The release of radioactivity from Fukushima is at least as great as from Chernobyl, and a humanitarian disaster on the scale of Chernobyl needs to be averted by acknowledging the truth and taking responsibility for mitigating measures.
Regulators seriously economical with the truth
“Few people will develop cancer as a consequence of being exposed to the radioactive material that spewed from Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant…and those who do will never know for sure what caused their disease.” These conclusions, published in the journal Nature  are based on two “comprehensive, independent assessments” from UNSCEAR (United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation) and WHO (World Health Organisation), both notorious for downplaying and denying the devastating health impacts of the Chernobyl accident  (see Chernobyl Deaths Top a Million Based on Real Evidence, SiS 55). They are now using the same tactics to rule out, a priori, potential health impacts from Fukushima radioactive releases.
According to the draft UNSCEAR report seen by Nature , 167 workers at the plant received radiation doses that “slightly raise their risk of developing cancer.” Actually, six former reactor workers have died since the catastrophe, but UNSCEAR ruled they were unrelated to the accident .
“There may be some increase in cancer risk that may not be detectable statistically,” Kiuohiko Mabuchi, head of Chernobyl studies at the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland, told Nature. He said that in Chernobyl, where clean-up workers were exposed to much higher dose, 0.1 % of the 110 000 workers surveyed have so far developed leukaemia, although not all of those cases resulted from the accident. In fact, the death rate of the “clean-up workers” at Chernobyl remained high even four years after the accident, and 20 years later, 115 000 (out of 830 000) are dead .
WHO, for its part, estimates that most residents of Fukushima and neighbouring Japanese prefectures received absorbed doses below 10 mSv . Residents of Namie town and Iitate village, not evacuated until months after the accident, received 10-50 mSv, though infants in Namie may have been exposed to enough I-131 to have received 100-200 mSv. The government aims to keep public exposure from the accident below 20 mSv, but in the longer term, it wants to decontaminate the region so residents will receive no more than 1 mSv per year from the accident. Thus, people have been exposed within a matter of weeks, 10 to 200 times the legal limit dose for a whole year.
Yet, WHO’s conclusion for Fukushima is the same as for Chernobyl : “A greater health risk may come from the psychological stress created.”
A day later..
A day later, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) announced that the amount of radioactive material released during the first days of the Fukushima nuclear disaster was almost two and a half times the initial estimate by Japanese safety regulators . The operator said the meltdowns at the three reactors released about 900 000 Terabecquerels (1012 Bq) of radioactive substances into the air during March 2011.
The later estimate was based on measurements suggesting the amount of radioactive iodine I-131 released was much larger than previous estimates. TEPCO said it had initially been unable to accurately judge the amount of radioactive materials released because radiation sensors closest to the plant were disabled in the disaster.
Several days later, ex-Prime Minister Naoto Ken apologized for his role in the Fukushima nuclear crisis . His government’s push for nuclear energy was largely to blame. Ken had stepped down in September 2011 when the government faced fierce criticism over its handling of the crisis and for providing too little information to the public. It was Ken, however, who ordered TEPCO to keep the men on site; otherwise Fukushima would have spiralled out of control, according to a private panel probing the accident.
But the threat remains. Experts are now worried about the state of the spent fuel pool in unit 4, which is unlikely to withstand another earthquake . The severely damaged unit 4 building houses a spent nuclear fuel pool that contains 10 times the amount of Cs-137 released at Chernobyl. Nearly all of the 10 893 spent fuel assemblies at the Fukushima Daiichi plant sit in pools vulnerable to future earthquakes, with altogether 85 times the long-lived radioactivity released at Chernobyl. A letter was sent by 72 Japanese NGOs to the United Nations with an urgent request for immediate action to stabilize unit 4’s spent nuclear fuel. The letter was endorsed by nuclear experts from both Japan and abroad.
Andrew DeWit, professor of political economy at Rikkyo University told Al Jazeera that transparency on the issues of nuclear energy was paramount. And that is precisely what’s lacking, in Japan, and in the world at large.
“We heard it first from the internet”
Miwa Chiwaki from Kodomo Fukushima (Fukushima network to protect children from radiation) said  it was in a BBC programme via the internet that people first saw pictures of the explosions at the power station. The Japanese government had information from SPEEDI (System for Prediction of Environment Emergency Dose Information) and they passed the information first to the US government on 14 March and to the Japanese people only on 23 March.
The day after the tsunami struck the Fukushima nuclear plant, thousands of residents at the nearby town of Namie gathered to evacuate. In the absence of guidance from Tokyo, the town officials led the residents north, in the belief that the winter winds would blow south and carry away the radioactive plume. They stayed in the Tsushima district for three nights where the children played outside and some parents used the water from a mountain stream to cook rice . But the ill winds from Fukushima had been blowing directly towards them in Tsushima, as it would transpire two months later. SPEEDI had predicted that. But bureaucrats in Tokyo had not seen it their responsibility to make that information public. Japan’s political leaders did not know about the system, and later downplayed the data, fearful of having to enlarge the evacuation zone and acknowledge the severity of the accident.
Tamotsu Baba, the mayor of Namie, now living with thousands in temporary housing in another town, condemned the withholding of information as being akin to “murder”.
The true level of contamination is also hidden from people, Chiwaki said . Many mothers queued up with their children in the rain for several hours to receive water rations (while radioactivity was being washed down over them with the rain), in Iitate, villagers were left in very high levels of contamination for a whole month.
“Advisers on radiation control from Fukushima prefecture flocked to the villages,” Chiwaki said, “and, with broad smiles on their faces, told the people that “there is nothing to worry about, you can let your children play outside.”” Three days later, the village was classified “planned evacuation zone”.
