Archive for November, 2006

The Nuclear and Ballistic Missile Twins

“The Northeast Intelligence Network… ahead of the rest.”

13 November 2006: The Northeast Intelligence Network published the following intelligence assessment regarding North Korean and Iranian nuclear and ballistic missile technological developments and testing a little over one month ago.  To be clear: any North Korean nuclear test is a defacto Iranian nuclear test, just as the North Korean multiple ballistic missile tests of July 4/5 2006 were de facto Iranian tests. Our assessment has always been that Iran is a prime funder and sponsor of the North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile weapons program.

In the following section you will see timely corroboration from Debka.com which is reporting today that this data is being briefed in President Bush’s meetings with both the ISG and Israeli PM Olmert this afternoon.

An excerpt from our previous (October) report:

“Accordingly, this is the current assessment I have arrived at based upon all-source analysis:

The North Korean nuclear test was a tactical 5kt missile deliverable warhead.

This assessment agrees with some intelligence data in todays report by Bill Gertz in the Washington Times: “Chinese-language documents on how to build a nuclear warhead for missiles were found in Libya and were supplied by Khan network associates. U.S. intelligence officials think Iran and North Korea received similar warhead design documents.” The report also states, “U.S. intelligence agencies estimate that North Korea has some 88 pounds of plutonium and that about 13 pounds were used in the recent test.”

The tested device as an Iranian warhead or North Korean warhead does not much matter. The tested device was intended to perform a specific mission, and I assess it worked as designed with the consideration that a 5kt warhead works well as a warhead destined for Tel Aviv as it does for Seoul or any major American military base within range of either nations ballistic missile arsenal - be they Shahab’s or No Dong’s.

Additionally, and by logical extension, I wish to add the following which was mentioned as a real world possibility by SECDEF Rumsfeld about two years ago.

Iran and North Korea have both tested the firing of a medium range ballistic missile [ostensibly armed with a small nuclear warhead ] from a non-descript ocean freighter. Such an attack apparently is within their planning for a preemptive or “decapitation” strike against the US. Such a missile (or missiles) fired from a couple hundred miles off the US east coast would impact target (say NYC or DC or both) within 4 to 6 minutes from launch. There is no defense against such an attack currently in existence as the developing US current ballistic missile defense (BMD) is based in Alaska and is specifically geared towards intercepting a long range ICBM where typical alert to a laun ch and the estimated time to impact is approximately 30 minutes. The US Navy Aegis-class cruiser BMD is currently under development.”(See  Iranian-North Korean Nuclear Collusion Revealed)

DEBKA-Net-Weekly: Very recent Iranian-North Korean nuclear collusion revealed

November 13, 2006, 12:24 PM (GMT+02:00)

A disturbing piece of US intelligence was due to be laid before the US president George W. Bush’s strategy review conference with the Iraq Study Group and talks with the visiting Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert in Washington. It is bound to color the two events which both take place Monday, Nov. 13. [b]Twelve days before North Korea’s first nuclear test on Oct.10, a secret Iranian military delegation of nuclear and missile experts was present in Pyongyang. The visitors were taken round North Korea’s Yongbyon reactor and the Punggye-ri testing site in the far north amid the preparations for the coming North Korean test.[/b]

This visit was first disclosed on Nov.10 by DEBKA-Net-Weekly 277.

Some US officials received the impression that the Iranians were briefed on some of North Korea’s secret preparations for the test. If true, this would point to three developments in North Korean-Iranian relations:

First, China was in on the Iranian visit, but ignored it, preferring Pyongyang to carry the can as Iran’s nuclear partner rather than Beijing.

Second, China must also have known about the coming North Korean nuclear weapons test and only pretended to have been taken unawares by Pyongyang’s ten-minute advance notice.

Third, North Korea not only agreed to open its most secret nuclear installations to Iranian scrutiny, but is also willing to instruct Iranian scientists and technicians in Pyongyang or on their home ground on how to set up and execute a nuclear weapons test.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s Tehran sources add: Iran’s overweening self-confidence in its ability to carry through its nuclear aspirations in the teeth of international rancor hinges heavily on its certainty of Sino-North Korean assistance.

Listen Closely

“…the people that know how to fight this war being totally ignored. You can collect data, strategize, study the enemy, know how to win but if the politicians don’t get off their fat asses and listen to the people that know, we will accomplish nothing.” -Randy Taylor

By Randy Taylor, Independent Analyst
rtaylor@homelandsecurityus.com

13 November 2006: Hear that sucking sound? That is the sound of your Freedom and Democracy going down the toilet.

Tuesdays vote was the hand of the Democratic left and of Islam hitting the handle on the commode and flushing America down the toilet. I only hope we plugged up the hole and they Democrats and Islam don’t have a plunger strong enough to finish the job.

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UPDATED: Suspicious package detonated at University of Oklahoma

UPDATED 11 November 2006: We received information  from an official within the University of Oklahoma Police Department who clarified that the Norman Police Department Hazardous Devices Unit did not detonate the package. Rather, it was destroyed in place in a safe manner.  Investigation then determined that the contents of the package were not consistent with anything that would constitute an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), but instead, were consistent with materials left over from the Engineering egg-drop project.

We thank the OU Police Department official for providing us with this important clarification. - Douglas J. Hagmann

8 November 2006: Police detonated a package described as “suspicious” that was left at the six-level Asp Avenue parking facility near the Oklahoma Memorial Stadium at the University of Oklahoma late yesterday afternoon. Officers with the City of Norman Police Department bomb squad detonated the package after conducting an on-site investigation. Police officials have not released any additional information about the incident, and have not commented on the contents of the package.

30 active terror plots in the U.K.

10 November 2006: MI5 knows of 30 terror plots threatening the UK and is keeping 1,600 individuals under surveillance…

“Today, my officers and the police are working to contend with some 200 groupings or networks, totaling over 1,600 identified individuals - and there will be many we don’t know - who are actively engaged in plotting, or facilitating, terrorist acts here and overseas,” she said.

“Today we see the use of home-made improvised explosive devices.

“Tomorrow’s threat may - I suggest will - include the use of chemicals, bacteriological agents, radioactive materials and even nuclear technology.”

Link

An Incalculable Electoral Error

By Sean Osborne, Associate Director, Senior Analyst, Military Affairs
sosborne@homelandsecurityus.com

10 November 2006: The 2006 mid-term elections are over. The results are in and the post-election analysis by continues. In my assessment of the results I have come to the conclusion that by the slimmest of margins the Democrat Party did not win, America lost. The Islamofascists, their state sponsors and the rest of America’s enemies won the election and they did not have to get us running like Spaniards by detonating a single bomb. They won because a fairly solid core of American conservatives vented their anger at a Republican Administration and Congress which had pinned its hopes of national electoral success on tax cuts and economic growth while declaring and fighting a war against the wrong enemy.

America, you were not and are not now in a global war with “terrorism”. We are and have been at war with Islamofascism and its state sponsors. Iraq was one of those sponsors as was the Taliban of Afghanistan and as is the Islamic Republic of Iran. These are enemies long in pursuit of and probably now in possession of nuclear weapons and all manner of WMD. Even the New York Times recently admitted that Saddam Hussein was within a year of acquiring a nuclear capability. No WMD? What were you thinking last Tuesday?

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The Islamic Threat

By Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

  • 75% of British Muslims sympathize with French rioters
  • 77% of British Muslims, 83% of Muslims in Spain oppose the US war on terror
  • 71% of British Muslims have a favorable opinion of Iran

10 November 2006: No one should be surprised by the information provided yesterday by Eliza Manningham-Buller, the Director-General of MI5, about the terrorist threat facing the UK. The threat of Islamic terrorism predates the attacks of 9/11, and it will continue well into future generations until we lose the lies about Islam that the cancer of political correctness perpetuates. Manningham-Buller provided a tempered glimpse into the massive problem facing Great Britain, noting that the threat posed by Islamic terrorism is “real, here, deadly and enduring.”

