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More Neocon Agitprop – The Son Of Yellowcake

CBS carries this fairy tale about an intelligence report that says: Israel: Venezuela Supplying Iran Nukes. This is supposed to be an Israeli intelligence report that claims that Iran is receiving uranium from Venezuela and Bolivia.

With a little checking you find out that there are geology reports that indicate there might actually be uranium deposits in Venezuela and Bolivia, but no one is sure because it isn’t being mined, much less being refined into yellowcake and exported anywhere. Apparently it is hoped that bringing in Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales, who are despised by neocons, will help convince the powers that be to bomb Iran, or some other simple-minded garbage.

Iran wants nuclear power because it has its own uranium deposits. Iran has to import refined petroleum products because the companies that began pumping out their oil fields never built any local refineries. Iran wants to be energy self-sufficient because they know the oil will run out. They want to mine their own uranium and do all of the processing in the country because of the way they have been screwed over by Big Oil, and the West.

Back in January The Times was reporting that Iran in scramble for fresh uranium supplies, which might be somewhat true, as the IAEA has reported a drop off in concentrated uranium production. Iran might be having problems in its mining and initial processing operations. If true, any possibility of getting enough highly concentrated uranium for a weapon is kicked further down the road than ever before.

If Iran were looking for more yellowcake, Kazakhstan is the most logical source as it could come in by ship on the Caspian Sea, not from the other side of the world. It would be even more logical to simply wait until their own mines catch up, because the neocons seem to be the only ones in a hurry for Iran to start a nuclear reactor.


1 Steve Bates { 05.26.09 at 11:32 pm }

Yellowcake from Venezuela? and we’re being told by (stifles cough) Israel? Give me a break. Not that Chavez wouldn’t do it if he thought it would annoy the U.S. government… the times I’ve seen him interviewed, he proved himself an arrogant, unpleasant man whose biggest sin was having the interests of his country and of course his own power at heart. But it just doesn’t make any sense. Israel is, as we used to say in college, pulling it out of its ass.

The Bush administration spent much of its two terms doing everything possible to make Iran feel that it needed nuclear power. If they felt they needed nuclear weapons in response to Bush’s threats, one could understand that, too. The whole notion that the U.S. can manipulate all the nations of the globe by threatening them with pre-emptive attacks, invasions and (Dog forbid) nuclear bombs is so stupid that one might almost think it originated with Dick “Dick” Cheney… but he isn’t the first, and won’t be the last, to commit that folly. For the rest of us, eternal vigilance is the price of non-vaporization.

Steve Bates´s last blog post..Nelson To Diss Appointment

2 Badtux { 05.26.09 at 11:48 pm }

One of my coworkers is from Kazakhstan and in fact worked for the agency in charge of their nuclear fuel program while he was there (during Soviet days, he was in IT, obviously, not a nuclear scientist). He has been having much hilarity over this silly accusation, having made the same comment as you (and with first-hand knowledge that Kazakhstan would have absolutely no problem with the notion of selling Iran as much yellowcake as Iran could stand, as long as Iran bribed the right people in Kazakhstan’s very corrupt government, including of course the prerequisite deposits into Nazarbayev’s Swiss bank accounts).

I’d say “better idiots, please!” but alas even low-grade Rethug idiots can fool enough of the people enough of the time to get a “gentleman’s C” failed businessman elected President, so maybe I should be careful what I wish for…

3 Jack K., the Grumpy Forester { 05.26.09 at 11:49 pm }

…nothing convinces me more about the truth of the CBS article than its claim that Hezbollah has been setting up cells in the middle of a South American country that is over 90% Roman Catholic. Yup, that just simply has the absolute taste of veracity to it…

4 Bryan { 05.26.09 at 11:49 pm }

If you are going to spread rumors and be successful you have to at least use half-truths, and not talk about things that are readily verified. The Niger story had legs because yellowcake is produced there in quantity, so it was plausible.

Two countries that don’t even mine the mineral is just absurd.

