". You recall that the Israelis destroyed the Osirak reactor that
Iraq was going to use to manufacture Plutonium in the early 1980s. So
the world had good reason to suspect Iraq might be developing nuclear
weapons and to be wary. Hans Blix and the IAEA paid particular
attention to Iraq.

Hans Blix and the IAEA inspected Iraq all during the decade of the 1980s
and into the early 1990s. As the above mentioned video from the
History Channel states, Hans Blix and the IAEA gave Saddam and Iraq
an "...A+.." for compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

However, after the first Gulf War, as detailed in his Physics Today
article, Dr. David Kay and UNSCOM found a nuclear weapons program
that was on the verge of having a working nuclear weapon.

The IAEA and Hans Blix FAILED to detect Iraq's nuclear weapons program!!
Over a DECADE of inspections by Hans Blix and the IAEA, and they
FAILED!!! That should tell you how difficult it is to detect such a
program - and how easy it would be to miss the activities of a would-be
proliferant.

The consequences of failing to detect a nuclear weapons program would
be catostrophic - exploding even a crude nuclear weapon in a city with
the population density of New York - and you are looking at the deaths
of a few million people - about a thousand times worse than 9/11.

Given the exceedingly cataclysmic consequences of a rogue nuclear
proliferant - and the problematic and unreliable nature of detecting
the proliferant's activity - I don't believe we have the luxury of waiting
until the proliferant has the ready to use nuclear weapon in their
possession. I think you have to be pro-active on this matter.

Recall the old maxim - "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"

Dr. Gregory Greenman
Physicist
Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory
 
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  • #31
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Hi All,

I think that the entire question boils down to this.

Was the future potential threat and its obvious consequences strong enough to justify preemptive action?

Some believe it was, some don't. That is the thrust of the conversation.

juju
 
  • #32
russ_watters
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Morbius - question for you: have you read "The Sum of All fears?" Essentiallly, the gist is that a well-funded/connected terrorist succeeds in a matter of a year or so, in re-engineering a lost Israeli tactical nuclear weapon into a functional h-bomb. Do you think such a scenario is possible?
 
  • #33
Morbius
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russ_watters said:
Morbius - question for you: have you read "The Sum of All fears?" Essentiallly, the gist is that a well-funded/connected terrorist succeeds in a matter of a year or so, in re-engineering a lost Israeli tactical nuclear weapon into a functional h-bomb. Do you think such a scenario is possible?
Russ,

NO - the engineering and physics of thermonuclear weapons is one of the
most complex scientific challenges. That's why Los Alamos and
Lawrence Livermore have always had the most powerful computers.

I read "Sum of All Fears" many years ago. I remember Clancy's
description of the components of the bomb. I kept wondering - "how is
this thing going to work?"

I'm glad he included the chapter "8 Shakes" [ if memory serves - 8 is the
number - maybe something else] which describes how the device works.

Dr. Gregory Greenman
Physicist
 
  • #34
russ_watters
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Morbius said:
Russ,

NO - the engineering and physics of thermonuclear weapons is one of the
most complex scientific challenges. That's why Los Alamos and
Lawrence Livermore have always had the most powerful computers.

I read "Sum of All Fears" many years ago. I remember Clancy's
description of the components of the bomb. I kept wondering - "how is
this thing going to work?"
Good to know its not something that can be done quite so easily. He said in the forward or afterward that he made most of the details as accurate as he could, but purposely changed a few so it would be less correct (to salve his conscience).
I'm glad he included the chapter "8 Shakes" [ if memory serves - 8 is the
number - maybe something else] which describes how the device works.
That may be the neatest chapter in any book I've ever read - 10 pages describing events that happen in a few microseconds. No wonder his books are so long!
 
  • #35
Morbius
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russ_watters said:
Good to know its not something that can be done quite so easily.
Russ,

The problem with nuclear weapons and terrorists is not that they can
get their hands on, or re-engineer a thermonuclear weapon or H-Bomb.

The problem is that they may be able to get an A-Bomb.

The Iraqi scientists knew the secrets of the A-Bomb, as well as A.Q. Khan
of Pakistan - who evidently has been peddling these secrets around.

