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Ear to the Ground

Having Your Bomb and Eating It Too

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Posted on Mar 2, 2007
H-Bomb
ucar.edu

For the first time in two decades, the United States will produce a new design of the hydrogen bomb. The weapon is meant to ease insecurities caused by the aging of America’s nuclear arsenal but probably will be a mortal blow to the administration’s credibility as it attempts to deter other countries from building nuclear weapons.


Los Angeles Times:

The contract decision was made by the Nuclear Weapons Council, which consists of officials from the Defense Department and the National Nuclear Security Administration, part of the Energy Department. Plans were underway Thursday to announce the award this afternoon.

The nuclear administration will issue the contract and run the program.

The cost of the development is secret, though outside experts said it would cost billions of dollars—perhaps tens of billions—to develop the bomb, build factories to restart high-volume weapons production and then assemble the weapons.

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By Fred, March 5, 2007 at 9:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bottom line:

The world no longer trusts anything coming out of the US.

The US is controlled by Vested interests, MONEY!  It is not controlled by it’s people and their good will!

The US does not graciously spread “democracy” about the world, it extends it’s economic influence and creates markets for itself, out of vested self interest - this is better known as Imperialism.

US media is the complicit mouthpiece doing the bidding of the Vested interest spin masters. They have done an admirable job of mesmerizing the US citizen into believing they are always the good guys.

The only way out of this mess is to stop allowing vested interest to pay for election campaigns and thus stop owning politicians.

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By Christopher Robin, March 4, 2007 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“This Bizarro world of Bush & Co must be brought to a swift and final end.  You weenie Democrats need to not only put impeachment on the table, but you need to serve it up promptly and decisively before these bellicose morons destroy us all. “ -TexasGreen

I agree, except the Democratic party is disorganized as usual, and can’t coalesce around a common objective. This is due in part, because of the divide between the Wall Street dems “New Democrats” who continue to provide cover/aid for the establishment’s policies.

There is talk of a break and progressive democrats (old democrats) and the top down power structure, money dems. This might be difficult development in the short term, but better in the long term. If we want a Democratic party with a backbone and to counter the insane policies of the right. 

The progressives are talking of breaking with their leadership by offering amendments on to budget bills that would force representatives to vote one way or the other.

Example: Funding for the Iraq war. They are considering adding a amendment to only provide funding for the purposes of bringing the troops home. Forcing a vote on such a proposal will smoke out the enablers from those who wish a policy change. We’ll see how Reid tries to paper over that one!

Maybe if the party split?, it would remove the cover and utility from the “New dems” using the progressive base as a cover. These “New Democrats” would then have to stand alone with their mealy mouthed, spineless half-measured policies alone.

Not automatically inherit a mantle of a party that was once the champion of the average person.

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By Lefty, March 4, 2007 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think “weapons of mass destruction” and “mushroom cloud” followed by the Downing Street Memo, already dealt a mortal blow to the veracity of anything Bush or Cheney will ever utter for the rest of their regrettable, stinking lives.

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By Dale Headley, March 4, 2007 at 10:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The world (other than America) is not stupid.  It sees the hideous hypocrisy this reveals in all it starkness.

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By Fadel Abdallah, March 3, 2007 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“...but probably will be a mortal blow to the administration’s credibility as it attempts to deter other countries from building nuclear weapons.”
=======================
It is funny the way this statement was phrased, as if this administration has left the U.S. with any credibility to fear loosing. What this administration has done and what Americans collectively have failed to start correcting after the so-called Democrate’s regaining control in Congress following the last election will go down in history as the first serious prelude for the demise of the U.S. The damage done is so serious and so deep that short of a new national revolution to bring the evil doers to justice, the U.S. stands no chance to recover.

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By TexasGreen, March 3, 2007 at 4:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If it wasn’t before (and there is a lot of evidence to that effect) it is now obvious that the leaders of this country have gone completely insane.  We already have enough atomic weaponry to destroy the planet many times over.  How is it possible that anyone in their right mind could suggest that we need more? 

This Bizarro world of Bush & Co must be brought to a swift and final end.  You weenie Democrats need to not only put impeachment on the table, but you need to serve it up promptly and decisively before these bellicose morons destroy us all. 