Even more absurd is that it appeared in the media. No one even checked to see if it was possible. Yellowcake is bulk cargo, so how would it be transported to Iran without anyone noticing? Israel said it, so print it – what a bunch of crap.

5 Badtux { 05.26.09 at 11:51 pm }

Steve, you mis-stated the name of the former leader of the United States in your previous comment. It’s Darth Dick Cheney or, if you’re not wanting to sound vaguely salami party-ish, just “Darth Cheney”. You’re supposed to put his title first, not second!

— Badtux the Tongue-in-beak Penguin

Badtux´s last blog post..The economy in a nutshell

6 Bryan { 05.27.09 at 12:04 am }

Kazakhstan and Iran are already working closely on Caspian Sea interests and have reasonable relations, so it would be insulting if Iran were to bribe officials in another country to ship uranium. It’s not like there are a lot of international checkpoints on the Caspian or people watching what Kazakhstan does.

Hezbollah has an important election coming up, they are not apt to have too many people overseas right now, and they have never really been interested in traveling. Shi’ia would be remarkably easy to spot in South America outside all but the largest port cities.

7 Kryten42 { 05.27.09 at 10:48 am }

*sigh* It’s sooooooooo bloody annoying Bryan! We here in Aus have some of the best quality and highest concentrations of uranium on the planet, and about 23% of the Worlds supply, and we NEED money dammit!! Why don’t Iran ask us??! *sigh* We need the money more than Venezuela does (who, BTW, have less uranium in the ground than Mongolia, who have about 1% of the Worlds supply, and the real reason the Chinese want the Mongol’s all gone). Hell, China are buying their lot’s of their uranium from us. Interestingly, Kazakhstan has the next highest supply at about 15%. 😉

BTW, for the ummm… uninformed, amongst us… Uranium is actually a very common element (as common as tin or zinc in fact) as it’s actually found in most rocks and seawater, albeit, in minute concentrations. 😉 The German scientists discovered this in WW2. It’s not news.

Supply of Uranium

8 Kryten42 { 05.27.09 at 10:59 am }

For anyone actually interested in facts, rather than bedwetting fantasies, here are the facts regarding Iran’s Nuclear program, which the USA helped start in Iran in 1957. 🙂

In Focus : IAEA and Iran

9 Bryan { 05.27.09 at 12:24 pm }

The President of Iran has absolutely no powers that are associated in any way with the military of Iran. The office has less real power than the Queen, and actually has less effect on the actual government of Iran than the President of Israel has on the government of Israel. Ahmadinejad wasn’t even allowed to permit women in Iran to attend the World Cup matches. He tried, but was overruled. He does have an on-going program concerning people who walk dogs in Tehran that he has been allowed to pursue.

As for the anti-missile system, well that was the fault of a crazy old Brit named Isaac Newton who defined the laws of motion which prove that the system as built won’t work because time insists on continuing while the equipment works things out. That annoying German, Einstein, put a speed limit on electromagnetic waves which really messed up the entire concept. It was a great way to spend a lot of tax dollars, but, as usual, those bloody scientists proved it was a fraud.

The only effective way of doing it is from space, but people would probably complain if the planned intercept didn’t work and they got hit by two missiles instead of one. There’s no pleasing some people.

Frankly, the idea of anyone who lived through World War II in Britain, even as a child, being worried about what Iran might do, is fairly absurd.

Iran isn’t a wolf, it is a puppy. It is an annoying noisy puppy, but not a real threat to anyone who leaves it alone. It stays in its own yard.

10 Bryan { 05.27.09 at 12:37 pm }

You need more corruption in your system, Kryten. There has to be “gifts” involved or people don’t really believe they are getting a good deal in the Middle East. It was really annoying trying to buy anything because they are more interested in the bargaining than actually making a sale.

I always made them feel better by telling them that I knew I paid them too much for whatever it was, but I was going to selling it for a 100% mark-up, so the higher price increased my profit, but I needed the receipt to prove it.

