Growing Democracy Amidst Tribal Politics In Pakistan

[Yasmeen is a frequent contributor to this site simply, because she is a national asset of Pakistan.  Pakistan needs hundreds and thousands of dedicated patriots just like her to give Pakistanis a chance to establish true democracy and overcome the tribal politics and international intrigues arrayed against them.  The author decries the minority-dominated politics that prevent national unity, but from my perspective, this is a problem which all open democracies must face and deal with equitably.  Our history is much the same, with extremes of political parties running the gamut, even including a national political party based solely upon racial hatred--the Ku Klux Klan.  We overcame all of that and so will Pakistan, as long as there are people willing to devote the time towards saving their nation from the forces of chaos.  Whenever the issues of minorities are dealt with by coalitions, finding the common paths that both sides tread in every issue, political issues become sorted-out into plus or minus opinion groups.  This is the two-party system, arrived at only through dedication to pragmatism, everybody cooperating on everything, at some level .

Good luck.]

Needed: Democratic Infra structural Changes in Pakistan

This is a Pakpotpourri Exclusive

By: Yasmeen Ali    

Since it’s inception in 1947, Pakistan has been riddled with the question of finding a system of governance tailor made for her needs. In the quest,Pakistan has had affairs with Parliamentary System, Presidential System, semi-Presidential System…..but has been unable so far, to determine what suits her best.

All shades of governments and rulers came and went. Democracy was replaced by Dictatorship and Dictatorship by Democracy. Governments formed, mostly in coalition by the winning party joining hands with one winning provincially to form a majority and set up government.

If we look at the 2008 General Elections results, it provides an enlightening picture. Pakistan Peoples Party won a total of 94 seats excluding 4 for minorities and 23 reserved for women, bringing the score up to 130 seats. Pakistan Muslim League- N bagged 95 seats, including 3 for minorities and 17 reserved for women. Pakistan Muslim League-Q secured 55 seats including 2 for minorities and 10 reserved for women. Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) walked away with 26 seats, including 1 for minorities and 5 for women. Pakistan Muslim League-Fazlur Rehman Group nabbed 5 seats including one reserved for women. Pakistan Peoples Party –Sherpao Group took 1 seat as did the National Peoples Party. Baluchistan National Party-Awami, bagged a whooping 18 seats .

Thereby, a total of 226 seats were contested for and won by various parties in elections, 60 reserved for women, 10 reserved for minorities, bringing the total to 336. Jamiat-Ulema-e-Islam (F) did not contest.

The picture becomes clear as the mist clears by figures quoted.

Collaboration and partnership of Muttahida Qaumi Movement becomes mandatory if the party bagging most votes needs to set up a government in Sindh. Once done,there are the constant tantrums thrown, and the provincial party, following in the footsteps of  a film heroin, falls out with her lover, then is  cajoled with sweets, flowers, and more expensive offerings. There are situations leading to a near complete break up of the love-hate relationship, only to realize, by both, near the brink ,how important the partnership is,managing to pull back and embrace- letting bygones be bygones- till the same cycle happens all over again!

Likewise, in Baluchistan, the active support of Baluchistan National Party (BNP) is mandatory to form government in province.

In Peshawar, it was Awami National Party that won 13 seats, but none from Hazara. To form government, support by ANP to the party forming the provincial government is needed.

What clearly emerges from the above scenario was that no single party is, across the board acceptable to the people of Pakistan. PPP emerges as the only party with representation in all four provinces securing half the seats in Sindh, one-third of seats in the Punjab, and roughly 30 per cent seats in NWFP and Baluchistan. PML-N, the second largest party is routed to Punjab only, with no representation in Sindh and Baluchistan, and, in NWFP, secured seats only in the non-Pushto speaking Hazara area.  Ethnicity has started playing a big role in electing candidates-a dangerous trend.

The net result of this scenario is the following of an Appeasement Policy in dealing with the parties on board by the ruling party-whichever party is in the steering position, the 2008 General Elections results used as an example only. Instead of focusing on issues that should be focused on, time , energy, funds and  resources are misdirected towards keeping the coalition partners happy and willing to keep government intact. Good governance suffers. It becomes relegated to the back burner. Insults are hurled at each other, accusations, counter accusations hold the day. Then miraculously, a ministry here, a promise there, and the sun comes out, bright and clear, till the next round!

The interests of these small pockets of seats won by local parties may,and do, differ widely on issues from that of the ruling party. In the long run, it may be the national interest that is sacrificed at the alter of Appeasement!

Who is to be blamed? The smaller parties? The ruling party? Or both?

I think it is the wrong system that is to be held responsible. So long there are smaller parties nibbling in the pie, demanding a slice, good governance will continue to suffer.

Pakistan must seriously look at changing over to a Two Party System rather than a Multi-Party System it presently is. This is something we have never tried. Something so basically, glaringly wrong in our whole approach to democracy, that that it has effected governance by whomsoever government has been in power.

Yes! It is time for those democratic infra structural changes in Pakistan.

(Yasmeen Ali is a lawyer based in Lahore. She also teaches in a University and moderates her blog Pakpotpourri2).

March 14 Rally In Beirut Seemed Like a Party

March 14 Thanks its Supporters: You Were Victorious against Arms’ Oppression and Intimidation
The March 14 General Secretariat voiced on Monday its appreciation and gratitude for the Lebanese people “who renewed their revolution aimed at achieving sovereignty, freedom, independence, and justice.”
It said in a statement: “Your commitment to these goals and your peaceful civil action has become the example adopted by Arab people in their revolts.”

“On Sunday, you were victorious against the weapons’ oppression and the policy of intimidation and terrorization,” it added.

“Lebanon after March 14, 2011 will not be the same as it was before it,” the general secretariat stressed.

“With the renewal of the Lebanese revolution, we vow to remain up to you expectations without making any concessions over them,” the statement continued.

Hundreds of thousands of March 14 supporters gathered at Beirut’s Martyrs Square on Sunday at a rally aimed at sending a message to the Hizbullah-led alliance about the people’s rejection of the party’s weapons.

Islam’s Replacement Religion–Wahhabism

The Shia genocide in Bahrain shows Islam’s replacement by Wahhabism

Related articles: LUBP Archive on Bahrain

Saudi Arabia’s army enters Bahrain to crush pro-democracy protesters

Wahhabism: The heart of darkness

By Omar Khattab

It is not the first time that the Shias of Bahrain have been subjected to untold miseries. However, it is for the first time that it appears that the ruling royal family of Bahrain, cheered and supported by the Wahhabi House of Saud of Saudi Arabia, is serious about launching a Shia holocaust in Bahrain where the Shias are in majority.

The West led by the United States has condemned human rights violations in Libya. Hillary Clinton is upset with the killing of a hundred of so Libyans, but the uncounted corpses of Shia protestors have evoked no response from the White House or the State Department. But I do not blame the United States. It operates on the principle of self-interest and the security of Israel. What is worth noting is the attitude of non-Shia Muslims all over the world. From Indonesia from one end of the world to Morocco to the other, there is no condemnation of the Shia genocide in Bahrain. The only fault of the Shias is that they are demanding their human and natural rights. They are more than 70 percent of the population of Bahrain and yet have no say in the affairs of the government. They have been reduced to the status of third-class citizens in their own country.

The overwhelming number of Bahraini soldiers and policemen are outsiders. They are comprised of Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and African mercenaries who have been given Bahraini citizenship in order to reduce the Shia majority and kill those Shias who dare demand their rights. These mercenaries on their part are the kind of people who will be willing to commit any inhuman act for money.

It is not money, however, which is the main motive behind these mercenaries killing unarmed Shia men, women, and children. There is something else going on here. If you look at the politicians, human rights campaigners, journalists, and anchor persons in the Muslim world, you will find that they are either completely indifferent to the Shias of Bahrain (and elsewhere), or supporting their killers and tormentors by suppressing the facts about their plight. Why is this so? The answer is: Wahabi money. The Wahhabi Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has corrupted these people through money and anti-Shia hate materials (money is involved here too). In a country like Pakistan where one Palestinian or Kashmiri killed results in mad clamoring for jihad, not a single, yes a single, voice has been raised for the Shias of Bahrain. Pakistanis in general cry hoarse claiming that Islam is the religion of peace and yet are complicit in every unimaginable and unspeakable crime. Their reaction to Salman Taseer’s assassination (and martyrdom) at the hands of an Islamofascist is one instance. The Wahabi petro-dollars have crushed Islam and now what we have is Wahabism which stands for all that is evil and vile in human nature and societal functioning.

Before his martyrdom, Imam Hussain (AS) asked: “Is there anyone on my side [i.e., on the side of truth]? Today, the Shias blood in Bahrain is asking the same question to the Sunnis of Pakistan and elsewhere. Will they show character by standing up for them?

Post Published: 22 February 2011
Author: Omar Khattab

Saudi Troops Enter Bahrain To Stop a Shia Wave of Democracy

Saudi Arabia’s army enters Bahrain to crush pro-democracy protesters

Related article: The Shia genocide in Bahrain shows Islam’s replacement by Wahhabism – by Omar Khattab

LUBP Archive on Bahrain

Pakistan army exports new mercenaries to kill Bahraini protesters

About 1,000 Saudi Arabian soldiers have reportedly entered Bahrain at the invitation of the Bahraini royal authorities in order to quell protests that have been raging there for a month.

A Saudi military source has confirmed the development to Reuters. The Saudis are reportedly in Bahrain to protect government facilities.

“About 1,000 Saudi soldiers have entered Bahrain early on Monday morning through the causeway to Bahrain,” the source told Reuters.
“They are part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) force that would guard the government installations”.

The GCC is a six-member regional bloc which includes both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Reportedly, Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, Bahrain’s crown prince, formally requested the Saudi intervention.

