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Archive for the tag “WMD”

Three-score and five years ago two-thirds of Japan’s Catholics were annihilated

The Holy City of Nagasaki | Spero News:

At 11:02 AM, two-thirds of Japan’s Catholics were annihilated. On that day that will live in infamy, more Japanese Christians were slaughtered than had been martyred in four centuries of brutal persecution.

Hat-tip to The Western Confucian: Three Score and Five Years Ago Today.

Fearful pride: North Korea’s WMD

After all the media hype about North Korea’s second nuclear test, here’s an article worth reading.

CounterPunch: Fearful pride:

So, what does the DPRK leadership hope to gain by brandishing nuclear arms? The DPRK leadership’s deepest desire is that of all elites everywhere: a long-term guarantee of its privileged position within the undisturbed extent of its domain. The DPRK wants to interact with the rest of the world in a way that sustains the physical and economic existence of their state but without introducing any ideas or social forces that weaken the control of the DPRK leadership, and the fealty of the population to that leadership. Clearly, the present DPRK regime is skeptical it can follow the Chinese example of introducing a state-directed form of capitalism while maintaining ideological control and sufficient popular obedience, so it is resistant to allowing the population wider exposure to foreign influences. The DPRK nuclear arsenal is the equivalent of a 10 foot (3.3 m) high wall topped with glass shards surrounding an estate with Pit Bulls and Doberman Pinschers running loose. It is a shield built with pride and motivated by fear.

And it seems to me that the countries that demand that North Korea abstain from developing weapons of mass destruction without dismantling their own nuclear arsenals are probably also motivated by fearful pride.

Nucular

Back in 1971 I watched a B-grade horror film at the Windhoek Drive-in.

It was called The vulture, and one of the villains in it was described as a “nucular scientist”.

It was the first time I’d heard the word “nucular”, and assumed it was an order of magnitude more dangerous than “nuclear”. As fusion bombs are far more destructive than fission bombs, so nucular bombs would far more destructive than nuclear ones.

Thirty years later, comes the 21st century, and the President of the United States begins talking about “nucular weapons”. Has the science fiction of the 1970s become reality in the 21st century?

Well, why not?

We have these smart bombs that can hit the precise window of the Chinese Embassy that they are aimed at — why not nucular ones that behave like nuclear bombs on steroids?

But the plot thickens.

The language fundis at the alt.usage.english newsgroup have been discussing the use of the term “nucular” by the US vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin.

Apparently she spoke about nucular weaponry being the whole being or essence of too many people and places on the planet.

Then someone else pointed out that “nucular” seemed to be a term that characterised the leaders of the US Republican Party. Perhaps it is a kind of shibboleth, by which the faithful can be distinguished. Members of other parties reveal themselves by not using the magic word.

But another one of those fundis dug deeper, into the Oxford English Dictionary, and this is what he found:

I’m not sure that it’s been brought up here before, although I suspect it has, but “nucular” appears to be a “real word” as well, although one that appears to have fallen out of use before “nuclear” became common. The sense is “of or relating to a nucule”, which is defined as

  1. Originally: each of the seeds in a nuculanium (obs.). Later: a small nut or nutlet; a section of a compound (usually hard) fruit; a nut borne in an involucre. Now rare.
  2. The female reproductive structure (oogonium) of a charophyte.

The OED cites this sense of “nucular” in 1876 and 1935, flagging it as “Bot. rare”. There are hits in Google books from 1855 through 1911.

I can’t remember anything about The vulture other than the fact that it featured a nucular scientist. I’ve forgotten the plot, the setting, and everything else. It was memorable only because it was where I first heard the word “nucular”. Perhaps the vulture in the film was a wooden vulture, or perhaps we are all living through a B-grade horror movie. .

Nucular

Back in 1971 I watched a B-grade horror film at the Windhoek Drive-in.

It was called The vulture, and one of the villains in it was described as a “nucular scientist”.

It was the first time I’d heard the word “nucular”, and assumed it was an order of magnitude more dangerous than “nuclear”. As fusion bombs are far more destructive than fission bombs, so nucular bombs would far more destructive than nuclear ones.

Thirty years later, comes the 21st century, and the President of the United States begins talking about “nucular weapons”. Has the science fiction of the 1970s become reality in the 21st century?

Well, why not?

We have these smart bombs that can hit the precise window of the Chinese Embassy that they are aimed at — why not nucular ones that behave like nuclear bombs on steroids?

But the plot thickens.

The language fundis at the alt.usage.english newsgroup have been discussing the use of the term “nucular” by the US vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin.

Apparently she spoke about nucular weaponry being the whole being or essence of too many people and places on the planet.

Then someone else pointed out that “nucular” seemed to be a term that characterised the leaders of the US Republican Party. Perhaps it is a kind of shibboleth, by which the faithful can be distinguished. Members of other parties reveal themselves by not using the magic word.

