Thousands of demonstrators had planned a 2 a.m. march to protest Sunday’s crackdown on protesters in Taiz, south of capital Sana’a, that killed two people and injured over a hundred others.
Police fired live rounds and tear gas against the crowd that wounded at least 409 people.
The protesters are demanding the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Salah who has often signaled that he has no intention of resigning soon.
“A successful revolution in Yemen could mean the whole Persian Gulf region erupting into revolution,” Chris Bambery, a Middle East expert, told Press TV on Sunday.
“Yemen has been an important staging post for the Americans … It is one of the major centers of the CIA in the region,” he said.
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is an important ally for the US and the Saudis and they are trying to keep him in power to maintain their control over the Persian Gulf region, the analyst underlined.
Therefore, “There is no attempt [by the West] to reveal the realities of the Saleh regime: the torture, the repression, or the record of the Saudis constantly intervening in Yemen, carrying out bombing missions, etc.” he argued.
Inspired by the protests of Tunisia and Egypt, Yemen has witnessed daily anti-government protest rallies since mid-February, which demand crucial economic and political reforms, including an immediate end to President Saleh’s 33-year rule
Several opposition members argue that his long-promised political and economic reforms have not materialized.
Yesterday’s unprovoked attack on Israeli peace activists falls in line with the army’s strategy of repression of nonviolent resistance by Israelis or Palestinians against Israel’s increasingly violent occupation in the West Bank.
Beit Ummar has been holding weekly demonstrations against the occupation and the confiscation of its lands by neighboring Jewish-only settlements for the past several years. The demonstrations have ranged from calm to deadly with hundreds injured and jailed. Some have even been killed in settler rampages through the village.
Yesterday, a group of Ta’ayush activists were returning to Jerusalem after spending the morning with Palestinian farmers in the South Hebron Hills. They made the quick decision to check on the closure of Beit Ummar on the drive home.
“Within five minutes of arriving at a series of concrete barriers in front of the village, we were surrounded by soldiers. We walked to a large gate [which the army had installed two months prior in order to seal the village] at another entrance to the village only to find that it was locked shut” Kurz recalled, “At this point there were a lot of soldiers, many of whom were officers. So we decided to have an impromptu nonviolent protest against the closure of the village.” Speaking to one Israeli activist present at the demonstration, the commander in charge threatened that “every time you do this (demonstrate), I will close the village.”
The commander in charge pronounced the area a ‘closed military zone’, after which one member of the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity group asked the commander to see the closed military zone warrant. Being a stout guy, soldiers felt threated by his presence and attacked him. This set off a chain of violent events as soldiers attacked anyone bold enough to look them in the eye. Virtually everyone was arrested. According to activists, the commander never showed them the closed military zone warrant, a legal right afforded by Israeli law.
Ynet News uses the term “clashes” in describing the event.
Ilan Pappé: I am willing to respond to any concrete question.
(Emanuel Stoakes talks to the Israeli historian Ilan Pappé about the prospect of a peace settlement in the Middle East, the plight of the Palestinian refugees, and his response to his numerous critics.)
After attending the Inaugural Lecture for the European Centre for Palestine Studies at Exeter University (the first institution of its kind in our country), I met the controversial Professor Ilan Pappé, who – with some gentle persuasion on my part – agreed to do an online interview on the Israel-Palestine conflict.
In brief, Pappé’s association with “controversy” stems from, amongst other things, his much-debated claim that Palestine was “ethnically cleansed” (in part at least) in the war of 1948; his claim, unpopular in Israel, that “Zionism is far more dangerous to the Middle East than Islam”; and because he has been accused of being, simply, a politically-motivated distorter of the historical “truth” by rival scholars.
Benny Morris, one of the prominent “New Historians” of Israeli history (a category that includes Pappé as well as the venerable Avi Shlaim) described a book by Pappé on Palestine as “appalling… [containing] errors of a quantity and a quality that are not found in serious historiography”; be that as it may, it is worth reviewing Morris’ own justification for Palestinian dispossession.*
King’s College’s Efraim Karsh and the inimitable Melanie Phillips in the Spectator are also voluble detractors; by contrast, John Pilger famously called him Israel’s “bravest” and “most principled” historian, whilst supporters in the academic world, including Noam Chomsky and Nur Masalha, continue to collaborate and concur with him.
