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1 Million Dead Iranians

By Chris Floyd

04/21/06 "
ICH" -- -- Twelve hours. One circuit of the sun from horizon to horizon, one course of the moon from dusk to dawn. What was once a natural measurement for the daily round of human life is now a doom-laden interval between the voicing of an autocrat's brutal whim and the infliction of mass annihilation halfway around the world.

Twelve hours is the maximum time necessary for American bombers to gear up and launch an unprovoked sneak attack -- a Pearl Harbor in reverse -- against Iran, The Washington Post reports. The plan for this "global strike," which includes a very viable "nuclear option," was approved months ago and is now in operation. The planes are already on continuous alert, making "nuclear delivery" practice runs along the Iranian border, The New Yorker reports, and waiting only for the signal from President George W. Bush to drop their payloads of conventional and nuclear weapons on some 400 targets throughout the condemned land.

And when this attack comes -- either as a stand-alone "knock-out blow" or as the precursor to a full-scale, regime-changing invasion, like the earlier aggression in Iraq -- there will be no warning, no declaration of war, no congressional hearings, no public debate. The already-issued orders governing the operation put the decision solely in the hands of the president. He picks up the phone, he says, "Go," and in 12 hours' time, up to 1 million Iranians will be dead.

This potential death toll is not pacifist hyperbole; it comes from a National Academy of Sciences study sponsored by the Pentagon itself, as The Progressive reports. The NAS study calculated the kill rate from "bunker-busting" tactical nukes used to take out underground facilities -- such as those housing much of Iran's nuclear power program. Another simulation using Pentagon software was even more specific, measuring the aftermath from a "limited" nuclear attack on the main Iranian underground site in Esfahan. The result? Three million people killed by radiation in just two weeks. Bush now has about 50 nuclear "earth-penetrating weapons" at his disposal.

Nor is the idea of a nuclear strike on Iran mere "liberal paranoia." Bush himself has made the use of nuclear weapons a centerpiece of his "National Security Strategy of the United States," issued last month, The Progressive notes. While reaffirming the criminal principle of "pre-emptive" attacks on perceived enemies who may or may not be threatening America with weapons they may or may not possess, Bush declared that "safe, credible and reliable nuclear forces continue to play a critical role" in the "offensive strike systems" that are now a key part of America's "deterrence."

In the depraved jargon of atomic warmongering, a "credible" nuclear force is one that can and will be used in the course of ordinary military operations. It is no longer to be regarded as a sacred taboo. This has long been the dream of the Pentagon's nuclear priesthood and its acolytes, going back to the days of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. For decades, a strong faction within the U.S. power structure has been afflicted with a perverted craving to unleash these weapons once more. An almost sexual frustration can be discerned in their laments as time and again, in crisis after crisis, their counsels for "going nuclear" were rejected -- often at the very last moment. They have relentlessly demonized an ever-changing array of "enemies," painting each one as an imminent, overwhelming threat, led by "madmen" in thrall to pure evil, impervious to reason, fit only for destruction. Evidence for the threat is exaggerated, manipulated, even manufactured; this ritual cycle has been enacted over and over, leading to many wars but never to that ultimate, orgasmic release.

Now this paranoid sect has at last seized the commanding heights of power. Two of its most venerable and faithful adherents are central players in the court of the Crawford Caligula: Vice President Dick Cheney and Pentagon warlord Donald Rumsfeld, and they've found an eager disciple in the peevish dullard strutting in the Oval Office. Under their tutelage, Bush has eviscerated 40 years' worth of arms control treaties; officially "normalized" the use of nuclear weapons, even against non-nuclear states; and rewarded outlaw proliferators like India, Israel and Pakistan. Now, he is destroying the last, most effective restraint on the spread of nuclear weapons: the Nonproliferation Treaty.

The treaty guarantees its signatories, such as Iran, the right to establish nuclear power programs in exchange for rigorous international inspections. But Bush has arbitrarily decided that Iran -- whose nuclear program has been subjected to perhaps the most extensive inspection process in history -- must end its lawful activities. Why? Because the country is led by "madmen" in thrall to pure evil, impervious to reason, who one day may or may not threaten America with weapons they may or may not have.

So the treaty is dead. Like the Geneva Conventions and the U.S. Constitution, it now means only what Bush says it means. Force of arms, not rule of law, is the new world order. The attack on Iran is coming. And Bush insists that the nuclear option remain in the war plans, despite resistance from top military officers, The New Yorker reports. The obvious, murderous insanity of such a move in no way precludes its implementation by this gang -- as their invasion of Iraq clearly shows.

The nuclear sectarians have waited decades for this moment. Such a chance may never come again. Will they let it pass, when with just a word, in just 12 hours, they can see their god rising in a pillar of fire over Persia?

Chris Floyd - www.chris-floyd.com

Annotations

Bush won't rule out nuclear strike on Iran
Reuters, April 18, 2006

Not Just a Last Resort?
Washington Post, May 15, 2005

The Human Costs of Bombing Iran
The Progressive, April 12, 2006

The Iran Plans
The New Yorker, April 10, 2006

Earth-Penetrating Weapons
Union of Concerned Scientists, May 2005

Many Deaths Still Expected With Earth-Penetrating Nuclear Weapons
National Academy of Sciences, April 27, 2005

Picture Imperfect: False Image, Real War
Empire Burlesque, April 5, 2006

Fishing for a Pretext to Squeeze Iran
Truthdig, March 13, 2006

The Pentagon Preps for Iran
Washington Post, April 14, 2006

Pentagon Revises Nuclear Strike Plan
Washington Post, Sept. 11, 2005

The Really Real "Long War
Empire Burlesque, April 19, 2006

Goldilocks and Iran
Washington Post, April 10, 2006

US Studying Military Strike Options on Iran
Washington Post, April 8, 2006

Mutually Assured Dementia
Whisky Bar, April 11, 2006

US Outsourcing Special Ops, Intelligence to Iraq-Based Iranian Terror Group
Raw Story, April 13, 2006

Dark Passage: PNAC's Blueprint for Empire
Empire Burlesque, September 20, 2002
 

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