The circumstances of the accident and the real levels of contamination were only revealed piecemeal. A “safety campaign” was initiated on 20 March. Professor Shunichi Yamashita of Nagasaki University was sent around the country, smiling and say things like: “100 mSv? No problem!” “Radiation is only a threat to people who worry about it.” “Smile and you won’t be affected by the radiation.”
Radioactivity, dose and general exposure limits
A great deal of confusion and anxiety is created by the different units used in announcements to the popular media. The unit of radioactivity is a Becquerel, Bq, equal to 1 radioactive disintegration per second, coming directly from a source, a radionuclide in contaminated food or drink, soil or air. Larger units are the kBq (1 000), MBq (106), (GBq (109), TBq (1012), PBq (1015), and EBq (1018).
The unit of absorbed dose (amount of energy absorbed by a unit of material) is the Gray, Gy, equal to 1 Joule/kg. The equivalent or effective dose is the Sievert, Sv (also in units of Joule/kg) is the absorbed dose modified to represent the presumed biological effect. Note that 1 Joule is a very small amount of energy. But unlike ordinary chemical energy, where typically kJ quantities are needed before anything can happen, the energy in ionizing radiation exists in extremely concentrated quanta or packets; hence 1 J of energy would already contain many of these energetic missiles (typically a billion) that target atoms and molecules. This is the major difference between ionizing radiation and ordinary chemical energy.
The Becquerel and the Sievert are not directly convertible, because it depends on the radionuclide involved, which particles or photons it produces per disintegration, and how much energy each of the photons or particles carries. There is a website that tells you how the calculation is done and actually does it for you  (http://www.radprocalculator.com/Gamma.aspx). Some useful approximate correspondences are:
1 mSv of I-131 = 2.06525 x 106 Bq
1 mSv of Cs-137 = 1.30878 x 106 Bq
Radiation exposure considers how long a period over which the dose is absorbed, usually in mSv/year.
The exposure limit in Europe is 1 mSv/year for the public, and the occupational exposure, 20 mSv/year . For USA, the occupational exposure limit is 50 mSv, reduced to 10 % for pregnant women. Dose limit for the public is 1 mSv/year, in addition to a background of o.3 mSv and 0.05 mSv from sources such as medical X-ray .
To put these exposure limits in perspective, it is generally recognized that a dose of 1 000 mSi will kill an adult. A whole body dose of 400 mSi will kill about 50 % of people within 60 days of the exposure, mostly from infection, as their immune systems are destroyed . At very low doses, such as what most of us receive every day from background radiation, the cells are able to repair the damage, though the recent discovery of bystander effects indicate that doses as low as tens of mSi are harmful . At higher doses (up to 100 mSi), the cells may not be able to repair the damage, and may either be changed permanently, or die. Most cells that die are replaced with few consequences. Cells changed permanently may give rise to diseases, they may go on to produce abnormal cells when they divide, and may become cancerous.
A comment submitted to the ICRP (International Commission on Radiological Protection) by the Sierra Club in 2006 stated : “Numerous academic researchers, independent scholars, and governmental bodies, such as the U.S. National Academies of Science and National Research Council, have now concluded that the linear no-threshold hypothesis is valid and that there is no “safe” level of radiation exposure.”
Exposure limits and exposure levels in Japan post-Fukushima
The pre-Fukushima legal exposure limit for the public in Japan was 10 mSi/y and 50 mSi/y for occupational exposure . The occupational legal limits were soon scrapped after the accident. At the end of April 2011, the Japanese government released a map based on air surveys done by MEXT (Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology), which revealed that people living in areas not being evacuated will receive radiation doses up to 23.5 times their annual legal limit over the course of the next year .
It is important to note that all the exposure limits and projected exposure mentioned so far are for external sources. As the French expert body, Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN) pointed out, they take no account of [15, p. 4] “exposure from other pathways such as immersion within the plume and inhalation of particles in the plume during the accident nor the doses already received or to be received from ingestion of contaminated foodstuffs. The total effective doses to be received (external + internal) could be much higher according to the type of deposit (dry or wet), diet and source of food.”
In addition, as Director of the Medical Institute of Environment at Gifu in Japan Matsui Eisuke pointed out , the government and its professional advisors in measuring exposure have relied mainly on g-rays that are easy to detect. But, in terms of internal radiation exposure, b and a- particles have a far more serious effect. “The government and TEPCO hardly measure such isotopes as b-emitting strontium-90 or a-emitting plutonium-239.”
Exposure due to ingested or inhaled radionuclide is a major problem in radioactive fallout, particularly when prompt evacuation, radioactive monitoring, and remediation have all failed to be carried out, as was the case for both Chernobyl and Fukushima.
IRSN’s assessment of projected doses based on the Japanese map released (see Figure 1), estimated that some 70 000 people including 9 500 children are living in the most contaminated areas outside the initial 20 km evacuation zone projected to receive further doses up to 200 mSv or more. This clearly calls for further evacuation beyond the initial 20 km zone. Under Japanese Food Sanitation Law, 5 000 Bq/kg of radioactive Cs is considered the safe limit in soil . Consequently, large areas of Japan may no longer be suitable for agriculture.
Figure 1 Map of caesium 137 + 134 deposits (Figure 7) superimposed on the map of projected doses for the 1st year (Figure 4) for 3 dose levels only (5, 10 and 20 mSv)
The Japanese government at first raised the legal exposure limit to 20 mSi a year for the public, including children, thereby leaving them in areas from which they would have been barred under the old standard . The limit for children was later scaled back to 1 mSi/y but only applies while they are inside school buildings.