Whatever one may think of his opinions, Pappé has borne a heavy cost for his heterodoxy: members of his family have shunned him due to his views, and he faced calls to resign from his former lecturing post at the University of Haifa, prompted by his political activities, and issued by none other than the university’s President.
I began by asking Professor Pappé if he believed that peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority could be achieved through their (apparently moribund) peace talks, and if not, why?
Pappé: I have very little faith in the current phase of the negotiations. As in the past, it seems that the Israeli government is exploiting the ‘peace process’ to receive immunity for its continued dispossession of the Palestinians in the West Bank and the barbaric siege on the Gaza Strip. The current phase has already been exploited by Israel to expand its settlement in the Greater Jerusalem Area – which has been accompanied by demolition of houses and eviction of people – and to tighten its grip over the Palestinian villages and towns which are in the vicinity of the ever-growing Jewish colonies of the West Bank. Similarly, it felt free to tighten the siege over Gaza, despite its promise to the international community to ease it.
At the recent inaugural lecture of the European Centre for Palestine Studies at Exeter University, you introduced Filipo Grandi from United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), who talked about the fate of the Palestinian refugees. Could you briefly outline the current human rights situation of the refugees and comment on their prospects for achieving some sort of improvement in their lives?
These are refugees who have lived in camps for more than sixty years – an unprecedented existence in modern times. Their situation varies between being denied access to meaningful jobs and benefits in Lebanon to a very limited access to the local economy and state benefits in Jordan. And we should not forget the refugee camps in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, where people suffer from the double oppression of being both occupied and refugees.
There are also internal refugees in Israel itself and refugee communities in the world at large. Those in Israel live in better conditions than those in the occupied territories or the Arab world; but psychologically they had to undergo unbearable experiences for the past sixty years, such as watching their houses, businesses, factories, shops, fields and villages being pillaged and taken over by Jews.
There are two elements to this predicament. One is the dismal conditions in which people live, caged in camps that even when they become neighborhoods are on the margins of local society and in a limbo existence. Secondly, there have been more and more refugees as result of Israeli policy since 1948. There is no end to the dispossession, while at the same time the international community had already declared on 11 December 1948 through the UNGA resolution 194 that all these refugees have the unconditional right to return. As long as this continues, there is very little hope for peace and reconciliation in Israel and Palestine.
In the publication “Gaza in Crisis” you mention that you are working on a book with a ‘particular focus on the Israeli decisions taken in the early years’, that you claim ‘have not been deviated from’ up to the present. What were those decisions and how has the political class in Israel consented to their continued application?
The gist of these decisions was that there could be no overall strategy for Gaza after the Israeli ‘disengagement’ from it in 2005. Therefore, there were two options for the Israeli policy makers. Either they would succeed in subjecting the Strip to Israel’s will – and putting it under a joint Israeli and PA control – encircled by barbered and electric wire. In such a case life would have depended on Israel’s goodwill, and the people would have to resign to a life in Ghetto-like conditions. Should the people of Gaza resist the first option they would be subjected to collective punishment until they surrender – this is the second option. There is no real bottom line to collective punishment, but given the circumstances on the ground, by inertia it turns into a slow genocide. The Israeli public did not only endorse this policy, in the main it demands more punitive and more drastic actions against the people of Gaza.
Changing topic slightly, how do you view the Israeli claims that Hamas hides amongst civilian infrastructure and uses human shields, as a justification for civilian deaths as “collateral damage” to IDF offences? What evidence is there for this, and is it a fair point?
This always strikes me as a curious allegation. Gaza is the most densely inhabited urban space upon earth, where can Hamas operate from within a territory that is no bigger than the largest metropolises in the world? When you cage a million and half people in a tiny squeezed space like this, and they resist, and you retaliate, you know in advance what kind of collateral damage you are going to inflict.
Do you see the Palestinian Authority as being possibly “corrupt and complicit” in the oppression of those in the West bank, as has been suggested by some commentators?
I do not think the PA is more corrupt than any government in the world, or let alone in the Middle East. It is complicit but so is anyone who in a way does not actively resist the occupation. And yet, resisting today is almost like signing your own death certificate so that one should be very careful to make moral judgments from the outside.