Additionally, there is a black market in nuclear material. The former
USSR "leaked" weapons grade materials after its collapse. A good book
on this is by Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, "One Point Safe":

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/...75-4172810?v=glance&s=books&tag=pfamazon01-20

If the USA doesn't do something to combat this [ we've started ], it won't
be a question of "if" we get hit with a nuclear weapon, but "when".

Dr. Gregory Greenman
Physicist
 
  • #36
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Morbius, you talk as if the words of Dr. Kay are the end-all-be-all of the subject. They aren't. Yes, he is probably the best single person to talk about this, but that does not mean he is right about it all. Furthermore, it does not mean that what you quote him as saying means the Iraq war was justified. Just because Pete Nanos at LANL (where I work) says something about Los Alamos or the scientific community in general doesn't mean that it's ENTIRELY true. The problem is that all of the purely factual statements from Dr. Kay are just that-factual. If you are trying to tell me that none of the things Dr. Kay said are based on his opinion (as educated as they may be), you are either lying or stupid.

I did not say that we needed to know, for sure, that the Iraqis had a nuclear (or thermonuclear) weapon assembled and ready to go, I said that we needed more reasonable expectation to believe that they would have one anytime in the near future. If you're going to tell me we needed to invade because we need to worry abou the long term, not just the short term, why not just check up on them regularly? We didn't even give the inspectors the extra time they requested. Do you really believe that after the ten years since the first Gulf War, the Iraqis needed just another few months to prepare and deploy the weapon?

I don't believe I was clear enough in that post as to what I thought would justify intervention, so I appologize, but much of your post was not applicable because you were trying to convince me of something which i already believe is true. I do not think we should wait until they have a weapon ready to use before we invade.

Why are you telling me what Bush said? What he said was not for the purpose of being factual, but to convice people his illegal war was the correct course of action. You know as well as I that much of what Bush says is BS.

Finally, if this weapons program can be run in such a maner that we cannot detect it even what good did the invasion do? We still have not gained control of much of the country, and it is simply impossible to detect these things on the scale that you say is possible.

Based on what you're saying, why don't we just invade Australia while we're at it just to make sure they don't nuke us? I bet there are people in their government who want nuclear weapons and I have no doubt they have the resources to get them. Heck, based on what you're saying they probably have one on it's way to NYC right now.
 
  • #37
selfAdjoint
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I don't think this is the best way to think about the subject of Iraq and nuclear weapons. Ophecleide, you make the good point that we had some reason to believe that Saddam did not have a nuclear capability in being. We did know that before the first Iraq war, he had had a program for years, and the real question was whether he could have continued that program through the nineties and concealed it from the inspectors. The inspectors of course, said he couldn't, but there was some technically qualified opinion that suggested they were mistaken. What about all those off limits underground palaces Saddam had built? Could we be absolutely sure they didn't contain calutrons? What about that yellowcake - yes it was phoney, but the people at the top of the info chain were not to know that; interested subordinates seem to have kept that from them. Could we be absolutely sure that Saddam didn't have machined cylinders comprising 10 pounds of U235?

Note that the question is not, is this absolutely certain. The horrible consequences of guessing wrong means that if it is even remotely likely, we have to assume the worst case.
 
  • #38
Morbius
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ophecleide said:
Morbius, you talk as if the words of Dr. Kay are the end-all-be-all of the subject. They aren't. Yes, he is probably the best single person to talk about this, but that does not mean he is right about it all.
So Dr. Kay is not an authority on the Iraqi weapons program - so why is
the U.S. Senate wasting time taking testimony from Dr. Kay?

The point is - Dr. Kay was the leader of UNSCOM and later the Iraq
Study Group. He [ and his minions ] are the BEST authority on the
Iraqi weapons program.

The U.S. Senate took testimony from Dr. Kay so that they could use
his views in the formation of the policies of the USA.

So our elected representatives are using Dr. Kay's presentations to help
formulate national policy - but he's not in the right according to you.

Well - he may not automatically be right - but the probability that he
is correct is higher than anybody else. One has to go with the best
information available - even if there is no guarantee of its correctness
[which is seldom the case].