In March 2012, the Japanese government announced a new standard limit for radionuclides in foods to 1 mSv/y, reducing from a previous provisional limit of 5 mSv/y. This translates into a maximum of 100 Bq/kg for regular food items such as meat, vegetables and fish (revised down from 500 Bq just after the Fukushima meltdown), 50 Bq/l for milk and infant food and 10 Bq for drinking water (revised down from 200) . As shown above, this still means an accumulation of internal exposure up to 1 million Bq a year, depending on how fast the radionuclides are cleared from the body. We already know that much lower levels have proven deadly for the children of Belarus (see  Apple Pectin for Radioprotection, SiS 55).
According to the German Society for Radiation Protection, a person is normally exposed to about 0.3 mSv per year through ingestion of food and drink; and this should be considered the permissible level of ingested radioactivity. In order not to go beyond this level, the amount of radioactive caesium-137 should not exceed 8 Bq/kg in milk and baby formula and 16 Bq/kg in all other foodstuff. Radioactive iodine with its short half-life should not be permitted in food at all .
How much radioactivity was released by the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant?
Although a picture of the radioactivity deposited on land is emerging, the actual levels of radioactivity to which people have been exposed are impossible to tell because there is a lot of uncertainty as to how much radioactivity has been released in the series of explosions in the Fukushima nuclear plant thus far.
TEPCO’s latest press release  gave the amounts of radionuclides released between 12 and 31 March 2011 as follows.
Releases into the air:
Noble gas: Approx. 5×1017 Bq
Iodine 131: Approx. 5×1017 Bq
Caesium 134: Approx. 1×1016 Bq
Caesium 137: Approx. 1×1016 Bq
Releases into the ocean:
Iodine-131: Approx. 1.1×1016 Bq
Cesium-134: Approx. 3.5×1015 Bq
Cesium-137: Approx. 3.6×1015 Bq
These add up to a total of 1 038.1 x 1015Bq or 1 038.1 PBq released.
TEPCO admits that the radioactivity measuring equipment were “unavailable due to the accident,” so “further data still need to be collected to review the validity of the evaluation result.” These reported radioactive releases from Fukushima are less than one-tenth those from the Chernobyl accident, a total of some 14 EBq (14 x 1018 Bq), over half of it in noble gases .
How reliable are the latest TEPCO results?
Using data from radioactivity measuring posts set up under the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Austrian Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) gave estimates of between 360-390 PBq iodine-131 and about 50 PBq of caesium-137 for the period of 12-14 March . According to their calculations, the iodine-131 emissions from Fukushima in those three days amounted to 20 % of the total iodine-131 emissions from Chernobyl (1 760 PBq), while the emissions of caesium-137 in those three days amounted to about 60 % of the total caesium-137 emissions from Chernobyl (85 PBq).
A study led by the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) found about 16 700 PBq of xenon-133 (250% of the amount released at Chernobyl) emitted by the Fukushima power plant between 12 and 19 March 2011, the largest release of radioactive Xenon in history . In addition, 35.8 PBq of caesium-137 (42% of the amount released at Chernobyl) was emitted in the same period. The study found that radioactive emissions were first measured right after the earthquake and before the tsunami struck the plant, indicating that the quake itself had already caused substantial damage to the reactors. The NILU report also suggests that the fire in the spent fuel pond of reactor 4 may have been the major contributor to airborne emissions, as emissions decreased significantly after the fire had been brought under control.
The same team of researchers updated their estimates in a paper published online giving estimates of 15 300 PBq of Xenon-133 and 36.6 PBq Cs-137 released into the atmosphere , not counting iodine-131 or Cs-134 (which was as much as Cs-137), nor releases into the ocean. But already, this is nearly 15 times the latest TEPCO estimate for total releases. I shall report separately in detail on this latest independent estimate, which gives a global picture of contamination from the fallout (see  Fukushima Fallout Rivals Chernobyl, SiS 55).
Contamination of soil 
MEXT conducted soil surveys in 100 locations within 80 km of the Fukushima power plant in June and July of 2011. They found contamination with various radionuclides; the main ones were strontium-90, iodine-131, and caesium-137. Strontium-90, with a half-life of 28 years, is similar to calcium, and is therefore incorporated into bone where it can remain for decades, emitting b-particles and irradiating the bone-marrow, causing leukaemia and other cancers. Strontium-90 was found at concentrations of 1.8-32 Bq/kg at sites outside the 30 kM evacuation zone in Nishigou, Motomiya, Ootama and Ono.
Iodine-131 has a half-life of 8 days. When ingested, it is incorporated like ordinary iodine in the thyroid gland, where it emits b- and g-radiation, causing thyroid cancer especially in children. I-131 was found in milk, drinking water, vegetables and water around Northern Japan. According to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), iodine-131 deposition in Tokyo reached 36 000 Bq/m2 between 22 and 23 March 2011. Soil samples in the municipalities of Nishigou, Izumizaki, Ootama, Shirakawa, Nihonmatsu, Date, Iwaki, Iitate, Ono, Minamisoma and Tamura showed concentrations of I-131 between 2 000 and 1 170 000 Bq/kg. In the municipality of Ono, 40 km southwest of the Fukushima plant, MEXT scientists found up to 7 440 Bq/kg of I-131 in rainwater samples. In August 2011, MEXT scientists still found I-131 concentrations of more than 200 Bq/kg in most of the municipalities, with maximum in Namie and Iitate of 1 300 and 1 100 Bq/kg respectively. Given its short half-life, this high level detected 145 days after the initial fallout on 15 March suggests extremely high initial contamination of the soil > 288 MBq/kg, or additional contamination of the area after the initial fallout. To convert from Bq/kg to Bq/m2, the convention is to multiply by 20 or 65, depending on the depth to which the soil is sampled. A conservative multiplier of 20 would give a value of > 5760 MBq/kg, going way off the top of the scale shown in the map of Fig. 1, which only gives radioactivity due to Cs-137 and Cs-134.