The reality is that the threat facing our national security is much greater than anyone has yet dared to say, at least publicly. A 39-page report from July that outlines growing trends of Muslims worldwide provides some insight into the mindset of the “general Muslim population” about a number of topics, from their (lack of) desire to assimilate into western society to their overwhelming support of terrorist organizations like Hamas, and favoring their victory over Israel. As stated by Manningham-Buller , it is evident that more Muslims are moving from passive sympathy towards active terrorism, which has been and continues to be a trend inside the United States.

It is no accident that the UK faces the most serious threat to their country since WWII when one looks at the various results of the July poll. For example, [b]81%[/b] of Muslims in Great Britain consider themselves a Muslim before they consider themselves a citizen of the United Kingdom.  That’s [b][i]81% of Muslims from the general population of Muslims[/i][/b] – not just those who could be labeled as holding extremist views.

Also from the general Muslim population, a clear majority – 3 out of 4 out of 4 Muslims in the UK said that they are sympathetic to the Muslims rioting in France. According to the MI5 director, over 100,000 of UK citizens consider that the July 2005 attacks in London were justified.

imply stated, until people become educated on the Islamic threat and demand honesty from those in charge of protecting our population, we have little chance of prevailing against this insidious threat.

The Pew Global Attitudes Project is a series of worldwide public opinion surveys encompassing a broad array of subjects ranging from people’s assessments of their own lives to their views about the current state of the world and important issues of the day. The Pew Global Attitudes Project is co-chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, currently principal, the Albright Group LLC, and by former Senator John C. Danforth, currently partner, Bryan Cave LLP. The project is directed by Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan “fact tank” in Washington, DC, that provides information on the issues, attitudes, and trends shaping America and the world.

From $1 M Bond to $0: Two CMU students freed on own recognizance

9 November 2006: The two Carnegie Mellon students arrested about 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning - about 14 hours before a scheduled football game - for trying to break in to Heinz Field, had their bond reduced from $1 million straight cash bond to a recognizance ticket. The incident followed a well publicized threat concerning terrorist attacks on stadiums, however the FBI dismissed any possible terrorism connections to either student. Authorities now say they believe the two men were trying to sneak into the stadium so to make a homemade music video.

There was no reference to the two positive hits for explosive residue discovered by police dogs during a search of their vehicle.

The International Terrorist Threat to the UK

The complete text of a speech delivered on November 9, 2006 by Eliza Manningham-Buller, Director-General of MI5, on the terrorist threat facing the UK:

The International Terrorist Threat to the UK

I have been Director General of the Security Service/M15 since 2002. Before that I was Deputy Director General for five years. During that time, and before, I have witnessed a steady increase in the terrorist threat to the UK. It has been the subject of much comment and controversy. I rarely speak in public. I prefer to avoid the limelight and get on with my job. But today, I want to set out my views on:

* the realities of the terrorist threat facing the UK in 2006;
* what motivates those who pose that threat
* and what my Service is doing, with others, to counter it.

I speak not as a politician, nor as a pundit, but as someone who has been an intelligence professional for 32 years.

2. Five years on from 9/11, where are we? Speaking in August, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, the head of the Anti-Terrorist Branch of the Metropolitan Police, described the threat to the UK from Al-Qaida-related terrorism as ‘real, here, deadly and enduring”. Only last week the Home Secretary said the threat will be “enduring — the struggle will be long and wide and deep.” Let me describe more fully why I think they said that. We now know that the first Al-Qaida-related plot against the UK was the one we discovered and disrupted in November 2000 in Birmingham. A British citizen is currently serving a long prison sentence for plotting to detonate a large bomb in the UK. Let there be no doubt about this: the international terrorist threat to this country is not new. It began before Iraq, before Afghanistan, and before 9/11.

3. In the years after 9/11, with atrocities taking place in Madrid, Casablanca, Bali, Istanbul and elsewhere, terrorists plotted to mount a string of attacks in the UK, but were disrupted. This run of domestic success was interrupted tragically in London in July 2005. Since then, the combined efforts of my Service, the police, SIS and GCHQ have thwarted a further five major conspiracies in the UK, saving many hundreds (possibly even thousands) of lives. Last month the Lord Chancellor said that there were a total of 99 defendants awaiting trial in 34 cases. Of course the presumption of innocence applies and the law dictates that nothing must be said or done which might prejudice the right of a defendant to receive a fair trial. You will understand therefore that I can say no more on these matters.

4.  What I can say is that today, my officers and the police are working to contend with some 200 groupings or networks, totalling over 1600 identified individuals (and there will be many we don’t know) who are actively engaged in plotting, or facilitating, terrorist acts here and overseas.

The extremists are motivated by a sense of grievance and injustice driven by their interpretation of the history between the West and the Muslim world. This view is shared, in some degree, by a far wider constituency. If the opinion polls conducted in the UK since July 2005 are only broadly accurate, over 100,000 of our citizens consider that the July 2005 attacks in London were justified.  What we see at the extreme end of the spectrum are resilient networks, some directed from Al-Qaida in Pakistan, some more loosely inspired by it, planning attacks including mass casualty suicide attacks in the UK. Today we see the use of home-made improvised explosive devices; tomorrow’s threat may include the use of chemicals, bacteriological agents, radioactive materials and even nuclear technology. More and more people are moving from passive sympathy towards active terrorism through being radicalised or indoctrinated by friends, families, in organised training events here and overseas, by images on television, through chat rooms and websites on the Internet.

5.  The propaganda machine is sophisticated and Al-Qaida itself says that 50% of its war is conducted through the media. In Iraq, attacks are regularly videoed and the footage downloaded onto the internet within 30 minutes. Virtual media teams then edit the result, translate it into English and many other languages, and package it for a worldwide audience. And, chillingly, we see the results here. Young teenagers are being groomed to be suicide bombers. We are aware of numerous plots to kill people and to damage our economy. What do I mean by numerous? Five? Ten? No, nearer……. thirty that we know of. These plots often have links back to Al-Qaida in Pakistan and through those links Al-Qaida gives guidance and training to its largely British foot soldiers here on an extensive and growing scale. And it is not just the UK of course. Other countries also face a new terrorist threat: from Spain to France to Canada and Germany.

6. A word on proportionality. My Service and the police have occasionally been accused of hype and lack of perspective or worse, of deliberately stirring up fear. It is difficult to argue that there are not worse problems facing us, for example climate change… and of course far more people are killed each year on the roads than die through terrorism. It is understandable that people are reluctant to accept assertions that do not always appear to be substantiated.  It is right to be sceptical about intelligence. I shall say more about that later. But just consider this. A terrorist spectacular would cost potentially thousands of lives and do major damage to the world economy. Imagine if a plot to bring down several passenger aircraft succeeded. Thousands dead, major economic damage, disruption across the globe. And Al-Qaida is an organisation without restraint.

7.  There has been much speculation about what motivates young men and women to carry out acts of terrorism in the UK. My Service needs to understand the motivations behind terrorism to succeed in countering it, as far as that is possible. Al-Qaida has developed an ideology which claims that Islam is under attack, and needs to be defended. This is a powerful narrative that weaves together conflicts from across the globe, presenting the West’s response to varied and complex issues, from long-standing disputes such as Israel/Palestine and Kashmir to more recent events as evidence of an across-the-board determination to undermine and humiliate Islam worldwide.
Afghanistan, the Balkans, Chechnya, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Kashmir and Lebanon are regularly cited by those who advocate terrorist violence as illustrating what they allege is Western hostility to Islam.

8.  The video wills of British suicide bombers make it clear that they are motivated by:

* perceived worldwide and long-standing injustices against Muslims;
* an extreme and minority interpretation of Islam promoted by some preachers and people of influence;
*  their interpretation as anti-Muslim of UK foreign policy, in particular the UK’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Killing oneself and others in response is an attractive option for some citizens of this country and others around the world.