Abdulrahman bin Hamad al-Attiya, the secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, said that “safeguarding security and stability in one [GCC] country is a collective responsibility.”

Bahraini officials have also confirmed the story.

“Forces from the Gulf Cooperation Council have arrived in Bahrain to maintain order and security,” Nabeel al-Hamer, a former information minister and adviser to the royal court, said on his Twitter feed late on Sunday, according to Reuters.

“GCC forces will arrive in Bahrain today to take part in maintaining law and order,” wrote the Gulf Daily News, which is linked to Bahrain’s prime minister.

“Their mission will be limited to protecting vital facilities, such as oil, electricity and water installations, and financial and banking facilities.”
Bahrain’s ruling Sunni minority elite has faced relentless calls from the country’s Shiite majority to institute massive political reforms. It would appear that Bahrain’s rulers have had enough of the continuing civil disorders.

On Sunday, dozens of Bahrainis were injured after protesters shoved back police and barricaded roads.

Already, a parliament bloc appealed the king of Bahrain to impose martial law in the tiny kingdom.

The parliament bloc’s statement requested a three-month declaration of martial law and alleged that “extremist movements” were trying to disrupt the country and push it toward civil war.

The appeal also seeks a curfew and the dispatch of military units around the kingdom.

The opposition forces in Bahrain say the presence of foreign troops on its soil is tantamount to an occupation.

The Khalifa dynasty of Bahrain is close allies of the ruling al-Saud family of Saudi Arabia

Source

………

Reports emerged on March 14 that forces from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries will enter Bahrain to help the Bahraini regime quell unrest. The report was published by Bahraini Alyam Newspaper (known for its close links with the ruling al-Khalifa family), and came one day after clashes occurred between Shiite protesters and police in the capital, Manama. Troops from United Arab Emirates are reportedly expected to arrive in Bahrain March 14. Al Arabiya reported that Saudi forces have already entered Bahrain, but these claims have yet to be officially confirmed by the Bahraini regime. The only announcement so far came from Nabil al-Hamar, the former information minister and adviser to the royal family, who has written on Twitter that the Arab forces arrived in Bahrain.

An unnamed Saudi official also said on March 14 that more than 1,000 Saudi troops from the Shield of Island entered Bahrain on late March 13, al-Quds reported, citing AFP. Meanwhile, Bahraini State News Agency reported that The Independent Bloc (a parliamentary bloc of the Bahraini parliament) asked Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa to enforce martial law to contain the unrest.

These reports suggest foreign intervention in Bahrain, or at least the possibility that the Bahraini military is taking over the security reins. Such moves mean the regime is getting increasingly concerned with Shiite unrest, which does not seem to be subsiding despite dialogue calls from Bahraini Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa. The ongoing unrest is exacerbated by the split between Bahrain’s Shiite movement, which became clearer during protests on March 11. The more hardline faction of the Shiite movement, led by the Wafa and al-Haq blocs, has been increasing the tension on the streets in the hopes of stalling the talks between the Shiite al-Wefaq-led coalition’s negotiations with the regime. Military intervention from GCC countries means the situation is increasingly untenable for the regime. The paradox the Bahraini regime faces is that it cannot contain the unrest while trying to kick off talks with al-Wefaq. Al-Wefaq finds itself in a difficult position, since it risks losing ground against hardliners if it appears too close to the regime while Shiite protesters are beaten by the police.

The Bahraini regime has used a military option before. On Feb 17, the military deployed immediately after a police crackdown in Manama’s Pearl Roundabout and was able to calm down the situation for a while by encircling the area with tanks. If Bahrain indeed has called Saudi intervention this time, the implication is that the Bahraini military is not confident in its ability to contain the unrest now. Riyadh’s decision to send forces to Manama could be taken to this end, since wider spread of Shiite unrest from Bahrain to Saudi Arabia would aggravate the already existing protests among Saudi Arabia’s own Shiite population. Saudi military intervention in Bahrain is not unprecedented. Saudi Arabia sent troops to Bahrain in 1994 when Riyadh determined that Shiite unrest threatened the al-Khalifa regime.

Regional implications of the unrest in Bahrain became more obvious when U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Manama on March 12 and urged the Bahraini regime to implement bold reforms. Gates said Iranian interference would become a greater possibility if Bahrain fails to do so. While Bahrain and Saudi Arabia seem to be coordinating to avoid that possibility, it is not without risks. Leader of hardliner al-Haq movement, Hassan Mushaima, who is believed to be increasing the Shiite unrest in Bahrain by Iranian support, said on Feb. 28 that Saudi intervention in Bahrain would give Iran the same right to intervene as well. A scenario of regional Sunni Arab forces cracking down on Shia would apply pressure on Iran to respond more overtly, but its military ability is limited and it is a very risky option given the U.S. 5th fleet is stationed in Bahrain. As of this writing, there is no sign that Iranian military is taking steps toward that end, however, the situation on the ground could escalate if Shia in Bahrain ramp up demonstrations.

Source: Stratfor, March 14, 2011

Bahrain opposition: Gulf move is war declaration

By REUTERS, Mar 14, 2011

MANAMA: Bahraini opposition groups including the largest Shiite Muslim party Wefaq said on Monday that any intervention by Gulf Arab forces on the Gulf island is a declaration of war and occupation.

The comments came in response to reports that Bahrain had called in forces from Gulf neighbors to put down unrest by the Shiite majority protesting over what they say is discrimination by the royal family.

Source: Arab News

Good morning World, Time for Our Wake-Up Call

Good morning World…

“They lie to make money (profit motive) for themselves and/or their corporate and military pals, who (in turn) return the favor (give support) in some form or other. They lie to not alarm the public, especially in instances wherein not much can be done to stop some form of damage. They lie to push forward an agenda wherein they don’t care about whatever happens to some group of people (i.e., ones in coal mining communities, near nuclear plants and gas fracking operations, in war zones near oil fields, etc.) as long as the corpocrats who own the businesses can, literally and figuratively, make a killing on behalf of self-enriching economic gains. … Some of these people, of course, love the power and control affiliated with such operations while others consider the loss experienced by some (such as those near nuclear plants) a reasonable exchange for some good (i.e., electricity provision) for the social whole. … For example, what would happen if the American people were told that they need to cut back on energy use (of which around 78 % is provided by fossil fuels), not use oil and so on? … If the public were told the truth about nuclear energy and nuclear bombs, the resultant backlash would be considerable. So it’s better, from the power elites’ point of view, to keep everyone dumb and ignorant for the most part. … No amount of radiation is safe. It is a ticking time bomb in all of us. Yet some people are more prone to cancers, etc., than others. For example, some of the babies born in DU laden ME are okay or, seemingly, okay at birth. … Some people survived (until old age) being somewhat near Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and other nuclear troubles while others did not. … Imagine what would happen were the Japanese government to tell everyone to leave Japan from Tokyo northward? Where would they go? How would they be evacuated? What about food and water? What about insurance for irradiated properties and loss of businesses? What would be the effect on the worldwide economy? (Many major businesses are closed in Japan now, such as the worldwide main Toyota plant that was somewhat near one of the hydrogen blast points.) … Imagine the pandemonium and assorted impacts if the U.S. west coast people were told the truth about their nuclear plants on fault lines or about a coming radiation cloud from Japan? … So the governments lie and lie again. Big business lies and lies again. The public is just fodder and always has been. .. It is, in large measure, a way to keep everything (including their plans and policies) going as usal. Nothing should, according to the corpocratic rulers, disrupt overall economic and social agendas except as minimally as possible.”

Peace and hugs,

E.

“Nuclear Meltdown In Japan”–Stephen Lendman

Nuclear Meltdown In Japan

By Stephen Lendman

13 March, 2011
Countercurrents.org

For years, Helen Caldicott warned it’s coming. In her 1978 book, “Nuclear Madness,” she said:

“As a physician, I contend that nuclear technology threatens life on our planet with extinction. If present trends continue, the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink will soon be contaminated with enough radioactive pollutants to pose a potential health hazard far greater than any plague humanity has ever experienced.”

More below on the inevitable dangers from commercial nuclear power proliferation, besides added military ones.

On March 11, New York Times writer Martin Fackler headlined, “Powerful Quake and Tsunami Devastate Northern Japan,” saying:

“The 8.9-magnitude earthquake (Japan’s strongest ever) set off a devastating tsunami that sent walls of water (six meters high) washing over coastal cities in the north.” According to Japan’s Meteorological Survey, it was 9.0.

The Sendai port city and other areas experienced heavy damage. “Thousands of homes were destroyed, many roads were impassable, trains and buses (stopped) running, and power and cellphones remained down. On Saturday morning, the JR rail company” reported three trains missing. Many passengers are unaccounted for.

Striking at 2:46PM Tokyo time, it caused vast destruction, shook city skyscrapers, buckled highways, ignited fires, terrified millions, annihilated areas near Sendai, possibly killed thousands, and caused a nuclear meltdown, its potential catastrophic effects far exceeding quake and tsunami devastation, almost minor by comparison under a worst case scenario.

On March 12, Times writer Matthew Wald headlined, “Explosion Seen at Damaged Japan Nuclear Plant,” saying:

“Japanese officials (ordered evacuations) for people living near two nuclear power plants whose cooling systems broke down,” releasing radioactive material, perhaps in far greater amounts than reported.

NHK television and Jiji said the 40-year old Fukushima plant’s outer structure housing the reactor “appeared to have blown off, which could suggest the containment building had already been breached.” Japan’s nuclear regulating agency said radioactive levels inside were 1,000 times above normal.

