Saturday, October 28, 2006

Actually Using Nuclear Weapons

While the world, led by an American push, concerns itself with relatively primitive tests of a nuclear device by North Korea - home of the plastic submarine - and Iran's development of nuclear energy, Israel actually uses nuclear weapons. Robert Fisk in The Independent:

We know that the Israelis used American "bunker-buster" bombs on Hizbollah's Beirut headquarters. We know that they drenched southern Lebanon with cluster bombs in the last 72 hours of the war, leaving tens of thousands of bomblets which are still killing Lebanese civilians every week. And we now know - after it first categorically denied using such munitions - that the Israeli army also used phosphorous bombs, weapons which are supposed to be restricted under the third protocol of the Geneva Conventions, which neither Israel nor the United States have signed.

But scientific evidence gathered from at least two bomb craters in Khiam and At-Tiri, the scene of fierce fighting between Hizbollah guerrillas and Israeli troops last July and August, suggests that uranium-based munitions may now also be included in Israel's weapons inventory - and were used against targets in Lebanon. According to Dr Chris Busby, the British Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, two soil samples thrown up by Israeli heavy or guided bombs showed "elevated radiation signatures". Both have been forwarded for further examination to the Harwell laboratory in Oxfordshire for mass spectrometry - used by the Ministry of Defence - which has confirmed the concentration of uranium isotopes in the samples.

Dr Busby's initial report states that there are two possible reasons for the contamination. "The first is that the weapon was some novel small experimental nuclear fission device or other experimental weapon (eg, a thermobaric weapon) based on the high temperature of a uranium oxidation flash ... The second is that the weapon was a bunker-busting conventional uranium penetrator weapon employing enriched uranium rather than depleted uranium." A photograph of the explosion of the first bomb shows large clouds of black smoke that might result from burning uranium.


MT said...

Maybe it's just a Jed Clampett kind of thing. You know, "and a' up from the ground came a radioactive crude..." Some Lebanese farmer is sitting on an untapped vein of uranium?

helmut said...

Funny. Texas Tea.

Anonymous said...

Most likely depleted uranium used for its great mass. In other words, conventional munitions with uranium instead of lead.

I wouldn't rule out some misreading of an instrument or sheer propaganda, either.


helmut said...

Thanks, Cheryl. I knew I could count on you.