What Intelligence can do

9.  As I said earlier, I have been an intelligence officer for some 32 years. And I want again to describe what intelligence is and is not. I wish life were like ‘Spooks’, where everything is (a) knowable, and (b) soluble by six people. But those whose plans we wish to detect in advance are determined to conceal from us what they intend to do. And every day they learn. From the mistakes of others. From what they discover of our capabilities from evidence presented in court, and from leaks to the media. Moreover intelligence is usually bitty and needs piecing together, assessing, judging. It takes objectivity, integrity and a sceptical eye to make good use of intelligence: even the best of it never tells the whole story. On the basis of such incomplete information, my Service and the police make decisions on when and how to take action, to protect public safety. Wherever possible we seek to collect evidence sufficient to secure prosecutions, but it is not always possible to do so: admissible evidence is not always available and the courts, rightly, look for a high standard of certainty. Often to protect public safety the police need to disrupt plots on the basis of intelligence but before evidence sufficient to bring criminal charges has been collected. Moreover we are faced by acute and very difficult choices of prioritisation. We cannot focus on everything so we have to decide on a daily basis with the police and others where to focus our energies, whom to follow, whose telephone lines need listening to, which seized media needs to go to the top of the analytic pile. Because of the sheer scale of what we face (80% increase in casework since January), the task is daunting. We won’t always make the right choices. And we recognise we shall have scarce sympathy if we are unable to prevent one of our targets committing an atrocity.

And the Service?

10. As I speak my staff, roughly 2,800 of them, (an increase of almost 50% since 9/11, 25% under 30, over 6% from ethnic minorities, with 52 languages, with links to well over 100 services worldwide), are working very hard, at some cost to their private lives and in some cases their safety, to do their utmost to collect the intelligence we need. The first challenge is to find those who would cause us harm, among the 60 million or so people who live here and the hundreds of thousands who visit each year.

That is no easy task, particularly given the scale and speed of radicalisation and the age of some being radicalised.  The next stage is to decide what action to take in response to that intelligence. Who are merely talking big, and who have real ambitions? Who have genuine aspirations to commit terrorism, but lack the know-how or materials? Who are the skilled and trained ones, who the amateurs? Where should we and the police focus our finite resources? It’s a hard grind but my staff are highly motivated: conscious of the risks they carry individually; and aware that they may not be able to do enough to stop the next attack. We owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude and I thank them. On July 8 last year I spoke to all my staff. I said that what we feared would happen had finally happened. I reminded them that we had warned that it was a matter of when, not if, and that they were trained to respond — indeed many had been up all night, from the intelligence staff to the catering staff. I told them that we had received many messages of support from around the world, and that we, along with our colleagues in the police and emergency services, were in the privileged position of being able to make a difference. And we did. And we have done so since.

11.  My Service is growing very rapidly. By 2008 it will be twice the size it was at 9/11. We know much more than we did then. We have developed new techniques, new sources, new relationships. We understand much better the scale and nature of what we are tackling but much is still obscure and radicalisation continues. Moreover, even with such rapid growth, we shall not be able to investigate nearly enough of the problem, so the prioritisation I mentioned earlier will remain essential but risky. And new intelligence officers need to be trained. That takes time as does the acquisition of experience, the experience that helps one with those difficult choices and tough judgements.

What else can others do?

12.  That brings me on to my final point. None of this can be tackled by my Service alone. Others have to address the causes, counter the radicalisation, assist in the rehabilitation of those affected, and work to protect our way of life. We have key partners, the police being the main ones and I’d like today to applaud those police officers working alongside us on this huge challenge, those who collect intelligence beside us, help convert it into evidence for court, and face the dangers of arresting individuals who have no concern for their own lives or the lives of others. The scale and seriousness of the threat means that others play vital roles, SIS and GCHQ collecting key intelligence overseas, other services internationally who recognise the global nature of the problem, government departments, business and the public.

13.  Safety for us all means working together to protect those we care about, being alert to the danger without over-reacting, and reporting concerns. We need to be alert to attempts to radicalise and indoctrinate our youth and to seek to counter it. Radicalising elements within communities are trying to exploit grievances for terrorist purposes; it is the youth who are being actively targeted, groomed, radicalised and set on a path that frighteningly quickly could end in their involvement in mass murder of their fellow UK citizens, or their early death in a suicide attack or on a foreign battlefield.

14.  We also need to understand some of the differences between non-Western and Western life-styles; and not treat people with suspicion because of their religion, or indeed to confuse fundamentalism with terrorism. We must realise that there are significant differences between faiths and communities within our society, and most people, from whatever origin, condemn all acts of terror in the UK. And we must focus on those values that we all share in this country regardless of our background: Equality, Freedom, Justice and Tolerance. Many people are working for and with us to address the threat precisely for those reasons. Because: All of us, whatever our ethnicity and faith, are the targets of the terrorists.

15.  I have spoken as an intelligence professional, describing the reality of terrorism and counter-terrorism in the UK in 2006. My messages are sober ones. I do not speak in this way to alarm (nor as the cynics might claim to enhance the reputation of my organisation) but to give the most frank account I can of the Al-Qaida threat to the UK. That threat is serious, is growing and will, I believe, be with ç us for a generation. It is a sustained campaign, not a series of isolated incidents, It aims to wear down our will to resist.

16.  My Service is dedicated to tackling the deadly manifestations of terrorism. Tackling its roots is the work of us all.

Food Tampering in Canada

7 November 2006: Officials of Canada’s main food agency issued a warning to consumers to avoid some food products made by Maple Leaf Foods Inc., which may have been contaminated by an unknown substance as a result of intentional tampering.

A joint statement was issued today by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Maple Leaf Inc., of Toronto, Ontario, The warning stems from the discovery of syringe casings by workers near the area where the meats are produced. The affected products appear to be some sliced-meat products made by Maple Leaf Foods Inc., Canada’s largest food processor.  The company said it is recalling five products sold across the country, including 1/2 Kent Smoked Hams, 125-gram portions of cooked ham, smoked ham and turkey. No illnesses have been reported in connection with the goods, and no evidence of tampering has been found where the meats are sold, according to company officials. Police have also been called in to investigate.

Nuclear Proliferation—Options In A Perfect Storm

“The thoughts of an Islamic terrorist state located 90 miles off of the Florida coast should enough to keep the people of America and even President Bush up for weeks.”

By David J. Jonsson

6 November 2006: Nuclear proliferation is once again at the top of the U.S. national security agenda; spurred by the progress of weapons programs in North Korea and as the Iranian government announced last week a doubling of its uranium enrichment program. The chief of the judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, praised “the fasting people taking part in the rally [who] are chanting slogans such as ‘death to America’ and ‘death to Israel.’” His speech was on Quds Day, an Iranian holiday introduced by Ayatollah Khomeini that is marked on the last Friday of Ramadan.

In my article of August 7, 2006: The Origins of the Next Great War are Visible I said, “With every passing year following the events of 9/11 the rise of Leftist/Marxist-Islamist Alliance has increased global instability. By the beginning of 2006, nearly all the combustible ingredients–far bigger in scale than those leading to World Wars 1 and 11 and the Gulf Wars of 1991 or 2003–were in place.”  The question remains as to whether we face a Nuclear Holocaust or an Economic Holocaust as I described in my paper, Structural Changes–Destruction Of The U.S. Dollar. “A nuclear Iran means, at the very least, a realignment of power dynamics in the Persian Gulf. It could potentially mean much more: a historic shift in the position of the long-subordinated Shiite minority relative to the power and prestige of the Sunni majority, which traditionally dominated the Muslim world. Many Arab Sunnis fear that the moment is ripe for a Shiite rise. Iraq’s Shiite majority has been asserting the right to govern, and the lesson has not been lost on the Shiite majority in Bahrain and the large minorities in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah of Jordan has warned of a “Shiite crescent” of power stretching from Iran to Lebanon via Iraq and (by proxy) Syria.” See also: Caliphatism - Establishing the “Islamic Kingdom of God on Earth“

Today in fact, things appear to be heating up in Mideast. The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Carrier Strike Group (IKE CSG) entered the Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, after transiting the Suez Canal Oct. 30, on a deployment in support of maritime security operations (MSO). The Enterprise group was relieved by the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, which departed Norfolk, Va., on Oct. 3 and transited the Suez Canal on Oct. 30. The two carriers steamed side-by-side in the Red Sea on Oct. 31.