Reuters said the 1995 Kobe quake caused $100 billion in damage, up to then the most costly ever natural disaster. This time, from quake and tsunami damage alone, that figure will be dwarfed. Moreover, under a worst case core meltdown, all bets are off as the entire region and beyond will be threatened with permanent contamination, making the most affected areas unsafe to live in.

On March 12, Stratfor Global Intelligence issued a “Red Alert: Nuclear Meltdown at Quake-Damaged Japanese Plant,” saying:

Fukushima Daiichi “nuclear power plant in Okuma, Japan, appears to have caused a reactor meltdown.” Stratfor downplayed its seriousness, adding that such an event “does not necessarily mean a nuclear disaster,” that already may have happened – the ultimate nightmare short of nuclear winter.

According to Stratfor, “(A)s long as the reactor core, which is specifically designed to contain high levels of heat, pressure and radiation, remains intact, the melted fuel can be dealt with. If the (core’s) breached but the containment facility built around (it) remains intact, the melted fuel can be….entombed within specialized concrete” as at Chernobyl in 1986.

In fact, that disaster killed nearly one million people worldwide from nuclear radiation exposure. In their book titled, “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,” Alexey Yablokov, Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko said:

“For the past 23 years, it has been clear that there is a danger greater than nuclear weapons concealed within nuclear power. Emissions from this one reactor exceeded a hundred-fold the radioactive contamination of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”

“No citizen of any country can be assured that he or she can be protected from radioactive contamination. One nuclear reactor can pollute half the globe. Chernobyl fallout covers the entire Northern Hemisphere.”

Stratfor explained that if Fukushima’s floor cracked, “it is highly likely that the melting fuel will burn through (its) containment system and enter the ground. This has never happened before,” at least not reported. If now occurring, “containment goes from being merely dangerous, time consuming and expensive to nearly impossible,” making the quake, aftershocks, and tsunamis seem mild by comparison. Potentially, millions of lives will be jeopardized.

Japanese officials said Fukushima’s reactor container wasn’t breached. Stratfor and others said it was, making the potential calamity far worse than reported. Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) said the explosion at Fukushima’s Saiichi No. 1 facility could only have been caused by a core meltdown. In fact, 3 or more reactors are affected or at risk. Events are fluid and developing, but remain very serious. The possibility of an extreme catastrophe can’t be discounted.

Moreover, independent nuclear safety analyst John Large told Al Jazeera that by venting radioactive steam from the inner reactor to the outer dome, a reaction may have occurred, causing the explosion.

“When I look at the size of the explosion,” he said, “it is my opinion that there could be a very large leak (because) fuel continues to generate heat.”

Already, Fukushima way exceeds Three Mile Island that experienced a partial core meltdown in Unit 2. Finally it was brought under control, but coverup and denial concealed full details until much later.

According to anti-nuclear activist Harvey Wasserman, Japan’s quake fallout may cause nuclear disaster, saying:

“This is a very serious situation. If the cooling system fails (apparently it has at two or more plants), the super-heated radioactive fuel rods will melt, and (if so) you could conceivably have an explosion,” that, in fact, occurred.

As a result, massive radiation releases may follow, impacting the entire region. “It could be, literally, an apocalyptic event. The reactor could blow.” If so, Russia, China, Korea and most parts of Western Asia will be affected. Many thousands will die, potentially millions under a worse case scenario, including far outside East Asia.

Moreover, at least five reactors are at risk. Already, a 20-mile wide radius was evacuated. What happened in Japan can occur anywhere. Yet Obama’s proposed budget includes $36 billion for new reactors, a shocking disregard for global safety.

Calling Fukushima an “apocalyptic event,” Wasserman said “(t)hese nuclear plants have to be shut,” let alone budget billions for new ones. It’s unthinkable, he said. If a similar disaster struck California, nuclear fallout would affect all America, Canada, Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America.

Nuclear Power: A Technology from Hell

Nuclear expert Helen Caldicott agrees, telling this writer by phone that a potential regional catastrophe is unfolding. Over 30 years ago, she warned of its inevitability. Her 2006 book titled, “Nuclear Power is Not the Answer” explained that contrary to government and industry propaganda, even during normal operations, nuclear power generation causes significant discharges of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as hundreds of thousands of curies of deadly radioactive gases and other radioactive elements into the environment every year.

Moreover, nuclear plants are atom bomb factories. A 1000 megawatt reactor produces 500 pounds of plutonium annually. Only 10 are needed for a bomb able to devastate a large city, besides causing permanent radiation contamination.

Nuclear Power not Cleaner and Greener

Just the opposite, in fact. Although a nuclear power plant releases no carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary greenhouse gas, a vast infrastructure is required. Called the nuclear fuel cycle, it uses large amounts of fossil fuels.

Each cycle stage exacerbates the problem, starting with the enormous cost of mining and milling uranium, needing fossil fuel to do it. How then to dispose of mill tailings, produced in the extraction process. It requires great amounts of greenhouse emitting fuels to remediate.

Moreover, other nuclear cycle steps also use fossil fuels, including converting uranium to hexafluoride gas prior to enrichment, the enrichment process itself, and conversion of enriched uranium hexafluoride gas to fuel pellets. In addition, nuclear power plant construction, dismantling and cleanup at the end of their useful life require large amounts of energy.

There’s more, including contaminated cooling water, nuclear waste, its handling, transportation and disposal/storage, problems so far unresolved. Moreover, nuclear power costs and risks are so enormous that the industry couldn’t exist without billions of government subsidized funding annually.

The Unaddressed Human Toll from Normal Operations

Affected are uranium miners, industry workers, and potentially everyone living close to nuclear reactors that routinely emit harmful radioactive releases daily, harming human health over time, causing illness and early death.

The link between radiation exposure and disease is irrefutable, depending only on the amount of cumulative exposure over time, Caldicott saying:

“If a regulatory gene is biochemically altered by radiation exposure, the cell will begin to incubate cancer, during a ‘latent period of carcinogenesis,’ lasting from two to sixty years.”

In fact, a single gene mutation can prove fatal. No amount of radiation exposure is safe. Moreover, when combined with about 80,000 commonly used toxic chemicals and contaminated GMO foods and ingredients, it causes 80% of known cancers, putting everyone at risk everywhere.

Further, the combined effects of allowable radiation exposure, uranium mining, milling operations, enrichment, and fuel fabrication can be devastating to those exposed. Besides the insoluble waste storage/disposal problem, nuclear accidents happen and catastrophic ones are inevitable.

Inevitable Meltdowns

Caldicott and other experts agree they’re certain in one or more of the hundreds of reactors operating globally, many years after their scheduled shutdown dates unsafely. Combined with human error, imprudently minimizing operating costs, internal sabotage, or the effects of a high-magnitude quake and/or tsunami, an eventual catastrophe is certain.

Aging plants alone, like Japan’s Fukushima facility, pose unacceptable risks based on their record of near-misses and meltdowns, resulting from human error, old equipment, shoddy maintenance, and poor regulatory oversight. However, under optimum operating conditions, all nuclear plants are unsafe. Like any machine or facility, they’re vulnerable to breakdowns, that if serious enough can cause enormous, possibly catastrophic, harm.

Add nuclear war to the mix, also potentially inevitable according to some experts, by accident or intent, including Steven Starr saying:

“Only a single failure of nuclear deterrence is required to start a nuclear war,” the consequences of which “would be profound, potentially killing “tens of millions of people, and caus(ing) long-term, catastrophic disruptions of the global climate and massive destruction of Earth’s protective ozone layer. The result would be a global nuclear famine that could kill up to one billion people.”

Worse still is nuclear winter, the ultimate nightmare, able to end all life if it happens. It’s nuclear proliferation’s unacceptable risk, a clear and present danger as long as nuclear weapons and commercial dependency exist.

In 1946, Einstein knew it, saying:

“Our world faces a crisis as yet unperceived by those possessing the power to make great decisions for good and evil. The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.”

He envisioned two choices – abolish all forms of nuclear power or face extinction. No one listened. The Doomsday Clock keeps ticking.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/

Third Explosion At Fukushima–9:49am est, Mar. 14

Third Explosion At Fukushima–9:49am est, Mar. 14

[I am reading the TEPCO press release, about "white smoke" being released and "explosive sound," but it is posted with some very complex looking legal disclaimers, which I would prefer to avoid testing.  It is getting confusing at the news sites, trying to find a report that clearly states this, but so far, only the one below.]

Third Blast At Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Plant 103

Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday March 14, @07:52AM
from the good-luck-over-there-guys dept. 

iamrmani was one of several people reporting updates on the Fukushima Nuclear plant that has been struggling following last Friday’s disaster. A third explosion (Japanese) has been reported, along with other earlier information. MSNBC has a story about similiar reactors in the US. We also ran into a story which predicts that there won’t be significant radiation. But already Japan is facing rolling blackouts, electricity rationing, evacuating the area around the plant, and thousands dead already.

Warnings Against Premature Ingestion of Iodine Tablets–(possible thyroid poisoning)

[Pharmacists in Germany advise not to take unless radioactive cloud overhead.  When taken, as needed, ingestion of iodine tablets should be simultaneous with ingestion of radioactive iodine, for maximum benefit.]

Pharmacists warn: Do not eat iodine premature

Berlin -German pharmacists are warning of a rash of so-called iodine intakeTablets for fear of the atom-Accidents in Japan.

© dpa

The Federal Union of German Associations of Pharmacists (ABDA) announced on Monday: IodineTablets should be taken only after explicit official request.

IodineTablets should be taken only after explicit official request, said the Federal Union of German Associations of Pharmacists (ABDA) on Monday. “Pharmacist advised against taking iodine tablets expressly at your own pace,” said Erika Fink, president of the Federal Chamber of Pharmacists.