One can make political judgments and the one I offer is that the PA helps the occupation and the illusion of a peace process and it seems that its dismantlement could be more beneficial for the attempt to expose the rouge nature of the Israeli regime and the criminal character of its policies.
One of your most controversial claims is that Palestine (as it was) was “ethnically cleansed” – at least in part – as a part of a systematic attempt to create a Jewish state at the cost of its Arab inhabitants. In the book “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” you write that the Hagana’s Plan Dalet documents such intentions. Could you clarify and explain your position on this subject? Furthermore, how do you respond to the fierce criticism of your views? For example, David Pryce-Jones, described you in the Literary Review as “an Israeli academic who has made his name by hating Israel and everything it stands for.” Others have simply called you a falsifier. What is your response?
I am not going to respond to name calling – “Nazi”, “Falsifier”, “Communist”, “self-hating Jew” or whatever. I am willing to respond to any concrete question. Plan Dalet is a cluster of orders sent by the Hagana High Command from the beginning of March 1948. Each command instructed a specific unit to occupy villages or urban neighbourhoods, destroy them and expel the people living in them. The famous document Plan D, published on March 10, 1948 referred only to the areas the new state would occupy from the UN Arab states, but it included the same graphic description of how to deal with the native population of Palestine. The plan as published and the systematic cluster of orders, together with other evidence I cite in my book, show a clear intention to ethnically cleanse Palestine from its indigenous population, as indeed happened. Moreover, as shown by Nur Masalha, there is already supporting evidence that this intention existed from early on in Zionist thought and strategy.
Finally, could you comment on the under-discussed issue of resources and their allocation in both the West Bank and Gaza, particularly water. Do you think that there is any hope for parity between Palestinians and Israelis in the future in this area, without a separate Palestinian state?
No hope whatsoever. The Israelis are intent of robbing the Palestinians of land, water and any other natural resources – this is what dispossession is all about.
(*Note: In an infamous interview with Haaretz, Morris controversially justified the “tragedy” of the uprooting of Palestinians thus: “there was no other choice… Even the great [sic] American democracy [sic] could not have been created without the annihilation of the Indians. There are cases in which the overall, final good [sic] justifies harsh and cruel acts that are committed in the course of history…”)
Judge Richard Goldstone’s op-ed in The Washington Post is a direct result of tremendous and fierce pressure practiced by the Israeli and the Zionist lobby against him, his family and his friends in a frenzied campaign to force him to retreat from his report, an objective yet strong international condemnation against war crimes committed by Israel during its aggression against the Gaza Strip two years ago.
Goldstone’s personal revision – done under duress – does not change anything related to the report. While carrying his name, it was not developed or written solely by him, but by a Commission he headed. The report remains a document adopted by the Human Rights Council and UN bodies.
Goldstone cannot undo or change a single fact of the report, which has become the most important document for the international condemnation of Israel and the war crimes committed in the Gaza Strip.
Israel is trying to exaggerate Goldstone’s statements, although it refused to allow him access to the West Bank and has refused to cooperate with the committee. What we are witnessing is the result of a campaign against Goldstone to force him to say things he is not convinced of. It is a model for the ferocity of the Zionist lobby when it decides to target a person or institution.
This campaign against Goldstone is aimed at clearing the face of Israel to justify a new aggression on Gaza. What is required from the Palestinian Liberation Organization is to take the Goldstone report and the decision of the Hague Tribunal on the apartheid wall and settlements, which has been neglected for a period of six years, to the General Assembly of the United Nations. There they should explicitly demand sanctions on Israel and state that any laxity in the use of these important documents would encourage Israel to launch a counter attack to cancel their influence.
While Benajmin Netanyahu said the Goldstone report should go to the dustbin of history, it is the system of apartheid that should be relegated to history’s dustbin. Israel’s apartheid and the policy of the coalition government of the settlers represented by Netanyahu. As the people of South Africa were liberated, the Palestinian people will be liberated and one day Israel will be condemned its war crimes in Gaza and be convicted of all its previous crimes.
Japan has misled its citizens about the aftermath of the massive tsunami, which hit the country on March 11 causing the US-built G&E reactors to melt and release deadly levels of radiation.