The fact is the world needs to dismantle the “nukular” arsenal that already exists, not start adding newer and scarier weapons to it. 

Just when you think these crazies cannot possibly top what they’ve already done, they manage to outdo themselves. 

I truly believe that BushCo’s greatest strength is their capacity to astonish.  No one can ever quite comprehend just how arrogant and unhinged they really are.

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By NathanHale, March 3, 2007 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Better to build (replace) state of the art steel mills, chip plants and other strategic industries which were sold and sent overseas.  The return on the money spent would be much greater and would do more to enhance national security.

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By vet240, March 3, 2007 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is yet another example of the insanity of the Military/Industrial complex.

The world has proven many times that possessing Nuclear weapons has little or no effect on international relations.

North Vietnam fought on even with the very real threat of Nuclear intervention by the U.S. (the issue was on Nixons table).

Iraqi insurgents continue to defy our intervention in their internal affairs. There is no doubt in my mind that the Iraqis will settle their affairs eventually without our input, and it doesn’t matter how long we stay. How can they continue to fight knowing we possess both Strategic and field tactical weapons?

America cannot afford these useless weapons. The argument that they deter some unknown enemy from conducting a Nuclear attack on us doesn’t wash either. You simple have to look at our import sources to realize that an attack on us would have devastating results on the entire worlds economy, including the attackers economy.

In 2005 our GDP was valued at 12.5 Trillion dollars, our imports were valued at over 1.5 Trillion dollars. China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Japan, Germany and Mexico among our most prolific suppliers.

I can’t think of any country (other than our own) that has launched a pre-emptive attack in recent history.

Somehow, we the people have to force a re-direction of our nations policies toward the real dangers we face such as Global warming and population control. Building bombs won’t save us from these issues.

Pouring our limited wealth into weapons systems reduces our ability to answer real time emergencies such as disaster assistance (Katrina), health care, and the environment.

It can stop one or two ways. We can demand a change in priorities by forcing Congress to listen to us instead of the weapons manufacturors and weapons scientists now, or we can set back and simply wait for the axe to fall.

I see a picture in the not-to-distant future of weapons factories and storage facilities slowly rusting over because our government (we the people), simply have run our to funds to make or maintain any more (remember The Soviet Union?).

If I were a foreigner who hated America I would rub my hands with glee when I heard they (the US) was spending their wealth on huge weapons systems instead of on smaller, cheaper, more agile defense systems that I might have to face.

I would imagine a foreign fighter against the “Satan Ameerica”, believes he can win with a $300 AK47, some recycled high explosives (probably manufactured in America), and a couple of old cell phones.

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By james dilligaf, March 3, 2007 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

But we’ll never have the balls to use it, even if we’re bombed first. Thank you PC assholes.

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By Carl Baydala, March 3, 2007 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Leadership by example.  That’s the way to go.  Build a bigger and better nuclear weapon than the other guys.

This is the same mentality that drives the business community as well.  Bigger and bigger salaries for the executives, while at the same time drive the poor masses into the poor house or make them slaves.

Some people are better than others and deserve more. This attitude shows up in all policy as one can easily see.

But, anyway if they spent as much money upgrading the political/electoral system maybe I would be impressed. I suppose it is a matter of priorities isn’t it?

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By felicity, March 3, 2007 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chances are that between now and Jan ‘09, Bush etal will manage to “award” big-time those who put them in office.  The military/industrial complex, which includes big energy, will profit beyond their wildest dreams. 

Looking back, history (if history still exists) will see a common thread woven throughout this administration’s rule - foreign and domestic policies designed and carried out with the goal of enriching a select group of people.  Certainly not unusual as histories of other countries go - millenia of kings, emperors, satraps, czars and overlords milking their countries and populace to enrich themselves.

Further assaults on our treasure could be stopped, or at least slowed down, but apparently those who could do so - members of Congress and the Executive Branch - are part of the pillaging crowd.