Concerned about the impact of reactor accidents such as in Berlin to ask concerned citizens to increasingly high doses of iodine preparations. Many customers wanted the iodine tablets but do not have to take, but to send to friends and family to Japan, a pharmacist said Constanze children in Prenzlauer Berg. Iodine tablets to prevent accumulates radioactive iodine from the air or from food in the thyroid.

JapanDisaster: insurers billions damage

Photo gallery

Ingestion bring this country only a little, “if there should be a radioactive cloud directly over Germany,” said pharmacist and ABDASpokeswoman Sellerberg. Even if such a danger would ensue, and high doses of iodine should be taken only after notice to the health authorities: “In adults over 45 years may be too much iodine otherwise increase the risk for thyroid disease.”

When a nuclear accident, radioactive iodine is released. In the disaster area that absorbed by the body through the air, food and drink or through the skin. It accumulates in the thyroid gland, where it can lead to organ damage. Intake of iodine tablets, the storage of radioactive iodine can be prevented. The protection is loud ABDA most effective when the iodine tablets are taken virtually simultaneously with the inhalation of radioactive iodine. Iodine tablets to protect but not from other radioactive substances.

Another Mosque Bombed Near Peshawar

[This Happened after Funeral where 37 People lost their lives in FR Peshawar area after 2 days of last blat , while Paki Mainstream, media looks the other way on 12 the March in same area , FR areas are more dangerous than FATA--Doc.]

Another mosque damaged in blast

 

Javed Aziz Khan

Saturday, March 12, 2011

 

 

PESHAWAR: Unidentified militants bombed another mosque in Shahabkhel village in the jurisdiction of the volatile Badaber Police Station near here Friday.

 

Ambulances and rescue teams rushed to the spot immediately after a huge blast was heard at around 11:30am. However, no casualty was reported. According to the Rescue 1122 officials, the bomb planted near the wall of Masjid Sher Ali in Shahabkhel went off one and a half hour before the Friday prayers that were to be offered in another mosque nearby.

 

Shahabkhel also houses the shrine of a saint Akhund Salak Baba. The targeted mosque was reportedly in the use of Ahle-Hadith sub-sect of mainstream Sunni sect. It’s wall caved in due to the blast while the mosque building developed cracks.

 

The bomb disposal unit said around three kilograms of explosives were used in the attack. The attack was the second on a mosque in Peshawar and surrounding areas during the last one week.

 

On previous Friday, at least 11 people were killed and several wounded when a bomb placed in the cupboard meant for the copies of Holy Quran went off soon after the Friday prayers in a mosque adjacent to the shrine of a saint Akhund Panju Baba in Akbarpura village of Nowshera district. Another major act of terror in Peshawar district was the March 9 suicide bombing in Adezai village in which over 37 people were killed and around 40 others were injured.

 

The suicide attacker struck at the funeral of a local woman when a number of villagers and volunteers of the Adezai Qaumi Lashkar, raised to fight the Taliban militants, were offering funeral prayers.

 

The volunteers had already warned the government of disbanding the lashkar if they were not provided arms and ammunition, money and food rations. They also complained that the families of villagers killed in terror attacks during the last years had not been compensated.

 

Meanwhile, villagers in Adezai on the third day of the bombing were still mourning the death of 37 of their dear and near ones. Almost every family in the village has lost a member or relative in the spate of terrorist attacks mounted by militants operating in the nearby tribal areas. Some of those killed in the Adezai belonged to Sheikhan and other nearby villages.

 

 

Anti-Anti-Taliban Group Offer To Continue the Great Game, If the Govt. Buys the Bullets

[The anti-Taliban Lashkar is not what it appears to be, just as the Pakistani Taliban are not what they are claimed to be.  The TTP is an anti-Taliban force, with a mission to discredit the real Afghan Taliban, so the Lashkar would be an anti-anti-Taliban group. A friend in Pakistan has been checking on this story and the report about Mullah Nazir (NOT dead) for me.  (Thanks, Doc. )  Here is what he has to say:

“The Head of this Lashkar Dilawar Khan belongs to PML-Q ( Musharraf, s  ally under Chaudhry shujat of Punjab and ex-pm under Gen Musharraf before Shaukat Aziz PM  ) . The ANP does not  subscribe to Idea of Private Armies as it had decided  two Years ago .

But these People claim they are Volunteers who fight the Taliban and Protect Peshawar from Taliban entering from Dara Adam Khel in Khyber Agency and Orakzai agency .  the facts points to their failures too and their involvement in criminal Activity too . Furthermore the Leaders of these Lashkar were ex-Taliban them selves .  This is fact that makes them even more suspicious .

The FR Peshawar are semi-tribal Areas , that are left un-governed by Govt of Pakistan as they have no administrative system as they are not Part of Tribal Area or even  admin system of settled area both at the same time .

I have been campaigning for their  changed to Pakistan system of  settled areas but the Pakistan army is biggest obstacle to this as it is involved with these Taliban as so is Cia and American govt too, as

Taliban are Private Army of Mercenaries who work to destabilize Iran and china and Russian for soil of FATA and FR regions.”


Adezai Lashkar to go on if supported by govt

Javed Aziz Khan

Monday, March 14, 2011

PESHAWAR: Despite losing over 80 people in more than 31 militant attacks during the last two and a half years, the Adezai Qaumi lashkar is ready to fight the militants if the government provides it necessary support, a source told The News.

The lashkar extended its deadline of disbanding the force for 10 days after senior police officials in a meeting with Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti gave assurance that its grievances would be removed, the source said.

The sources said the commanders of the Adezai Qaumi Lashkar and elders of Adezai and Matani villages held a meeting with Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP)-Operations Ijaz Ahmad at the Matani Police Station.

Following the assurance, the lashkar leaders extended the deadline till March 21. Earlier, the Adezai Qaumi Lashkar chief Dilawar Khan had warned of disbanding his group if the government did not provide him support. Only three days after setting the deadline, a suicide bomber struck at a funeral in Adezai on March 9, killing at least 37 persons and injuring over 40 others. A number of volunteers of the lashkar were among those dead and wounded.

Angry Dilawar, while talking to reporters at the blast site, announced disbanding his lashkar and withdrawing support to the government against Taliban. He even threatened to join the Taliban and directed his volunteers not to allow police officials and Senior Minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour to visit the blast site.

Chief minister Ameer Haider Hoti told media on the day of the blast that the government had rushed ammunition for the lashkar while police and special police force were also supporting it. However, the lashkar members said they were yet to get any ammunition. “We have been assured by the SSP that he would arrange a meeting of the lashkar with the chief minister to address our problems.

If the government provides us support and fulfils our demands, we want to continue struggle against the militants,” said Dilawar Khan, who is also president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid for Peshawar district.

PML-Q provincial president Ameer Muqam also extended support to the Adezai Qaumi Lashkar during a visit to Adezai.

According to Abdul Qadir, a commander of the lashkar, the family members and close aides of the lashkar’s late founder Abdul Malik had suffered 31 attacks since November 2008. These included suicide bombings, roadside blasts, rocket and mortar attacks and attack by a group of over 100 militants on the village. “We have lost over 80 men in these attacks,” said Abdul Qadir.

One of the suicide bombings killed at least 13 people including Abdul Malik in 2009. Dilawar, who had enmity with Abdul Malik ( Killed ) but later joined hands with him against the Taliban, was made the lashkar chief when Abdul Malik was killed. A brother of Dilawar was killed by the militants in Karachi in 2009.

Elders of the lashkar complained that none of those 80 people killed and many others injured in terrorist attacks have been given any compensation by the government. However, provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain has said that 70 members of the lashkar had been given jobs in the community police.

Source :

Iran Basks In the Sunshine of Sunni Turmoil

[Why is it that Iran benefits from all our meddling in Arab countries, while China gobbles-up oil and gas rights as a result of our military softening-up operations in Asia?  Is this the original plan, or just the outcome of so much idiocy in high places?]

Iran Basks in Unrest of Arab World

By JOHN VINOCUR

Through three months of Arab revolt against autocratic leaders, it’s become commonplace to say that the only clear strategic winner from the changes so far is Iran, supposedly picking up windfall political fruit as if sitting in an armchair.

Condensed, the argument goes like this: There has been only profit for Iran from the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, who represented an Arab bulwark against Tehran’s nuclear weapons ambitions and the mullahs’ allies, Hezbollah and Hamas. Conversely, and beyond its hopes for democracy in the Middle East, the United States and some of its Western friends have reaped potential grief in the destabilization their old regional power relationships.

On the ides of March 2011, that assessment appears incomplete and almost mild. Rather, there’s a developing sense of foreboding.

Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi has increasingly real chances of putting down the rebellion against him in Libya. Before his boss could try to paper over what he said last week,James R. Clapper Jr., President Barack Obama’s director of national intelligence, testified before Congress that the dictator’s forces “will prevail” in the long term.

Apart from twisting the neck of the theories of inexorable popular rage certain to engulf all the region’s tyrants (Just you wait, Tehran!), this shard of very possible truth places the West’s hesitant, stuttering position on Libya parallel to its halting response to the threat of Iranian nukes — and reassures Iran’s leaders of their wisdom in moving to crush their own protesters.

A second naïve premise is also collapsing.

It was the Pollyanna-ish (and calming) assumption of some analysts that while pocketing the disarray from the Arab upheaval, Iran was too clever to meddle in creating more of it. Now, for the first time, we’re told this isn’t so.

Over the weekend, after a visit to Bahrain, home port of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet just across the Gulf from Iran, reporters on the airplane of Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates were informed by an unnamed senior defense official that U.S. intelligence had evidence Iran was working to persuade the hard-line Shiite opposition in Bahrain to reject the government’s offer of a political dialogue.