They have manage to purify to 4%, which means another 20 runs through the centrifuges to get it to weapons grade. Even if they wanted to, it would take years and a lot more yellowcake. Global climate change is a bit more immediate problem.

11 Bryan { 05.27.09 at 9:46 pm }

If you would care to provide any evidence that Iran has any actual hostile intentions towards another nation, or, in fact, intends to actually build weapons, I might change my mind about them. So far everything that has been presented has been manufactured out of whole cloth.

Ahmadinejad is irrelevant. He has no power to do anything, unlike the Israeli Prime Minister who controls real nuclear weapons, has a history of attacking people, and is making constant threats.

Iran was very helpful in the aftermath of 9-11 in the attacks on al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, and still has members of both groups in its prisons. With a minimum of diplomacy at the time, they would be a lot friendlier, but Bush managed to alienate just about everyone.

12 Badtux { 05.27.09 at 11:55 pm }

What is amazing is how the tighty righties have been trained to crap their britches upon command no matter how ridiculous the statement. Like, “OMG! Look! Iranian terrorist training camps in Venezuela, we must invade!” and if you’re pointing out they’re crapping their britches over not only a non-existent threat, but one that is ludicrous, they get sarcastic and accuse you of just not taking the threat seriously. Well, yeah. Because it’s hysteria. It’s like accusing Iran of wanting a war with Arabs. That’s like accusing Costa Rica of wanting a war with Panama, it’s just ludicrous on its face, the only time Iran has ever fought a war with an Arab nation is when Saddam attacked them and it ain’t exactly as if they had a whole lot of choice in that matter. And they sure the hell ain’t interested in firing off nukes at Israel, because they know that U.S. nukes would be comin’ right back at them if Israeli nukes didn’t get them first. The ayatollahs might let the Mayor of Tehran make some neato sabre rattling speeches, but the Mayor of Tehran ain’t got no guns or bombs… the ayatollas do, and they aren’t interested in using them.

But hey, we’re talkin’ facts, which ain’t got nothin’ to do with folks who soil their tighty whities upon demand. Facts simply don’t affect people who live their lives in utter terror of whatever their Pavlovian masters have told them to fear today, because fear and facts cannot coexist in the same brain. So their masters ring their bell, and the slaves to fear promptly soil their tighty whities and cringe in terror of whatever they’ve been told to fear today… sad. Must be a terrible way to live, and hell on the water bill to do all that laundry too I imagine, unless they use Depends…

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Badtux´s last blog post..Well, well, well…

13 Bryan { 05.28.09 at 12:46 am }

The real problem is that the ayatollahs don’t want to talk to heathen outsiders, so everyone talks to the whacko, when he isn’t harassing people for owning dogs.

There are a lot of dangerous things going on in this world, and a lot of people running countries that shouldn’t be, but Very Serious People have decided what will be discussed, and what we should be afraid of.

It’s no wonder people don’t want to look at a map, it’s too depressing to find out how irrelevant many of the “threats” really are.

14 Kryten42 { 05.29.09 at 9:07 am }

I think the US citizens (the sane ones at any rate) would be FAR better searved worring about their own American nutjobs, like most of the right.

Case in point: Dick Morris thinks the solution to NK is to allow Japan to change their constitution and develop their own nuclear weapons. LMAO
You REALLY can’t make this sh*t up!!

Dick Morris Thinks Convincing the Japanese to Develop Nuclear Weapons is the Solution to Dealing With North Korea


15 Bryan { 05.29.09 at 2:39 pm }

I think that Badtux summarized the reaction of Asia to any overt move by Japan to re-militarize. You don’t solve the problem of nuclear proliferation by proliferating.

I heard a remark on a call-in show, that pretty much encapsulates my view. The first words from the caller: “What color is the sky in the world you live in?”

They don’t get it. They don’t know the history. They don’t know the technology. They don’t understand the cultures. They just don’t get it. If we knew the color of their sky, maybe we could figure out where they belong.