Press TV interviewed Online Columnist Allen Roland regarding the nuclear disaster in Japan, and discussed how the US and the international community might be more alert to the problems that nuclear power stations may pose for the rest of humanity.
Press TV: How is this issue of the Japanese disaster being viewed in America?
Roland: It’s always a pleasure to talk with you. Let’s put it this way. This reminds us so much of the British Petroleum situation, which was less than transparent in this incredible major leak that some people still feel is happening in the Gulf, and it has poisoned the Gulf. So here is the latest: the Wall Street Journal reports today that the EPA has now admitted that radiation is being found in American milk supplies. They say it’s safe to drink of course. In other words, radiated milk is safe but raw milk is not. So we are going through the same thing here. Remember we have a huge indefinite nuclear energy and particularly since one of the top advisors to Obama is the Former Presidents for GE who paid no taxes last year after 14 billion dollars of profit.
So another point, the battle to save Fukushima is now over as many Japanese officials have admitted. The Daily Mail said that the officials say it would mean switching off all power and abandonment efforts to keep the nuclear rods cool. The problem with that of course is there are already three raging meltdowns underway and if you continue to cool the fuel rods then an accelerated meltdown is inevitable. That is what we are hearing. Now listen to this. They are also talking about decommissioning the Fukushima nuclear reactors. Do you know how long it takes to do that? Japanese nuclear reactor experts say it would take twenty years to decommission the Fukushima nuclear reactors. Cesium 137 has now been found 25 miles from Fukushima with dangerously high concentrations.
Remember one million people died in the aftermath of the Chernobyl catastrophe. This is raising questions whether the evacuations around Fukushima should not be expanded. … The Japanese nuclear disaster plans were written by obviously complete imbeciles. The entire Fukushima power plant complex for example called for only one emergency stretcher to be on site and only twenty protective suits. Hundreds of people work there. So what is going on here? Then in a shocking interview, we were told if it goes to a full-scale evacuation of all personnel, and if firefighters are no longer putting water in the cores, it is the only thing preventing a major meltdown and three reactor sites. Once they evacuate they have passed the point of no return. I think they are. Meltdowns are inevitable at three reactor sites. This could be a tragedy far beyond that of Chernobyl. They are even admitting now they are closer to seven, which was a Chernobyl level.
This is big and it’s getting bigger as I talked about last night on Press TV. The radiation levels keep going up. It’s up to ten thousand now and guess what? The Fukushima denials are in full swing. Everyone talking about Fukushima meltdown is “fear mongering”. No, we are not feared mongering. When we start getting radiation levels picked up in the United States from California to Massachusetts, the pressure is on. That’s what’s happening. A reporter brought in from the New York Times today said the level of radioactive iodine was 101 and is continuing to increase. So this is not good. We are not even talking about seafood contamination etc, etc, etc … So we are concerned. In the United States, we are concerned. We want the Japanese to come clean and explain what’s happening because it’s going to affect us. It’s going to affect the whole planet if this really goes into a major meltdown.
Press TV: Regarding Chernobyl, many others believe the level of contamination is far worse than what happened in Chernobyl. Do you think the response the Japanese government has given the disaster corresponds to the reality on the ground?
Roland: No, I think the reality is much worse than what they are letting on. It was nearly one million people that died around the world from exposure to radiation in the 1986 nuclear disaster in Chernobyl. The fact they are saying it’s close to that right now. That’s not good…
Press TV: Many experts say the troubled power plant in Fukushima actually led to the disaster because it was too old. But, Japan is not the only place on the planet with old nuclear power plants. In your country, there are nuclear power plants as well. What if the same thing happened in America?
Roland: It would be a disaster. We have something like 354 nuclear plants around the world and we have 104 of them here. We also have a huge nuclear industry and the mainstream press is still trying to dampen this because there is money right now trying to be put into nuclear plants. Remember the mainstream press is totally in bed with the corpocracy. Part of that corpocracy is the nuclear industry. It would be a total disaster if something like that happened here. It could be right here in California in the San Francisco Bay area. We have a radiation lab right on a major fault. By the way, many of these plants have the same GE containers, which is now split and now leaking radiation into the ground.