Furthermore, it does not mean that what you quote him as saying means the Iraq war was justified. Just because Pete Nanos at LANL (where I work) says something about Los Alamos or the scientific community in general doesn't mean that it's ENTIRELY true.
Oh - so you guys aren't a bunch of "cowboys and butt-heads"?

[ For those unfamiliar with the expression in quotes above - that is how
Los Alamos Lab Director Nanos referred to the Lab staff last summer
when classified information went unaccounted for. ]

The problem is that all of the purely factual statements from Dr. Kay are just that-factual. If you are trying to tell me that none of the things Dr. Kay said are based on his opinion (as educated as they may be), you are either lying or stupid.
Evidently you didn't read Dr. Kay's testimony very well.

Dr. Kay qualified many of his remarks by saying they were "opinion" or
his "view". For example, in response to a question from Senator Levin,
Dr. Kay stated:

"KAY: It is my view of the consensus opinion. But there are no doubt,
given the nature of opinions, people out there who hold a different
opinion."

Dr. Kay's testimony contained both his presentation of the facts - as
well as his analysis and opinions - the latter he qualified as such.

I did not say that we needed to know, for sure, that the Iraqis had a nuclear (or thermonuclear) weapon assembled and ready to go, I said that we needed more reasonable expectation to believe that they would have one anytime in the near future.
Then perhaps you could elucidate your criteria as to what conditions
must prevail for the USA to take action.

If you're going to tell me we needed to invade because we need to worry abou the long term, not just the short term, why not just check up on them regularly? We didn't even give the inspectors the extra time they requested.
Some of my friends and collegues here at LLNL were inspectors with
Dr. Kay. [ One is the person that discovered that the Iraqis were using
Calutrons - electromagnetic separation - to enrich Uranium ] The Iraqis
were very uncooperative with Hans Blix and the IAEA, as well as the
inspectors that were inspecting Iraq during the decade of the 1990s.
[ Not that they appeared uncooperative - but they did manage to
"fool" the IAEA into thinking that they were complying with the NPT.]

It was only when Dr. Kay and UNSCOM were accompanied by a military
presence that could enforce their access, so that they could they go
anywhere they wanted.

Remember, that Saddam Hussein didn't kick the inspectors out of Iraq
in 1998 - the inspectors left - because they felt they couldn't do their
job with the lack of cooperation from the Iraqis. Blix and El-Bardei
reported the same lack of cooperation by the Iraqis in 2003.

Given the lack of cooperation by Iraq, one could not have confidence in
the results of further inspections - even if they were given the extra time.

Do you really believe that after the ten years since the first Gulf War, the Iraqis needed just another few months to prepare and deploy the weapon?
If they were able to obtain the fissile material on the black market -
then Yes. As Dr. Kay stated in his testimony - they had a design - one
that they had actually tested with a simulant material in place of
fissile fuel.

I don't believe I was clear enough in that post as to what I thought would justify intervention, so I appologize, but much of your post was not applicable because you were trying to convince me of something which i already believe is true. I do not think we should wait until they have a weapon ready to use before we invade.

Why are you telling me what Bush said? What he said was not for the purpose of being factual, but to convice people his illegal war was the correct course of action. You know as well as I that much of what Bush says is BS.
You see - that is where you marginalize your argument. You are NOT
dealing purely with the facts - but you are filtering the facts through
your own "Bush hating" political views.

You're just a closed-minded idealogue.

Finally, if this weapons program can be run in such a maner that we cannot detect it even what good did the invasion do? We still have not gained control of much of the country, and it is simply impossible to detect these things on the scale that you say is possible.

Based on what you're saying, why don't we just invade Australia while we're at it just to make sure they don't nuke us? I bet there are people in their government who want nuclear weapons and I have no doubt they have the resources to get them. Heck, based on what you're saying they probably have one on it's way to NYC right now.
Now you've gone from being an idealogue to just being plain SILLY!!

Why pick Australia - which has the potential to be a nuclear weapons
state - why not pick Great Britain - which IS a weapons state.