Cs-137 has a half-life of 30 years. It is similar to potassium, so its distribution is fairly even throughout the body if ingested. It is mainly a b-emitter, but its decay product barium-137 also produces g-radiation. It can cause solid tumours in virtually all organs. Cs-137 has a biological half-life of 70 days and is excreted through urine like potassium. It therefore accumulates in the bladder and irradiates the adjacent uterus and foetus in pregnant women. IRSN states that around 874 km2 of the area outside the 20 km evacuation zone must be considered highly contaminated with Cs-137, to an estimated concentration >6MBq/m2, similar to the evacuation zone around the Chernobyl power plant  (see Figure 1). In fact, Cs-137 in the Fukushima prefecture even reached up to 30 MBq/m2 north-west of the plant, and up to 10 MBq/m2 in neighbouring prefectures. Soil sample with Cs-137 between 20 000 and 220 000 Bq/kg were found by MEXT scientists in the municipalities of Iitate, Kawamata, Name, Katsurao and Nihonmatsu in April 2011. Even higher values up to 420 000 Bq/kg were recorded later in August 2011. According to IAEA, Cs-137 deposition in Tokyo reached 340 Bq/m2 22-23 March 2011. Radioactive caesium was also found in large quantities in beef, rice, milk, fish, drinking water and other foodstuff.
Contamination of the marine environment
Massive amounts of radioactive waste water used in cooling the reactors and spent fuel ponds were discharged into the sea, seeped into the soil or ground water or evaporated into the atmosphere . Between 4 and 10 April 2011, TEPCO deliberately released 10 393 tonnes of radioactive water. It constituted the single largest radioactive discharge into the oceans in history. A 1-2 week pulse of radioactivity peaked in the water around the Fukushima plant on 6 April 2011, with ocean concentrations of 68 MBq/m3, and an estimated total release of up to 22 PBq [28, 29]; TEPCO admits 18.1 PBq . After considerable dilution 2-3 months following the peak, surface concentrations were still higher than previously existing by as much as 10 000-fold in coastal waters and as much as 1 000-fold over a 150 000 km2 area of the Pacific up to 600 k east of Japan. Radioactive Cs was detected in all species of marine organisms ranging from phytoplankton to fish.
The waters northeast of the Fukushima plant are among the major fishing zones in the world, responsible for half of Japan’s seafood. But catch from the Ibaraki prefecture showed such high levels of radioactive isotopes that it had to be discarded as radioactive waste . Radioactive contamination in the ocean does not get diluted away, like other pollutants it gets accumulated in the marine food chain, up to fish consumed by humans. Radioactive caesium in sea bass caught in the North Pacific continually rose from March till September, with a maximum found on 15 September of 670Bq/kg. Radioactivity not only disperses passively in the ocean by currents and mixing, but is also spread by fish and mammals. The Pacific Bluefin tuna was found to transport Fukushima-derived radionuclides from Japan to California. Fifteen Pacific Bluefin tuna sampled in August 2011 had elevated levels of Cs- 134 (4.0 + 1.4 Bq/kg) and Cs-137 (6.3 + 1.5 Bq/kg).
Contamination of food and drinking water
Extensive contamination of food and drinking water was documented in the months after the disaster .
Outside the evacuation zone in Fukushima prefecture, MEXT survey one week after the earthquake found contaminated vegetables in the municipalities of Iitate, Kawamata, Tamua, Ono, Minamisoma, Iwaki, Tshukidate, Nihonmatsu, Sirakawa, Sukagawa, Ootama, Izumizaki and Saigou. I-131 concentrations were as high as 2.54 MBq/kg and Cs-137 up to 2.65 MBq/kg. One month after meltdown, radioactivity was still above 100 000 Bq/kg for I-131, and 900 000 Bq/kg for Cs-137 in some regions. In Ibaraki prefecture ~100 km south of the Fukushima plant, spinach was found with I-131 up to 54 100 Bq/kg and Cs-137 up to 1 931 Bq/kg. Other highly contaminated vegetables included mustard, parsley, and Shitake mushrooms, and lesser amounts of radiation were detected in lettuce, onions, tomatoes, strawberries, wheat and barley.
Milk, beef, rice and drinking water were also contaminated. The IAEA warned that levels of I-131 exceeded permissible limits between 17 and 23 March. Even in the northern district of Tokyo, tap water contained 210 Bq/l of I-131.
Seafood and fish caught close to the nuclear plant reached 500 – 1 000 Bq/kg. In April 2011, the Japanese Fishing Ministry found radioactive iodine and caesium in sand lance from Fukushima prefecture each with an activity up to 12 000 Bq/kg. The independent French radioactivity laboratory ACRO found readings of more than 10 000 Bq/kg in algae harvested outside the 20 km evacuation zone. One sample showed levels of 127 000 Bq/kg of I-131, 800 Bq/kg of Cs-134 and 840 Bq/kg of Cs-137.
In the prefecture of Shizuoka ~400 km from Fukushima, local tea leaves were found contaminated with 670 Bq/kg Cs-137, and radioactive Japanese green tea was discovered in France in June 2011.