Press TV: Well that is even worse Allen. That is a ‘trouble in the making’ as they call it. Do you think America is doing anything after seeing these events in Japan? Are they doing anything for prevention even in a hypothetical situation?
Roland: I’m already seeing Senator Feinstein and another Senator who will be talking today about how we should really take another look at what’s happening here. It’s not going to be a sure deal. Believe me, the deal has already been made by Obama. It’s part of his payoff to his financial banking backers, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. Particularly because the demand for the truth of what is happening at Fukushima is legitimate. We are afraid ourselves of the same thing happening all over the world, but particularly here in the United States since we have a 1/3 of all nuclear reactors. So this is a building story and until we get the truth, it will continue to build. It’s not getting any better as far as I can see.
Press TV: The Japanese government I’m sure you know have imposed this media blackout so to say on the extent of what’s happening in Japan today. What do you think is going to be the national as well as the international result of that?
Roland: Well, I think that is a sure sign that something is really bad; hence, the media blackout. You are seeing some of the same thing here, but it’s not going to work. This is too dangerous and it has tremendous consequences for children, and pregnant women etc. It has huge consequences. So that blackout won’t work. Why would they be having a blackout unless this is far worse than they thought it was? Or they know but it’s almost as if they don’t want to let it out because it would panic the people. I don’t believe that. I think the Japanese people would respond if they knew the truth. I quite honestly feel that the Japanese people don’t trust their government and for good reason. As well as we don’t trust our government because, it lacks transparency. That answers your question. They wouldn’t have a blackout unless something very dangerous was happening or a matter of fact has already happened.
Nukespeak, and seductive devices, doctrines, dogmas, strategies and fallacies
Dr F.K. Knelman is the Vice President of the Whistler Foundation for a Sustainable Environment, and Dr. Joan E. Russow, was the delegate for the Whistler Foundation at the New York Preparatory Committee for UNCED and at the Earth Summit at Rio. The Whistler Foundation and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation had circulated a Declaration that was signed by 37 Nobel Laureates; this declaration called for the phasing out of Nuclear energy. They requested permission to read this declaration at one of the plenary session at Rio Centro; permission was denied.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was initially set up in the 1960′s to regulate Nuclear energy; they have, however, become one of the strongest proponents of nuclear energy. A fundamental regulatory principle of the “separation of function” is that “the agency entrusted for regulating a technology cannot be the same agency that promotes the use of that technology”(Knelman, 1975). The IAEA , through its UNCED document entitled “Nuclear Techniques and Sustainable Development.” acted as a major proponent, not only of the current use, but also of the increased use of nuclear energy.
Agenda 21– the 700-page far-reaching action-plan document from UNCED, was adopted unanimously by the global community represented at the Earth Summit in Rio. In Agenda 21 the following concern about radiation was expressed:
The deterioration of environmental quality, notably air, water and soil pollution owing to toxic chemicals, hazardous wastes, radiation and other sources, is a matter of growing concern. (Chapter 16. subsection 12),
The extent of the consequences of the nuclear industry were also identified in Agenda 21:
Annually about 200,000 m3 of low-level and intermediate- level waste and 10,000 m3 of high-level waste (as well as spent nuclear fuel destined for final disposal) is generated world wide from nuclear power production. These volumes are increasing as more nuclear power units are taken into operation, nuclear facilities are decommissioned and the use of radionuclides increases. (Chapter 22, subsection 1)
Yet at one of the plenary sessions, Mr. Hans Blix, Director-General of the IAEA, was given permission to present a document advocating nuclear energy as being a safe alternative energy for the future. The International Non Governmental Organizations, (NGOs), however, recognized that the fundamental regulatory principle had been violated, and gave IAEA, the dubious honour of being presented with the International NGO Community’s “Most Preposterous Proposal Award” “for presenting nuclear power as the environmental solution in energy and successfully keeping its problems out of the documents”.
We would like to highlight some of the SEDUCTIVE DEVICES, STRATEGIES, DOCTRINES, DOGMAS and FALLACIES that have made the IAEA worthy of this honour. The examples will be drawn from the IAEA document, which was prepared for UNCED. Also references will be made to other UNCED Documents such as Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration– the Earth Charter– 1992, and the Canada’s National Report for UNCED, 1992.