This account of active Iranian troublemaking in Bahrain, a country of basic strategic importance to America, is significant. Add to that a surge of new notions of Western impotence — plus an emboldened Iran — if the Libyan colonel prevails.

And this: Last month, Britain provided a new urgency in the assessment of Iran’s nuclear weapons timetable. Defense Minister Liam Fox has said “it is entirely possible” that Iran could produce a nuke in 2012.

So what to do? No decisive response on Iran, the ultimate Middle Eastern issue, is coming from Western capitals.

Their lack of focus on it, their nervousness about linking the Arab revolts with Iran through urging young Arab democracies to back Iran’s protest movement, is striking. Indeed, there’s a real possibility of new, coalition-of-the-willing sanctions based on the Iranian regime’s human rights violations. But they may not be backed by enough Western will to nullify a statement by the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, that the possibility of new sanctions “has been exhausted.”

This generalized timidity is not escaping attention. Bernard Kouchner, the former French foreign minister, put his finger on it in a conversation last week.

He said, “We’ve got to ask young Arabs to extend their hands” to their Iranian counterparts challenging the mullahs. “The French government should propose it. The question of Iran and the Arab revolt has not been joined as one.”

In Washington, Senator Lindsey Graham was part of a bipartisan group of senators pressing the administration to make its position clear on Chinese energy and banking firms the group named as apparent violators of U.S. sanctions regulations on Iran.

Members of the group have stressed that there was only a single case of sanctions being imposed by presidential order in the 15 years such power has been available to the White House. Mr. Graham told me that if there was no reaction soon, Congress should start oversight hearings on the enforcement of U.S. sanctions — a potential political embarrassment to Mr. Obama.

Senator John Kyl, part of the same group of Republicans and Democrats, accused the administration of failing to go beyond “the first grade” level in assisting the Iranian opposition in the manner the United States had helped Poland’s Solidarity protesters in the years before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The truth is, the United States, and allies like Britain and France, have been extremely wary in expressing just what kind of democracy they would like to emerge in Egypt and Tunisia, and how the voices of those countries might support their counterparts’ struggle in Iran and blunt the mullahs’ drive toward nuclear confrontation.

Cynically, Western governments can dismiss such boldness as hasty, futile or insufficiently realpolitik. But it is supported by a new and still unaccustomed kind of democratic reality:

Without fanfare, Tunisia’s government on Saturday refused to authorize three new Islamist parties — citing a constitutional requirement that political organizations pledge rejection of all forms of violence, fanaticism and discrimination.

Why Do We Support Dictators, Hillary?

Ron Paul and Secretary Clinton Spar Over US Support for Mideast Strongmen

ABC News’ Kirit Radia reports:

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex, has made a career out of being the contrarian in Congress, and with uprisings sweeping across the Middle East he took the opportunity today to point out one of the inconvenient truths of American foreign policy: its support across successive administrations for key Middle East leaders who ally themselves with the United States in a difficult region, yet do not respect basic human rights and democracy in their own countries.

“A lot of people in this country have come to the conclusion that our policy overhaul has been inconsistent; that sometimes we support the bad guys and the bad guys become our enemies,” Paul told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a hearing of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Rep. Paul pointed to America’s support for Osama bin Laden when he was fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, its collaboration with Saddam Hussein against Iran in the 1980s, and its propping up the Shah in Iran for decades before that.

“But we keep supporting Algeria, Morocco, Yemen, all these dictators, and yet we pretend that as soon as, well, it looks like the dictator might fall, we’re all for democracy and we’re for freedom and we’re against these dictators,” he said.

Indeed, Egypt’s longtime strongman President Hosni Mubarak was a close US ally, and someone Secretary Clinton once called a close friend, but as it became clear the protestors were gaining the upper hand last month, the Obama administration began urging him to embrace reforms and eventually supported a transition to democracy.

Clinton was quick to point out the complexity of a region where the United States has numerous, often conflicting, priorities.

“Congressman, you make a very passionate argument, and my response is that, you know, the United States, over the course of its entire diplomatic history, has had to make some very difficult decisions,” she said.

“We try to balance what we believe to be in our interests.  Sometimes, and I would argue most times, we get it right.  Sometimes we don’t,” America’s top diplomat conceded.

However, she used the case of Egypt as an example of when US support for a government is necessary, regardless of how imperfect it is.

“I believe that it was in America’s interest and in Israel’s interest to support Egypt following the Camp David Accords.  Thirty years of peace between Egypt and Israel — albeit, you know, not a warm and fuzzy peace, but nevertheless a peace — was an essential element of Israel’s ability to develop and continue to strengthen itself in a very tough neighborhood.  The fact that we did have those relationships in Egypt made it possible for us to have very frank conversations and prevent what we now see going on in Libya,” she said.

Rep. Paul is not the first person to notice this contradiction. Secretary Clinton’s predecessor, Condoleezza Rice, actually argued a similar point during a seminal speech on democracy in Cairo in 2005.

“For 60 years, the United States pursued stability at the expense of democracy in the Middle East — and we achieved neither,” Rice said.

- Kirit Radia

Obama Admin Requests Leniency for al-Qaeda Terrorist Who Still Backs Killing of Americans…

Obama Admin Requests Leniency for al-Qaeda Terrorist Who Still Backs Killing of Americans…

weaselzippers

And the judge complied, giving Mohammed Babar 10 years probation when he should have received between 30 and 70 years in federal prison. But hey, he only set up jihadi training camps in Pakistan and supplied cash to al-Qaeda, that’s not so bad, right?

(ABC News) — The U.S. government formally requested the early release of a convicted terrorist from federal prison, even though the terrorist admitted that he continued to support the killing of U.S. soldiers serving in Muslim countries.

Mohammed Babar, born and raised in New York City, was arrested in 2004 and pled guilty to four counts of providing material support to al Qaeda and one count of providing funds to Al Qaeda. After Babar had served four years and eight months, he was released on bail in late 2008.

In late 2010, the government filed a sealed request for leniency for Babar because of his “extraordinary cooperation” in terror investigations, asking for an “appropriate reduction” in his sentence even though federal sentencing guidelines indicate a sentence of 30 to 70 years in prison. The letter, now unsealed, notes that he was critical in securing conviction in four cases in three countries.

After the request, a judge sentenced Babar to 10 years of supervised release and a court fee of $500.

“According to Babar,” says the request for leniency, dated Nov. 23, 2010, “he still supports today the killing of American military service members on battlefields in Muslim countries. Babar has advised that he also supports the killing of Americans (both military and civilian) in Muslim countries ‘occupied’ by the United States.”

Babar joined a fundamentalist Muslim group called al-Muhajiroun while a student at the State University of New York-Stonybrook in 2000. Nine days after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, Babar moved to Pakistan “to provide support to the Afghan jihad,” according to the leniency request.

In November, a British television report described him as a “Taliban New Yorker” who helped U.K. citizens travel to Pakistan and then to Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban. “I am willing to kill the Americans,” Babar states in the report. “I will kill every American that I see in Afghanistan. And every American solider I see in Pakistan.”

During the next three years, Babar moved back and forth between London and Pakistan. Federal authorities say he provided supplies and funds to al Qaeda, and helped set up a jihadi training camp. In April 2004, after returning to the U.S., he was arrested by the FBI as a material witness.

Fleshing-Out the “Blackwater” In Balochistan Story

‘Xe behind Baloch insurgency, terror hits’ 

LAHORE – Blackwater, the CIA’s deadliest sidekick, has launched a massive operation to promote insurgency in Balochistan, especially in the coastal areas, as part of its efforts to destablise the country, it is learnt.

The CIA and Blackwater (now Xe Services) operating from the USA have two major designs in Pakistan – to control the entire business of the Gwadar port and to carry out colossal suicide attacks across central Punjab and north-western areas of the country to tell the world that the first atomic Islamic power is ungovernable.
“They wish to have complete control over the entire Balochistan, especially the Gwadar port, and seize the nuclear assets of Pakistan,” said former Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) Punjab chief Brigadier (r) Mohammad Aslam Ghuman.
He said the insurgents in Balochistan are Indians operating in connivance with Blackwater. “Pervez Musharraf provided safe passage to the Indian intelligence agency RAW, which has established dozens of consulates in Afghanistan along the border with Balochistan,” he added. The former ISI Punjab chief further said days after the Russian federation collapsed, CIA, RAW and Mossad carried out a comprehensive analysis and recommended launching a major operation inside Pakistan, especially Balochistan, to shake the state. “Yes, the CIA in connivance with RAW and Blackwater is operating in Balochistan and other parts of the country. They cannot absorb any Islamic atomic state,” he remarked.
He urged the politicians especially President Zardari and PM Gilani to shun their silence and “show sincerity to the country”, adding that like in other countries, in Pakistan Blackwater has multiplied its network honeycombed with the CIA, the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), Pentagon and the State Department in conducting a variety of terror operations in the country.
Jeremy Scahill, author of a book ‘Blackwater’, in his article ‘The Secret US War in Pakistan’ has already stated: “At a covert forward operating base run by the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, members of an elite division of Blackwater are at the center of a secret program in which they plan targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, snatch and grabs of high-value targets and other sensitive action inside and outside Pakistan.”