Emerging health impacts 
Employees of the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, rescue- and clean-up workers are the most acutely exposed group. According to the Japanese Atomic Information Forum, radiation levels inside the plant peaked at around 1 000 mSi/h, a dose fatal to humans exposed for more than an hour. While airborne emissions decreased gradually, massive amounts of radiation still remained on site through wash-out in water continually pumped into the plant to cool the reactors. By 1 August 2011, radiation of 10 Sv/h was still detected around the premises. A total of 8 300 workers have been deployed in rescue and clean-up since March. In July, TEPCO announced that 111 workers had been exposed to radiation of more than 100 mSv, some as high as 678 mSv. That did not take into account effects of internal radiation through ingested or inhaled radioisotopes.
An under-cover report broadcast on 4 October 2011 on German TV ZDF revealed radiation levels as high as 10 Sv/h, and new hotspots were still being discovered . The exposure badges given to the workers routinely registered an error message as the radioactivity went way off-scale. The workers, paid €80-100 a day, were forbidden by contract to talk to reporters and given little information on the radiation levels in the plant. They only discovered that on TV. Some 18 000 workers had gone through the plant by then.
Following the nuclear meltdowns, the Japanese government ordered the evacuation of 200 000 people in an area of about 600 km2. As mentioned above, 70 000 people including 9 500 children were still living in highly contaminated areas outside this evacuation zone 2 months after the accident . IAEA measured radiation levels 16-115 mSv/h (i.e., up to 140-1 007 mSv/y) outside the 20 km evacuation zone. MEXT scientists confirmed these levels in their soil surveys of April 2011. Dose rates recorded in several cities outside the evacuation zone were 2 mSv/h in Nihonmatsu, Tamura, Souma, Minamisoma and Date; more than 5 mSv/h in Namie, and more than 100 mSv/h in Iitate. Four months later in August 2011, MEXT scientists still detected radiation doses up to 34 mSv/h in Namie, up to 16 mSv/h in Iitate, and up to 17.5 mSv/h in Katsurao.
IRSN projected the external exposure of the 70 000 living in the highly contaminated areas outside the 20 km evacuation zone to reach 200 mSv/y or more in the first year . The external collective dose over 4 years of this population was calculated to be 4 400 person-Sv, amounting to 60 % of the collective dose received by the population in the highly contaminated regions around Chernobyl.
MEXT’s calculations confirm those exposure levels. The estimated doses over the
course of a year are up to 235.4 mSv in the town of Namie, 61.7 mSv in Iitate, 24.2 mSv in
Kawamata, 21.2 mSv in Date, 18 mSv in Katsurao, 15.6 mSv in Minamisoma and more than 10 mSv in Fukushima city and Koriyama – both more than 55 km away from the plant. The natural (pre-existing) background radiation level in Japan is 1.48 mSv/y.
These high external sources of exposure have been and will continue to be internalized in food and drink. The devastating impacts of chronic exposure have been documented especially in the multiple diseases and deaths of hundreds of thousands of children as the result of the Chernobyl catastrophe, exacerbated by official denial, suppression, and disinformation .
I-131 is one of the most acute causes of cancer in children after a nuclear meltdown. Uptake of radioactive iodine can be prevented by a timely supply of iodine tablets. While such iodine tablets were supplied to the municipalities and evacuation centres during the first few days of the disaster, the order to distribute them was never issued, and hence, with very few exceptions, no iodine tablets were taken by people exposed to radioactive iodine . The may lead to a large number of cases of thyroid cancer, as in the case of Chernobyl . And the signs are ominous.
At the end of March 2011, a group of researchers around Hiroshima professor Satoshi Tashiro tested 1 149 children aged 0 to 15 from Iwaki city Kawamata town and Iitate village. Some 44.5 % showed radioactive contamination of up to 35 mSv in their thyroid gland. In October 2011, the University of Fukushima began with thyroid-examinations on 360 000 children living in the regions affected by radioactive contamination. Matsui Eisuke reported some of the results so far . Between October 2011 and 31 March 2012, 38 114 children 1-18 y in Fukushima prefecture were examined by ultrasonography of the thyroid gland. Cysts were found in more than 35 % of the children. In comparison, in Nagaski where 250 children 7-14 y had been examined since 2000, only 2 (0.8 %) had cysts in their thyroid gland.
Chiwaki reports that today, centres for measuring levels of radioactivity in food are opening one after another all over Japan, and not just in Fukushima . Parents have banded together to set up organic cafes to stock non-contaminated organic vegetables, and also to demand that school canteens use only uncontaminated ingredients. “It is mainly thanks to independent networks that people have been able to go somewhere else temporarily to take care of their health.”
Evacuation from highly contaminated areas still refused
The government still refuses to evacuate people from the highly contaminated regions . The city of Fukushima organized a planning meeting in the Ônami district that had been recommended for evacuation, and the opening words were:“Evacuation reduces economic activity, so we would opt for decontamination,” in other words, “We won’t let you leave.” The city has designated zones measuring >2 mSv/h for decontamination, and wanted volunteers; but when asked about their decontamination plans, said they have none. In February 2012, an estimated 62 000 people left Fukushima prefecture to seek refuge elsewhere.
In June 2011, pupils from 14 primary and secondary schools from the town of Kôriyama formally demanded that the local authority respect their right to be evacuated and to continue their education in a less contaminated area. But six months later, the demand has been refused.
“We have launched an appeal.” Chiwaki said. Refugees from the evacuation zones leave however they can, sometimes the whole family and sometimes the mother leaves with the children, and the husband stays behind to work and look after the house. Sharp divisions of opinion end in divorce and break up families.
“We have learnt lessons from the experience of Chernobyl and will never give up in our efforts to protect the lives of our children and everyone else. We ask the whole world to give us their support.”
