Good news! Another wacko state wants to go nuclear!

January 5, 2011

What could go wrong?

 

Now the military junta that rules Burma wants the Bomb:

But there is near-smoking gun evidence to substantiate reports of a Burmese nuke project. A major in the army, Sai Thein Win, has defected to the Democratic Voice of Burma, delivering into its hands hundreds of secret documents and photos. The materials reveal the construction of a huge network of underground facilities dating back to 1996 and costing at least $3.5 billion since 2001. This evidence is enough to convince Robert Kelley, a former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, that Burma’s junta is working on uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing capabilities with North Korean assistance.

The Strategic and Defence Studies Centre of Australia has published a study reaching the same conclusion. The authors interviewed two defectors who independently confirmed the building of a secret nuclear site, nearby the public site constructed with Russian aid. One defector testified to the presence of about 60 North Koreans at a secret site, which the authors describe as similar in design to the Syrian nuclear reactor destroyed by Israel in 2007.

The materials obtained by the Democratic Voice of Burma also show that a series of meetings took place in North Korea from the 22nd to the 29th of November in 2008 — meetings that included the Burmese military chief. One cable released by Wikileaks notes that a Burmese official mentioned the chief’s 2008 visit to North Korea in a slip of the tongue.

The organization has put together all the intelligence it has on Burma’s secret nuclear weapons program in the form of a documentary available to the public. For now, the junta is able only to mine uranium and produce yellowcake. One defector says that the regime hopes to be nuclear-capable by 2020. But the authors of the Australian study say Burma could go nuclear by 2014 in the absence of major problems. Rudimentary though it may be, the West should not dismiss Burma’s role in the nuclear Axis of Evil. The junta is in a position to fill one of the gaps in Iran’s nuclear effort. According to one defector, in February 2004 he met with an Iranian intelligence officer and nuclear scientist and received a sample of yellowcake. If this testimony is true, then Iran has already turned to Burma to help relieve its critical shortage of raw uranium.

Moreover, the UN has already confirmed that North Korea is shipping nuclear materials to Burma and using “links with overseas criminal networks to carry out these activities.” Next, corrupt Burmese officials might sell nuclear materials to criminals or terrorists. A September 2008 cable describes a Burmese civilian’s threat to U.S. diplomats to sell uranium-238 to Thailand, China, or other countries if the Americans themselves declined to buy. Claiming he already had 50 kg of Burmese uranium in a barrel, the civilian boasted that he could sell up to 2,000 kg. Another cable from January 2007 describes a suspected shipment of 112 metric tons of uranium ore to China by the Burmese government.

So, not only is Rangoon playing patty-(yellow)cake with North Korea and Iran, but private parties are getting involved. And, similar to the danger of a nuclear arms race in the Persian Gulf if (when) Iran gets its Big Firecracker, a Burmese nuclear capability would give incentive to Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia to get their own… “just in case.”

Not to mention making nuclear-armed India feel surrounded.

And, speaking of rational state-actors,  have I mentioned that the rulers of Burma use astrology to make key national decisions?

I think I need a drink.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Stuxnet: Better than a Tom Clancy novel

December 15, 2010

Because it’s real, and it apparently set the Iranian nuclear program (a.k.a., “Toys for Psycho Tots”) back two whole years:

The Stuxnet virus, which has attacked Iran’s nuclear facilities and which Israel is suspected of creating, has set back the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program by two years, a top German computer consultant who was one of the first experts to analyze the program’s code told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

“It will take two years for Iran to get back on track,” Langer said in a telephone interview from his office in Hamburg, Germany. “This was nearly as effective as a military strike, but even better since there are no fatalities and no full-blown war. From a military perspective, this was a huge success.”

Langer spoke to the Post amid news reports that the virus was still infecting Iran’s computer systems at its main uranium enrichment facility at Natanz and its reactor at Bushehr.

Last month, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog, said that Iran had suspended work at its nuclear-field production facilities, likely a result of the Stuxnet virus.

According to Langer, Iran’s best move would be to throw out all of the computers that have been infected by the worm, which he said was the most “advanced and aggressive malware in history.” But, he said, even once all of the computers were thrown out, Iran would have to ensure that computers used by outside contractors were also clean of Stuxnet.

All without a shot being fired. And the only way to safely restart would be to trash all those expensive computers (and any portable drives)? Glorious. The article speculates that a unit of the Israel Defence Forces was behind this; I doubt the full truth will ever really come out, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn this was a joint effort by several concerned nations. On the other hand, the Israelis are creative and daring enough that this could be their work, all by themselves. And, as a friend once explained to me the First Rule of Mideast Politics:

Do not [mess] with the Israelis!

Regardless, whoever you are, well done!

via Allahpundit

UPDATE: Or was it the Chinese? Plausible, but I have a hard time believing they’d show this card when it would be more valuable to them to save to use against… us.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


We are officially wimps

January 2, 2010

Under George W. Bush, we were the ones who gave deadlines to others: first the Taliban, then Saddam Hussein. Now, under President Obama, our threats have so little meaning that our enemies set deadlines for us:

Iran warned on Saturday the West has until the end of the month to accept Teheran’s counterproposal to a UN-drafted plan on a nuclear exchange, or the country will start producing nuclear fuel on its own.

The warning was a show of defiance and a hardening in Iran’s stance over its controversial nuclear program, which the West fears masks an effort to make nuclear weapons. Teheran insists the program is only for peaceful, electricity production purposes and says it has no intention of making a bomb.

“We have given them an ultimatum. There is one month left and that is by the end of January,” Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said, speaking on state television.

Yeah, I know our diplomacy toward Iran grew ever more feckless under Mr. Bush in his second term, but under Obama it’s become positively feeble. The Iranians know they can do whatever they want, for the United States is lead by administration even more wedded to soft power appeasement than the Europeans. And it gets better: even the French president is tougher toward those black-robed fascists in Tehran than President Obama.

This Iranian ultimatum is a joke. They know we’ll do nothing. They’re laughing at us.

There is only one response:

Oh, the shame!

(via Legal Insurrection)


Dejas-vous all over again

August 21, 2006

Only, in this case, it’s an uncomfortable sense of reliving Europe in the 1930s, not the most reassuring of feelings. Captain Ed quotes an article from Der Spiegel on the attitudes of the Iranian-on-the-street about their fascist government and its pursuit of nuclear weapons. You can read it here: Ignoring the propaganda in Tehran.

Even the Iranian public, like the appeasers in Europe and the wannabe European appeasers in the Democratic Party –and some in the current Administration!– keep fooling themselves that Iran is a rational political actor, that, if one just has enough dialog, a deal can be cut with the mullahs. The same mullahs who installed a messianic lunatic like Ahmadinejad as President, the same who have played Europe for suckers while bragging about it in their own magazines and who rail against democracy and predict the victory of Islam over the world. But, as the Spiegel article shows, the Iranians don’t want to believe the mullahs really believe what they’re saying. Just like the Germans of the 1930s.

The world made the mistake of not taking Hitler at his word, and it cost 50,000,000 dead. How many will it cost, this time?


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