It is important to recognize that the Islamists, Russia or China controls all oil transit choke points. Over 40 million barrels per day of oil moves by tanker, in may cases though Oil Transit Choke Points. Bab el-Mandab- Djibouti/Eritrea/Yemen; connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. 3 million-bbl/d flows through this choke point. Suez/Sumed- Egypt; connects the Red Sea and Gulf of Suez with the Mediterranean Sea. Oil Flows (2004E): 3.8 million bbl/d northbound, and 0.4 million bbl/d southbound. Northbound shipments consisted of 2.5 million bbl/d of crude oil via the Sumed Pipeline (nearly all of which came from Saudi Arabia), 0.8 million bbl/d of crude oil via the Suez Canal, and 0.5 million bbl/d of petroleum products via the Suez Canal. Southbound oil flows through the Suez Canal totaled 0.3 million bbl/d of petroleum products, and 0.1 million bbl/d of crude oil.

Somali Islamists fired test rockets on November 3, 2006 and prepared for war with the government as the United States warned of possible suicide attacks against neighboring countries. “The onus is on us to start the fight. We will be the first to strike,” one senior Islamist commander, Maalim Hashi Ahmed, told Reuters by telephone.

Washington accuses the Islamists of harboring al Qaeda militants and has asked for them to be handed over.

The U.S. warning came amid growing fears of a regional war after the Islamists and government failed to meet face-to-face during three days of talks in Sudan. The negotiations were postponed on Wednesday with mediators urging both sides to exercise maximum restraint.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack called on all sides involved in Somalia not to escalate tensions. Ethiopia’s enemy Eritrea has been accused of arming the Islamists.

“There are concerns that the situation, the current situation in Somalia, might lend itself to wider violence in the region. And we’re doing everything we can to see that that does not happen,” McCormack said.

According to a Stratfor report: “Many outside governments fear Somalia will become a training ground for jihadists, and that SICC recruits foreign fighters. This concern was reinforced Oct. 9 when SICC leader Sheikh Sharif Ahmed ../__8212.css; formerly seen abroad as SICC’s moderate face ../__8212.css; declared a jihad against Ethiopia, which he said had sent 35,000 troops to the defense of Somalia’s interim government. Ahmed’s likely exaggeration of Ethiopian troop levels ../__8212.css; which more realistically consist of several hundred troops in-country and a several-thousand strong ready-reserve in Ethiopia ../__8212.css; is seen as a tactic to inflame nationalist and Islamist sentiment that Somalians are unjustly suffering from anti-Islamic foreign interference.

Having had its embassies in Kenya and Tanzania bombed by jihadists operating out of the region, Washington wants to prevent the Horn of Africa from being used again by jihadists to attack U.S. interests. Following the 9/11 attacks, the United States established the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa command center in Djibouti. Countries within the region, including Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda, share these concerns about Islamist threats. Ethiopia and Uganda are fighting Islamist insurgency groups that the SICC could support, while Kenya wants to prevent the SICC from becoming a threat to Kenya’s internal security and stability by interfering with Kenya’s sizeable Muslim and ethnic Somali population. These shared concerns could result in greater cooperation with the United States.

“A senior U.S. official insisted the exercise is not aimed specifically at Iran, although it reinforces a U.S. strategy aimed at strengthening America’s ties with states in the Gulf, where Tehran and Washington are competing for influence.”  Such actions raise the question: Who is the enemy? Is the enemy simply the terrorists joined with the “Axis of Evil” or should we be considering the “Oil Axis” – the alliance of Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela. If it is the latter, America and Western Europe must evaluate their options with respect to Russia and China. Remember that Russia has the stated goal of utilizing energy control for establishing geopolitical supremacy. Russia now controls the gas supply for Europe and jointly with Iran has a major control of gas and oil supply to Japan. Without the support of Russia and China neither Iran nor North Korea could continue their nuclear weapons program.

•    Iran Declared War On America In 1979
•    Iran Testing Long Range Missiles
•    Assembly of World Islamic Order And The Return Of The 12th Imam
•    Dealing With Nuclear Proliferation
•    The Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty
•    Transnational Organizations And Nuclear Proliferation
•    Nuclear Proliferation Is Practically Impossible To Prevent
•    The History
•    The Reasons Countries Develop Nuclear Weapons
•    Burma A Potential Nuclear Country
•    Japan Under Pressure To Respond To Impending Crisis
•    The Knowledge Is Out Of The Tube
•    Getting Closer To Home-Brazil Enriches Uranium
•    90 Miles Off Of The Florida
•    The Defense Should Not Rest

Iran Declared War On America In 1979

“How many Americans realize that Iran declared war on us 27 years ago - in 1979 - and has been killing Americans ever since…North Korea, the world’s leading missile proliferator, and Iran are on the verge of starting nuclear arms races in both Asia and the Middle East - both hubs of terrorist networks that reach around the world - which could easily result in nuclear material, perhaps even a weapon, ending up in the hands of a terrorist organization. Did you know that Venezuela is the leading buyer of arms and military equipment in the world today? Did you know that Chavez is building an army of more than a million soldiers and the most potent air force in South America-the largest Spanish-speaking armed force in history? Did you know that Venezuela will shortly spend thirty billion dollars to build twenty military bases in neighboring Bolivia, which will dominate the borders with Chile, Peru, Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil? Venezuelan and Cuban officers will command the bases. This is what the brilliant Carlos Alberto Montaner-a survivor of Castro’s bloody regime-calls “a delirious vision of history,” and it is driven by a new alliance of dictators from Iran, Cuba and Venezuela

It is part of the grand design so proudly announced by Ahmadinejad: the destruction of our civilization.” [This is portion of text of a speech Republican senator Rick Santorum delivered around his state October 26, 27].

Iran Testing Long Range Missiles

According to a Reuters Report on November 2, 2006, Iran fires missiles in war games, “Iran’s Revolutionary Guards fired missiles carrying cluster warheads to shouts of “God is the Greatest” at the start of 10 days of military maneuvers on Thursday, state television reported. “Dozens of missiles were fired including Shahab-2 and Shahab-3 missiles. The missiles had ranges from 300 km (190 miles) up to 2,000 km (1,240 miles),” Iran’s main state television channel reported… As they rose, Yahya Rahim Safavi, commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Guards who gave the firing order, and other Guardsman were heard shouting: “God is the Greatest.”

“Russia surpassed the United States in 2005 as the leader in weapons deals with the developing world, and its new agreements included selling $700 million in surface-to-air missiles to Iran and eight new aerial refueling tankers to China, according to a new Congressional study. Russia’s agreements with Iran are not the biggest part of its total sales — India and China are its principal buyers. But the sales to improve Iran’s air-defense system are particularly troubling to the United States because they would complicate the task of Pentagon planners should the president order airstrikes on Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities…The Russian sales in 2005 included 29 of the SA-15 Gauntlet surface-to-air missile systems for Iran; Russia also signed deals to upgrade Iran’s Su-24 bombers and MIG-29 fighter aircraft, as well as its T-72 battle tanks.”

President Ahmadinejad gave a series of speeches leading up to and on Quds Day. At an Iftar address on October 14, he discussed his “connection with God” and said: “The president of America is like us. That is, he too is inspired … but [his] inspiration is of the satanic kind. Satan gives inspiration to the president of America.”
Assembly of World Islamic Order And The Return Of The 12th Imam
“According to Mullah Khaz-Ali, a member of Iran’s Assembly of Experts, President Ahmadinejad and Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Lebanese branch of Hezbollah, are members of the Assembly of World Islamic Order, which will soon be finalized by the Hidden Imam when he emerges from hiding.”

“The Assembly of Experts is the 86-cleric organ [no women & no non-clergy] that can select and, if need be, dismiss the Wali al-Faqih, the man who rules the Islamic Republic with limitless powers. At the moment the Wali al-Faqih is Khamenei.”

