Today’s reports that Russia narrowly averted a nuclear disaster that rivaled Chernobyl in December 2011 rocked the disaster-watching world.
The country was moments away from releasing untold radioactive contaminants into the atmosphere as a nuclear submarine carrying 16 R-29 ICBMs — each with a 1 megaton nuclear warhead — caught fire. The craft had to be partially submerged to douse the flames that threatened not only the nukes, but also the nuclear reactor of the craft itself, not to mention the thousands of pounds of torpedoes and mines onboard.
The well-respected Russian magazine Vlast reported on the incident, saying:
Had even one of those torpedoes exploded, we’d be looking at a serious nuclear accident affecting the globe. Nuclear energy, though much more threatening and accident-prone in weaponry than in civilian uses, is one of the most dangerous threats to humanity. The closely avoided devastation faced in this scenario should serve as our umpteenth strong warning: one day these nuclear chickens will come home to roost.
A leak of radioactive gas at the San Onofre nuclear power plant outside of San Diego, CA is the latest in a string of what are becoming routine mishaps. Yesterday, China reported a radiation leak as the rapidly expanding country began slowing approvals on new nuclear plants. And Fukishima continued its legacy as one of the worst ever nuclear disasters, announcing today that 8 tons of radioactive water leaked from the crippled plant. This all happened over the course of 48 hours!
The reality is that nuclear power plants leak all the time. Sometimes they release radioactive gas or water on purpose to avert a more catastrophic disaster, sometimes the leak is inadvertent and occasionally undetected. In fact, background levels of radiation are noticeably higher within 30 miles of a plant. These sustained background levels make small leaks even harder to detect.
Right now the fight is strong against the much maligned Indian Point power plant which could severely pollute New York City’s water with a bad enough leak. The plan to remove the threat of a nuclear accident in one of the country’s most densely populated areas is now in place, with Energy Committee Chairman Kevin Cahill saying, “We have the framework and the resources for a future without Indian Point. It all comes down to the state developing a plan and putting it in motion.” Should a meltdown occur in the reactors that sits on a fault line and cannot withstand a high-magnitude earthquake, Indian Point would cause mass devastation and panic in the NY metro area.
This revolt against nuclear energy is happening across the planet, most noticeably with Germany pledging to close all its nuclear power plants by 2022. Unfortunately, our overpopulated planet’s energy needs make the total eradication of nuclear energy impossible for the foreseeable future. Until then, we’ll have our geiger counters handy.
Though the U.S. denies it, the most recent and third assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist is clearly the work of Western agents to any analyst worth their salt. Witnesses described a scene fit for Hollywood but devastatingly real — two assailants whizzed by on a motorcycle and sped away, though not before attaching a magnetic car bomb to the vehicle that nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was in. The vehicle exploded, killing Roshan and injuring two others.
We are witnessing a new era of warfare where drones and black ops teams wipe enemies off the map outside the boundaries of war zones. Though it has taken some time, the militaries of the world, and in particular the U.S. military-industrial complex (which despite budget cuts will still be the world’s most-funded), are beginning to excel in trumping many of the tactics employed by asynchronous terrorist organizations in the past decade. Yet another recent example is the extension of drones from attack to supply vehicles, as seen target=”_blank”>in the development and eventual deployment of unmanned ‘drone’ helicopters.
It’s almost certain that the Western powers behind these clandestine attacks have taken many precautions to prevent being associated in the slightest. In a world of increasing surveillance and technological savvy, it will be interesting to see if their 21st century war maneuvers can remain untethered to any nationality or will continue to be mysterious and untraceable. For example, if the next assassination is somehow thwarted and the assassins are somehow detained, the foreign relations ramifications would be way worse than a mere drone being captured. Then again, can any intelligent person really doubt Western involvement at this point?
In a very interesting article just released, the Middle East military analysts at DEBKAFile say their sources have revealed Iran is planning a one-kiloton underground nuclear test this year. They claim that while originally Iran was on a timetable to test its first nuclear weapon by 2013, recent aggressive acts by the West have served only to accelerate their nuclear program.
Realizing that a nuclear weapon is necessary to shield Iran from Western hegemony, the Iranian regime is pulling out all the stops on their mini-Manhattan Project. Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is currently making the rounds in sympathetic Latin American countries while being eyed by a worrisome U.S.
The folks at DEBKAfile claim Iran identifies the U.S. as a “paper tiger” and believes Israel to be internally considering living with a WMD-equipped Iran. Meanwhile, their Washington sources are quick to remind us that President Obama considers the risk of permitting a nuclear-armed Iran to be greater than the risks of military action.” Analysts have predicted a U.S. strike on Ira that potentially escalates into an all-out war, and DEBKAfile seems to think Obama would not allow this to happen:
Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear bomb and conduct of a nuclear test would hurt [Obama's] chances of a second term. The race is therefore on for an American strike to beat Iran’s nuclear end game before the November 2012 presidential vote.
Of course, all is conjecture at this point as tensions undeniably continue to increase. The rules of the race have been laid clear, however: keep nukes away from Iran until at least Novemeber 2012.
The war drums can be heard loud and strong in Iran, and its citizens are already mentally preparing for an inevitable attack. They have every reason to be concerned, given that their country’s crossing of a new nuclear weapons development milestone has not gone unnoticed by Western military powers.
The most recent war buzz centers around the recent deployment of thousands of U.S. troops to Israel. Army officials have already admitted the move is more “deployment” than “exercise” and analysts say as many as 9,000 American troops are now in Israel helping that country prepare to bring Iran’s nuclear weapons program to a violent end.
This escalation in tension comes after repeated successful attempts by Western black ops to stymie Iran’s nuclear progress, first with the Stuxnet worm, something of a warning shot. This unprecedented secret cyber attack was followed by a pair of powerful explosions which destroyed important weapons manufacturing infrastructure. While Iran claims these as accidents, many analysts are convinced that a CIA/Mossad connection is a much more rational explanation.
Analyst Davis Swanson warns that not only is an Israel-Iran or Israel-US-Iran conflict imminent, but it threatens to quickly develop into a global conflict, saying recently:
All this news makes a war seems likely, to some even certain. It remains to be seen how such a conflict would begin, though many assume an Israel-led strike on Iranian nuclear targets. But as of now there is no way of knowing for sure if, 5 years from now, we’ll be writing about U.S. oil companies making bank in Iran, like we are today about Iraq. After all, we already have a contingency plan in place should oil supplies be disrupted by a conflict in the near future.