Posts Tagged ‘nuclear weapons’

Why Iran Can’t Have Nuclear Weapons

June 9, 2019

I talked to a young US citizen, who is also an Iranian citizen. He studies International Relations. He used to visit Iran continually (his family has various property in Iran, including farmland up north). But now no more: he is old enough to be drafted in the Iranian army, and he doesn’t want that to happen. He is secular, and not thrilled with the theologists in Iran. However, considering nuclear weapons, he said: “why can’t we have them?” As most Iranians, he feels that to be deprived of nuclear weapons is a strident injustice. Who doesn’t want to partake in nuclear fun?

For reference, the Japanese, who were smarter than the Nazis, knew perfectly well that nuclear bombs could be made, and had three programs, using different techniques, to make them (one was located in North Korea, rich in hydro, then Jap occupied). One idea was to have a bomb ready to drop on GIs gathered on a beach. However the crazed maniacs who had bullied their way at the top of Japan got a taste of that medicine before they got their own ready:

Nagasaki Bomb Explosion. The Christian city and its cathedral were not the primary objectives. Clouds got in the way. The shipyards initially targeted in another city were switched at the last moment. The bluff was to persuade the crazed maniacs leading Japan that there would be such a bomb every three days. They capitulated before the largest city of the northern island of Japan got atom bombed too. Ultimately, the atomic bombings saved millions of lives, mostly civilians in China being killed by the system the Jap invaders had set up…

In the 1960s, there was an important movement against nuclear weapons. The threat was clear: as weapons were not precise then, war planners had advised to make giant bombs: may be they could not land where intended, but then they would destroy everything in a giant radius, that was good enough. Standard equipment on bombers were bombs in the megaton range. The USSR produced up to 50,000 thermonuclear bombs or so.

A semblance of sanity prevailed later and thanks to Reagan (!) and Gorbachev, arsenals got reduced by 90% or so. (Compare with my useless friend Obama, who achieved no arm reduction, just the opposite…)

However, even after reductions, nuclear weapon systems are still formidable.

A French defense minister pointed out in the last few years:”We can kill 50 million people in twenty minutes, and we think that’s enough.”[1]

No solution was found to world denuclearization. The balance of terror is all the parental guidance the world is getting. [2] 

In the 1950-60s, because of the existential threat to Israel, France helped Israel develop nuclear weapons. At some point 5,000 French engineers were at Dimona, the top Israeli nuclear site. Israeli scientists took part in the French nuclear bomb program, all the more as rabid pacifism was rampant in the French intellectual community, and most French  physicists refused to develop nukes (ironically enough the same who hated the bomb in 1960 wanted it in 1938; but the enemy was not the same!)

It has been said by those who should know, that Israel has of the order of 200 nuclear warheads. During the Yom Kippur war, using nukes was considered. It didn’t come to that, in part because high precision US weapons arrived in a timely manner.

Since then Pakistan and India have developed large nuclear arsenals. Their main potential effect will be to reduce considerably the overcrowding of South Asia.

So most Iranians want nuclear weapons: why can’t we have them?

After all, Iran has existed for longer than India… (Lore and archeology indicate.)

But then is Islamized Iran really Iran? Even the Iranians don’t know from one moment to the next. Thus most of Iranian feasts are gloomy, except for Norouz (which is at least 5,000 years old).

The reason is that if Iran gets nukes, surely so will Arabia, and then why not Egypt, Algeria, Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia, Vietnam, etc. And of course Japan could have thousands of nukes, any time, it’s just a small constitutional change away.

Nuclear Armageddon would be guaranteed.

So, unfortunately, the balance of terror and nuclear strike supremacy of the Permanent Members of the Security Council has to stay in place: only them should have nukes.


Why The UNSC (UN Security Council) and its five members?

One has to go back to history. China is the oldest civilization with the Western Cradle (the Indo-European civilization). Either have had organized sedentary, agricultural, states for five thousand years. Overall, France and China have been the most prominent military powers of the last two millennia. France was the modernized form of the Roman state and its continuation, and pretty much created Europe, while China created Japan, Vietnam, etc.