Great Britain and Australia are our allies. I don't think anyone is
worried about them. I don't think Great Britain is seething to retaliate
over their losses in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 [ they
appear to have gotten over that.] But Iraq was hostile to the USA long
before the USA invaded in 2003. Iraq had been shooting at our patrol
aircraft almost daily for a decade. Saddam Hussein's Iraq was still
upset about their loss in the Gulf War of 1991.

I'd feel mighty uncomfortable with nuclear weapons in the hands of
Saddam Hussein - whereas I have no concern about those weapons in
the hands of allies like Great Britain - and the same would go for
Australia were they to develop them.

Dr. Gregory Greenman
Physicist
 
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  • #39
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I am tired of this argument, but rather than just disappearing, I would like to say a couple more things. I don't think this is really going anywhere, so I'm done after this (I'll read you're responses though).

First of all, I was unclear when I said things about Dr. Kay and Pete Nanos. What I meant was not that they were wrong or lying, I was just saying that not everything they ever say is factual. (i.e. "cowboys and butt-heads).

One point I was trying to make about giving the Iraqis extra time was that it is unlikely that that extra month would have allowed them to do anything to us, and that just to avoid the resulting conflict with other nations, it would have been wise to give the inspectors the time they had requested.

More importantly, I will openly admit that I am biased and that I truly do have a great dislike for Bush for reason which do not relate directly to this discussion. Resultingly, I have been pretty biased. I have my "Bush-hating" filter, while Morbius has what seems to me to be a "they're out to get us" or "our percieved safety is more important than their lives" filter. BTW, I also think that much of what came out of John Kerry's mouth is BS.

Everybody talks about "the horrible consequences" of Saddam building these weapons and using them on us. I have yet to hear anybody even mention the horrible consequences of us going in and bombing the crap out of another country and killing thousands of innocent (and a few not so innocent) people because we think they might be trying to build something they may be able to use to hurt us.

Yeah, I was being silly about Australia. I brought it up because there are few differences between it and Iraq besides government and the fact that they are our allies, at least on the level of precision of the discussion.
 
  • #40
Morbius
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ophecleide said:
I am tired of this argument, but rather than just disappearing, I would like to say a couple more things. I don't think this is really going anywhere, so I'm done after this (I'll read you're responses though).

First of all, I was unclear when I said things about Dr. Kay and Pete Nanos. What I meant was not that they were wrong or lying, I was just saying that not everything they ever say is factual. (i.e. "cowboys and butt-heads).
Your lack of clarity is a big part of the problem.

If you state your points in a clear, concise, unambiguous manner - it
always helps in making for an enlightening discussion.

One point I was trying to make about giving the Iraqis extra time was that it is unlikely that that extra month would have allowed them to do anything to us, and that just to avoid the resulting conflict with other nations, it would have been wise to give the inspectors the time they had requested.
Given the conduct of the Iraqis; I don't think the conflict could have
been avoided. U.N. Resolution 1441 was supposed to be Iraq's final
chance to "come clean" - and they continued the same stall and
cover-up tactics that they had been engaging in for years.

If the USA had given the inspectors more time, and Iraq continued the
same obfuscating practices - then the USA would not have the confidence
that Iraq was not pursuing some type of WMD program.

More importantly, I will openly admit that I am biased and that I truly do have a great dislike for Bush for reason which do not relate directly to this discussion. Resultingly, I have been pretty biased. I have my "Bush-hating" filter, while Morbius has what seems to me to be a "they're out to get us" or "our percieved safety is more important than their lives" filter.
I'm glad you freely admit your prejudice.

My attitude isn't a paranoid - "they're out to get us" attitude. Merely I
am concerned about the potential of a devastating attack on the USA.

If the USA had been more concerned about the potential of terrorists
using airliners as guided missiles - then perhaps 9/11 wouldn't have
happened. It would not have been paranoid to have instituted the types
of precautions that we now have at our airports in the days before 9/11 -
it would have been just good security and a justifiable defense.

I'm not the only one that is concerned about the potential of a nuclear
attack on the USA. Take for example, Dr. Albert Carnesale, former
Professor of Nuclear Engineering, and now Chancellor of UCLA:

http://www.ucla.edu/chancellor/scholar/scholar_rethink_1.html

On page 5, Dr. Carnesale acknowledges his concerns about the borders
of the USA. He points out that a nuclear weapon could fit in the trunk
of a Toyota. He also points out the inability of the USA to keep illegal
drugs from traversing the borders despite of the USA's "War on Drugs".