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By John Weinell, March 3, 2007 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re “U.S. to develop new hydrogen bomb,” March 1: Absolute insanity. Our madman president threatens war with Iran over their nuclear program and then authorizes the secret expenditure of tens of billions of dollars to build a new generation of hydrogen bombs. The Natural Resources Defense Counsel estimates the U.S. currently has 5,735 active nuclear warheads. Is the ability to render this planet lifeless (except for cockroaches) somehow insufficient deterrence? Congress must stop funding for this reckless and unnecessary overkill. Congress should also impeach the madman before he decides to preemptively nuke some innocent nation.

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By Quy Tran, March 3, 2007 at 10:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How could we deter other countries not to produce nuclear weapons ?

This is a biggest “BLOW JOB” diplomatic program Bush/Cheney/Rice are doing. They only know how to satisfy themselves by masturbing together and left the whole civilized world behind.

This is also a push North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, India…..trying harder in producing weapons mass destruction.

This criminal administration is also hypocritical
dynasty with bunch of “loose virtue sub-humans”.

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By Hank Van den Berg, March 3, 2007 at 8:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Clearly, nothing has changed in the administration.  Intimidate, threaten, ostinately continue with aggressive in-your-face policies even when they do not work, conduct hollow public relations claiming that is not what you are doing, then intimidate some more, threaten some more, obstinately continue with the same in-your-face policies…

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By James Yell, March 3, 2007 at 7:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Of course, it is hypocritical that we try to block other nations from having nuclear weapons, at the same time we have an administration that has started a preemptive attack on a nation innocent of any real threat to this country.

And, in any case, there is an old Greek Story which covers the dynamics of the nuclear problem. It is the story of Pandora, she took the lid off the box that held all the worlds sorrows and once that was done they could not be put back into the box.

It is too clear to anyone who isn’t lying that our interests in not allowing the spread of nuclear weapons (about as effective as our war on drugs)is bound up with our own wish(I only say “our” on the fiction that we elected Bush/Cheney to be goons in chief)  to be the only Bully on the block.

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By Bert, March 3, 2007 at 7:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I count myself an independent, because I believe that the basic concepts and principles inherent to the idea of independence are fundamentally sound. If you have the capacity as a person to live largely as the farmers that helped found our country used to do, produce your own food, build and maintain your own shelter in the manner of your choosing, not beholden to any financial institution, liable for your own mistakes(Darwin’s a Real Bastard, that way), and independent, meaning ‘not reliant’ on external support of any kind, then you have truly realized what can only be described as the core of the pioneers’ dream, namely to tell(politely or otherwise) various and sundry would-be august bodies to take their high-handed social manipuleering crap and stuff it where the sun does not shine.

I think the federal budget should be slashed to the bone, multitudinous little programs permanently abolished, the rights of property owners amended and improved, deficit spending should be outlawed, our borders lawfully and effectively enforced, and other countries who would willingly and perpetually parasite themselves off of the United States to kindly join the above-mentioned parties in their stuffing endeavors. We, The People, are not required to continually and perpetually sacrifice both blood and treasure for those who are ungrateful, to say the least, and those that’ve ingratiated themselves deeply into our governmental system for the sake of financial and political gain should probably consider themselves to be ‘on official notice’ that we’re tired of their shit, and people serving two countries should likewise be re-evaluating their
various and respective allegiances. We have one flag, one language, one country, there’s 193 others out there that really need to pull their socks up. Solving the rest of the world’s problems may seem like a noble concept, but at the end of the day it really boils down to the same tired bullshit story that gets repeated every election year, and the game has changed, dynamics and new realities have manifested themselves that need to be continually and publicly addressed. Rather than silencing the new-age digital Paul Reveres out there, more and more people should commence studying What’s Really Going On, Here, and avail themselves of as many facts as are available on such subjects, and make their own independent evaluations and give commentary of their own based on same. In other words, don’t take my word for it, don’t adopt my views, walk your own path and speak to what you believe is ‘truth’, and hold forth at length. Take your own 10 minutes on the proverbial soap-box, and speak out. Keep it polite whenever possible as between Ladies and Gentlemen, but also honest. Things have gone on in our country for decades, that fully merit some serious study, such as American Standard Oil, which was one of the under-published and poorly remembered ‘componements’ of the Vietnam War,
and today their idiot redheaded stepchildren prepare to burn down yet another foreign country in the quest for their mineral resources.
Rather than another penny for defense, we should spend what national treasure as shall be determined to have remained after all of this on full-bore energy efficiency, crash programs such as hosted by http://www.apolloalliance.org as well as other websites, read about E85 if you haven’t already done so, but also by promoting such concepts and initiatives throughout the country at all our institutions of higher learning nationwide. A vote for green-tech and 24/7 public accountability is a vote for America, not the 20th century that we’ve now left behind 6 years ago, but the ‘way forward’ that is much-needed for not only our country, but the rest of the world as well. Nuff said. Well, probably not, but my fingers are tired.