Chinese defenses mostly failed in the last millenium, and China spent most of the time occupied by Mongols, Jurgens, and Manchus. (OK, arguably only the Mongols (=Yuans) were really not Chinese.) In the first half of the 20C, Japan tried to invade China, and became crazed fascist from trying too hard.

Meanwhile Germany’s fascist plutocracy tried to seize all of Europe as colony, and was defeated by France and Britain. Their progeniture, the US, caused Europe more problems than it solved, and flew to the rescue of victory in wars it had contributed to launch, organize and maintain. Twice. (Yes, most historians would disagree, but they are paid to say what they say, whereas I am only rewarded with expressing the truth, a fundamental human instinct and pleasure.)  

Thus France, Britain, the US, China, Russia could pose as the main combatants against barbarity, horror, and infamy in the 20C… and they were. Moreover the first three are the champion of democracy, human rights (France abolished slavery in 655 CE, imposing that to all of Europe and later the world; then formally re-established the “Renovatio Imperium Romanorum (Renovation of the Empire of the Romans), unwilded Germany, in 1066 CE France abolished slavery in England, and French imperialists there ended establishing the world’s most advanced democracy, the British Parliament, etc.)


So it is OK that those five have nuclear weapons: they are unlikely to engage in crazed world conquest. To those who moan that France had a giant empire, let them be reminded that it was a “Mission Civilisatrice”… Not a joke when you look at the details. French Canada was not the English Colony in the Americas: the later, founded by private investors, practiced genocide, whereas the French colony, under tight government control, didn’t.  (This is also why the English won the war… Nothing like genocide, when you want space, as Hitler pointed out cogently, yet idiotically… because those things are better left unsaid.)

Argentina and Brazil were persuaded to drop their atomic bomb program. South Africa, too, and accepted to dismantle seven already completed bombs.

The world order we have now is not the best imaginable… But it works. Some Germans moan they would like a Permanent Security Council seat. Well, they already have it… through France. Otherwise why not Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Pakistan, etc.? The beauty of it all is that all these countries can, and have sieged at the UNSC. Just, they aren’t permanent and don’t have veto powers.

So Iran will not get nukes. Arabia and Israel are dead set against it. Arabia tolerated the nukes of its de facto ally Israel: everybody understands Israel is very small, very hated, and has been disappeared thrice already, once by the Babylonians, later by the Romans, and finally by the Nazis. One could say they have excuses to take existence seriously.

But Arabia will not tolerate to have Iran as local superpower. Not again: they have seen that movie before, several times.


Shah Abbas expanded Iran back into Iraq (as happened many times prior).

Iran Was Not Always Pacific:

A leitmotiv, out there, repeated by millions of parrots, is that Iran was always pacific.

In the early Seventh Century, Iran, then Sassanid Persia, conquered most of Arabia. The backlash is that god crazed Arabs destroyed the Sassanid empire a few years later (the Romans had done the heavy lift of destroyed the Sassanids before, literally a few years before the Arabs attacked, led by their great strategist Muhammad…)    

Using an army formed in part of ghulams—Christian slaves from Armenia and Georgia who had been converted to Islam—Shah ‘Abbas re-established Iran’s borders, defeating the Uzbeks in the northeast. He would eventually expand his empire, seizing the Kingdom of Hormuz from the Portuguese, on the other side of the Arabo-Persian Gulf, and defeating the Ottomans to take control of Baghdad (Iraq) in 1623 CE. These conquests allowed Shah ‘Abbas and Iranians access to the sacred Shi’i shrines of Kazimayn, Karbala and Najaf in Iraq. It also gave the Shah complete control of trade coming through the Persian Gulf. The Shah created a magnificent capital, Isfahan, in the south. A breathtaking city I had the good fortune to visit, with some of the world’s most beautiful building (blue and gold mosques).

Not again will the Arabs say. Conscious of the fact the present world order needs to be sustain, the US and the EU agree… And no, Russia and China are not stupid enough to come to the rescue of Iran in a significant way… That’s precisely why China and Russia are on the UNSC: because they aren’t crazed too much.