Quoting Chancellor Carnesale:

"We must also address the security of our borders. For example, the
cargo containers that come into our country every day - by ship, by rail,
and by truck - are large enough to hold many nuclear weapons. A nuclear
weapon could fit in the trunk of your Toyota. You don't need a cargo
container. Approximately 2% of cargo containers are inspected when
they enter the United States. And what about all of the trucks, trawlers,
and people that enter our country? The prospects for sealing our borders
are not encouraging. If we ask ourselves, "Should I be optimistic or
pessimistic?," we can look to the "War on Drugs" and its lack of success in
keeping drugs out of the country. And so we had best also improve our
preparations for dealing with catastrophic events."

If the USA can't interdict drugs at the borders - it's not plausible to
believe that the USA can interdict a nuclear weapon at the border!!

No - the nuclear weapon has to be stopped before it gets produced.


BTW, I also think that much of what came out of John Kerry's mouth is BS.

Everybody talks about "the horrible consequences" of Saddam building these weapons and using them on us. I have yet to hear anybody even mention the horrible consequences of us going in and bombing the crap out of another country and killing thousands of innocent (and a few not so innocent) people because we think they might be trying to build something they may be able to use to hurt us.
All Saddam and Iraq had to do was to live up to the agreement that
Iraq made when it signed the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty. Iraq
had pledged not to develop nuclear weapons - a pledge they attempted
to violate [ and were nearly successful in the early 1990s]. It's not too
much to ask Iraq to live up to its agreements - and to verify that it is
doing so.

Because of the ill-considered actions of Saddam Hussein in not living up
to Iraq's responsibilities under the NPT - the USA was forced to enforce
the NPT and U.N. Resolutions against Iraq by force.

Unfortunately, innocent civillians often pay the price for their
government's mistakes, as you correctly point out. However, this is
nothing new in the human experience. The innocent citizens of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki paid the price for the actions of Japanese
leaders who bombed Pearl Harbor, committed terrible atrocities against
the Chinese, and prosecuted their war of conquest.

A military is a blunt instrument - and it most always harms innocents
when it needs to be employed. If there were some type of "police force"
that could have gone in and arrested Saddam Hussein without
interference from the large military that he commanded - that would
have been preferable. However, as long as Saddam Hussein controlled
the Iraqi regime and its armed forces - the only way to get to Saddam
was to defeat his forces militarily, and overthrow his regime.

Yeah, I was being silly about Australia. I brought it up because there are few differences between it and Iraq besides government and the fact that they are our allies, at least on the level of precision of the discussion.
The fact that Australia is an ally, and Saddam Hussein's Iraq was a foe -
is the key difference.

Dr. Gregory Greenman
Physicist
 
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  • #41
Chronos
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,408
741
Comparing Australia to Iraq is laughable, though sad. I have no sympathy for Iraq. They [Saddam] agreed to terms with the UN, then systematically obstructed UN enforcement efforts to the point the inspectors themselves admitted the process was a farce. Iraq, then hoping the world had grown tired of policing the agreement, tried to remake the rules and kicked the inspectors out. The US returns and extracts a penalty. How is that wrong? The weapons issue was secondary. Anyone who thinks Iraq did not, or would not attempt to push it to the next level is delusional. Treaties mean nothing without teeth. If you don't have the resolve to extract a penalty when treaties are not honored, they will never be honored. It is not like Saddam was not warned of the potential consequences.
 
  • #42
selfAdjoint
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
6,786
8
All of this Saddam/Iraq material is way off topic for this thread. Why don't you guys start a new thread somewhere else and discuss your differences?
 
  • #43
92
0
Nukes equal the Miliatary Industrial Complex

KonradKorzenowski said:
join in a fight against nuclear weapons. as a weapons analyst i have years of experience in the feild of nuclear reseach. please join the cause
I have been figthing all forms of nuclear power since mid 70's.
The idea that the U.S. is going to military/police the rest of the worlds nuclear power programs and their reultant by-products isnt going to happen.