For more information and especially if you can offer help, please contact http://fukushima-evacuation-e.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/take-action-to-help-children-in.html
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- Assessment on the 66th day of projected external doses for populations living in the north-west fallout zone of the Fukushima nuclear accident, outcome of population evacuation measures, Report DRPH/2011-10, Directorate of Radiological Protection and Human Health, Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire, October 2011
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- Ho MW. Apple pectin for radioprotection. Science in Society 55 (to appear) 2012.
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Quantum Jazz Biology Lecture – Why Beauty is Truth & Truth Beauty
by Mae-Wan Ho: – from Celebrating ISIS Event 26-27 March 2011, London.
Mae-Wan Ho, ‘quantum jazz biologist’, regarded by some as “the most influential scientist alive today”, shows how her science and art bear out the poet John Keat’s enigmatic lines, Beauty is truth, and truth beauty, and why that is important for reclaiming science (and art) for the public good.
Mae-Wan Ho is Director of the Institute of Science in Society (i-sis.org.uk), best known for original work on the physics of organisms and sustainable system and as a strong critic of genetic modification.
See her full biography here i-sis.org.uk/Quantum_Jazz_Biology_biographies.php#MaeWanHo.
Today, June 13, 2012, Israel State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss published his report on the Israeli government behavior in the events related to Gaza’s Freedom Flotilla of May 2010. The publication timing was not casual, Mr. Lindenstrauss delayed the report as much as he could since there was no way he could portray Netanyahu positively. As reported in America Pays for Netanyahu’s Luxury Trips, the comptroller must release his last reports before he leaves office. The report released today doesn’t look into the unjustifiable violence of the IDF during the raid, but into Netanyahu’s handling of the event. The Prime Minister turned out being rather clumsy and incompetent to the extent of causing an unnecessary disaster. In the words of the comptroller: “The decision making process regarding the dealings with the Turkish flotilla led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and under his responsibility was found to include essential and significant flaws.”
This report was published after that, on May 24, criminal charges were placed by Turkey against several IDF officers, demanding life sentences for their actions during the Flotilla events. Among them was former IDF Chief of Staff, General Gaby Ashkenazi (see Criminal Charges Placed against IDF General Ashkenazi), who plays an important role also in the State Comptroller report. General Ashkenazy behaved like a brute during the event, but before it, he issued a severe warning to Netanyahu. He was so confident that he would be ignored, that he sent the warning in an official letter to Netanyahu and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak. The document was posted weeks before the sailing date; the general claimed in it that the flotilla should be thwarted by diplomatic means before resorting to use of force. A characteristic of military mail is that it gets over-registered; neither Netanyahu nor Barak could claim not to have received it. Netanyahu didn’t even try to deny that, the comptroller found that Netanyahu held four work meetings with Ashkenazi on the issue. Yet, Netanyahu said to the comptroller “the Chief of Staff didn’t raise the issue of the threat that flotilla members posed nor did he voice any concern that violence would erupt. In the meeting at the Defense Minister’s office, the possibility that the flotilla was dangerous because of its size or the probability that shots would be fired was assessed as negligible.” Netanyahu strengthened this apparent contradiction by adding “in no place, in no discussion, not with anyone, not with the Defense Minister, not with the Chief of Sstaff, not with the Navy Commander… nowhere there was a problem with the operation raised.” These contradictions are typical of Netanyahu; in the Bibi Tours Affair he recognized the facts but claimed everything was legal (including double-billing!).
Who are Netanyahu’s friends?
Yet, the issue of the IDF early warnings seems secondary when compared to the decision making process used by Netanyahu. As after the 1973, 1982, and 2006 wars, the process was found tremendously flawed. Every time, the same errors were repeated by the political system, and the same criticism was made afterwards by the judiciary system; the Israeli Administration has successfully proved that it has the learning power of an amoeba. The comptroller’s report shows that Benjamin Netanyahu runs the Israeli government as if it were a tiny neighborhood shop, ignoring all legal procedures. The comptroller reports of awareness at all levels that the event was about to turn violent, as opposed to previous flotillas, which were thwarted peacefully. Five days before the flotilla’s arrival to Gaza, in the only relevant meeting held by the seven senior ministers, General Ashkenazi warned that a military takeover of the Mavi Marmara ship would lead to a violent confrontation. “I want to clarify that it isn’t easy, but we will do it. It is no-two minute operation,” he said and added “If anyone wants to make a drama out of it – there’s enough fuel for two or three days – not an hour… I have no doubt that there will be violence there. Let it be made clear. The people will confront us. I think it’s an illusion to think that if 20 people descend onto a ship with 400 people aboard they will be met with applause. They will fight them.” Three of the ministers—including Intelligence and Atomic Energy Minister Dan Meridor and Benny Begin—raised concerns over the IDF’s plans, inquired about the details but were silenced by Netanyahu. The comptroller claims “the meeting’s participants were unaware of the purpose of the debate and its content, and, on any account, did not have enough time to prepare for it;” thus the decision making process was centralized by Netanyahu and his Defense Minister Ehud Barak. The comptroller emphasized that the ministers received only a general overview of the flotilla, without any complete discussion as to the operation’s consequences, and didn’t hear of any alternative paths.
