America's Nuclear Muscles

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by Ed Kociela

Nearly 62 years ago, the United States unleashed its nuclear muscle, dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

It was a nightmarish display of might.

Since then, cooler heads have prevailed, even through the Cold War and the fine line walked during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

That is until now as the specter of a nuclear strike looms large over a very unstable world.

The Times of London broke a story this week about Israeli plans to drop tactical nukes on Iran's uranium enrichment facilities at sites in Natanz, Isfahan and Arak. Israeli pilots have apparently been conducting training exercises based in Gibraltar to prepare for such an attack.

The New York Times reports that the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Council is moving forward to build the nation's first new nuclear warhead in nearly 20 years called the Reliable Replacement Warhead.

Initially, the new nuke would be used to re-tip submarine missiles and ensure, according to sources, that the nuclear arsenal remains robust.

A spokesman for the National Nuclear Security Administration said the government would not proceed with the design and manufacture of the weapon if testing is required. However, White House officials disagree. Robert Joseph, under secretary of state for arms control and international security, said the administration should make no comment on testing.

Meanwhile, representatives from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency recently completed a tour of Las Vegas, St. George, Utah and Salt Lake City, Utah, touting the safety and benefits of the Divine Strake test at the Nevada Test Site, an explosion of 700 tons of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil.

This test is widely believed to be a precursor to renewed nuclear testing at the NTS, a place where today's nuclear arsenal was developed and tested; a place littered with radioactive materials that have sat dormant in the desert since 1992.

On the other hand, the United States is pulling out all the stops to bring an end to nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran.

Explain that one, please.

You want a country to stop producing nuclear weapons. You sit down at the table to discuss this and everybody knows that one of the cards on the table is the death card - the one that holds the key to using your nukes to take out theirs.

Why is it OK for the United States to hold that card?

Why is it not OK for Iran or North Korea to hold that card?

Don't you see, we all perceive the other guy, whoever he may be, as a threat while we are the epitome of reason and calm.

It's arrogance at its highest level. It's intolerance at its lowest level. It's trouble for all of us who happen to walk the Earth right now.

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