The seductive devices, strategies and fallacies used by the IAEA all draw upon the fundamental language of “nukespeak”. Knelman (1986, 1992) has expanded on the euphemistic nature of Nukespeak:
The rule is sanitizing by euphemism: political euphemism is of course older than nuclear power. How many of us recognize the “elimination of unreliable elements”? There are forbidden words in the language of civil nuclear power. For example, the words “accident”, “pollution” or “disease” are never used. Accidents are either “transients”, “events”, “significant events”, “anomalies’, “occurrences” or “abnormal occurrences”. In the extreme, they become “normal abnormalities”, i.e. truth becomes lies. Explosions are “events of rapid disengagement” or “prompt criticality”. Waste dumps are “residue areas”. Thermal pollution becomes “thermal effects” and pollution becomes “impacts”. Disease becomes “health effects”. This is a euphemism for cancer and genetic malformations. And missing plutonium, which is the link to clandestine acquisition of nuclear explosives is “material unaccounted for” or simply MUF! (Knelman, 1986.)
Other names relating to nuclear accidents are criticality, nuclear excursions, abnormal evolution, normal aberration, plant transients, unnecessary ignition sources. “Nukespeak” is perpetuated through “nuclear acceptance campaigns” by the PR departments of the nuclear establishment, designed to find “palatable synonyms” for “scare words” through the use of “truth squads” in order to remove “undue public concern”, create “pro-energy climate” where “technically qualified persons” would agree that nuclear power poses “no significant threat” and could be “entrusted” for the timely detection of potential abnormalities, or there is “no evidence” of such threat (as though lack of evidence is proof of assertion) and the promises that turned into lies i.e. that nuclear power would be “too cheap to meter” providing society with “boundless energy” and save us from “freezing in the dark”, this is the language of Orwell’s 1984, where peace is war and truth is a lie.
Seductive devices, doctrines, dogmas, strategies and fallacies
• The “blatant misrepresentation or expedient omission” device
This device involves the convenient exclusion of any part that could be detrimental to one’s position.
The IAEA through expedient omission (possibly for advantageous “clarification”) has left out a significant section in Agenda 21, which does not include nuclear energy in the list of “safe” technologies for the future.
To “clarify” Agenda 21, the IAEA in its UNCED document stated the following:
The UNCED Agenda 21 notes the need for a transition to environmentally sound energy systems, which will entail major changes in the patterns of energy production and consumption (IAEA Document, p.5, 1992)
In the Atmosphere chapter of Agenda 21, the following [safe] and sound technologies are advocated:
cooperate to increase the availability of capacity, capabilities and relevant technologies …for utilizing and producing environmentally [safe and] sound renewable energy resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower and biomass,… Each resource should be utilized in a manner that … minimizes environmental stress and health impacts, …. (Section 9. Subsection 9 g Agenda 21, 1992)
Thus, we see that in the Energy section of Agenda 21, Nuclear energy is not mentioned as being one of the [safe] or sound technology.
• The “co-opted terms” strategy
This strategy involves the stipulating of a new definition for a term that would jeopardize one’s own argument.
In the Rio Declaration the following precautionary principle was advocated:
Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.” ( Rio Declaration, 1992).
In the following statement, the IAEA redefines the important precautionary principle that was agreed to in the Rio Declaration, 1992.
The basic principles for radiation protection and safety in all applications and activities in nuclear science and technology are precautionary (IAEA Document , p. 2, authors emphasis)
The Rio principle, however, if enacted and truly adhered to, would bring about a moratorium on new nuclear power plants while phasing out currently existing ones.
• The “comparison of convenience” device
This device involves the narrowing down of alternatives so that whatever aspect is compared will appear favourable to the proposed alternative.
In the following statement from the IAEA document, the IAEA narrows the alternatives used for comparison to those, which would appear to be favourable within the terms of reference of their comparison. Thus, for example, they compare the relatively low volume of nuclear wastes to the much larger volume of wastes from fossil fuels. However, it is the volume of wastes multiplied by their toxicity that is significant. Merely comparing volumes is a “comparison of convenience”. The same false comparison is used to compare fuel requirements for the same energy output.