1) On the one hand nuclear weapons are the "peacekeepers" and if any country has them then others-- U.S. included --will be forced to "handle with care" that coiuntry and not miltarily rambo their way into forcing a quasi-democracy on anyone.

2) Nukes and nuclear weapons are here to stay until and only if we unite as a one world government that is seen by the majority as oeprating for the good of all.

Ryybo
 
  • #44
...

I personally think that no one will use a nuclear bomb because if they do, then the entire world does, and then we are all dead. someone might have said this already, but it is my personal opinion. also, i think that one way we could stop the building of WMD's is by....well.....you cant. here will always be some guy who hates the world. we just have to be able to stop it. if we could make some kind of AMS(anti-missle system) and set them up across the us so we could defend against missles it could be the first step in defending our country.
 
  • #45
92
0
barriers to nuclear threats

Jaime_Wolf117 said:
I personally think that no one will use a nuclear bomb because if they do, then the entire world does, and then we are all dead. someone might have said this already, but it is my personal opinion. also, i think that one way we could stop the building of WMD's is by....well.....you cant. here will always be some guy who hates the world. we just have to be able to stop it. if we could make some kind of AMS(anti-missle system) and set them up across the us so we could defend against missles it could be the first step in defending our country.
All through history humans tried new technologies to protect thenselves from others at the door and all throuh history those technoligies have given way to some other technology.

A unified planet with a spiritual base of compassion and caring for all is only way we will survive as species.

Rybo
 
  • #46
godzilla7


Sounds crazy but, nuclear weapons bring peace MAD: Mutually Assured Destruction: if on country like North Korea developes Nukes, then give the technology to south Korea, If Pakistan has a Nuke, give one to India? Look at Russia and America cold war.

I hope the Russians love there children too! it stops, nuclear war in it's tracks the thought that one side might kill your people is scarey, as soon as you attack, the thought that another side might mutually assure your destruction is horrifying, I hope the Koreans love there children too, I hope we all do, we as physisists have created this nightmare. let's make war obsolete, let's create a more powerfull bomb, say an anti matter bomb that will not only destroy one country, but most of the solar system.

As a human being I understand the need for survival as do all, when people see that war is pointless, cause we will all perish, we will ask the question, do we love our children, do we want the sum of humaniity to go out in one brief spark? worth thinking about surely: I hope humanity loves it's children too?

:rolleyes:
 
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  • #47
russ_watters
Mentor
20,118
6,618
Jaime_Wolf117 said:
I personally think that no one will use a nuclear bomb because if they do, then the entire world does, and then we are all dead. someone might have said this already, but it is my personal opinion.
There is a thread going in the politics forum about this. Briefly: Though I agree if any rogue state uses nuclear weapons, the response would be unanamous and overwealming, I don't believe the response would be nuclear. This isn't the cold war anymore and a rogue state using a nuke wouldn't threaten us with annihilation, so we'd have plenty of time to react conventionally. We also know that fallout knows no national boundaries and nuking someone else effects us as well.
Godzilla7 said:
Sounds crazy but, nuclear weapons bring peace MAD: Mutually Assured Destruction
There is a thread on that too. As MAD (irrational) as it sounds, its largely true and largely rational. But the trouble comes when a rogue state doesn't act rationally and obey MAD.
 
  • #48
Space Balls - Star Wars Junk Yard

That's ALL we need....nuclear power in space!

Debris is Shuttle's Biggest Threat

By John Kelly
Florida Today
posted: 05 March 2005

http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/050305_shuttle_debris.html

CAPE CANAVERAL - Tiny rocks, paint flecks and other fragments of junk whizzing around the Earth pose the greatest threat to the shuttles and the astronauts on board, according to the preliminary results of a new NASA risk study.

Engineers and scientists long have known the stuff pounding the shuttle as it flies through space can do catastrophic damage. Until now, few put space debris on the same level as the dangers seen during the shuttle's treacherous launch or its fiery plunge back through the atmosphere to land.

The internal risk assessment, still under review by the agency's experts, says space debris hitting different parts of the orbiter accounts for 11 of the 20 problems most likely to cause the loss of another shuttle and crew. Overall, space debris accounts for half of the catastrophic risk on any flight.

