Friday, April 4, 2008

Iran War Porn

Granted, the Iran WarWatch has been canceled here a FutureJacked headquarters, but please do check out War With Iran?, a Forbes book review of 'Iran, le choix des armes?' to get your war porn fix.


As is unfortunately usual when professionals with little-to-no nuclear background discuss nuclear power or nuclear weapons, we get some rather extreme word usage. For instance, the review author hyperventilates on the consequences of an Iranian nuclear weapon. One juicy quote:
What could happen should the world, or at least the part of the world that is immediately concerned about the future of mankind and the planet, lose sight of the fact that any further expansion of membership in the "nuclear club" could have catastrophic consequences for the very existence of life as we know it?

Dude, relax. An Iranian bomb would be on the order of 50 kT, give or take, depending on how it was boosted, the amount of HEU they decided to go with, etc. That is not going to end the world.

I think Messr. Andelman has apparently bought into the nuclear-bombs-end-the-world propaganda that was foisted on the public back in the Cold War years. One-off or even regional nuclear weapons exchanges - while horrible and leading to catastrophic local effects - are not going to end the human race.

There is also talk of how AQ Khan "brought the nuclear arms race to the subcontinent and far beyond" - but no mention (in the review - I am not sure how the book spins it) of the fact that India kicked Pakistan's ass in multiple wars, then detonated a nuclear weapon near the border (code named "Smiling Buddha" - I shit you not). Huh, if I'm a country that has been defeated multiple times in conventional wars by a neighboring country and then I see that neighbor developing a nuclear bomb, I might develop one of my own as well. But I digress. It's just that this kind of simplistic discussion of nuclear proliferation topics ignores so much critical information that it is mind-boggling.

Yes, we should fear nuclear war and yes we should work diligently to prevent weapons proliferation and push disarmament, but if we are going to address the Iranian nuclear issue with any hope of success, we must also keep our eyes on the facts and on the true ramifications, not wander off into a funhouse of nightmare scenarios that have no basis in physics. And the elites who help shape opinions need to help keep that discussion on a more rational plane.

As for the book itself, I unfortunately do not read French. Check out this useful review, though, and if you do find a translation, read it and evaluate it for yourself.

From reading Messr. Andelman's recap of the scenarios, it sounds like a lot of fear, hype and standard doom thinking. I don't see reference to issues that Iran would face, like problems with the material to build the 10,000 centrifuges postulated in one scenario, discussion of the many, many issues involved in making a fissile package of material robust enough to launch in a warhead, no discussion of extreme unlikelihood of Hezbollah allowing itself to be used as a front organization for a nuclear attack on Israel - knowing that Lebanon would be cease to exist mere hours later.

And I certainly see no reference to modern 4GW theory in discussion of military scenarios. Another indicator that this is a book produced by someone locked into the ossified industrial war - colonialist mindset that seems to infest the older generation of European elites. Oh well.

Sounds like more attempts to get the "Iran nuclear war" meme pimped out to the public instead of a cold review of the situation. Be wary of supposed experts trying to sell you on war - especially those claiming that their "scenarios" are only for educational purposes of how bad it would be.

Psy Ops can be tricky beasts and when the elites are mounting a campaign to sell you something - be it a new deodorant, a new television program or a war - you need to watch all the food they are preparing for your brain to feast upon, and then "eat" wisely.

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