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Published in the 16-31 Dec 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

US hypocrisy over arms

By Shakeel Syed

The Bush administration continues its sheer hypocrisy in regard to his fantasy about WMD that began from Iraq. The existence of a tremendous stockpile of WMD in one Middle Eastern country is systematically ignored. Alone among its neighbors, Israel possesses an advanced nuclear capability and a sophisticated delivery system. "No country in the Middle East has more weapons of mass destruction than Israel and no other country other than Israel has escaped scrutiny of its nuclear arsenal," reports the Center for Defense Information. Yet Israel is never publicly recognized as the largest producer of Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Middle East region. 

With stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and an extremely sophisticated nuclear arsenal, and an aggressive strategy for their actual use, Israel represents an acute threat to peace and stability in the Middle East. 

This should neither awe us nor shock us. This is part of the fatal game being played out against innocent people of the world. With total occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, along with full access to Pakistani airfields and seaport, the sandwiched Iran will inevitably be invaded next.

Before we could resolve our dispute with the plethora of painfully mundane analyses of ex- Generals and pathetic political pundits (mostly employed by the Corporate media), the press has yet again begun its drumbeat for Bush administration in its dangerous journey of "axis of evil" and its next stop, Islamic Republic of Iran, not Israel. 

Sooner than we think the old footage of blind folded American hostages and the Islamic government of Iran (more democratically elected than the US President) will overwhelm the airwaves. And the global dissent of good people will be ignored to yet another preemptive invasion of Iran and they will be made to forget the bigger monster, Israel from the very discourse of "axis of evil."
The nuclear-armed Israel is causing continual havoc in the region with its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons along with ballistic & cruise missiles ready for deployment on sophisticated delivery systems. Following brief list of the Israeli arsenal helps one see the tax dollars blown away by the shameless Congress. For years Israel has been receiving more than US$3 billion aid + occasional change of billions! As recent as in March 2003, the shameless US Congress threw US$10 billion as a special aid package to Israel. 

Brief List of Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal & Weapons of Mass Destruction:
Nuclear:

Sophisticated nuclear weapons that can be delivered by ballistic missiles or aircraft.

Thermonuclear weapons.
150MW heavy water reactor & plutonium reprocessing facility at Dimona, which does not even meet IAEA safeguards.

IRR-1 5MW research reactor at Soreq.

Not a signatory of the NPT.

Chemical:
Active weapons program with possible chemical warheads on ballistic missiles. 
Production capability for mustard and nerve agents. 

Biological:
Production capability and extensive research reportedly conducted at the Biological Research Institute in Ness Ziona. 
Not a signatory of the BTWC. 

Ballistic missiles:
Jericho-2 missiles with 1,500km range and 1,000kg payload, nuclear warhead capability. 

Jericho-1 missiles with 500km range and 500kg payload. 
MGM-52 Lance missiles with 130km range and 450kg payload.
Shavit space launch vehicle (SLV) with 4,500km range and 150kg to 250kg payload. 

Unconfirmed reports of Jericho-3 program under development using Shavit technologies, with a range up to 4,800km and 1000kg payload. 
Developing Next (Shavit upgrade) SLV with unknown range and 300-500kg payloads. 

Cruise Missiles:

Harpy lethal unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with 500km range and unknown payload. 

Delilah/STAR-1 UAV with 400km range and 50kg payload. 
Gabriel-4 anti-ship cruise missile with 200km range and 500kg payload. 

Harpoon anti-ship cruise missile with 120km range and 220kg payload. 

Delivery Systems:

Fighter and ground-attack aircraft include: F-15I, F-15D, F-15C, F-15B, F-15A, F-16D, F-16C, F-16B, F-16A, F-4E-2000, F-4E, C7, and A-4N. Ground systems include artillery and rocket launchers. Also, Popeye-3 land-attack air-launched missile with 350km range and 360kg payload, and Popeye-1 land-attack air-launched missile with 100km range and 395kg payload.

Mordechai Vanunu, a technician at Dimona, Israel's nuclear installation, from 1976 to 1985 claims a stockpile of up to 200 nuclear warheads in Israel’s nuclear arsenal. His expose’ resulted in his solitary confinement by his own State for 18 years and a recent re-arrest for reiterating his confession yet again.
According to the Sunday Times, quoting a senior Israeli intelligence official, "There is hardly a single known or unknown form of chemical or biological weapon ... which is not manufactured at the Nes Tziyona Biological Institute." (Usi Mahnaimi, Israeli Jets Equipped for Chemical Warfare October 4, 1998, London Sunday Times)

Sunday Times also reports that, "in developing their "ethno-bomb", Israeli scientists are trying to exploit medical advances by identifying a distinctive gene carried by some Arabs, then create a genetically modified bacterium or virus... The scientists are trying to engineer deadly micro-organisms that attack only those bearing the distinctive genes." (Usi Mahnaimi and Marie Colvin, Israel Planning "Ethnic" bomb, November 15, 1998, London Sunday Times)

In the recent book Israel and the Bomb, scholar Avner Cohen observes that Israel's nuclear policy has been an enduring success for Israel, because it has enabled the country to maintain a nuclear monopoly in the Middle East while avoiding the political liabilities associated with overt possession of nuclear weapons (New York: Columbia University Press, October 1998, p. 343)

It is becoming increasingly clear that the Bush administration will continue its death and destruction agenda with a potential invasion encore on Iran &/or Syria, yet again for the WMD, but not even a mere question to Israel. The rhetoric cycle is already in place; IAEA, UN, the Corporate Press, Leaked Reports to a carefully selected press core, a Chalabi clone giving intelligence on Iran to the likes of Judith Miller, the big mouths of Limbaugh & Riley trailed by the infamous fair and balance FOX, and the consent is manufactured for flag waving patriots to invade and now kill Mullahs in Iran.

The immorality of the proclaimed moral victory of Bush administration is best displayed in its last supplemental of $75 billion that is broken down into: $63 billion for the war itself, $4.2 billion for homeland security and $8 billion for foreign and humanitarian aid. One can clearly see the gruesome disparity between the war expenses and the humanitarian aid. Humanity is always short ended by the inhumane self-proclaimed righteous of the right.

People of reason must discuss and challenge the Israeli nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction and initiate a vibrant debate hoping for, exposing at the minimum:

The grotesque double standard of the United States invading Iraq & condemning Iran while protecting and enabling Israel to produce weapons of mass destruction.

Israel's nuclear & WMD capabilities to public attention.
Why the billions of dollars to Israel at the expense of essential programs in America. 

Unless and until the people of reason confront Israel over its nuclear program it is unlikely that there will be any meaningful resolution of the Israeli/Arab conflict. Sharon who once said, "Arabs may have the oil, but we have the matches," must be denied to light his matches before he destructs the region further that he already has, and hence the world.

The author is a freelance writer based in California and may be reached at shakeel@islamicity.com. 

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