“Mullah Khaz-Ali, speaking at a meeting of the Hidden Imam exhibition, congratulated and embraced Ahmadinejad. “I kissed Ahmadinejad,” he said, “because it was he who popularized our Hidden Imam in that land where those filthy jerks run their Great Satan government. Yes, he and Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah steadfastly persevere our Hidden Imam. They are in fact in direct contact with the Hidden Imam but they’re being modest about it! The reason for the delay in the emergence of the Ruler of All Time is the low level of intellect and culture in society; the foundations must be cultivated. Stupid people have some shame and come to your senses.”

Mr. Ahmadinejad delivered his Quds Day speech under a banner that read, “ Israel must be wiped off the face of the world.” He described the holiday as “a day for confrontation between the Islamic faith with the global arrogance.”

The chairman of the Expediency Council and a former Iranian president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, [a self-proclaimed moderate] who led Friday prayers, said Quds Day is an important factor “between Islam and unbelief and the stage for Muslims’ jihad.” He added, “The world’s 1.5 billion Muslims back this jihad.”

Mr. Rafsanjani also led Quds Day prayers on December 14, 2001. Then, he warned of a coming confrontation between the “pious and martyrdom-seeking forces” and the “highest forces of colonialism,” which “might inflame a third World War.”

Sadly, Mr. Rafsanjani is considered one of Iran’s more moderate leaders.

The celebrations included proclamations by the country’s leaders and activities for university students and artists.

Isfahan University’s Mechanical Energy College took first place in a Quds Day competition for its design of a pilotless plane that can be used for “suicide attacks.” The director of the Iranian Broadcasting Organization of Music Production, Mohammad Mirzamani, composed a symphony dedicated to “the victory over the Zionist regime,” and the country’s religious Web logs were told to report on all the festivities.

Dealing With Nuclear Proliferation

Opinions differ as to how to deal with the potential for nuclear proliferation. On the one hand, there are those who believe we can arrest or at least delay proliferation and others – the realists who are addressing what to do as more states go nuclear. Hawks have pushed for regime change or military strikes, whereas doves have favored arms control, negotiation and some even appeasement. But few decision-makers are seriously considering what a post-proliferation world would look like, even though such a world would inevitably require rethinking many of the policies that the U.S. government and others now take for granted.

The reality of the present world situation is that nuclear proliferation might have to continue a while longer before it can be halted or slowed down: were nuclear tests and /or a terrorist event to be conducted in full view again—the North Korea tests were not sufficient for a wakeup call, the current generation of policymakers and their constituents might realize that the use of even a small number of nuclear weapons would lead to intolerable destruction.

The time for renewing a nuclear/security strategy is necessary in an age of proliferation. Even fewer politicians and their constituents are suggesting that such an assessment must address the political, economic, environment, education and energy aspects.

The primary question is: What should the U.S. do about the growing proliferation risk and what can we do as individuals or as a group?

John F. Kennedy in his Inaugural Address spoke these famous words:

“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”

The reducing of the threat of nuclear proliferation cannot be accomplished exclusively through military action, political negotiation, appeasement and sanctions, it requires addressing political, economic, energy, education and even the environment.

Possible examples of individual actions include: not purchasing products made in countries which support goals that are not consistent with good human rights policies, against liberty and freedom and are anti-American. Another is not investing in companies supporting these countries, providing the banking services and building their economies. Economic action is a powerful tool, but the country using this tool must remain economically strong and endure certain hardships.

The hawks argue that nuclear proliferation has been stopped before, and it can and should be stopped in the case of Iran and North Korea as well. Unfortunately, with Tehran—as with some of its predecessors—the price for Washington will be relinquishing the threat of regime change by force. We have learned from prior experiences with India and Pakistan in the 1980’s and 1990’s sanctions only increase the costs of going nuclear; they do not reduce the ability of a determined government to get the bomb.

The Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty

The NPT system proved reasonably successful for quite a long while. Although they are less discussed than the failures, the nonproliferation successes—the nuclear dogs that did not bark—are more numerous. Many non-nuclear-weapons states did continue to develop nuclear energy facilities after the NPT was signed, and some—such as Japan, with its massive plutonium stockpile—kept nuclear materials and continued their nuclear research in case the NPT regime fell apart. (Uncertainty about the treaty was so strong at first that Japan and other non-nuclear states insisted that they be allowed to review and renew their membership every five years.) But the NPT and U.S. security guarantees eventually reduced those countries’ interest in proliferation. Other U.S. allies were caught cheating— most notably South Korea in the 1970s and Taiwan in the 1980s— but they ended suspected military-related activities when Washington confronted them and threatened to withdraw its security assistance. Egypt sought nuclear weapons in the early 1960s, but it signed the NPT in 1968 and ratified it in 1979 after striking a peace deal with Israel that reduced its national security concerns. Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine were nuclear powers from the moment of their independence, having inherited arsenals when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. But they soon handed over the weapons to Russia in exchange for economic assistance, highly limited security assurances from the United States, and a chance to join the NPT in good standing. The NPT has been enough of a success that at the 1995 NPT Review Conference, all 178 states that had ratified it agreed to extend it permanently.

However, the NPT no longer is an effective tool for the control of the spread of nuclear proliferation.

Transnational Organizations And Nuclear Proliferation

Although most analysis deals with states going nuclear, the nuclear proliferation and the availability of nuclear materials opens the issue of dealing with transnational organizations such as Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and other related entities.

During the Cold War, most analysts considered it unlikely that nuclear weapons would be used during peacetime; they worried more about the possibility of a nuclear conflict somehow emerging out of a conventional war. That scenario would still be the most likely in a post-proliferation future as well, but the frequency of conventional wars in the Middle East would make it a less comforting prospect. If a nuclear-armed ballistic missile were launched while conventional fighting involving non-nuclear-armed ballistic missiles was going on in the region, how confident would any government be that it could identify the party responsible? The difficulty would be greater still if an airplane or a cruise missile, or even a suitcase were used to deliver the nuclear weapon.

One of the greatest fears about Iran or other rogue nation’s possible acquisition of nuclear weapons, moreover, is that the entity might give them to a terrorist group, which would dramatically increase the likelihood of their being used. In some cases, for example Pakistan did not transfer the technology, but A.O. Khan an engineer did transfer the technology—purportedly without approval of the government. This technology transfer was probably more for financial gain that ideological. Some argue that the Iranian government would never condone such a transfer; others that it would. There is no way of knowing for sure. What can be said, however, is that the likelihood of a clandestine transfer of weapons and/or nuclear materials to radical Islamist terrorists will increase if the number of Islamic and rogue nation nuclear powers grows, if only because it would get more difficult to identify the state responsible for the transfer so as to punish it.

It is important to recognize that all rogue nations are not Islamist—examples of which are North Korea and Burma. However, the characteristics of these nations include their totalitarian governments, restrictions on human rights, against liberty and freedom and desire to destroy the hegemony of the United States. It is also necessary watch the countries as they form into trading and military defense blocks—such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Mercosur in South America and linking of Russia, China and Iran with Venezuela and Cuba.

If an Islamist terrorist group acquired fissile material or a nuclear bomb today, it would be hard to determine with certainty which country had provided it. Attention would focus on Pakistan, the only Islamic state currently in possession of nuclear weapons. However, it should be noted that Kazakhstan a signatory to the NPT has extensive nuclear enrichment capability resulting from the prior weapons testing under the Soviet Union. Kazakhstan is one of the major world sources of uranium. There are still some 800,000 nuclear sources in the country and extensive nuclear waste sites that could provide material for a dirty bomb. But uncertainty would grow if more Islamic states went nuclear, and retaliation would become all but impossible unless one were willing to strike back indiscriminately at all suspect states.

Nuclear Proliferation Is Practically Impossible To Prevent

A nuclear Iran, for example, might support increased terrorism—think Hezbollah— against U.S. forces in the region on the theory that Washington would be reluctant to escalate the conflict.

On October 18 in the Financial Times—Nuclear arms spread hard to stop, says Rumsfeld, Donald Rumsfeld is quoted as saying: it was “practically impossible” to prevent countries from proliferating nuclear weapons if they had that aim.