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By Bert, March 3, 2007 at 7:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ok, censorship is rearing its’ ugly head, so this just became a 2-parter:

Part I


No nukes. That’s what’s been said for the last 20-30 years, but the Strangelovian horsecrap that’s gone on around the world, not just in our country, but around the world, needs to be taken issue with.

War really doesn’t decide who’s right, it just decides who’s left walking around to argue about it. Nuclear war is ‘fast, fast results’, same-day ‘victory’, but it doesn’t really solve much.
The last memorable global ‘nookulur’ pissing contest was when JFK faced down Nikita Khruschev in the cuban missile crisis. What has changed since those days? What, indeed…the Chair Force stands by, religious literature in one hand, finger on the button, ready to do…what?

9/11, no matter whodunit, was the seminal event that precipitated the War On Terror, and the cynical mind is quick to point out what amounts to deliberate negligence here and there, as well as the consequent screwups, maladministration/poor oversight of things like our borders, you’d have thought that would have been a no-brainer, and since then the war machine’s been running full-out…but ultimately to what end? So that our country can continue to play Global Cop, to intervene in multitudinous mini-wars in deliberate half-assed fashion, for all perpetuity? I object to it, and I think they really really need a top-to-bottom rethink of all matters pertaining to what we call ‘foreign policy’, sometimes the best leadership is providing people the opportunity to solve their own G.D. problems. And, if you wanna get biblical about it, here’s a well-known phrase, ‘give a man a fish, he eats today, teach him how to fish, you’ll never see your boat again’. Well, something like that, but the point is, people that are independent and largely self-sufficient have no need of ‘foreign aid’(there’s a topic you could go on and on about), and become resourceful in and of themselves as(another phrase) ‘necessity is the mother of invention’. And, if not the mother, at least a close relative.
We live in what the chinese would call ‘interesting times’, lots of changes, lots of global pressures, and the internet has brought out a lot of dark and dirty little secrets, and is rapidly paving the path to full public awareness, as-it-happens news, that kind of thing.
It’s also showcased the lack of initiative and apparent incapacity of a lot of the people we keep sending back to Washington again and again to do anything except gorge themselves at the public feed-trough, to say nothing of developing much in the way of capacity for independent or lateral thinking. If all Congress is to be in the future is an army of rubber-stamping yes-men, then it’s small wonder that people hand in votes of no confidence. We deserve better, and should expect more from our elected officials. Our basic national concept is based on the abhorrence of royalty, reference the Boston Tea Party for that back-story, and frankly it’s time to borrow more from Thomas Paine and get ready to have what amounts to the Boston Oil Party. The Republican party, the people that supported Bush unquestioningly on the path to war, and have proven themselves quite willing to sign just about anything Bush throws in front of em, have lost massive credibility as a result, credibility with the voting public that they’re not likely to recover anytime soon, certainly not with me.

Part II follows….

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By Frank, March 3, 2007 at 6:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

American nukes were the worlds #1 source of stability in the west for 50 years, the primary deterrant against Soviet expansion, and the primary reason we had no third World War. The US has never used nuclear weapons in over 50 years since the atomic strike on Japan, used to decisively END the last world war.

Most democratic nations of the world, particularly NATO members,  understand they are safer with a nuclear-armed America.  Building new nukes to replace aging old ones is not proliferation. It is simply maintaining the long-existing existing capability, i.e. the status quo.

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By davr, March 3, 2007 at 5:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This would be funny if it weren’t so tragically dangerous.

I’m a Chemist and Chemical Engineer.  I worked in the defense industry for 30 years.  I speak from some experience.