Patrice Ayme



[1] Standard US and French bombs are around 250 kilotons nowadays. But they are typically on a “bus” carrying up to nine other independently guided bombs. Thus one missile on just one nuclear sub missile could destroy the largest city. for example Teheran. France has 4 of these Armageddon subs, the UK has three (the fourth was denuclearized). The US has 14 such subs, each nearly 20,000 tons (!!!), carrying 24 Trident missiles with up to eight nuclear warheads… 4 other such subs were denuclearized…)


2] Accidental nuclear war from a short circuit is possible, as Launch-On-Warning systems are still in existence, in Russia or the USA (France doesn’t do launch-on-warning, as it depends upon aircraft and nuclear subs). Unbelievably, supposedly progressive politicians in the West have long stopped caring about Launch-On-Warning, although such systems can launch nuclear war, Terminator style, any day…. Another deep failure of the Clinton and Obama administrations (I didn’t expect progressive smarts from W. Bush or Trump! But when the self-declared progressives are not progressive, we have a serious problem…)

“Two Minutes To Midnight”: World As Dangerous As It Has Ever Been Since World War II

January 28, 2018

The idea of “LAUNCH ON WARNING” is that, should a nuclear strike look imminent, a warning would be ensued, and missiles would be launched, without waiting for impact(s) of incoming apparent warheads. We are living in a seriously, Mutually Assured Destruction, MAD world: several countries, or, at least the USA and Russia, maintain “Launch On Warning” (LOW) systems of nuclear bombs having the potential for killing 600 million people, or more, in 24 hours. Or more. From accident, short-circuit, wrong training tape, etc. That is, those systems can kill the equivalent of one hundred times more people than the much bemoaned holocaust of the Jews in WWII (it took four years to kill six million Jew). The elite bemoans Auschwitz, while having 100 Auschwitzes at the push of a button, and the ostriches out there see nothing wrong, deep in the sand they scrutinize every day.  

Not considering that hair-trigger, “Launch On Warning”, nuclear bomb systems are worthy even of a conversation, is a global moral and intellectual failure of the highest order ever seen. Advocating slavery, racism, dictatorship, Inquisition, theocracy, torture, pale in comparison!

There is no reason for those LOW, except as first strike. Even then, a first strike would cause a devastating counter-strike, a second strike, so, at first sight, it’s not clear what would be achieved (if one goes deep into nuclear war planning, though, debatable advantages of a first strike can be construed). 

Epic failure. After the rocket carried by a plane, an F4 Phantom, exploded, nuclear aircraft carrier Enterprise caught fire, off Hawai’i. Had the fire extended to the main hangar, the carrier, carrying more than one hundred nuclear bombs and eight nuclear reactors, could have exploded. In several accidents with nuclear bombs, many safety mechanisms failed. At least in one case, only the last trigger didn’t trigger.., And those bombs were huge (one hundred times Hiroshima, or more…) Such incidents happened even inside the USA.

The intellectual and moral failure of preceding leaders has brought this situation: the USA and Russia should have dismantled the LOW systems. LOW nearly caused nuclear apocalypses several times, for reasons such as short-circuits, or the wrong training tape. Each time, nuclear catastrophe was avoided simply because officers on watch didn’t believe nuclear war had been launched, and acted forcefully, accordingly. So accidental nuclear war was avoided only because of the fortitude of a few individuals, some American, some Soviet.

The French Republic dismantled its LOW system (founded on dozens of ballistic missiles). French deterrence is now ensured with 300 thermonuclear nuclear warheads on four very silent nuclear ballistic submarines equipped with jet propulsion (with another 300 “tetes nucleaires oceaniques” ready as backup, should more strikes be needed in a prolonged nuclear war). France has also nuclear tipped supersonic cruise missiles launched from supersonic planes, and potentially nuclear tipped cruise missiles on board one hundred meter long Barracuda attack nuclear submarines. That’s enough firepower to destroy all Russian and Chinese cities. Plus ground hits on nuclear submarines pens (which presumably would come first, if the US or UK didn’t hit them yet). 

Because it didn’t happen yet, doesn’t mean it never will. Prime targets in a serious nuclear exchange would be thermonuclear ground bursts on submarine pens. Recently released Pentagon files show Finland was supposed to be annihilated by the fallout. Call that collateral damage.