But another one of those fundis dug deeper, into the Oxford English Dictionary, and this is what he found:

I’m not sure that it’s been brought up here before, although I suspect it has, but “nucular” appears to be a “real word” as well, although one that appears to have fallen out of use before “nuclear” became common. The sense is “of or relating to a nucule”, which is defined as

  1. Originally: each of the seeds in a nuculanium (obs.). Later: a small nut or nutlet; a section of a compound (usually hard) fruit; a nut borne in an involucre. Now rare.
  2. The female reproductive structure (oogonium) of a charophyte.

The OED cites this sense of “nucular” in 1876 and 1935, flagging it as “Bot. rare”. There are hits in Google books from 1855 through 1911.

I can’t remember anything about The vulture other than the fact that it featured a nucular scientist. I’ve forgotten the plot, the setting, and everything else. It was memorable only because it was where I first heard the word “nucular”. Perhaps the vulture in the film was a wooden vulture, or perhaps we are all living through a B-grade horror movie. .

The Western Confucian: M�nster and Nagasaki

The Western Confucian reminds us that more Japanese Christians were killed by US bombing in one day that were killed in four centuries of persecution by the Japanese government


‘At 11:02 AM, two-thirds of Japan’s Catholics were annihilated,’ wrote yours truly last year about today’s grim anniversary in a brief history of Japan’s historic center of Catholicism — The Holy City of Nagasaki. ‘On that day that will live in infamy, more Japanese Christians were slaughtered than had been martyred in four centuries of brutal persecution.’ Urakami Cathedral, the largest Christian church in Asia, was the siting target.

British double standards on WMD and terrorists

The British government uses double standards over weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and also over which “terrorist” governments it recognises and fails to recognise.

How Labour used the law to keep criticism of Israel secret | Politics | The Guardian:

The full extent of government anxiety about the state of British-Israel relations can be exposed for the first time today in a secret document seen by the Guardian.

The document reveals how the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) successfully fought to keep secret any mention of Israel contained on the first draft of the controversial, now discredited Iraq weapons dossier. At the heart of it was nervousness at the top of government about any mention of Israel’s nuclear arsenal in an official paper accusing Iraq of flouting the UN’s authority on weapons of mass destruction.

The dossier was made public this week, but the FCO succeeded before a tribunal in having the handwritten mention of Israel kept secret.

clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

The removal of a negative reference to Israel from a draft of the discredited Iraq weapons dossier released this week illustrated the double standards which contribute to Palestinian anger and violence, a Labour MP said today.

Richard Burden, chair of the British-Palestine all-party parliamentary group, was responding to the revelation in today’s Guardian that a comment on Israel flouting United Nations resolutions was removed from the “Williams draft” after the Foreign Office appealed to the information tribunal, which had ordered the document’s publication.

But the Birmingham Northfield MP insisted the international community should “not be afraid” of saying that “Israel has been developing weapons of mass destruction for some years”.

Burden compared the government’s reluctance to offend Israel to the reaction after Hamas won the Palestinian elections in 2006. He said that after the Islamist group called a truce the response was “to ignore that and refer to them as terrorists”.

blog it

As Burden points out, the recent revelations about British double standards on the question of WMD in the Middle East also highlight other double standards as well — denouncing Hamas as “terrorists”, but recognising the UDI by the UCK (Kosovo Liberation Army), which is just as much a terrorist organisation as Hamas.

War and hegemony

Alan Greenspan, the former head of the US Federal Reserve, has been in the news lately with the publication of his memoirs, in which he claimed that that Bush’s invasion of Iraq was about oil, not weapons of mass destruction.

Counterpunch disagrees, however,

It is certainly the case that Iraq was not invaded because of WMD, which the Bush administration knew did not exist. But the oil pretext is also phony. The US could have purchased a lot of oil for the trillion [billion] dollars that the Iraq invasion has already cost in out-of-pocket expenses and already incurred future expenses.

and goes on to say that

Bush’s wars are about American hegemony, not oil. The oil companies did not write the neoconservatives’ “Project for a New American Century,” which calls for US/Israeli hegemony over the entire Middle East, a hegemony that would conveniently remove obstacles to Israeli territorial expansion.”

And it is on that point that the policies of the two major American parties are almost exactly the same. Americans seem to get hugely antagonistic about their politics, tossing puerile insults at the other side (one gets tired of seeing “DemocRATS” and “Repugs” all over the Internet), and yet to people outside the USA, they are as alike as Tweedledum and Tweedledee, fighting over the claim the one had spoiled the other’s nice new rattle. American politicians do indeed seem to be like children fighting over toys, the toys, in this case, being America’s military hardware.

Bush bombed Baghdad, but Clinton bombed Belgrade, and Blair joined in the bombing of both. And Madeleine Albright thought the death of half a million Iraqi children was a price worth paying to ensure American hegemony in the Middle East. And it was her Democratic Party administration that bombed a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan using the false pretext that it was being used for the manufacture of WMD.

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