Reportedly, about 180 US Cobras recently been landed in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, while over 6000 Xe personnel have been positioned in Balochistan especially in Quetta. There are also reports that about 650 US nationals, including 200 US Marines have arrived already on multiple entry visas granted by the Pakistan Embassy in Washington. The reports say the notorious agency, based in the US state of North Carolina, trains more than 40,000 people a year, mostly from the US or foreign military and police services.
Brigadier (r) Yasub Ali Dogar said Blackwater, which is against the interest of Pakistan, has been actively involved in assassinating pro-government Maliks, clerics and notables in FATA, religious scholars in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, political figures, and target killings in Quetta and in Karachi. He said it provides surveillance and support to terrorist groups such as BLA and BRA in Balochistan and Tehrik-e-Taliban-Pakistan in FATA and Swat.
Sources in the Foreign Ministry said the US Embassy in Islamabad is being expanded as $115 million have been earmarked, which include $5 million for Marines quarters, $53.5 million for housing infrastructure, $18 million for general services and office area, $36 million for temporary duty quarters and community staff facilities. As many as $800 million have been allocated for the protection of enlarged and fortified Embassy through private security contractor DynCorp, sources added.
Sources said the US has also purchased a large chunk of land in Sihala and has seemingly established a secret military training camp adjacent to the Police Academy a few kilometers from Islamabad and Kahuta. “In 2006, the US acquired land near Tarbela with a view to build a military base,” they added.
Reportedly, the US opened a JSOC unit in Balochistan where Marines are coming in via Islamabad. Marines as well as heavy contingents of Blackwater operatives (total 11,000) have been spotted in Balochistan. They, in collaboration with BLA and BRA, are mostly carrying out target killings. Four airbases in Balochistan were leased to the US military in September 2001 and these bases at Jacobabad, Pasni, Dalbaldin and Shamsi are still in their use. It is now an open secret that Shamsi airbase is under use by US drones where Blackwater was hired for loading hellfire missiles and 500lbs laser guided bombs on Predators. Similar job is being performed at Jalalabad airbase to strike targets in Pakistan.
Moreover, Blackwater has hired seven private houses in defence area and acquired hundreds of acres of land near Pataro in Sindh to launch an agricultural research institute. There are reports of secret construction of operational facilities in Gharo in Sindh to serve as a base for 200 Marines and that a sizeable number of American armoured carriers had arrived at Port Qasim, with 3,000 Humvees awaiting dispatch.
According to a defense analyst, there have already been 700 Blackwater personnel in various offices established in Islamabad, Peshawar and Karachi. They have also rented 228 homes for the accommodation of these mercenary soldiers of Blackwater in which 37 are in F-6 sector, 40 in G-6 sector, 47 in sector F-7, 48 in F-8, 20 in F-10, 25 in F-11 and 9 houses in I-8 sector. Most alarming is that two of these houses are located near the residence of Dr AQ Khan in E-7 sector of Islamabad, the analyst said.
Unfortunately, the analyst said, the Afghan government has fallen to RAW policies by providing shelter to Brahamdag Bugti and allowing RAW to operate in Balochistan in connivance with newly-established Afghan intelligence agency RAAM (earlier name KHAD). RAW has organised a network of training schools/centres throughout Afghanistan, including in Kabul, Jalalabad, Khawaja Ghar (Takhar Province), Khost, Paktia, Urgun, Khandar, Spin Boldak and Dranj (Badakhshan Province), according to the analyst.

Saudi Arabian forces prepare to enter Bahrain after day of clashes–(Goog.trans.)

[The injection of Saudi forces into Bahrain, to help the Sunni govt. deal with a majority Shia population, who are agitated by Iranian mullahs, is certain to take the individual nationalist rebellions to the next level.  A regional war involving Sunnis fighting Shiites is just what our black-hearted buddies at CIA have been after since 2003, or even earlier.  One day soon, one of these planned escalations will reveal that cold, black CIA heart to the world.  They are gambling that they will be in a position where they can simply drop the mask and get into total-war-making, whenever that eventual day of exposure comes.  I am hoping that they are wrong.  This is why we have to keep pushing stories like US supported terrorism to the front.  Only by exposing their shenanigans before they are ready to be uncovered can we hope to throw sand into the gears of their machine.]

Saudi Arabian forces prepare to enter Bahrain after day of clashes

Saudi forces are preparing to intervene in neighboring Bahrain , after a day of clashes between police and protesters who mounted the most serious challenge to the island’s royal family since demonstrations began a month ago.
The Crown Prince of Bahrain is expected to formally invite security forces from Saudi Arabia into his country today, as part of a request for support from other members of the six-member Gulf Co.-operation Council.
Thousands of demonstrators on Sunday cut off Bahrain’s financial centre and drove back police trying to eject them from the capital’s central square, while protesters also clashed with government supporters on the campus of the main university.
Amid the revolt Bahrain also faces a potential sectarian conflict between the ruling minority of Sunnis Muslims and a majority of Shia Muslims, around 70% of the kingdom’s 525,000 residents.

Plan for martial law in Bahrain

Anti-government protesters chant and wave flowers in front of riot police in Manama, Bahrain (AP)

Plan for martial law in Bahrain

(UKPA) – 1 hour ago

A parliament group has asked Bahrain’s king to impose martial law after a month of unrest which has left the tiny Gulf nation sharply divided between minority Sunni Muslims backing the ruling system and Shiites demanding sweeping changes.

There was no immediate response from Bahrain’s monarch, but authorities have expressed increasing frustration that opposition groups have not accepted offers to open dialogue aimed at easing the crisis.

A military-run crackdown would risk further polarising the strategic island kingdom – home to the US Navy’s 5th Fleet – and send a chill through the many international banking and financial companies which use Bahrain as their Gulf hub.

The parliament bloc’s statement, carried by the state-run Bahrain News Agency, asks for a three-month declaration of martial law and claimed “extremist movements” were trying to disrupt the country and push it toward sectarian conflict. The appeal also seeks a curfew and the dispatch of army units around the country.

The Alayam newspaper, which is closely aligned with the royal family, reported on its website that forces from neighbouring Gulf nations were expected to send reinforcements to Bahrain to bolster security forces.

Shiites, who account for 70% of the population, have long complained of systematic discrimination by the Sunni dynasty that has ruled for more than two centuries.

The grievances include allegations of being blackballed from key government and security posts. They also strongly object to government policies which give citizenship and jobs to Sunnis from other Arab countries and South Asia as a way to offset the Shiites’ demographic edge.

The main opposition groups have called for the Sunni rulers to give up most of their powers to the elected parliament. But, as violence has deepened, many protesters now say they want to topple the entire royal family. Bahrain’s leadership is under intense pressure from other Gulf neighbours, particularly powerful Saudi Arabia, not to give ground.

It was not immediately clear whether Bahrain’s depleted parliament would hold a session to discuss the appeal. The 40-seat chamber is left with only pro-government politicians after 18 opposition members resigned to protest violence against demonstrators.

The statement urged King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to take action “at this critical moment after the opposition parties refused all calls to restore calm and defuse tensions and engage in a multiparty national dialogue”.

Low Level Radiation After Second Blast at Fukushima Nuke Plant

Low Level Radiation After Japan Plant Blast

WKRC-TV, Cincinnati

SOMA, Japan (AP) — The second hydrogen explosion in three days rocked Japan’s stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant Monday, sending a massive column of smoke into the air and wounding 11 workers. Hours later, the U.S. said it had shifted its offshore forces away from the plant after detecting low-level radioactive contamination.

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan was about 100 miles offshore when it detected the radiation, which U.S. officials said was about the same as one month’s normal exposure to natural background radiation in the environment. It was not clear if the radiation had leaked during Monday’s explosion. That blast was felt 25 miles away, but the plant’s operator said radiation levels at the reactor were still within legal limits.

The explosion at the plant’s Unit 3, which authorities have been frantically trying to cool after a system failure in the wake of Friday’s massive earthquake and tsunami, triggered an order for hundreds of people to stay indoors, said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano. The two disasters left at least 10,000 people dead. Operators knew an explosion was a possibility as they struggled to reduce pressure inside the reactor containment vessel, but apparently felt they had no choice if they wanted to avoid a complete meltdown. In the end, the hydrogen in the released steam mixed with oxygen in the atmosphere and set off the blast.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the plant, said radiation levels at Unit 3 were well under the levels where a nuclear operator must file a report to the government. A similar explosion occurred Saturday at the plant’s Unit 1, injuring four workers and causing mass evacuations. Shortly after Monday’s explosion, Tokyo Electric warned it had lost the ability to cool Unit 2. Takako Kitajima, a company official, said plant workers were preparing to inject seawater into the unit to cool the reactor, a move that could lead to an explosion there as well.

The Unit 3 reactor’s inner containment vessel holding nuclear rods was intact, Edano said, allaying some fears of the risk to the environment and public. TV footage of the building housing the reactor appeared to show damage similar to Saturday’s blast, with outer walls shorn off, leaving only a skeletal frame. More than 180,000 people have evacuated the area in recent days, and up to 160 may have been exposed to radiation – pouring misery onto those already devastated by the twin disasters.

While Japan has aggressively prepared for years for major earthquakes, reinforcing buildings and running drills, the impact of the tsunami – which came so quickly that not many people managed to flee to higher ground – was severe. By Monday, officials were clearly overwhelmed by the scale of the crisis, with millions of people having spent three nights without water, food or heat in near-freezing temperatures. At least 1.4 million households had gone without water since the quake struck and some 1.9 million households were without electricity. Officials in one devastated town said they were running out of body bags.

Officials have declared states of emergency at six Fukushima reactors, where Friday’s twin disasters knocked out the main cooling systems and backup generators. Three are at Dai-ichi and three at the nearby Fukushima Daini complex. Most attention, though, has been focused on Dai-ichi units 1 and 3, where operators have been funneling in seawater in a last-ditch measure to cool the reactors. A complete meltdown – the melting of the radioactive core – could release radioactive contaminants into the environment and pose major, widespread health risks. Edano said no Fukushima reactor was near that point, and he was confident of escaping the worst scenarios.