The U.S. has 14 Ohio-class submarines carrying 24 Trident II SLBMs missiles. Each Trident, like the French missiles, have up to ten independent targetable nuclear warheads. The UK has three nuclear warhead equipped Trident subs. That’s a total of 21 Armageddon subs, which, all together, could terminate Russia and China several times over.

The subs are undetectable. A few years back, in 2009, French strategic sub Le Triomphant and British Trident sub HMS Vanguard collided in the Atlantic, “at very low speed”, while at great depth: they had detected nothing. That’s not very surprising as they are not only silent, but have anti-sonar devices. As the subs are undetectable (especially as they go hide in parts of the ocean where detection is especially hard), there is no reason to keep them on hair-trigger, ready to fire at the first alert..

So why does the USA keep 430 Minutemen Launch On Warning rockets at ready to launch within seconds, 24/7, at the first alert, in other words, ready to cause accidental nuclear war?   

Counter-intuitively (they are supposed by the “left” to be right-wing bastards), the two US president Bushes (I despise W), reduced nuclear weapons of the LOW type, considerably. Clinton and Obama did very little, aside from using their mouth parts in a way the gullible found admirable…

Here is what the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists think about the situation:

Founded in 1945 by University of Chicago scientists who had helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists created the Doomsday Clock two years later, using the imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion (countdown to zero) to convey threats to humanity and the planet. The decision to move (or to leave in place) the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock is made every year by the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 15 Nobel laureates. The Clock has become a universally recognized indicator of the world’s vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and new technologies emerging in other domains. A printable PDF of this statement, complete with the President and CEO’s statement and Science and Security Board biographies, is available here.

To: Leaders and citizens of the world Re: Two minutes to midnight. Date: January 25, 2018

In 2017, world leaders failed to respond effectively to the looming threats of nuclear war and climate change, making the world security situation more dangerous than it was a year ago—and as dangerous as it has been since World War II.

The greatest risks last year arose in the nuclear realm. North Korea’s nuclear weapons program made remarkable progress in 2017, increasing risks to North Korea itself, other countries in the region, and the United States.Hyperbolic rhetoric and provocative actions by both sides have increased the possibility of nuclear war by accident or miscalculation.

But the dangers brewing on the Korean Peninsula were not the only nuclear risks evident in 2017: The United States and Russia remained at odds, continuing military exercises along the borders of NATO, undermining the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), upgrading their nuclear arsenals, and eschewing arms control negotiations.

In the Asia-Pacific region, tensions over the South China Sea have increased, with relations between the United States and China insufficient to re-establish a stable security situation.

In South Asia, Pakistan and India have continued to build ever-larger arsenals of nuclear weapons.

And in the Middle East, uncertainty about continued US support for the landmark Iranian nuclear deal adds to a bleak overall picture.

To call the world nuclear situation dire is to understate the danger—and its immediacy.

After colliding with the deck of aircraft carrier USS Kennedy, during a storm, this US cruiser caught fire, off Sicily. The nuclear magazine would have probably exploded, had the fire got there.

On the climate change front, the danger may seem less immediate, but avoiding catastrophic temperature increases in the long run requires urgent attention now. Global carbon dioxide emissions have not yet shown the beginnings of the sustained decline towards zero that must occur if ever-greater warming is to be avoided. The nations of the world will have to significantly decrease their greenhouse gas emissions to keep climate risks manageable, and so far, the global response has fallen far short of meeting this challenge.

Beyond the nuclear and climate domains, technological change is disrupting democracies around the world as states seek and exploit opportunities to use information technologies as weapons, among them internet-based deception campaigns aimed at undermining elections and popular confidence in institutions essential to free thought and global security.

Did wars get started accidentally? Rarely so, but this was before. Now the technology has become faster, and immensely more powerful. A case in point is the explosion of the US battleship Maine in Havana’s harbor, in 1898. It was alleged at the time by the New York Journal and New York World, owned respectively by plutocrats William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, that Spain did it. They gave the Maine destruction intense press coverage, but employed tactics that would later be labeled “yellow journalism“… Fake news! That brought a mood which led to war of the US with Spain.