A nuclear plant would require 27 tonnes of slightly enriched uranium each year, which corresponds to a few truckloads. The corresponding quantity of natural uranium is 160 tonnes.
A coal-fired plant would need 2.6 million tonnes of coal each year… which corresponds to the load carried by 5 trains, each transporting 1400 tones. Every day an oil-fired plant would require 2 million tonnes of fuel oil per year, which is about 10 super-tanker loads. (IAEA document, 1992, p.12)
The nuclear establishment never fails to compare coal and nuclear as competing energy sources, always claiming the inherent superiority of nuclear. Usually this is accomplished by failing to include the entire fuel cycle over its full life of impacts, social and environmental. They conveniently exclude safety factors, production of wastes, disposability of wastes, degree of potential for bioaccumulation, lifetimes of wastes, toxicity and proliferation problems associated with nuclear.
Yet no bombs are built of coal, no terrorist is interested in hijacking coal or in the clandestine acquisition of coal weapons, coal plants do not have to be decommissioned and mothballed after some 30 to 50 years of operation, their hazardous wastes do not have to be guarded for 100,000 years, coal dust is easier to contain than radon and coal plants do not require liability subsidies by acts of parliament” ( Knelman, 1992)
• The “lull and lure of the technological fix” syndrome, the “misleading assurance” device or the fallacy of “technological omnipotence”
This syndrome, device or fallacy involves the revealing of the seriousness of the problem and the offering of a “solution” which is usually worse than the problem
The proponents of a potentially dangerous act indicate that they recognize the danger and focus on one area for which they can offer a technological fix
In the following statement from the Radioactive Wastes section of Agenda 21, into which it appears that the IAEA had input, the following situation is recognized:
Annually about 200,000 m3 of low-level and intermediate-level waste and 10,000 m 3 of high-level waste ( as well as spent nuclear fuel destined for final disposal) is generated world wide from nuclear power production. These volumes are increasing as more nuclear power units are taken into operation, nuclear facilities are decommissioned and the use of radionuclides increases. The high level waste contains about 99 percent of the radionuclides and thus represents the largest radiological risk. ( Agenda 21, Radio Active wastes, 21.1.)
In the IAEA document the authors affirm the certainty of the technological fix.
There is nevertheless a consensus among experts that safe geological disposal of high level wastes, including spent nuclear fuel, is technically feasible. ( IAEA Document, p.17)
The view of experts in the field is that safe technological solutions exist for managing the waste. (IAEA Document, 1992, p. 15)
Knelman (1992) points out that:
The assumption behind the notion of permanent disposal of High level wastes deep in a stable geological formation is false because this assumption relies on the mistaken belief that anything we do technologically can be permanent. This assumption of permanence is particularly false when we are dealing with the lithosphere over some 100,000 years and when we must first disturb the geological structure by digging a very deep hole. AECL (Atomic Energy of Canada Limited) has dug a deep hole near Lac du Bonnet in Manitoba which is totally inappropriate for such so-called “permanent” disposal. For one thing you must, in all events, avoid water. Yet, The AECL hole must be soaked. Walt Patterson, a nuclear critic described this AECL research as follows: A drunk has lost his keys and is discovered by a police officer crawling around a street light. When questioned, the drunk admitted that he had lost his keys in front of a dark building, a block away. When asked why the drunk was then searching around the streetlight, the drunk said “you see, officer, the light is better here” and as Dr Martin Resnikoff, an expert on geological waste disposal has put it “the earth does not stand still. In other words, experts in the relevant fields do not agree. (Knelman, 1992, in progress)
• The “rhetoric of notwithstanding clause” doctrine
This doctrine allows for the indulging in strong statements about deep concern and the need for significant change and then including a notwithstanding clause that negates the strong statement.