NASA would not comment on the study, saying it is incomplete. The agency also would not permit interviews with people who've worked for more than

five years on the study, even though the officials have made multiple presentations about the preliminary results at industry events.

"We don't comment on things that are not done," said Melissa Mathews, a spokeswoman at the agency's headquarters in Washington.

Orbiting backward

NASA is taking action, however, to protect the shuttles and astronaut crews. In response to concerns raised by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, shuttle managers are expanding steps they've always taken to shield the orbiter's most vulnerable parts as best as they can.The shuttle will continue to orbit, as much as possible, in a backward position that keeps delicate parts such as its heat shield and windows guarded against direct impacts.

One new tactic will be, after the shuttle docks at the International Space Station, flipping the two connected spacecraft around so the better-armored station shields the orbiter. New in-space shuttle inspections also will help detect debris damage.

As heat shield tiles wear out, Kennedy Space Center workers are replacing them with sturdier ones. Debris-detecting sensors now being installed in the front edges of the shuttle's wings could someday also be added to cover more of the heat shield.

"It's a serious threat, but they're doing a lot of things to reduce the risk. They're flying evasive maneuvers all the time with the shuttle," said Patricia Rieff of the Rice University's Space Institute.

The U.S. military tracks about 9,000 big pieces of debris orbiting the Earth. Small pieces, such as micrometeorites or paint specks chipped off old rocket segments or satellites, can't be seen. The shuttle and the debris are zipping around the Earth as fast as six miles per second, making collisions with even the tiniest fragments potentially lethal.

The Air Force warns Houston's mission control if something big is headed at the orbiter. That gives a shuttle commander time to maneuver out of the way.

Smaller debris regularly hits the orbiter. Something half the size of what the military tracks can punch a hole in the hull or the heat shield. Pieces far smaller -- say, the size of a dime -- can chip or crack windows or, worse, rip through a spacewalking astronaut's spacesuit.

In 1997, the National Research Council warned the shuttle program to devote more attention to the danger.

"NASA appears to have put much less effort into understanding and reducing the risk than other comparable risks (such as the risk of catastrophic failure of the space shuttle main engine)," the report said. The authors, who included former astronauts and space vehicle engineers, recommended NASA do more to study the risk, avoid it and strengthen the orbiter.

High risk

The 2003 shuttle risk assessment is the first to incorporate the threat from orbital debris. The results: the likelihood of space junk bringing down the shuttle is far greater than widely feared failures of the powerful main engines, explosive solid rocket boosters or brittle heat-shield components.The new assessment indicates about half of the risk of disaster on any given shuttle mission involves space debris hitting the orbiter and, consequently, damaging some component needed to keep the crew alive in space or safely return them to the Earth.

Past risk assessments attributed most risk to thousands of possible mishaps during the first nine minutes of a flight: the fraction of time it takes to go from a standstill on the launch pad to the 20,000-plus mph necessary to escape the grip of Earth's gravity.

This study says space debris hits on different spots on the wing flaps are the two most likely catastrophic failures. Damage could render an elevon, or wing flap, unable to steer and slow the orbiter as it plummets through the atmosphere. Without them, the orbiter could burn up, rip apart or veer far off the planned landing course. Ten other space debris failure modes involve space junk damaging the heat shield.

Investigators initially suspected orbital debris might have caused Columbia's destruction. Forensic evidence later showed the shuttle burned up because of a hole in its heat shield in the same spot where a piece of foam insulation slammed into the wing during the shuttle's launch.

Still, the possibility alarmed the investigators enough to recommend that NASA make the shuttle at least as safe as the International Space Station when it comes to surviving hits by space junk. NASA correctly points out, however, that the station was built to higher standards because it is more exposed. It stays in space permanently compared with the relatively small number of days that shuttles are in space in a given year.

NASA says it's trying to decrease the odds of a space debris disaster from about 1 in 200 to 1 in 600. Achieving the same strength as the space station is not likely. The changes necessary wouldn't be finished before the shuttle's planned retirement in 2010.

