Shadows of Nuclear War

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With each day that passes, the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict is assuming ugly proportions and there are apprehensions that if timely steps are not taken, the present conflict will engulf the entire region in a conflagration that would, then, radically transform into the global military and strategic scenario.

To worsen matters, the current alarming situation would lead to a nuclear holocaust, thus threatening the entire world peace.

Israel’s made race to develop its nuclear arsenal has robbed the region of its peace of mind.

The sole superpower, America is in full knowledge of Israel’s nefarious designs.

But makes no effort to stop to from its aggressive posture. Ironically, these are the same American “moralists” who had virtually decimated Iraq during the Gulf war on the pretext of stopping it from going nuclear beyond doubt, America exercises different moral standards for different nations.

As regards its attitude towards Muslim countries, it is downright hostile and inimical.

There is a general feeling of restlessness and agitation among Saudi rulers. They apprehend that the current Middle East crisis might end up in a general war.

Seeing that President Clinton has sold his soul to the Zionist lobby circles in the United States and Israel, Saudi rulers are now fast losing their faith in the American leadership.

Now, they are not sure whether the United States would honor their secret treaty obligations to defend their nation or leave them in lurch in the hour of their need.

Saudi rulers and other Arab leaders are now thoroughly convinced that in case of a break up of war, United States would surely stand by Israel, thus endangering their security and freedom.

According to all calculations, United States would go all out to help Israel even if it choose to use nuclear weapons in contravention of its moral and legal obligations.

Now that Israel’s superiority both in the conventional and the nuclear field is fully established, Arab states as well as some Islamic states, have started thinking to shed off their proverbial lethargy and explore all possibilities of gaining access to nuclear technology.

Short of that, they would like to set up “nuclear deterrence” arrangements with nuclear powers, including China, Pakistan, Russia and India.

Although Saudi Arabia has signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty and has given categorical assurance that it would not acquire nuclear weapons.

Nonetheless, it has decided to presume a policy of seeking out deterrence arrangements to ensure our national security dictates.

It will not be out of place to mention here that the Saudis like other Arab countries, are viewing the current Middle East crisis in a broaden perspective.

The West’s economic and financial globalization process has marked its disastrous imprints on all developing nations.

As a result, even Saudi rulers whose docility towards America, has been universally acknowledged, now stand thoroughly disillusioned with the United States.

They are now openly criticizing the US role in maintaining peace in the Middle East and are asking Americans to change their ways with the Israelis to guarantee a just and comprehensive solution.

They have also called upon the Arab countries to sink their mutual differences, close their ranks and be prepared to affect a comprehensive boycott of Israel, if it continued to flout basic norms of justice.

Of late, Israel’s nuclear arsenal has been substantially activated with the arrival of Tekuma submarines.

Now under the changed circumstances, Israel’s nuclear option has undergone a major transformation from its “bomb in the basement” policy of late 1960s and early 1970s.

Although, Israel tends to maintain a policy of “nuclear ambiguity”, it is now no longer a secret that it has developed its own nuclear triad of bombers, rockets and submarines for its estimated 100 – 200 devices.

Also, it is believed to be maintaining several squadrons of state-of-the-art aircraft, including F-15-E, which are capable of delivering nuclear weapons. It also maintains a variety of launch vehicles, which include the Jericho-I and Jericho-II missiles.

The former has a range of 500 km and the latter the range of 1500-4000 km, and it is capable of hitting the target in the former Soviet Union. In addition, Israel has the theoretical capability to deliver a nuclear weapon to even greater distance, through conversion of its own satellite launch vehicles.

With the recent acquisition of three Dolphine-class submarines, it has developed a “second strike” capability thus completing its triad” (Dean Andromides-EIR 10th December 2000).

Dean Andromides further reveals that in January 2000, Israel had asked the United States for 50 Tom-hawk cruise missiles.

This request was turned down on the plea that the only cost effective use for the missile was to arm it with nuclear weapons.

This refusal, however, did not deter the Israelis.

Who, instead, developed other options, including a US submarine-launched Harpoon missile with a range of 80 miles.

They modified it so as to carry a nuclear warhead.

There were also indications that Israel had modified its own Popeye Turbo air-launched cruise missile for launch from submarines.

Andromides further adds that on 18 June the London Sunday Times reported that Israel had test-fired a submarine launch cruise missile off the coast of Sri Lanka from a Dolphine-class submarine, reportedly with a range of 15,00 km.

If true, the question is: are the cruise missiles being deployed as a deterrent, or as a first strike capability against the world’s only “Islamic bomb” that of Pakistan, or some other nations.

It is rather too naéve to view Israel’s nuclear doctrine as simply a regional deterrent against its Arab adversaries.

In fact, it is a double-edged weapon.

In the first instance, it threatens its immediate neighbor, and then tends to intimidate countries of the region as well.

If the activation of Israel’s nuclear option is true, which in all probability it is, then surely the decision could not have been made simply by “the government of the day”.

In fact, it must have required a political-military consensus that must have gone beyond the decision of the prime minister’s cabinet.

Some months back, in an interview during the official visit to London, the then Israel’s foreign Minister Shlomon Ben had cautioned Europe of the danger of a regional war, by appealing to them to restrain Yasser Arafat from declaring an independent Palestinian state.

While warning the Europeans not to support a Palestinian unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, he is on record having said that, “we will be obliged to take measures of defensive disengagement in case the Palestinian declare unilaterally.

A unilateral declaration means you signal the end of the peace process-nothing binds us any more”.

Viewed in this backdrop, it seems that the peace process and the negotiated settlement are literally in a state of shamble.

In case, this downward trend is not checked in true, a situation may emerge in the Middle East in which the axioms of war will replace all hopes of peace and tranquility in the region.

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