Netanyahu and Barak were both found at fault. “Despite the fact that information concerning the Turkish flotilla began accumulating at the beginning of 2010, and despite the recognition by the prime minister that it represented an irregular event, the decision-making process was done without proper coordination,” the comptroller wrote. The report discloses that the working meetings between Netanyahu and Barak were held without any preparation or documentation on the event. “It wasn’t clear which decisions were made during, decisions that were, on any account, not summed in writing.” In other words, nobody knows what was decided. Yet, it was obvious that Netanyahu’s government didn’t take any diplomatic steps and relied entirely on the military option. This happened while the military warned of unnecessary violence. “The decision making process regarding the dealings with the Turkish flotilla led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and under his responsibility was found to include essential and significant flaws,” the comptroller summarized the event. Sadly, no matter how serious this report is, it probably wouldn’t bring to Netanyahu’s resignation or to the placing of criminal charges against him.
Netanyahu proved being inept, causing an unnecessary massacre of civilians bringing humanitarian aid to refugees. Interestingly, the report went beyond this point, providing a collateral allusion to a point I made in the past in Is Netanyahu an Iranian Spy? State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss said in his official report “in reality, the Prime Minister made the decision as to the way to deal with the Turkish Flotilla based on the discussion held in this forum, and based on the recommendations of his friends.” “Netanyahu’s Friends” do not appear in this form for the first time in the Hebrew media, but this is probably the first time they appear in an official document issued by the state. The allusion is to friends who are outside the government and its related organizations; it has been explained in such a way by the major Hebrew newspapers. If we accept the report—and there is no reason to reject it, after all Israel finally admitted its error—then we must ask Mr. Netanyahu who are his secret friends. Probably he won’t answer, or will provide yet another r example of double-answering and double-billing. Yet, this is such an irresistible riddle! Should we ask CIA Director David Petreus?
On Thursday June 14, the High Constitutional Court in Egypt will rule on two pending motions that may radically change the future course of Egypt and determine the fate of its remarkable – but unfinished- revolution. The two motions are the constitutionality of the political ban on the former regime senior officials, such as Gen. Ahmad Shafiq, the undeclared military’s candidate for president, and the constitutionality of last winter’s parliamentary elections. Each decision might drastically alter the power structure in the country, and possibly propel another revolution whose fate remains unclear.
But how did we get to this point of complete uncertainty?
History will show that the unity displayed by the Egyptian people during the eighteen revolutionary days in early 2011 was decisive in convincing the Egyptian military to dump Mubarak and side with the people. Although the revolution was initially called for and led by the youth groups on January 25, soon after most political and social movements, religious and secular, and civil society groups including labor unions, professional syndicates, students, as well as the common man and woman in the street were demonstrating across Egypt by the millions, demanding the ouster of their dictator and the end of his corrupt regime.
By the time Mubarak was overthrown on February 11, 2011, the Egyptian people were divided into two camps: an overwhelming majority that celebrated the triumph of the revolution, and a tiny minority that comprised the remnants of the old regime, which included party bosses of Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP), his sons’ corrupt businessmen and cronies who looted billions of dollars from Egypt’s economy, and the resilient structure of the deep state that, for decades, ruled Egyptians through fear, intimidation, and propaganda including the top echelons of the military, intelligence services, state security apparatuses, as well as state media conglomerates.
It was also abundantly clear that, by the second week of the massive demonstrations across the country, the U.S. government encouraged the Egyptian military leaders to take matters into their hands after reaching the conclusion that the best way to keep Egypt in the U.S. orbit was to abandon Mubarak. Ever since that fateful day, the plan by the counter-revolutionary forces -internally and externally- has been to break up the unity of the revolutionary groups and gradually restore the old regime minus its most corrupt public faces.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which took the reign of power from Mubarak, recognized early on that the most powerful organized group within the revolutionary forces was the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). As a cautious social and religious movement, the MB is more reformist in nature than revolutionary. For decades, its objective has been to gradually reform the society towards an Islamically-oriented system of government based on its interpretation of Shari’a or Islamic law.
Realizing that it has a huge organizational advantage over other political parties especially the nascent revolutionary youth movements, the MB quickly broke ranks from these groups and reached a tacit understanding with SCAF to push for parliamentary elections ahead of rewriting the constitution or cleansing the state institutions from the loyal remnants of the old regime or the fulool. By March 2011, Egyptians were split almost 3 to 1 in favor of the Islamist position to hold elections before writing the constitution.
Throughout last summer and fall most of the youth revolutionary groups were in the streets protesting the excesses of SCAF, including holding over 12,000 military trials for civilians, carrying out several bloody crackdowns against the protesters, protecting the fulool of the old regime from accountability, and appointing a government made up of many Mubarak loyalists.
But by the end of the year, Egyptians went again to the polls to elect 678 representatives in the upper and lower chambers of Parliament. Once again, the electorate chose Islamic candidates over their liberal and leftist counterparts by a margin of 3 to 1.
Feeling empowered the Islamic parties led by the MB’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) ignored most other political parties and formed a tacit alliance with the more conservative Salafi Al-Noor party to form the constitution-writing committee. Soon after, the FJP reneged on its one-year old promise not to field a presidential candidate, thus creating a major distrust between the revolution’s Islamic and secular followers.
As the religious and secular revolutionary groups were quarreling over the discourse of the revolution and the nature of the state, the fulool, supported by SCAF and the deep security state, were quietly regrouping behind the scenes. Meanwhile, the SCAF-appointed government created many hardships that disrupted the daily life of common Egyptians while the state-run media, still controlled by Mubarak loyalists, as well as other private media outlets run by corrupt businesspeople, blamed the newly elected Parliament for the country’s deterioration in security and the near-collapse of the economy.
