by Felicity Arbuthnot
"We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen, before Israel goes under." (Remarks of Martin Van Creveld, Professor of Military History at Israel's Hebrew University, September 2003, in Dutch weekly, Elsevier..,)
Iran: We have been here before. The year before the assault on and near destruction of unarmed neighbouring Iraq, George W. Bush, of course declared the "Axis of Evil," Iraq, Iran and North Korea.
But it was the man now hailed "peacemaker," former President Jimmy Carter, who, in his State of the Union Address on 23rd January 1980, made the most chilling statement - until the current political psychopathy - regarding a possible nuclear strike on Iran.
Very simplisticly put, the then Soviet Union supported Afghanistan's leftist government, and eventually invaded the country in their defence, against challenges by the traditionalist, conservative Muslims, and (US backed) Mujahideen.
The Carter Administration at the time seemed not too bothered by the invasion, a few trade sanctions were imposed here and there, but no more. The plight of Afghanistan's people of little consequence. However, neighbouring Iran with its vast oil reserves and the threat to Western oil supplies in shipping passing through the Straits of Hormuz, then, as now, was a different matter.
"An attempt by an outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America ... such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force." (i)
Later, a US Defence Department Report, seemingly leaked by the Administration, stated that should the Soviet Union invade Northern Iran, the use of nuclear weapons would be considered.
However, the Soviet Union too had nuclear weapons, so in those, now, ironically, safer seeming days of "Mutually Assured Destruction" ("MAD") the US simply contented itself with arming the Afghan Mujahideen - which it is now slaughtering, droning, taking body parts of as trophies - and urinating on.
The Carter Administration simply contented itself with building a Rapid Deployment Force, expanding the US naval presence in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean.
That Deployment Force eventually became Centcom.
Carter won the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize for his work: "to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts."
Further ironically, the United States, in 1957, had embarked on a civil nuclear policy with Iran, as part of the "Atoms for Peace" programme.
In September 1967, the US supplied 5,545 Kgs of enriched uranium to Iran, the majority of which (5,165 kgs) contained fissile isotopes for fuelling a research reactor, research Iran says it is undertaking, which the US now threatens to bomb. At the same time, the US supplied 112 g of plutonium, of which 104 gs were also for start up for a research reactor.
In the 1970s the US supported the building of up to twenty nuclear power plants throughout Iran. Contracts were signed with a number of other Western countries.
In 1975, Iran signed a contract with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for training of Iran's nuclear engineers. (ii)
Incidentally, Iran ratified both the Partial Nuclear Test Ban treaty of 1963 and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968. Israel, another of the sabre rattlers, has signed neither.
Bombing nuclear reactors is beyond even the actions of the certifiably insane. On 26th April 1986, the world's worst nuclear disaster, until 2011 and Fukushima, was Chernobyl.
When an explosion blasted a hole in the roof of the plant, tons of radioactive material were blown into the atmosphere and traversed the world. To this day there are hill farmers in the UK whose sheep are still found to be too radioactive from the resultant fallout nearly 2,000 miles away, twenty six years ago - to sell for meat.
The people in the Chernobyl region were exposed to radiation about one hundred times greater than that from the Hiroshima bomb. Since, thousands have become ill and died of cancers and other diseases.
Over four hundred thousand people had to leave their homes. The water of Ukraine and Belarus is still affected, the ground in which they plant still contaminated.
There have been a litany of nuclear accidents over the years, the first, which remained the worst until Chernobyl, was at the Windscale plant on the UK's (western) Cumbria Coast. The British responded by changing it's name to Sellafield.
When Pan Am Flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie, on 21st December 1988, hearing the news flash, I picked up a UK atlas. It was close enough for wreckage to have fallen on and damaged the plant. A call to a shaken operative at Sellafield within minutes of the crash, caught him off guard, they were, he said: "combing the (vast) compounds for debris and damage right now ..."
The wreckage from Pan Am's tragedy was strewn one thousand square miles. (iii) Sellafield was just forty eight miles away, under the main trans-Atlantic air route. Depending on the exact route of the flight, potentially, a few minutes later the disaster could have been even more appalling, by orders of unimaginable magnitude.