The Hydrogen bomb is a couple of orders of magnitude more powerful than the Atomic bomb.  The Hydrogen bomb has to be triggered with an Atomic bomb.  The A bomb is the blasting cap
for the H bomb.

After the first Hydrogen bomb was exploded the scientists at the test site told the Army and anyone else who would listen that a Hydrogen bomb explosion could possibly ignite the earths atmosphere causing a catastrophic holocaust that could engulf the entire earth.

One Hydrogen bomb could completely destroy a country the size of Israel.

The mechanics of an H bomb explosion are not precisely understood and are unpredictable.

We are dealing with a very dangerous wild card here and those persons who are responsible for this project are dangerous people.

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By Bert, March 3, 2007 at 3:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One of the great and oft-repeated phrases of the 70’s and 80’s was ‘no nukes’. Frankly, nuclear energy does have the potential to benefit us,
but at no small risk. There are other energy technologies that exist that have the potential to provide our needs(not wants, needs) without
holding the sword of Damocles over everybody’s heads. I read about Chernobyl, that was a really good example of how an ‘oopsie’ can become catastrophic. Compared to something like that happening, ‘retro’ 1800’s-style living is indeed preferable, candles and fireplaces and horses etc.

The Cold War, the great contest between the then-USSR and the west, revolved in part around nuclear power, and nuclear weapons. It was declared ‘over’, but, apparently, here we go again.

As the worlds’ population expands towards an expected 9 billion people in 2020-2040, somewhere in there, and more and more people want energy and resources, competition for all of this will become more and more fierce, and probably violent.
It’s already happened before, resource wars date back to the water wars, the Conquistadors, and before, we kind of have 2 choices, either we get better at providing what we need locally, or look forward to seeing re-runs of Dr. Strangelove, in living color etc. I’d say ‘no nukes’, and let’s see 100’s of billions instead ploughed into green-tech and efficiency concepts. Better that than atomizing half the planet…

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By Matia, March 3, 2007 at 12:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This president has openly referred to nuclear weapons as weapons of mass murder. And he clearly wants to use them on Iran. If he does, he will be a mass murderer, by his own admission. Does anyone out there listen to what these creatures say? Does anyone connect the dots? Not a difficult task in this respect. If you refer to them this way, and you use them, you are a criminal of the worst kind.

Development of any nuclear weapons is a direct violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which this country is a signatory to, and thus that treaty is one of our laws, as defined in our Constitution. I quote…
—————————————————————————
Article VI. - Debts, Supremacy, Oaths

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; AND ALL TREATIES MADE, OR WHICH SHALL BE MADE, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
—————————————————————————
What part of this paragraph from Article VI of the Constitution is vague and ambiguous? Treaties signed, are the supreme law of the land, and violations of said laws are felonies against the Constitution, and the people of the United States.

Violation of the NNPT is an impeachable offense. Violating it, in the building of new nuclear bombs is immoral, unethical, and insane…even if your only goal is profit, which is really what it’s all about.

This country’s power brokers are doing backflips about the manufactured possibility that Iran may someday build a single weapon, and yet we have psychopathic loonies like Bush and Cheney just itching to use the thousands of nukes we have on a hair trigger, wherever and whenever they choose, the Constitution and this nation’s responsibilities to it’s treaty obligations be damned.

Curiously, by the language of the NNPT, Iran is in compliance, and the US, in pursuing new weapons systems, and in not reducing the existing stockpiles of thousands of warheads, is in direct violation of said treaty. Minor point relative to Bushworld, but notable…Iran is in compliance, the United States is not. Who is it that should be punished in this regard? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not Iran….

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By RAE, March 3, 2007 at 12:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There’s just no end to the insanity, is there?

If I were an American citizen I would notify the administration that I will discontinue submitting my taxes until they cease and desist from WASTING my hard earned dollars on such stupidity. Yup… they’d try to haul my ass off to jail but I’d be long gone before they’d get there.

If they ever do develop such a weapon I hope they test it on the maniacs on the “Nuclear Weapons Council, which consists of officials from the Defense Department and the National Nuclear Security Administration.”

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By Christopher Robin, March 2, 2007 at 8:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What are we borrowing from the North Korean school of diplomacy?

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