In the Rio declaration (1992) there is a strong statement about third world dumping:
States should effectively cooperate to discourage or prevent the relocation and transfer to other States of any activities and substances that cause sever[e] environmental degradation or are found to be harmful to human health. (Principle 14 Rio Declaration, 1992)
There are, however, disturbing “notwithstanding clauses” that appear such as in the following statements:
Develop regulatory and non-regulatory measures and procedures aimed at preventing the export of chemicals that are banned, severely restricted, withdrawn or not approved for health or environmental reasons, except when such export has received prior written consent from [t]he importing country or is other wise in accordance with the PIC procedure; ( Section 19. subsection 53 f , Agenda 21, 1992)
In the following statement in the IAEA document, the IAEA energetically adopts the spirit of the “rhetoric of notwithstanding clauses”:
The IAEA in 1990 promulgated a Code of Practice on the International Transboundary Movement of Radioactive Waste as a basis for harmonization of national legislation and policies. The code lays down the conditions and principles for international waste transfers, such as that movement must be made in a manner consistent with the international safety standards, that there must be prior notification and consent of the sending, receiving and transit States, and that each State involved should have a regulatory authority… ( IAEA Document, 1992, p. 20
• The “flamboyant absurdity” doctrine or dogma
This doctrine or dogma carries the concerns of one’s opponents to the point where the regulations governing the opponents concerns should become the standard by which other potentially lesser concerns will be addressed.
The IAEA appears to advocate that, what is considered to be the most dangerous industry, just because it is dangerous, has developed stringent standards, and that they who contribute to possibly the greatest uncontrollable hazard are the ones who should assist the community in dealing with other hazards.
The basic principles for radiation protection and safety in all applications and activities in nuclear science and technology are precautionary and are so well founded in science and so widely accepted that they are now also being regarded as a source of guidance in controlling pollutants and impacts arising from other human activities. Their wider application would undoubtedly contribute towards sustainable development. (p.2)
• The “justification through dire consequences of alternatives” device
This device involves the revealing of the dire consequences of the current practices and offering one’s own practice as the salvation for the problem.
In the following statement the IAEA cites the dire consequences of the other alternatives to justify their proposed alternative:
The problem of acid rain, which is linked to emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, has been recognized for decades. … the primary concern about the continued and increasing use of fossil fuels is the problem of CO2 emission and the potential impact on world climate. … World conference on the Changing Atmosphere… need to reduce CO2 emission (IAEA document, p. 5)
climate change in connection with fossil fuels (p. 9)
•The “benevolent outcome exploitation” strategy
This strategy involves the selection of the outcome which the opposition to the proposed alternative would advocate and the subsequent attempt to demonstrate that the proposed alternative, which the opposition would condemn, would be the best way of achieving that outcome.
In the following statements from the IAEA document, the IAEA focuses on the desired outcomes of reducing acid rain and limiting greenhouse gas to justify the selection of their proposed alternative:
Several governments have already made commitments to reduce carbon emission, while recognizing that this will be hard to achieve except through drastic policy decisions in the energy sector. (IAEA Document, 1992, p.6)
Nuclear power plants in normal operations cause very little environmental detriment and are beneficial when they replace plants which would emit CO2, SO2, and NO2 (p. 12). In this resects they would help to reduce acid rain and limit greenhouse gas emissions (IAEA Document 1992 , p. 12)
To accomplish the above, IAEA and other nuclear proponents are recommending the construction of some 4000 to 5000 new commercial nuclear power plants. [...]
The “nukespeak” and the seductive devices, strategies, syndromes used by the Nuclear Industry involve the language of delusion and distortion. Hopefully, through continued revealing and categorizing of these words of delusion we could, in some small way, counteract the impact of the not too-hidden-agenda of the IAEA, and the rest of the nuclear establishment and their government supporters.
The Bahraini government has banned the publication of a leading independent newspaper due to its coverage of the popular revolution in the Persian Gulf littoral state.
Bahrain’s Information Affairs Commission suspended Al-Wasat daily, which has been critical of the government’s brutal crackdown on demonstrators in the country, BNA state news agency reported without giving further details.
The commission also ordered a case to be opened for further investigation by the Public Prosecution.
Masur al-Jamri, a former opposition activist during the uprising in the 1990s, is the editor-in-chief of the Bahraini newspaper.
Last week, Bahrain’s state television accused Al-Wasat of publishing “fabricated and false news” about the “security developments in Bahrain.”
The Bahraini police, backed by Saudi and UAE troops, have intensified the clampdown on anti-government protesters who demand a constitutional monarchy.
Rights groups and opposition parties say hundreds of people have been detained or have gone missing since the protests began in mid-February, with at least 25 people killed and 1,000 others wounded so far.