US Admiral Rickover, father of nuclear submarine deterrence,  launched an inquiry, seventy years later, in the Maine destruction (it is easy to construe a scenario with a nuclear sub exploding next to Saint Petersburg, with possible detonation of nuclear bombs). It was found to have been probably accidental, from methane built-up, most explosive at 10% CH4.

The much admired nuclear Nobel peace prize Obama didn’t do anything about reducing the danger of nuclear war happening by accident. No more than the lunatic Putin. That made them accomplices of the potential holocaust they managed. Trump? A bit too early to judge. Trump inherited a potentially disastrous military situation, especially with North Korea, but not only. Sometimes, there are no more nice exits.

Thanks to our amoral, imbecilic “leaders”, we are all in the situation of the crew of the Maine. When the battleship exploded, three quarter of the crew died. Many officers survived, as their quarters were far removed from the explosion. Similarly, crafty plutocrats buy land in New Zealand, a fully autonomous mini-continent, far removed from potential nuclear explosions.

In any case, those who value the most correct intellectual and moral positions, should exert pressure for an immediate worldwide dismantlement of “Launch On Warning” nuclear bomb systems.

Patrice Aymé  

P/S: The preceding essay, although full of data, is philosophical in nature. It may be a bit unfair to Obama, as it doesn’t mention the new START Treaty signed under that president. However, that treaty was way too timid, and didn’t eliminate LOW. Right now the USA has 399 Minutemen missiles deployed, ready to launch. 70% of existing nuclear warheads are deployed on the 14 strategic submarines of the USA, most of them deployed in Washington state. That gives an estimated 945 thermonuclear warheads deployed on US submarines (France has officially 300). All the details in:

Abolition of Nuclear Weapons’ Nobel Not So Noble

December 10, 2017

ICAN got the 2017 Peace Nobel for advocating the abolition of nuclear weapons. Fine. However, not that simple. The world faces a “nuclear crisis” from a “bruised ego”, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Ican) warned in an apparent reference to what is often reductively described as “US-North Korea tensions” (because the entire planet should be concerned by North Korean histrionic ideology).

The nine nuclear weapons states objected. In particular, France, the US and the UK didn’t send their ambassadors to the prize ceremony, something which never happened before.

The case those so-called democracies make is that nuclear weapons enable dissuasion, and thus make war between great, and greatly reasonable, powers unimaginable. That’s an important point: I don’t know of a span of 62 years in the last 3,000 years without war between great powers somewhere. All the wars since 1945 have been anecdotes (although some civil wars killed up to 33% of the population, as in Cambodia).

So France, the USA and the UK are right: paradoxically, nuclear weapons save lives.

A campaign led by ICAN was launched to abolish nuclear weapons. ICAN, a coalition of hundreds of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the Geneva-based group helped pave the way for the introduction of a UN treaty banning the weapons, which was signed this year.

While 122 countries backed the treaty in July, the talks were notably boycotted by the world’s nine known nuclear powers and the only Nato member to discuss it, the Netherlands, voted against. Australia has maintained a longstanding opposition to a nuclear weapons ban treaty. Russia, France, UK, USA opposed the treaty, China abstained.

The most Christian city of Nagasaki was spared not: the bomb was dropped over the cathedral. Two-thirds of the Christians in the region died. However, those 10,000 innocents didn’t die in vain: within 20 hours, Japan decide to surrender.

Only three countries, the fanatics in the Vatican, the so-called Holy See, Guyana (population less than 800,000) and Thailand (a military dictatorship) have so far ratified the treaty, which requires 50 ratifications to come into force (according to UN law).

I am also, of course for the abolition of nuclear weapons. However, first of all, even in the best of possible worlds, nuclear explosives should be at the ready, be it only to bust an interstellar asteroid, a hyperbolic comet, or god knows what else (this utterance does not mean I agree to the existence of god for the purpose of this essay).

The United Nations should have nuclear weapons at its disposal, in the present state of international politics, where nations would engage in significant wars at a distance (consider Syria, Yemen, Hezbollah, etc.). And who has nukes officially at the UN? The five permanent members, countries, which, historically, contributed more to civilization than to its opposite.