“This is one of the hardest things we do . . . There’s so much moving around the world by land, sea and air that is is practically impossible, not impossible, but certainly it would take a lot of countries co-operating with a high degree of cohesion,” Mr. Rumsfeld told a military audience in Alabama.

His comments came as Condoleezza Rice, US secretary of state, began a round of shuttle diplomacy in northeast Asia in an effort to co-ordinate effective implementation of United Nations sanctions against North Korea, which include efforts to prevent the communist state from proliferating nuclear weapons.

“The only thing that would do it [prevent proliferation] will be a high degree of cohesiveness and co-operation on the part of the international community,” Mr. Rumsfeld added. “And that has been something that has been lacking.”

The History

Twenty years ago this month in Reykjavik, Iceland, President Ronald Reagan surprised Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev with a proposal that both nations abolish their ballistic missiles. There was even talk of eliminating their nuclear arsenals. A second surprise was in store when Gorbachev readily agreed, though with one hitch—the US had to shelve its Strategic Defense Initiative. In spite of his dream of nuclear abolition, Reagan refused to give up SDI, and the deal fell through.

Today we seem to be running on the opposite course. Even as Reagan and Gorbachev dickered in Iceland, the London Sunday Times ran a front-page story in which an Israeli nuclear technician revealed that Israel had produced more than 100 nuclear warheads. (The techie, Mordechai Vanunu, was later kidnapped by Mossad, tried and sentenced to 18 years ../__8212.css; 11 in solitary ../__8212.css; for opening his big mouth.)

Israel was the sixth nation to join the nuclear club. Just two decades after the U.S. dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, five nations possessed atomic weapons. The Soviets, were next, collecting the necessary expertise from at least three spies at Los Alamos, most notably the scientist and devoted German Communist Party member (alarm bells, anyone?) Emil Fuchs. Britain, which had been involved with the Manhattan Project, had its own bomb by 1952. Eight years later the French joined the nuke club, and by 1964 Communist China had the bomb. And now China has the systems for delivery of the weapons.

With the end of the Cold War, many believed that nuclear weapons would go the way of the USSR, yet today the world seems to be on the verge of another tsunami of nuclear proliferation. Now as before, there seems to be little the international community can do to halt it.

Certainly this round of proliferation didn’t come out of nowhere. North Korea and Iran have been signaling their nuclear intentions for decades. Pyongyang is, according to the Washington Post, a double threat, because it has shown itself to be a “virtual bazaar for spreading missiles, conventional weapons and nuclear technology around the globe.”

Pakistan, our supposed ally, hasn’t been a slouch either. Islamabad reportedly has sent nuclear material and technology to North Korea, Libya, and Saudi Arabia. The Washington Post also talks of a “vast nuclear smuggling ring emanating from Pakistan,” led chiefly by A.Q. Khan, the German-educated father of the Pakistan bomb.

The Reasons Countries Develop Nuclear Weapons

Nations develop nuclear weapons for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it is simply a matter of prestige or national pride, as in the case of China and India. Sometimes nukes are seen as necessary for a state’s very survival (Israel). Most often nuclear armaments are acquired to counter an enemy’s arsenal (Pakistan, USSR). Regardless of the reason, when one state adopts nukes its neighbors are likely to feel pressured to follow suit, no matter how much they oppose nukes in principle. This will be the case for Saudi Arabia if Iran goes nuclear. The particular danger in the case of Saudi Arabia is that it is potentially fighting both the possibility of conflict internally against Al Qaeda and Shiite factions.

Case in point: India tested its first “peaceful nuclear” device, Smiling Buddha ../__8212.css; you didn’t think Indians had a sense of irony, did you? ../__8212.css; in 1974. George Perkovich, author of India’s Nuclear Bomb, notes that Delhi’s reasons had little to do with security, but stemmed from an overwhelming desire for global recognition and national pride. The proposed agreement (awaiting congressional approval) to supply nuclear technology to India negotiated by President Bush does not put India’s weapons program and breeder reactor activities under the inspection control of the NPT.

Following India’s test, Pakistan immediately began work on its own nuclear weapons program. Reacting to this perceived threat from its neighbor, Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto said, “We will defend our country using any means necessary and build a nuclear capability second to none. We will eat grass for 1,000 years, if we have to, but we will get there.” Thanks to technical assistance from China and the expertise Khan stole from German and Dutch nuclear facilities, it didn’t take anything like 1,000 years. Pakistan successfully tested its first bomb in 1998.

Burma A Potential Nuclear Country

Union of Myanmar, also known as Burma or the Union of Burma by bodies and states which do not recognize the ruling military junta (dictatorship).

It should come as no surprise that more and more countries—following North Korea’s lead, and sensing a weakening of the U.S.-EU alliance—are expressing an interest in nuclear weapons. Even a nonentity, but recently significant energy supplier for China and India, like Burma (The Australian July 6, 2006), has announced its intention to start a nuclear weapons program, effectively daring the UN Security Council to stop it. Iran, of course, has been playing the Security Council for a fool for years knowing full well that the Security Council’s threats are about as effective as a chocolate sauce pan. The U.S. will not submit Burma to the UN knowing that China would block any resolution. Buddhist 89%, Christian 4% (Baptist 3%, Roman Catholic 1%), Muslim 4%, animist 1%, other 2% per CIA Fact book. Burma has borders with Bangladesh 193 km, China 2,185 km, India 1,463 km, Laos 235 km, Thailand 1,800 km. Bangladesh is rapidly becoming an Islamist state and the site a growing terrorist presence.

According to a Jamestown report The Roots Of Extremism In Bangladesh of January 13, 2005: “The rise of radical political and religious parties like JeI promoted the growth of madrasas in the country, mostly funded by certain Middle Eastern countries. The prominent donors are the Saudi-based al-Haramain Foundation, UAE-based al-Fujayrah Welfare Association and the Dubai-based Dar ul-Ansar and Muslim Welfare Association. (Suggested reading is my earlier paper as a reminder: Dubai Ports – Strategic Implications.)  Although none of these organizations have any offices in the areas where terrorist groups are active, they operate through a network of preachers who not only distribute money but also motivate the youth to join jihad.”

“Not surprisingly, Bangladesh has been host to various terrorist groups anxious to recruit and train young students coming out of these madrasas. One of the more prominent ones is Harkat ul-Jihad al-Islami (HuJI), widely regarded as al-Qaeda’s operating arm in South Asia. HuJI has been consolidating its position in Bangladesh where it boasts a membership of more than 15,000 activists, of whom at least 2,000 are “hardcore”. Led by Shawkat Osman (alias Sheikh Farid) in Chittagong, the group has at least six training camps in Bangladesh. According to one report, about 3,500 Bangladeshis had gone to Pakistan and Afghanistan to take part in jihad. Barring who died, a large number of them returned home; of these, about 500 form the backbone of HuJI.”

“According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal:  Both local residents and foreigners are recruited into the HuJI. Besides, refugees from Myanmar are a significant source of cadres for the outfit. They include stateless Rohingyas, whose families have fled Myanmar over the years allegedly due to religious persecution. Cadres of the HuJI are primarily recruited from various Madrassas (seminaries). The Madrassas essentially impart religious training and most of them are financed by Arab charities. Reports also indicate that many HuJI recruits have seen ‘action’ in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir, Chechnya and Afghanistan…The HuJI had reportedly been formed drawing inspiration from Osama bin Laden and continues to maintain active links with the Al Qaeda network and remnants of the Taliban militia.”

China is building a naval base in Burma. Burma’s military junta has attempted to buy nuclear weapons technology from North Korea’s rogue regime in an alliance that presents a frightening new threat to regional security. The highly secretive Burmese state maintains the biggest army in Southeast Asia, with a regular military estimated at about half a million people and a paramilitary force of some 100,000.

Japan Under Pressure To Respond To Impending Crisis

Japan is being put under pressure to act resulting from the North Korea nuclear test and simultaneously the impact of cutting off oil access from planned suppliers.

According to an article in the Financial Times on October 25, 2006, Japan Hits Big Setbacks In Push to Expand “Japan will be required to revise its energy strategy. In accordance with Russia’s strategy to use oil as a weapon for geopolitical control and to support Iran, North Korea and China; Russia will redirect the LNG output from the giant project off Russia’s Sakhalin Island to China.”

