Sharing ‘gifts’ from Allah? Not to worry

By Gordon Prather

You probably knew that Pakistan has dozens of nukes – they call them “gifts from Allah.” In fact, Pakistan has a cradle-to-grave nuke infrastructure to rival ours, from uranium mines to underground nuke-test facilities.

You have probably heard that the Pakistanis have been helping the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea develop a similar cradle-to-grave nuke infrastructure.

The warhawks tell you not to worry.

But maybe you should. Perhaps you have read Nicholas Lemann’s excellent articles in the New Yorker. Lemann informs us that the warhawks are hell-bent on establishing a New World Order. At the top of their agenda – for at least the past decade – has been “regime change” in Iraq.

During the Clinton-Gore years, the warhawk rationale for regime change in Iraq was that Saddam would reconstitute his clandestine nuke development program as soon as the U.N. inspectors departed.

That’s silly. Despite an expenditure of several billion dollars, Saddam wasn’t even close to making the hundreds of pounds of highly-enriched uranium needed to make a few nukes. And without extensive outside help – of the sort Pakistan has reportedly been providing North Korea – he might never have.

In any case, unlike Pakistan and North Korea, Iraq has no indigenous uranium ore deposits. Where could Saddam clandestinely get the hundreds of tons of natural uranium needed to make the hundreds of pounds of highly-enriched uranium needed for nukes?

By mid-1998 the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency was able to report the destruction of Iraq’s entire clandestine nuclear infrastructure. A real-time IAEA monitoring system was mostly in place to verify that no attempts were made to reconstitute it.

What were the warhawks to do? The IAEA inspectors were satisfied that Iraq would never be able to produce nukes, indigenously, and U.N. sanctions were about to be lifted. Numero uno on their regime change agenda was getting away.

President Clinton to the rescue. He needed something to displace impeachment coverage on TV. So – without U.N. Security Council authorization – he told the IAEA inspectors to evacuate Iraq and then attempted to effect regime change from 20,000 feet. Saddam escaped, temporarily, but with the IAEA verification system in Iraq inoperative, the warhawks have been able to claim that Saddam is reconstructing his nuke infrastructure.

If you never heard of Monica Lewinsky, you might wonder how the warhawks got Clinton to be so fixated on Iraq.

Shouldn’t Clinton have been more worried about North Korea than Iraq? Five years earlier the IAEA concluded that the North Korean “safeguarded” nuclear reactor program might be producing illicit weapons-grade plutonium, so they got the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions. While Clinton and the warhawks focused their attention on Saddam – who had no nukes – the CIA had concluded that North Korea already had several.

Nevertheless, Clinton kept to the warhawk agenda by offering North Korea a multi-billion dollar bribe. If they shut down their safeguarded nuclear reactors, he would replace them with several un-safeguarded nuclear power reactors.

Shouldn’t Clinton have been more worried about Pakistan than Iraq? Earlier that year, Pakistan had astonished the world by conducting a series of underground nuke tests. Even if Saddam had developed a nuke it would have been low yield and too heavy to deliver by missile. But the nukes the Pakistanis tested were “boosted.” That means they were small, lightweight nukes – with yields three or four times that of the Nagasaki nuke – that could be delivered by missile.

Well, maybe the warhawks persuaded President Clinton it was safe to bomb the gee-whiz out of Iraq because the Pakistanis didn’t really mean it when they declared their nukes to be “Islamic” nukes – gifts from Allah. Or when various other members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference hailed these ‘gifts from Allah’. Maybe warhawks thought the Pakistanis wouldn’t share these ‘gifts from Allah’ with their Islamic brethren.

Now comes the stunning public confirmation of “intelligence” long possessed by the warhawks that the Pakistanis have been for several years helping the North Koreans establish a cradle-to-grave nuke infrastructure in return for intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

Bummer! The warhawks had apparently just persuaded President Bush that if he invaded and occupied Iraq – in defiance of the OIC and U.N. Security Council – the Pakistanis and other OIC member states wouldn’t lift a finger to stop him or help Saddam.

So, like, they’ll share gifts from Allah with Kim Jong-il but not with Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden?