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WAWA/WeAreWideAwake is my Public Service to America as a muckracker who has journeyed seven times to Israel Palestine since June 2005. WAWA is dedicated to confronting media and governments that shield the whole truth.

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Home arrow Blog arrow June 2008 arrow June 17, 2008

June 17, 2008
WAWA Blog June 17, 2008: Vanunu nails Iran and Democracy 

On June 16, 2008, the European Union nations agreed on the need for a new round of stronger sanctions against Iran to discourage Tehran from developing nuclear weapons. At a press conference, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and President Bush sent a strong message to Iran that it must end its pursuit of nuclear weapons or face a tougher international response.

The U.S. and some of its allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies it, saying its atomic program is aimed at using nuclear reactors to generate electricity.

President Bush and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have now jointly warned Tehran again against proceeding toward a nuclear bomb. The plan is but a refreshed version of a 2006 package that Iran ignored. Both Bush and Sarkozy agreed that "If Iran gets a nuclear bomb that is totally unacceptable. Our position will not change." [1]

Both did agree that Iran is entitled to civilian nuclear power and they spoke in unity that the people of Iran have a right to better representation by a government that Bush claims is "creating the deprivation inside Iran."[IBID]

What follows is a compilation of email replies from Vanunu regarding Iran, democracy, etc. [with slight editing; punctuation, spelling, grammar].

Vanunu wrote:

They all have their own double standards.

No one should ignore the fact that Atomic weapons are in Israel and that it was France most especially who helped build the Dimona reactor in 1960.

No one should forget that France was the first state to start nuclear weapons proliferation in secret, not Iran.

The world's problem with Iran is the obligation to help the people of Iran to have freedom and democracy; free from a dictator regime.

The problem is not nuclear weapons in Iran but the need for freedom for all the people.

I am not at all supporting this Ayatollahs regime in Iran. This regime should be ended and replaced by freedom and democracy for all Iran people.

The same goes for Israel too, which is only a democracy if you are a Jew. The Israeli problem is the Jewish apartheid regime.

No nuclear weapons program is a true deterrent or safeguard mechanism for security because Atomic weapons can only bring destruction. Atomic weapons are a mechanism of self destruction.

How can Israel, the only country in the Middle East known to have a nuclear weapons program expects all others not to even have peaceful nuclear energy programs?

Since Israel has the Bombs, then they can not speak with credibility about stopping all the Middle East states from having at least Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Science and Technology.

Israel by all its nuclear secret activities opened the way for any state to do the same. My view is that Nuclear Science and technology must be part of any modern state and society, so all the world and every state should have it.

After almost 50 years of secret nuclear activities and productions of bombs, America, France and the entire world should also intervene and demand Israel sign the NPT, follow all of the IAEA orders, regulations and restrictions.

Instead, Israel puts on me distractions.

The real issue in both states is democracy before any thing else and Israel is only a democracy if you are a Jew.

I fulfilled my sentence of 18 years in prison because I listened to my conscience and reported the truth that Israel was manufacturing weapons of mass destruction. It is over four years now that Israel has held me captive in East Jerusalem; forbidding me to speak to any foreigners or to leave the state, which is all I want to do.

The Norwegians know my situation very well and by mid-July, the world should hear some more about the Norwegian Lawyers Petition and about my asylum.

Norway could become a world leader in the Mid-East peace efforts if they will continue to speak up loudly against all the blatant human rights violations Israel gets away with in my case and with the Palestinians.

I go back to court July 8th and either face six months in jail for speaking to foreign media in 2004, or something else is possible. Israel can be free of me and let me leave the state, or I will remain here under occupation.

Waiting In East Jerusalem.To Be Free,To Leave.
P.O.Box 20102. Salah Adin St'.
post office. East Jerusalem. 91384..
Mobile ( 9 7 2 ) 0 5 2 3 7 4 4 5 6 9.


When asked how world citizens could encourage Israel to have mercy on Vanunu and allow him to leave the state, Fredrik S. Heffermehl, Hon. President, Norwegian Peace Alliance and coordinator of the International Free Vanunu Committee, responded that concerned citizens could help by writing emails to the Norwegian government. A sample letter follows:

"Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg" < >,
"Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre" < >

Dear Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre,

Thank you for the leadership demonstrated by Norwegian Lawyers, law students and three Supreme Court Justices, who signed the petition calling on your government to take bold action to protect Mordechai Vanunu against the ongoing grave violations of his human rights under international law and secure respect for his elementary human rights.

The Norwegian Lawyers Petition is also a way to be a true friend to Israel because it encourages the Israeli authorities to be faithful to their Declaration of the Establishment of Israel:

"On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations." - May 14, 1948.

Israel's statehood was contingent on upholding the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. How fitting it would be if Norway would live up to its ambition as a "peace nation" and honor the banner bearer of the Nobel Peace Prize and its original intention to support non-violence and peace, not militarism or empire.

Norway will do a great service to humanity by issuing Mordechai Vanunu a Norwegian "foreigner's passport", which according to the lawyers is a right for all states to protect persecuted people in other parts of the world.

Norway can provide the Win-Win answer for Israel and Vanunu by securing a laissez-passer for him before his July 8, 2008 court date when he faces the possibility of six months more in jail just for speaking to foreign media in 2004.

Norway can play a crucial role in the Mid-East peace efforts in demanding Israel honor and uphold the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.- Article 13-2.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. -Article 19.

   2. IBID

Dr. Rev. Stephen Sizer, Anglican from the UK is currently in Jerusalem attending the GAFCON meeting.

He fowarded the following:

How Iran would retaliate if it comes to war

Military analysts say the Islamic Republic would strike back in unconventional ways – targeting American interests in Iraq and Afghanistan.

By Scott Peterson | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor from the June 20, 2008 edition

Istanbul, Turkey - Pressure is building on Iran. This week Europe agreed to new sanctions and President Bush again suggested something more serious – possible military strikes – if the Islamic Republic doesn't bend to the will of the international community on its nuclear program.

But increasingly military analysts are warning of severe consequences if the US begins a shooting war with Iran. While Iranian forces are no match for American technology on a conventional battlefield, Iran has shown that it can bite back in unconventional ways.

Iranian networks in Iraq and Afghanistan could imperil US interests there; American forces throughout the Gulf region could be targeted by asymmetric methods and lethal rocket barrages; and Iranian partners across the region – such as Hezbollah in Lebanon – could be mobilized to engage in an anti-US fight.

Iran's response could also be global, analysts say, but the scale would depend on the scale of the US attack. "One very important issue from a US intelligence perspective, [the Iranian reaction] is probably more unpredictable than the Al Qaeda threat," says Magnus Ranstorp at the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defense College in Stockholm.

"I doubt very much our ability to manage some of the consequences," says Mr. Ranstorp, noting that Iranian revenge attacks in the past have been marked by "plausible deniability" and have had global reach.

 "If you attack Iran you are unleashing a firestorm of reaction internally that will only strengthen revolutionary forces, and externally in the region," says Ranstorp. "It's a nightmare scenario for any contingency planner, and I think you really enter the twilight zone if you strike Iran."

Though the US military has since early 2007 accused Iran's Qods Force – an elite element of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – of providing anti-US militias in Iraq with lethal roadside bombs, and of training and backing "special groups" in actions that the US government alleges have cost "thousands" of lives, US commanders have played down Iran's military capabilities.

Even Admiral William Fallon, who publicly opposed a US strike on Iran before he resigned in April, dismissed Iran as a military threat. "Get serious," Adm. Fallon told Esquire in March. "These guys are ants. When the time comes, you crush them."

But that has not kept Iran from rhetorical chest-beating, with an active military manpower of 540,000 – the largest in the Middle East – dependent on some of the lowest per capita defense spending in the region. Iran "can deal fatal blows to aggressor America by unpredictable and creative tactical moves," the senior commander Brig. Gen. Gholam Ali Rashid said in late May. "It is meaningless to back down before an enemy who has targeted the roots of our existence."

Iran's supreme religious leader Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei also warned of far-reaching revenge in 2006. "The Americans should know that if they assault Iran, their interests will be harmed anywhere in the world that is possible," he said. "The Iranian nation will respond to any blow with double the intensity."

Analysts say Iran has a number of tools to make good on those threats and take pride in taking on a more powerful enemy. "This is not something they are shying away from," says Alex Vatanka, a Middle East security analyst at Jane's Information Group in Washington.

"They say: 'Conventional warfare is not something we can win against the US, but we have other assets in the toolbox,' " says Mr. Vatanka, noting that the IRGC commander appointed last fall has been "marketed as this genius behind asymmetric warfare doctrine."

"What they are really worried about is the idea of massive aerial attacks on literally thousands of targets inside Iran," says Vatanka, also an adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute. "Their reading of America's intentions in that scenario would be twofold: One is to obviously dismantle as much as possible the nuclear program; and [the other], indirectly try to weaken the [Islamic] regime."

Any US-Iran conflict would push up oil prices, and though Iran could disrupt shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf, its weak economy depends on oil revenues.

But nearby US forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Gulf provide a host of targets. Iran claimed last October that it could rain down 11,000 rockets upon "the enemy" within one minute of an attack and that rate "would continue."

Further afield, Israel is within range of Iran's Shahab-3 ballistic missiles, and Hezbollah claims its rockets – enhanced and resupplied by Iran since the 2006 war to an estimated 30,000 – can now hit anywhere in the Jewish state, including its nuclear plant at Dimona.

Closer to home, Iran has honed a swarming tactic, in which small and lightly armed speedboats come at far larger warships from different directions. A classified Pentagon war game in 2002 simulated just such an attack and in it the Navy lost 16 major warships, according to a report in The New York Times last January.

"The sheer numbers involved overloaded their ability, both mentally and electronically, to handle the attack," Lt. Gen. K. Van Riper, a retired Marine Corps officer who commanded the swarming force, told the Times. "The whole thing was over in five, maybe 10 minutes."

 During the 1990s, Iranian agents were believed to be behind the assassinations of scores of regime opponents in Europe, and German prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Iran's intelligence minister.

Iran and Hezbollah are alleged to have collaborated in the May 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires in revenge for Israel's killing of a Hezbollah leader months before. Argentine prosecutors charge that they jointly struck again in 1994, bombing a Jewish community center in the Argentine capital that killed 85, one month after Israel attacked a Hezbollah base in Lebanon.

With some 30,000 on the payroll by one count, Iranian intelligence "is a superpower in intelligence terms in the region; they have global reach because of their reconnaissance ability and quite sophisticated ways of inflicting pain," says Ranstorp. "They have been expanding their influence.… Who would have predicted that Argentina would be the area that Hezbollah and the Iranians collectively would respond?"

Past examples show that "Tehran recognizes that at times its interest are best served by restraint," says a report on consequences of a strike on Iran published this week by Patrick Clawson and Michael Eisenstadt of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

But Iran could target the US, too, depending on the magnitude of any US strike. "Iran's capacity for terror and subversion remains one of its most potent levers in the event of a confrontation with the United States," says the report, adding that "success" in delaying Iran's nuclear programs could backfire.

If "US and world opinion were so angered by the strikes that they refused to support further pressure against Iran's nuclear ambitions, then prevention could paradoxically [eventually ensure] Iran's open pursuit of nuclear weapons," concludes the report.

And the long list of unconventional tactics should not be taken for granted in Tehran, says Vatanka, noting that the Islamic system's top priority is survival.

"So the Iranians have to be careful," says Vatanka. "Just because the US doesn't have the will right now, or the ability to produce the kind of stick that they would fear, doesn't mean the way of confrontation is going to pay off for them in the long run."

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BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu's Freedom of Speech Trial

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People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
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Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
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