International scientists say there are serious dangers but little risk of a Chernobyl-style catastrophe. Chernobyl, they note, had no outer containment shell. “The likelihood there will be a huge fire like at Chernobyl or a major environmental release like at Chernobyl, I think that’s basically impossible,” said James F. Stubbins, a nuclear energy professor at the University of Illinois. But despite official assurances, many residents expressed fear over the situation. “First I was worried about the quake,” said Kenji Koshiba, a construction worker who lives near the plant. “Now I’m worried about radiation.” He spoke at an emergency center in Koriyama, about 40 miles (60 kilometers) from the most troubled reactors and 125 miles north of Tokyo. Overall, more than 1,500 people had been scanned for radiation exposure in the area, officials said.

The U.N. nuclear agency said a state of emergency was also declared Sunday at another complex, the Onagawa power plant, after higher-than-permitted levels of radiation were measured there. It said Japan informed it that all three of those reactors there were under control. Four nuclear complexes in northeastern Japan have reported some damage from the quake or the tsunami.

Meanwhile, rescue workers used chain saws and hand picks Monday to dig out bodies in Japan’s devastated coastal towns, as Asia’s richest nation faced a mounting humanitarian, nuclear and economic crisis in the aftermath of a massive earthquake and tsunami that likely killed thousands.

A Japanese police official said 1,000 washed up bodies were found scattered Monday across the coastline of Miyagi prefecture. The official declined to be named, citing department policy. The discovery raised the official death toll to about 2,800 but the Miyagi police chief has said that more than 10,000 people are estimated to have died in his province alone, which has a population of 2.3 million.

Friday’s double-headed tragedy has caused unimaginable deprivation for people of this industrialized country that has not seen such hardships since World War II. In many areas there is no running water, no power and four- to five-hour waits for gasoline. People are suppressing hunger with instant noodles or rice balls while dealing with the loss of loved ones and homes. “People are surviving on little food and water. Things are simply not coming,” said Hajime Sato, a government official in Iwate prefecture, one of the three hardest hit. He said authorities were receiving just 10 percent of the food and other supplies they need. Even body bags and coffins are running so short the government may turn to foreign funeral homes for help, he said. “We have requested funeral homes across the nation to send us many body bags and coffins. But we simply don’t have enough,” he told The Associated Press. “We just did not expect such a thing to happen. It’s just overwhelming.”

The pulverized coast has been hit by more than 150 aftershocks since Friday, the latest one a 6.2 magnitude quake that was followed by a new tsunami scare Monday. Abandoning their search operations, soldiers told residents of the devastated shoreline in Soma, the worst hit town in Fukushima prefecture, to run to higher ground. Sirens wailed and soldiers barked out orders: “Find high ground! Get out of here!” Several uniformed soldiers were seen leading an old woman up a muddy hillside. The warning turned out to be a false alarm.

Search parties arrived in Soma for the first time since Friday to dig out bodies. Ambulances stood by and body bags were laid out in an area cleared of debris, as firefighters used hand picks and chain saws to clear an indescribable jumble of broken timber, plastic sheets, roofs, sludge, twisted cars, tangled powerlines and household goods. Helicopters buzzed overhead, surveying the destruction that spanned the horizon. Ships were flipped over near roads, a half mile inland. Officials said one-third of the city of 38,000 people was flooded and thousands were missing.

According to officials, more than 2,800 people have been confirmed dead – including the 1,000 bodies found Monday – and more than 1,400 were missing. Another 1,900 were injured. “I’m giving up hope,” said Hajime Watanabe, 38, a construction industry worker, who was the first in line at a closed gas station in Sendai, about 60 miles north of Soma. Just then, an emergency worker came over and told him that if the station opens at all, it would pump gasoline only to emergency teams and essential government workers. “I never imagined we would be in such a situation” Watanabe said. “I had a good life before. Now we have nothing. No gas, no electricity, no water.” He said he was surviving with his family on 60 half-liter bottles of water his wife had stored in case of emergencies like this. He walked two hours to find a convenience store that was open and waited in line to buy dried ramen noodles.

The government has sent 100,000 troops to spearhead the aid effort. It has sent 120,000 blankets, 120,000 bottles of water and 29,000 gallons of gasoline plus food to the affected areas. However electricity would take days to restore. At least 1.4 million households had gone without water since the quake struck and some 1.9 million households were without electricity. According to public broadcaster NHK, some 310,000 people are living in emergency shelters or with relatives. Another 24,000 people are stranded, it said.

Japan’s central bank injected 15 trillion yen (US$184 billion) into money markets Monday to stem worries about the world’s third-largest economy. Stocks fell Monday on the first business day after the disasters. The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average shed nearly 634 points, or 6.2 percent, to 9,620.49, extending losses from Friday. Escalating concerns over the fallout of the disaster triggered a plunge that hit all sectors. The broader Topix index lost 7.5 percent. Japan’s economy has been ailing for 20 years, barely managing to eke out weak growth between slowdowns. It is saddled by a massive public debt that, at 200 percent of gross domestic product, is the biggest among industrialized nations.

Preliminary estimates put repair costs from the earthquake and tsunami in the tens of billions of dollars – a huge blow for an already fragile economy that lost its place as the world’s No. 2 to China last year.

 

[The following response is given by alleged map source. Still checking...]

Predicted Nuclear Fallout Map for Fukushima Meltdown–(updated by alleged Map Source)

[The following response is given by alleged map source.  Still checking...]

Map a hoax; situation real…

3/12/11Dear Readers,

See below for a good explanation regarding the fallout map I recently used in a You-Tube video. It was fake. I had received the map from several sources this morning. I apologize for the error.

The question remains: How many Americans might die if the jet stream carries a large plume of radioactive cesium, strontium, and other crud across the oceans and dumps them upon us? Thousands? Tens of thousands? If a full-scale meltdown occurs, millions could die in Japan. At least one partial melting of the fuel rods apparently already has occurred — possibly two — and there may be as many as five separate reactors in severe trouble at the moment.

Tens of billions of Curies of poison might be released in the next few days, and perhaps millions already have been. Untreated sea water is being pumped through at least one reactor, poisoning billions of gallons of water as it cools the reactor.

The danger from nuclear power is very, very real, and the danger to Americans from this incident is very real, too. Fool me once… uh, you know how it goes…. even if George doesn’t!

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

The author’s been had once or twice before…

——————————————————————-

From:

 

Millions Of Americans Will Not Be Killed By Nuclear Fallout In Two Weeks…

The Orstrahyun – March 13, 2011 – 4:01am

Millions Of Americans Will Not Be Killed By Nuclear Fallout In Two Weeks, It’s Just A Fake Map

By Darryl Mason

Australian Radiation Services finds itself inadvertently caught up in a fast spreading online hoax, following the unnerving explosion at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, after yesterday’s 8.9 earthquake and 10 metre tsunami.

This is the hoax :

The authorative looking logo was stolen from here :

The Nuclear Fallout Map is fake simply because Australian Radiation Services don’t issue such maps. It was likely chosen before ARS offices are closed until Monday, as they are most weekends.

This unsourced and likely dodgy chart (nausia?) is being heavily circulated, on social networking sites, forums and email, along with the fake Nuclear Fallout Map :
0-50 rads – No obvious short-term effects

80-120 rads – You have a 10% chance of vomiting and experiencing nausia for a few days

130 -170 rads – You have a 25% chance of vomiting and contracting other symptoms

180-220 rads – You have a 50% chance of vomiting and having other severe physical effects

270-330 rads – 20% chance of death in 6 weeks, or you will recover in a few months.

400-500 rads – 50% chance of death

550-750 rads – Nausia within a few hours ; no survivors

The fake map shows a huge nuclear fallout cloud of 750 rads engulfing millions of Americans by March 22. So, if you were a West Coast living American, the fake map and the above numbers might lead you to believe you and all your family and neighbours will be dying within 6 to 10 days.

But there are some interesting things happening on social networking sites and public online forums about that map.

First off, there are thousands of people on Twitter and Facebook shouting down claims this Nuclear Fallout Map is the real deal and pointing out exposure to 750 rads will not “cause nausia within a few hours; no survivors”.

Also, discussion pages, linked in Google search to ‘Nuclear Fallout Map, claiming the map is very, very real and The Truth Is Being Suppressed By The Media are disappearing or turning up blank. Google also appears to be jigging their search results so searches for the map will expose users to sites pointing out its utter fakeness.

But at the same time, at least a few dozen Twitter spam accounts (fake accounts pumping exact same tweet & link) are busily flogging the Nuclear Fallout Map, also claiming it’s very, very real, and the truth is being suppressed, presumably aiming to spread panic in the United States. Most of these fake accounts only became active shortly after the fake Nuclear Fallout Map started circulating online.

It would seem that someone more powerful than a fukwit photoshopping hoaxer and his friends want the Nuclear Fallout Map to be viewed as a horrifying reality.

Who would want to do this? Who benefits?

Of course, attention and discussion focusing on the Nuclear Fallout Map hoax distracts many from the real truth about the Japan earthquakes, and particularly the quakes that seemed to be closing in on the Fukushima plant, and this real truth needs to be immediately revealed.

Here it is :

Al Gore used his earthquake machine to destroy the Fukushima plant and paranoid up the whole world about nuclear energy so everyone turns to alternative energy instead.

You know it, I know, but most importantly, Al Gore knows it. And now he knows you know!

Anyway, James Bond villianish conspiracy theories aside, the real truth about the March 11 Japan earthquake is this is turning out to be the worst, the most deadly, most devastating, in modern Japanese history.

Cities, towns, tens of thousands of people swept away. A disaster now of a scale beyond the imaginations even of Japanese disaster management specialists, the most earthquake paranoid people on the planet, who seem mostly stunned, broken, dazed, at press conferences. Who can blame them. The massive earthquake and horrifically devastating repeat tsunamis are beyond the worst scenarios ever workshopped or modeled, a surreal nightmare has become their reality.