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 729-0517
(207) 319-2017 (Cell phone)
[email protected]
http://www.space4peace.org
http://space4peace.blogspot.com (Our blog)

* See also: NucNews Links and Archives (by date) at http://nucnews.net * (Posted for educational and research purposes only, in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107) *
 
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  • #49
russ_watters
Mentor
20,118
6,618
Maybe I missed it, but I don't see anything in that article about nuclear power in space.
 
  • #50
Eisenhower: Wisdom of a Patriot

The proposed star wars missle defense system will use nuclear power.
With all the junk already up there, what do you think? If you REALLY
cared about nuclear non-proliferation, where were you in 1979 when Dr. Roy
released his Roy Process invention to the press?
----------------

Dwight D. Eisenhower: The Wisdom of a Patriot

It’s too bad the Chickenhawks in Washington have ignored the
words of this old soldier.

February 26, 2004 Intervention Magazine
Commentary: By Mick Youther

http://www.interventionmag.com/cms/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=647 [Broken]

Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first President I remember. I
saw him as a doddering old bald guy; who played golf a lot,
and suffered a heart attack sometime during his presidency.
I didn’t have any idea of what he had done in WWII, nor did
I care. Presidents were not really a top priority for me at
that time. Since then, I’ve learned there was a lot more to
Eisenhower, and that he had some very important things to
say to America—then and now.

• “We have arrived at that point, my friends, when war does
not present the possibility of victory or defeat. War would
present to us only the alternative in degrees of
destruction.”-- 1954

• “We annually spend on military security more than the net
income of all United State corporations. This conjunction of
an immense military establishment and a large arms industry
is new in the American experience. The total
influence--economic, political, even spiritual--is felt in
every city, every state house, every office of the Federal
government. . . . Yet we must not fail to comprehend its
grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are
all involved; so is the very structure of our society.”--
Farewell address, 1/17/61

• “The problem in defense is how far you can go without
destroying from within what you are trying to defend from
without.”

• “Our military organization today bears little relation to
that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed
by the fighting men of World War II or Korea. Until the
latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no
armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could,
with time and as required, make swords as well.”-- Farewell
address, 1/17/61

• “There is no way in which a country can satisfy the
craving for absolute security, but it can bankrupt itself
morally and economically in attempting to reach that
illusory goal through arms alone.”

• “If all that Americans want is security, they can go to
prison. They'll have enough to eat, a bed and a roof over
their heads”-- as president of Colombia University, 12/8/49

• “May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal
subversion.”

In 1955 Eisenhower had his opportunity to wage preemptive
war against Communist China after China invaded some islands
near Taiwan (Formosa). Congress gave Eisenhower approval to
attack China at the time and place of his choosing. Instead
of attacking, Eisenhower sent his ambassador, John Foster
Dulles, to Europe to gain support for a war; but Churchill
refused, and so did NATO. If we went it alone, Pentagon
officials assured Eisenhower that we could destroy China’s
military capability within three weeks.

So, what did Eisenhower do? Did he bribe together a
“coalition of the willing”, start handing out no-bid
contracts, and mobilize the military? No, Eisenhower called
together his top advisors and told them to find a diplomatic
solution—which they did. There was no war.

• “A preventive war, to my mind, is an impossibility. I
don’t believe there is such a thing, and frankly I wouldn’t
even listen to anyone seriously that came in and talked
about such a thing.”-- Press conference in 1954

• “When it comes to the matter of war, there is only one
place that I would go, and that is to the Congress of the
United States.” --January 1956 [A few months later, he
explained]”I am not going to order any troops into anything
that can be interpreted as war, until Congress directs it.”

No law says our President has to have been in the military,
but such service would certainly make a better President. It
would give (him) the perspective that is so lacking in the
current flock of Chicken Hawks that are misusing our troops
in their ill-conceived plan for world domination.

• “Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and
you're a thousand miles from the corn field.”-- From an
address at Peoria, IL 9/25/56 (The same can be said for war.)

• “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every
rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from
those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are
not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone.
It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its
scientists, the hopes of its children.”-- April 16, 1953

• “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only
as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.”


Mick Youther is an Instructor in the Department of
Physiology at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale,
IL. You can email your comments to [email protected]


Posted for educational and research purposes only,
~ in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 ~
 
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