When the prize was attributed, a survivor of Hiroshima, Setsuko Thurlow, an 85-year-old survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing and now a Canadian and ICAN campaigner talked. Ms Thurlow was rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building at the time. She said that most of her classmates, who were in the same room, were burned alive. “Processions of ghostly figures shuffled by,” she said, as she received the prize. “Grotesquely wounded people, they were bleeding, burnt, blackened and swollen…This is unacceptable human suffering. No human being should ever experience what we experienced.”

I have myself nearly cried, reading the description of the suffering of little children at Hiroshima. However, probably more than twenty million children died in World War Two, a conflict that killed probably more than 100 million people (5% of humanity then). The Japanese, in particular, should be contrite: the Japanese political system, culture and general Zeitgeist was directly causative of World War Two. To this day, WWII war criminals are honored officially in Japan.

Japan killed at least in a rapport of twenty to one: for one Japanese killed, twenty non-Japanese were killed by the Japanese. Call that high efficiency. Most Japanese killed were Japanese soldiers who died from bad treatment in their own army! They died of disease, and, or, malnutrition. Officially, 3.1 million Japanese citizens died in World War Two, says the Japanese government (others say only 2.5 million).  Number of Japanese civilians killed? 550,000 to 800,000, including the victims of strategic bombing (Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, etc.)

The full Japanese cabinet met on 14:30 on August 9, hours after the Nagasaki bombing. The cabinet spent the day debating surrender. War minister Anami told the cabinet that, under torture, a captured American Mustang fighter pilot had told his interrogators that the United States possessed 100 atom bombs and that Tokyo and Kyoto would be bombed “in the next few days”. The pilot, Marcus McDilda, was lying. McDilda, who had been shot down off the coast of Japan two days after the Hiroshima bombing, told his interrogators what he thought they wanted to hear to end the torture. The lie caused him to be classified as a VIP prisoner, probably saving him from beheading. In truth, the United States would not have had the third bomb ready for use until August 19, with a fourth in September 1945 and then approximately three a month thereafter. The third bomb would have probably been used against Sapporo, to demonstrate America’s ability to deliver the weapon all over Japan.

Following a second meeting, Prime Minister Suzuki and foreign minister Tōgō met the Emperor, and proposed an impromptu conference which started just before midnight on the night of August 9–10. Japan’s inability to defend itself was pondered. No consensus emerged. At around 02:00 (August 10), Suzuki finally addressed Emperor Hirohito, asking him to decide. The Emperor stated:

“I have given serious thought to the situation prevailing at home and abroad and have concluded that continuing the war can only mean destruction for the nation and prolongation of bloodshed and cruelty in the world. I cannot bear to see my innocent people suffer any longer. …

I was told by those advocating a continuation of hostilities that by June new divisions would be in place in fortified positions [at Kujūkuri Beach, east of Tokyo] ready for the invader when he sought to land. It is now August and the fortifications still have not been completed. …

There are those who say the key to national survival lies in a decisive battle in the homeland. The experiences of the past, however, show that there has always been a discrepancy between plans and performance. I do not believe that the discrepancy in the case of Kujūkuri can be rectified. Since this is also the shape of things, how can we repel the invaders? [Hirohito then made some specific reference to the increased destructiveness of the atomic bomb.]

“It goes without saying that it is unbearable for me to see the brave and loyal fighting men of Japan disarmed. It is equally unbearable that others who have rendered me devoted service should now be punished as instigators of the war. Nevertheless, the time has come to bear the unbearable. …

I swallow my tears and give my sanction to the proposal to accept the Allied proclamation on the basis outlined by the Foreign Minister.”

Japanese society, and Hirohito himself was culprit of World War Two. Hiroshima and Nagasaki cured it: within four days of the sun of satan rising over Hiroshima, Japan had decided to capitulate, and nuclear explosions were the main reason.

ICAN should learn history.

Beatrice Fihn, leader of ICAN referred to increasing tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile development. “Nuclear weapons do not prevent conflicts. They caused this conflict”.

She is dissembling and lying: enveloping a lie into a truth, to help swallow it.  

The problem of war is vast. It’s related to our increasing powers. Nuclear weapons are just an aspect. To prevent war, one needs truth. When ICAN lies, it helps war. Truthiness helps war. At all sorts of scale.

Patrice Ayme’