The death toll may climb to over 30,000 within days, and top 100,000 within a few weeks.

At this moment, there are at least 1300 Australians visiting or living in Japan who are unaccounted for. This number is likely to fall as communications are restored.

 

“Al-CIAda” Leader Adds Credence to the “Al-Qaeda” Invading Libya Story

Al-Qaida commander calls for Islamic rule in Libya

This image from video provided by the SITE Intelligence Group shows Abu Yahya al-Libi, an official in al-Qaeda's Shariah Committee, addressing Libyans in a video speech released on jihadist forums on Saturday March 12, 2011.
This image from video provided by the SITE Intelligence Group shows Abu Yahya al-Libi, an official in al-Qaeda’s Shariah Committee, addressing Libyans in a video speech released on jihadist forums on Saturday March 12, 2011. (AP Photo/SITE Intelligence Group)
By Maamoun YoussefAssociated Press / March 13, 2011

  • CAIRO—A top Libyan al-Qaida commander has urged his countrymen to overthrow Moammar Gadhafi’s regime and establish Islamic rule, expanding the terror network’s attempts to capitalize on the wave of unrest sweeping the region.
  • Abu Yahia al-Libi, al-Qaida’s Afghanistan commander, said in a video posted on a militant website that after the fall of the regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, it is now Gadhafi’s turn, as rebel fighters there press a nearly monthlong campaign to oust him.

Those nation’s autocratic governments — enemies of Islamic militants — practiced “the worst kind of oppression” with the backing of the West and had failed to heed the lessons of history, he said.

“Now it is the turn of Gadhafi after he made the people of Libya suffer for more than 40 years,” he said, adding that it would bring shame to the Libyan people if the strongman were allowed to die a peaceful death.

A transcript of the video was provided Sunday by SITE Intelligence Group, a U.S. organization that monitors militant messages.

Gadhafi has accused al-Qaida of being behind the movement seeking to end his more than 40-year rule, though the rebels have no known links to the terrorist organization. The uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia were similarly driven by widespread popular outrage at corruption, unemployment and limited outlets for political expression, rather than Islamist fervor. Nevertheless, al-Qaida has tried to make gains on the tumult, also urging formation of an Islamic government in Egypt.

Libya’s Gadhafi was once demonized for sponsoring various terrorist groups and attacks like the 1988 Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. But in the late 1990s, the Libyan leader began efforts to emerge from international pariah status and stopped sheltering terrorists.

Gadhafi also crushed his country’s Muslim militants, including those who fought in Afghanistan alongside Osama bin Laden, and banned clergymen from expressing political opinions in their Friday sermons. Gadhafi has also helped the U.S. track al-Qaida and other terrorism suspects in the region.

Since then, top al-Qaida figures have routinely targeted him in their video and audio recordings.

Al-Libi said ousting Western-backed Arab regimes was “a step to reach the goal of every Muslim, which is to make the word of Allah the highest” and establish Islamic rule.

The al-Qaida commander, whose nom de guerre is Arabic for “the Libyan,” rose to prominence in the terror group after escaping from the U.S. military prison at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan in 2005.

He is believed by Western and Afghan intelligence to have run training camps for suicide bombers and fighters in eastern Afghanistan along the border with Pakistan. Afghan police said at the time of his escape that his real name is Abulbakar Mohammed Hassan and that he is a Libyan.

The authenticity of his 31-minute video could not be verified, but it was produced by As-Sahab, the media wing of al-Qaida, and posted late Saturday on militant websites.

He also criticized the United States, asking how it could ultimately voice support for the uprisings after having backed the regimes they toppled.

“We have to get rid of our inferiority complex and free ourselves from the West,” he said.

His message came days after a North African offshoot of al-Qaida called on Muslims to support the uprising.

Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb said in a statement posted on a militant website last month that it would do whatever it can to support the revolt against Gadhafi, calling him a “criminal tyrant,” but it gave no specifics.

The group, based in neighboring Algeria, may be seeking to capitalize on the revolt to gain recruits or win support among Libyans.

 

Joe Lieberman Gets One Right: “Put the brakes” on nuclear power plants

“Put the brakes” on nuclear power plants: Lieberman

WASHINGTON | Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:21pm EDT

(Reuters) – The United States should “put the brakes on” new nuclear power plants until fully understanding what happened to the earthquake-crippled nuclear reactors in Japan, the chairman of the U.S. Senate’s homeland security panel said on Sunday.

Engineers in Japan tried on Sunday to avert a meltdown at three nuclear reactors following Friday’s huge earthquake by pumping in cooling seawater after authorities said they assumed that some damage had already occurred.

“I don’t want to stop the building of nuclear power plants,” independent Senator Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said on the CBS program “Face the Nation.”

“But I think we’ve got to kind of quietly put, quickly put the brakes on until we can absorb what has happened in Japan as a result of the earthquake and the tsunami and then see what more, if anything, we can demand of the new power plants that are coming on line,” Lieberman added.

Lieberman, an influential voice in the U.S. Congress on domestic security matters, described himself as a “big supporter of nuclear power because it’s domestic, it’s ours and it’s clean.” He also touted “a good safety record” with nuclear power plants in the United States.

Nuclear power is controversial because of its radioactive waste, which is now stored on site at reactor locations around the country. Remembering the 1979 accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania, many Americans still harbor concerns about nuclear power’s safety.

U.S. President Barack Obama has argued that the United States must increase its supply of nuclear power to meet its energy needs and fight climate change. In February 2010, Obama announced $8.3 billion in loan guarantees to build the first U.S. nuclear power plant in nearly three decades.

The government backing will go to help Southern Co build two reactors at a plant in the U.S. state of Georgia.

Expanding nuclear energy is an area Obama, a Democrat, and Republicans have embraced as a way to generate power and jobs.

Supporters of nuclear power argue that more reactors will be needed for the United States to tackle global warming effectively because nuclear is a much cleaner energy source than coal-fired power plants, which spew greenhouse gases.

Lieberman noted there are 104 nuclear power plants in the United States, and that about 23 of them are built according to designs similar to the nuclear power plants in Japan that are now the focus of the world’s concern.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is actively reviewing 12 combined license applications from 11 companies and consortia for 20 nuclear power plants, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry trade group.

“Since Three Mile Island, we upgraded safety standards for our nuclear power plants, and right now no plant can be built unless it can withstand the known highest earthquake in that geographic area plus some margin of safety,” Lieberman said.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” urged a cautious approach.

“I don’t think right after a major environmental catastrophe is a very good time to be making American domestic policy. I think we ought to just concentrate on helping the Japanese in any way that we can,” McConnell said.

Democratic Senator Charles Schumer told NBC’s “Meet the Press” the United States still must free itself from dependence on foreign oil for its energy needs. “I’m still willing to look at nuclear. As I’ve always said, it has to be done safely and carefully,” Schumer said.

Friday’s earthquake knocked out the back-up cooling systems at stricken reactors in Fukushima prefecture north of Tokyo, causing a build-up of heat and pressure that probably damaged but had not yet destroyed some fuel rods.

(Reporting by Will Dunham; editing by John Whitesides)

 

Protesters clash with police in Bahrain

Over 800 injured in Bahrain political clashesUSA Today – ‎53 minutes ago‎MANAMA, Bahrain – Hundreds of people were injured in violent clashes Sunday between protesters and armed civilians backed by police in this small island nation

Japan Uses Controverisal Nuke Fuel–(repost)

6 11 2009

[If the only country in the world to experience the generational curse caused by two radiation exposures cannot stop this development, then the world will have to deal with a whole new level of radioactive contamination and waste disposal problems in the future.  SEE: Human Health Effects of Radiation

SEE: CHERNOBYL BIRTH DEFECTS]

Japan Uses Controverisal Nuke Fuel

Critics of Weapons-Grade “MOX” Fuel Say It’s Too Volatile and Generates High Amounts of Radioactive Waste

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s nuclear plant is seen in Kashiwazaki, northeastern Japan, July 17, 2007. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s nuclear plant is seen in Kashiwazaki, northeastern Japan, July 17, 2007. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara) (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

(AP) Japan used weapons-grade plutonium to fuel a nuclear power plant Thursday for the first time as part of efforts to boost its atomic energy program.

Kyushu Electric Power Co. said workers fired up the No. 3 reactor at its Genkai plant in the southern prefecture of Saga using MOX fuel – a mixture of plutonium oxide and uranium oxide.

The reactor is scheduled to start generating electricity Monday for a monthlong test run, and then begin full-fledged operations after a final government inspection and approval in early December, company official Futoshi Kai said.

The Genkai plant marks the beginning of Japan’s use of MOX fuel for so-called “pluthermal” power generation, approved by the Cabinet more than a decade ago.

MOX fuel is a central element of Japan’s plans to reduce its dependence on energy imports. Supporters say nuclear power is a viable clean energy that will support global efforts against climate change because it is essentially carbon-free.

Critics say MOX is too volatile and produces highly radioactive waste. Dozens of protesters rallied outside the government office in Saga on Thursday, raising safety concerns about the use of plutonium-based fuel.

Saga Gov. Yasushi Furukawa said he reminded Kyushu Electric to give safety top priority, and promised local residents that officials would closely monitor plant operations.

Japan, which now relies on nuclear plants for a third of its electricity needs, aims to raise that to nearly 40 percent in 2010. The government has said it hopes to convert as many as 18 nuclear reactors that now use more common uranium to those that use MOX.

The Japanese public, however, has grown increasingly wary of the nuclear power industry following a spate of safety problems, shutdowns and cover-ups.