This is yet another example of the Leftist/Marxist – Islamist Alliance—the “Oil Axis” at work seeking world domination.

Just five months after its unveiling, Japan’s ambitious 25-year plan to sharply increase oil and gas development is hitting snags, suggesting Tokyo may find it even harder than expected to stabilize the nation’s future energy supply.

“On October 23, Exxon Mobil Corp. said it reached a preliminary agreement to sell natural gas from a giant project off Russia’s Sakhalin Island to China, instead of to Japan as originally planned. This came several weeks after Russia ratcheted up regulatory pressure that could jeopardize another Sakhalin gas project in which the bulk of the planned output of nearly 10 million tons a year—about a fifth of Japan’s current natural-gas imports ../__8212.css; was destined for Japan.”

“Earlier this month, Iran canceled the right held by Inpex Holdings Inc., Japan’s largest oil-development company, to participate in a $2 billion project in the Azadegan oil field. At its peak, the project was expected to meet as much as 6% of Japan’s oil demand. The developments are a blow to Tokyo, which had counted on the deals as a major component of its push to expand its access to energy. Japan, whose economy is the world’s second-largest, relies nearly entirely on imports for its oil and gas, making it vulnerable to swings in global oil prices or political tensions in energy-producing regions.”

The projects in Russia and Iran are a stark reminder of the challenges Japan faces and the free-world as the “Oil Axis” of Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela gain strength. In September, the Kremlin began meddling in a Sakhalin gas project led by Royal Dutch Shell PLC that also involved two Japanese trading companies, Mitsubishi Corp. and Mitsui & Co. The government has accused Shell of violating environmental standards and threatened to pull its permits.

The United Nations Security Council is considering whether to impose further sanctions to pressure Iran to give up its uranium-enrichment program, which the U.S. and others say is a precursor to atomic-weapons production and the Iranians claim is for civilian energy use. If sanctions are imposed, the Japanese government would have to halt its plans to provide loans and low-cost trade insurance. That would make it difficult for Inpex to raise enough money to fund the project, let alone make it profitable.

Now with October’s nuclear test in North Korea, Japan may feel pressured to go forward with its on-again, off-again enrichment program, rather than rely for its security on a weakened U.S. Three years ago Japan’s chief cabinet secretary Yasuo Fukuda reiterated that “depending on the world situation, circumstances and public opinion could require Japan to possess nuclear weapons.”

This is but another example of Russia’s use of environmental cover to gain increased control of oil resources. In today’s Russia, energy has become a fundamental tool in leveraging its policies. Along with the issue of North Korean nuclear weapons, energy became a key point in dissuading the EU from condemning Russia’s actions in Georgia. Russia’s control of Georgia is critical in controlling gas and oil supplies to Europe.

“Gazprom, Russia’s natural gas company, on Novemebr 2, 2006 threatened to double prices to neighbouring Georgia next year, stepping up economic pressure amid a tense dispute with the Caucasus republic.”… Separately, Russia’s foreign ministry yesterday hit back at concerns voiced by the US that Germany could become too reliant on Russian gas by participating in a new pipeline under the Baltic Sea. The ministry said US opposition appeared motivated “not by worries about Europe’s energy security, but the principle professed by certain American officials that good pipelines are those that skirt Russia.”

Russia’s control of energy, its stalling techniques with Iran, and the coincidental nuclear test in North Korea have allowed Russia to distract the West and wield extraordinary power in the CIS. But what will happen when those circumstances subside? Russian wolves will be full on sustenance provided by the West and countries like Georgia will remain starved. The West, meanwhile, may not have much of its cake left, as most of it will have ended up on its face.

On October 18, 2006 Hiroshi Suzuki, Japan’s deputy cabinet secretary said: Tokyo wanted to discuss other issues with Washington, including the efficacy of its nuclear umbrella, which took on added importance in view of the North Korean threat. Japan, he said, maintained “solid adherence” to its three non-nuclear principles - not to possess, develop or trade nuclear weapons.

Also Taro Aso, Japan’s foreign minister told parliament Japan had every right to discuss the desirability of possessing nuclear weapons, even though he was against any change. His remarks prompted Mr Abe to say the nuclear debate was “finished”.

Almost. According to the Financial Times in an interview with Shinzo Abe on October 31, Abe looks to new Japanese constitution. “Shinzo Abe, Japan’s new prime minister, said his government would rewrite the constitution during his term, bringing to an end more than 60 years of living with a document written under US occupation.”

In his first newspaper interview since taking office in late September, Mr. Abe told the Financial Times: “Japanese people should themselves write a constitution that befits the 21st century.”

The existing document, written by American occupying forces in 1946, includes Article 9, which renounces Japan’s right to wage war or to maintain armed forces. “I believe this article needs to be revised from the point of view of defending Japan,” Mr. Abe said, adding that Japan was now expected to play a role in international security that was not compatible with its current constitution.

Japan will bring forward its program for setting up a missile defense system following heightened tensions in the region caused by North Korea’s nuclear test, the Japanese defense minister said on October 25. “Japan does not have the power to defend itself against a missile attack,” said Fumio Kyuma, the new head of Japan’s Defense Agency. “We should try to bring forward the timing [of missile defense deployment],” he said. North Korea’s recent missile and nuclear tests have provided Japan’s more hawkish politicians with a sense of urgency in their calls for stronger self-defense measures, particularly against a missile attack.

The Knowledge Is Out Of The Tube

Nuclear arms races might emerge in regions other than the Middle East as well. Asia features many countries with major territorial or political disputes, including five with nuclear weapons (China, India, North Korea, Pakistan, and Russia). Japan and Taiwan could join the list. Most of these countries would have the resources to increase the size and quality of their nuclear arsenals indefinitely if they so chose. They also seem to be nationalist in a way that western European countries no longer are: they are particularly mindful of their sovereignty, relatively uninterested in international organizations, sensitive to slights, and wary about changes in the regional balance of military power. Were the United States to stop serving as guarantor of the current order, Asia might well be, in the words of the Princeton political science professor Aaron Friedberg, “ripe for rivalry” ../__8212.css; including nuclear rivalry. In that case, the region would raise problems similar to those that would be posed by a nuclear Middle East.

On October 16 Speaking at a conference in Vienna on tightening controls against nuclear proliferation, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said there is a real danger that the 30 so-called threshold countries could have the capacity to develop nuclear weapons in a very short time. “The lack of international security and the failure of non-proliferation agreements make it difficult to convince these ‘virtual new weapons states’ not to develop their own nuclear programs,” ElBaradei told reporters. He told The Times a country ../__8212.css; not necessarily a superpower ../__8212.css; with good intentions about using nuclear power could develop a bomb “based on their sense of security or insecurity.”

“The knowledge is out of the tube … both for peaceful purpose and unfortunately also for not peaceful purposes,” Mr. ElBaradei said.

“It’s becoming fashionable for countries to try to look into possibilities of shielding themselves … through the possibility of nuclear weapons,” he said, adding: “Another 20 or 30 would have the capacity to develop nuclear weapons in a very short time.”

According to the UN official, these “20 or 30” specifically potential nuclear powers includes:

Australia, Argentina and South Africa: countries he said have recently announced to be considering developing enrichment programs to be able to sell fuel to states that want to generate electricity with nuclear reactors.

Canada, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland, Taiwan, Spain, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Lithuania: Nations which either have the means to produce weapons-grade uranium if they chose, could quickly build such technology, or could use plutonium waste for weaponization.

Japan, which also says it has no plans to develop atomic weapons, but could make them at short notice.

South Korea, which also has spent reactor fuel and was found a few years ago to have conducted small-scale secret experiments on making highly enriched uranium that would be usable in warheads.

Finally, Thailand, Mr. ElBaradei’s home country of Egypt, Bangladesh, Ghana, Indonesia, Jordan, Namibia, Moldova, Nigeria, Poland, Turkey, Vietnam and Yemen. These countries are “considering developing nuclear programs in the near future,” according to the UN official’s speech.

