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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Divine Strake: More Madness From the Team that Brought You the Iraq War


Get a load of Divine Strake, the latest project of the madness that is the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld team. Not content with our current behemoth supply of "old fashioned" nuke weapons left over from the Cold War, the insane warmongers of Bush II plan to develop a whole new crop of "tactical" nukes that can be used all over the world to shock and awe nations into compliance.

Oh, we'll be hitting their underground command bunkers, and maybe even Iranian underground nuclear facilities, like they've never been hit before. Or at least making lots of work for defense contractors and federal nuke labs to counteract the funding impacts caused by the fall of the USSR and the end of the Cold War.

The ironically named blast test is set for detonation on June 2nd at the Nevada Test Site, which is on Western Shoshone land. According to GlobalSecurity.org, Divine Strake will entail blowing up a 700 ton buried heavy charge, made of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil, above a tunnel structure. Boom. The explosion will be 280 times more powerful than the one that destroyed the Oklahoma City federal building, and 50 times larger than any current American conventional weapon. It's not really a bomb, however. It's more like 700 tons of chemicals buried in a hole, so there's no way it could be carried by any airplane known to humankind.

Although many media accounts have been garbled and inaccurate about the test's goals, it's clearly aimed at simulating a "low yield nuclear weapon ground shock" so our nuke pushers can study the effects of "low-yield tactical" nukes. In this way, they can better plan nuke attacks on whatever we determine to be the latest "battlefield." Like Iran.

DisarmamentActivist.org lays out truths thast counteract the distortions being tossed around in the media. And Albuquerque Journal reporter John Fleck has more, including links to coverage at other science blogs. Fleck characterizes the claim that the test is merely for a new convention weapon as "frankly preposterous." In fact, the Defense Department has admitted the test is designed to simulate the explosion of a "low yield" nuke.

The Western Shoshone tribe has mounted a protest against this and any other bomb testing on their land, citing a United Nations treaty to back their position:

The Western Shoshone said the test would be in direct violation of the recent decision of the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. CERD, in the decision made public March 10, urged the United States to ''freeze,'' ''desist'' and ''stop'' actions and threats against the Western Shoshone.

The tribe, along with representatives of two Salt Lake citizens groups, has filed suit to stop the Divine test. One of the plaintiff's said the massive explosion "could kick up radioactive dust from previous nuclear testing," and claims "the Pentagon has sprung it on everybody with no examination of its effects."  You can rest assured that Rumsfeld has his hand in this one.

According to Time Magazine:

The lawsuit demands that the Defense Department publish its plans in the Federal Register, provide the opportunity for public comment and conduct a full environmental impact statement on the effect of the explosion. "The Department of Defense appears to have learned nothing from Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl and the devastating deaths caused to nuclear veterans and downwinders by atmospheric nuclear testing," the suit contends.

The Western Shoshone Defense Project is organizing an International Day of Action across from the Nevada Test Site on Sunday, May 28, during Memorial Day Weekend. Protest activities will continue throughout the week.

Air America's Randi Rhodes is leading an effort to push the media to video and photograph the test, as well as provide accurate and truthful information about its purposes. What can we do to apply pressure to stop this madness?

  • Contact the media and insist they travel to the site to cover the explosion
  • Contact your members of Congress to urge them to stop the test
  • Support the efforts by the Shonshones to stop any further testing at the Nevada Test Site, which is on their tribal lands

April 26, 2006 at 11:44 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink


This truly is insane. Are any name Democrats fighting this?

Posted by: WF | Apr 26, 2006 1:17:28 PM

How much is this costing? Is Halliburton getting a contract for "clean-up"?????

Posted by: Greenie | Apr 26, 2006 3:18:59 PM

June 2nd is a friday. Better take the day off of work if you live in the rocky mountain zone. Be with the ones you love.
I heard bush liked to stuff firecrackers into frogs when he was a kid and watch them blow apart into tiny peices. Sounds like familiar behavior. Don't it?

Posted by: blow er up | Apr 26, 2006 4:15:28 PM

Whatever happened to slowly getting rid of the nuclear weapons we already have? It is obscene that this government is developing more. We need to start voicing opposition. They are preparing to strike Iran.
On Think Progress there is a list of experts who have already spoken out:


Posted by: Mandala | Apr 26, 2006 7:11:15 PM

Could there be a better symbol for what is wrong with American policy in the 21st century than this idiotic explosion? The strategy being executed by Bush is about as effective, ethical and smart as the old nutball refrain of "nuke 'em" as a solution to anyone failing to fall in line with our empire building.

It's come to this. A real American tragedy.

Posted by: Old Dem | Apr 27, 2006 9:10:51 AM

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