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Yellow Cake and Green Salt: Tale of Two Countries


By: Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich


Long, long ago, Shahrzad 'ghesse goo' told stories - for 1001 Nights she spun tales to stay alive.  Long, long passed.  And so today, in Washington neo-cons are spinning tales to take lives.  And the stories go like this: Yellow Cake to attack and kill Iraqis, Green Salt to attack and kill Iranians...


Tales of  skill and audacity; for in spite of at least four documents in the United States document archives refuting claims that Saddam Hossein ever bought any 'yellow cake' from Niger, in January 2003, President Bush citing from a British dossier, repeated claims that Saddam Hossein had purchased yellow cake from Niger[1] .  Removing all doubt from the American public's mind that Saddam had intentions to build nuclear weapons; the yellow cake 'evidence' went a long way in convincing us that the danger from Iraq was imminent.   He marched us to war.


It is worthwhile quoting Adbusters magazine which summed up neo-conservatism as: "The belief that Democracy, however flawed, was best defended by an ignorant public pumped on nationalism and religion. Only a militantly nationalist state could deter human aggression.  Such nationalism requires an external threat and if one cannot be found it must be manufactured."


So it was that with their tale, Washington marched us to Baghdad, assuring us with Chalabi, peace and roses - our mission was to find WMDs before we were annihilated, our freedom and our way of life robbed from us.  But the only WMDs were the tales that to this day bury with them countless bodies who did not welcome us with rose petals. 1001 nights of  planning, deception, war, and carnage in Iraq was what came out of the yellow cake tale that incited Americans and buried Iraqis. The fear that we strived to conquer.


On the heels of  their first successful tale, came the second - the green salt story and the laptop, for their achievement had emboldened the neo-cons.  Not surprisingly, among the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) founders were eight people affiliated with the number-one defense contractor Lockheed-Martin, and seven others associated with the number-three defense contractor Northrop Grumman.  Of the twenty-five founders of PNAC twelve were later appointed to high level positions in the George W. Bush administration.


The Pentagon's budget for buying new weapons rose from $61 billion in 2001 to over $80 billion in 2004. Lockheed Martin's sales rose by over 30% at the same time, with tens of billions of dollars on the books for future purchases. From 2000 to 2004, Lockheed Martins stock value rose 300%. Northrup-Grumann saw similar growth with Department of Defense (DoD) contracts rising from $3.2 billion in 2001 to $11.1 billion in 2004. Halliburton, with Dick Cheney as former CEO, had defense contracts totaling $427 million in 2001. By 2003, they had $4.3 billion in defense contracts, of which approximately a third were sole source agreements.[2]


How could they fail not to spin another tale?  After all, Iran was next door, like Iraq, rich in oil and traitors, prompting weavers in Washington to start spinning webs of deceit and so it was that the story of a "laptop" and "green salt" was trumpeted around the world.  The credibility of the 'laptop' information has been challenged by nuclear arms expert and president of the ISIS (Institute for Science and International Security), David Albright.  Some of the tall tales challenged in a correspondence with New York Times are as follows:


"The media needs to be especially careful not to exaggerate any nuclear threat."

"Based on publicly available photos o the 2004 test launch, the nuclear warhead would require a diameter of about 600 millimeters - achieving such a diameter would be a challenging for Iran.  For example, the diameter of the warhead on the design provide to Libya (and perhaps to Iran) by A.Q. Khan was about 900 millimeters - A legitimate question is whether Iran could successfully build such a s mall nuclear warhead without outside help.". .[3]


Moreover, administration officials have also voiced doubt about the credibility of the laptop. [4] Nevertheless, the temptation of military dominance, enhanced arms sales, and oil resources of the Persian Gulf, induces the neo-cons to make monsters of the Iranians, instilling fear in the "ignorant public pumped on nationalism and religion", and in this way the story of green salt takes on a life of its own.  Once the ugly monster of fear takes on a life, it no longer becomes relevant whether the origin of it was factual or not.  This was witnessed in Iraq.  What motivates the public is fear. And fear closes their eyes to the truth. 


The neo-conservative warmongers have their fables, their war, and their profits.  It is said that a courageous man will die one time only.  A coward will die a thousand deaths.  How many times will the neo-cons take this country to war based on fear?  How many must die to satisfy them?  More pertinently, with their story weaving, will we ever conquer  our fear? 


Sharzad told tales to live....


Neo-con tales must be ignored if we are to live.....



[2] Source: Peter Philips, Ph.D. Sociology Department, Sonoma State University, CA. Project Censored.

[4] Source: Washington Post, Daphne Lizner, "Strong Leads and Dead Ends in Nuclear Case Against Iran" February 8, 2006:A01

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