Could the U.S. government really destroy all of an adversary’s nuclear weapons in a nuclear first strike? Does Washington want that ability? And what-if anything-should be done about it? Peter C. W. Flory Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy writing in Foreign Affairs, September/October 2006, Nuclear Exchange: Does Washington Really Have (or Want) Nuclear Primacy?

“This administration has continued the policy of previous administrations in that it does not rely on the ability to conduct a nuclear first strike to ensure the survival of the United States. The Department of Defense’s force posture of dispersed ICBMs and survivable ballistic missile submarines is designed to make clear to any adversary that might contemplate a first strike against the United States that in the aftermath of such an attack the U.S. military would retain the ability to respond with such devastating force that an aggressor could not stand to gain. This is not a first-strike posture.”

Getting Closer To Home-Brazil Enriches Uranium

How Brazil Spun the Atom “While Iran grabs headlines, Brazil is quietly, and without belligerence, preparing its centrifuges to start enriching uranium according to an article in Spectrum (IEEE Journal) of March 6, 2006. Brazil will soon produce enriched uranium in industrial quantities to fuel its two nuclear power reactors. Brazil’s achievement comes at a time when concern is running high over another enrichment program, in Iran. Both countries are parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)—the foundation of the international regime that seeks to limit the spread of nuclear weapons—but Brazil’s program is notable for its differences from Iran’s: Brazil has consistently fulfilled its obligations under the NPT, and the country has forsworn nuclear weapons ambition since a democratic government replaced the military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1964 to 1985.”

“With its new Resende plant, Brazil is joining the exclusive club of nations that operate commercial-scale centrifuge facilities. These include Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom— these three forming the Urenco Ltd. consortium—plus Russia, China, and Japan. The United States and France enrich uranium through a different process called gaseous diffusion, although both countries plan to build centrifuge plants.”

“All over the world, uranium centrifuges and other enrichment technologies are treated as state secrets and subject to stringent export controls. That’s because the same equipment used to enrich uranium into reactor fuel can, with only minor modifications, also enrich it to a far higher level to serve as bomb-grade material. So while enrichment technology provides the lifeblood of the nuclear power industry, it can also be instrumental to the production of nuclear weapons.”

90 Miles Off Of The Florida

The thoughts of an Islamic terrorist state located 90 miles off of the Florida coast should enough to keep the people of America and even President Bush up for weeks.

According to AKI Adnkronos International, Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, the president of the Majlis, the Iranian parliament, who is related by marriage to Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the spiritual leader of the Islamic republic, met on February 13, 2006 with the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. Haddad Adel arrived in Caracas on Sunday night with a delegation including agriculture minister Mohammad Reza Eskandari and industry minister Ali Reza Tahmasebi. After the visit to Venezuela, Iran’s main ally in Latin America and within OPEC, the Iranian delegation is set off to travel to Cuba, Brazil and Uruguay. Venezuela is mining uranium from a clandestine mine.

In his first foreign visit as Iran’s newly elected president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Cuba and Venezuela before heading to the United States for a UN summit in September last year. Ahmadinejad met with Venezuelan president Chavez and the Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

While the Cuba visit itself may be of little consequence, the invitation offers a reminder that our Cuban neighbor is ceaselessly working to pursue anti-American foreign policy. It also offers a heads-up that Iran’s nuclear aspirations may as well be Cuba’s.

The Defense Should Not Rest

The solutions for dealing with proliferations are not static and no one solution will provide a permanent solution. Each day will present new challenges and each must be met for the protection of civilization. The solution does require the cooperation of countries working together realizing the danger and potential destruction that would issue forth. Today, most of emphasis has been placed of countries developing weapons. The control and security is not one-dimensional. This is not the time to hit the pause button on addressing the total security issue. Security does not stop at the negotiating table. We must address the issue globally.

To bolster the efficacy of deterrence in a world of small, closely located nuclear powers, it would be necessary to deploy surveillance systems that could identify and warn against aircraft movement and missile launches. These systems might be operated on a national or a multilateral basis; in fact, a number of states in exposed regions could contribute to collective efforts to detect airborne threats.

The construction of such a regional surveillance system, moreover, would put in place much of the infrastructure needed to support another useful tool: some form of missile defense. Skeptics of missile defense have often ridiculed, with some reason, the notion that such systems can be effective against nuclear weapons or large numbers of missiles. What they overlook, however, is that even leaky or somewhat ineffective defenses can play a constructive role in deterring an attack from a nuclear power with a small arsenal or lowering the odds that a full-scale nuclear conflict will erupt from a single use (of whatever origin). Witness Japan moving ahead with their missile defense system.

Other kinds of defense could also help lower the odds of an attack or mitigate its terrible consequences. Government officials whether in the U.S. Asia or Europe should develop the capacity to evacuate those cities at risk of a direct attack or of being in the path of nuclear fallout, as well as stockpile radiation meters, build fallout shelters, and implement other measures first devised in the 1950s. Civil defense came to be seen as a grotesque joke when the Soviet Union acquired tens of thousands of nuclear weapons. But, like missile defense, it could play an important role in a world of smaller nuclear powers.

Should a nuclear bomb get through nevertheless; it would be critical for the government of the targeted state to respond with policies other than doing nothing or ordering indiscriminate retaliation. One option would be to launch a massive non-nuclear military campaign against the responsible party to make sure that such an attack was never repeated. But even with all the will and money in the world, such a response simply could not be summoned up out of the blue; it would require careful planning and preparation.

Many of the countries potentially developing nuclear weapons gain their funding through the sale of oil. Removing the sources of funding would significantly reduce the risk of nuclear weaponization. Examples include Iran, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Burma, and etc. Energy independence can be a deterrent to nuclear proliferation.

Drug trafficking, Internet porn, sex slaves, counterfeiting and other endeavors are also providing funding for the activities.

Open borders allow the potential transfer of WMD. This requires both the countries that have nuclear materials, such as Kazakhstan and those seeking security such as the EU and the United States to have adequate border control.

Security is also important with regard to technology transfer, shipment of materials, plans and manufacturing technology. A.Q. Khan and Emil Fuchs transfer of nuclear technology are examples. The technology transfer of missile technology—not components from the U.S. to China allowed their development of intercontinental missiles. With electronic transfer, North Korea may transfer their technology to other countries; inspecting ships will not solve this problem.

The U.S. also needs materials and metals, such as rare earths from China and titanium from Russia to maintain our weapons program. Unless we have plans for our security, we are at risk for defense. Shutting down a mining operation for Rare Earth in the U.S. because of an environmental concern can be just as devastating to our security as the transfer of nuclear material to a rogue nation.

Shut down nuclear programs in countries mentioned above result in large numbers of trained scientists and engineers without jobs. These scientists and engineers, most of which are in need of work migrate and seek paying jobs. Some move to countries to develop their weapons. The closure of the South African and Argentine program are prime examples.

Without the adequate supply of trained and committed scientists and engineers, with appropriate security clearances, we cannot achieve security.

Peaceful coexistence does not require friendly relations or appeasement, but it does mean exercising mutual restraint. Relinquishing the threat of regime change by force may be necessary and acceptable price for the United States to pay to stop Tehran or Pyongyang from getting the bomb and the delivery systems. But this alone will not prevent the nuclear proliferation and a potential nuclear and/or economic holocaust. The combined forces of the Leftist/Marxist – Islamic Alliance and the Oil Axis have the goal of world domination.

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David J. Jonsson is the author of Clash of Ideologies —The Making of the Christian and Islamic Worlds, Xulon Press 2005. His new book: Islamic Economics and the Final Jihad: The Muslim Brotherhood to the Leftist/Marxist - Islamist Alliance (Salem Communications (May 30, 2006). He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in physics. He worked for major corporations in the United States and Japan and with multilateral agencies that brought him to more that fifteen countries with significant or majority populations who are Muslim. These exposures provided insight into the basic tenants of Islam as a political, economic and religious system. He became proficient in Islamic law (Shariah) through contract negotiation and personal encounter. David can be reached at: djonsson2000@yahoo.co.uk