When the FJP demanded to form a coalition government to deal with the struggling economy, SCAF not only scoffed at the request, but also humiliated and threatened the group in public. Soon after, its preferred candidate, Mubarak’s last Prime Minster, Shafiq, was propped up throughout the country and promoted as the next president by the fulool and the former NDP machinery, as well as by the operatives of the intelligence services. Initially, no one took his candidacy seriously, believing that Shafiq could not be elected by the same people who overwhelmingly overthrew his boss just a year earlier.
At first, the fulool hoped that if they only elevated their candidate to reach the second round they would then have a strong chance to win the election one-on-one. In their view their best chance was to face the MB’s divisive candidate, Dr. Muhammad Mursi, in the runoff since it would be easier to attack him as the candidate of “the religious state,” rather than a candidate representing the revolutionary groups. They knew that if they face any of the other viable revolutionary candidates, such as Dr. Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh or Hamdein Sabahi, their candidate would be easily routed. So in the final two weeks of the first round in May every effort was made to promote Sabahi at the expense of Abol Fotouh, who was ahead in most credible polls, so as to force the split of the pro-revolution votes and defeat both candidates who were preferred by the revolutionary groups. Combined Abol Futouh and Sabahi gained 39 percent of the total vote in the first round, while Mursi and Shafiq garnered 25 and 24 percent, respectively.
In effect, the state’s scheme to sell Shafiq as Egypt’s savior was quietly in motion since at least last February. Hundreds of millions of pounds were spent on his campaign (although officially the total allowed budget for each campaign was 10 million or $1.7M). His signposts alone cost 22 million pounds, while dozens of ads ran on TV with each costing 200 thousand pounds or more. Furthermore, credible reports have surfaced that demonstrated the payments of millions of pounds to local officials in the delta region to secure the votes of the peasants. In one poor village, all of its more than 5000 votes were cast for Shafiq. In one scene circulating on the Internet and clandestinely videotaped by a cell phone, a former NDP official was boasting how the banned party machinery turned out the votes for Shafiq in upper Egypt by reviving their old methods of “convincing” the people to vote for their preferred candidate (read intimidation and bribery.)
Meanwhile, the campaign to attack Shafiq’s opponents was in full swing. Independent and nationalist, Abdel Halim Kandil, who is a newspaper editor and columnist, has recently exposed the extent of the scheme. Kandil, also well-known for being not only anti-Mubarak, but also very critical of the MB, revealed that he was told by a senior intelligence officer that soon the MB would not only be defeated and ousted from power, but that the group would also be on the run. He further stated that a division within the intelligence service called the “Rumor Spreading” section was in charge of the latest vicious attacks against the MB and its candidate, Mursi. For over a month, relentless attacks against the Islamic group have been in full force in the media spearheaded by public figures and propagated by “anonymous sources.”
Lately, Shafiq and the state’s propaganda machine have even accused the MB of orchestrating the battle of the Camel where dozens of the revolutionary youth were killed on Feb. 2 in Tahrir Square. Not only have all the former senior and junior security officials been acquitted in court, as demonstrated on June 2 by the Mubarak verdicts, but astonishingly the victims have now been turned into villains. Although all revolutionary groups, including those who despise the MB, have declared that it was in fact the youth of the MB that saved the revolution that day by standing their ground and fending off the vicious attacks by the goons of the former regime, the accusations by Shafiq and the fulool have intensified in recent days and the fabricated lies spread.
Similarly, the MB realized before the first round of elections that their candidate would have a tough time beating the other revolutionary candidates had any of them gotten to the second round. In fact, several reports from the field have recently surfaced that showed the MB field workers tacitly hoping on elections day to face either Shafiq or Amr Mousa (Mubarak’s former foreign minister). When Shafiq came in second the MB was initially confident that it could defeat him. But when the margin between the two candidates was declared few days later to be less than one percent the MB was stunned.
Unfortunately, the mistrust among the religious and secular pro-revolution groups is so deep that all attempts to unite behind Mursi have so far not succeeded. The antagonism of many secular groups toward political Islam seems to be deeper than their desire to see the revolution and its ideals realized. Equally, the partisanship and self-interest of the main Islamic group appears to be stronger than its commitment to the objectives of the revolution. Some of the demands by the secularists, such as the voluntary dissolution of the MB, were so ridiculous as to deem them frivolous. Similarly, the MB was slow and reluctant in giving assurances to the secular and other revolutionary groups, casting major doubts on its sincerity.
Hence, the revolutionary forces were once again split. Some, such as the Islamic and moderate parties of Al-Noor and Al-Wasat endorsed Mursi. Abol Fotouh and the April 6 movement also gave their support to Mursi, arguing that the main objective is now to defeat the fulool candidate (the far worse of two bad options as Abol Fotouh put it). But other revolutionary groups led by Sabahi and several liberal and leftist parties called for elections’ boycott or the invalidation of the votes since in their view both options are equally bad. They claim that Shafiq would attempt to resurrect the old regime, while they unconvincingly argue that Mursi would create a religious-based state. Unfortunately, the net result of this division is to permit the apparatus of the deep state to engineer a Shafiq victory.
According to a well-informed Egyptian political analyst, when SCAF allowed for free and fair parliamentary elections last winter, its plan was to allow the groups associated with political Islam to get elected, since their popularity was indisputable. But more importantly SCAF never intended to transfer any meaningful executive or governmental power to the FJP or their allies so as to demonstrate to the electorate their impotence once in Parliament. In due course as the revolutionary spirit starts to wane and the support to the Islamic groups weakens, the plan was to invalidate last winter’s parliamentary elections and call for new ones in order to restore some of the power back to the fulool and other secular forces, thus substantially reducing the support and power of the Islamic groups.
So shortly after the elections, several lawsuits by the fulool and secular groups were filed challenging the constitutionality of the elections’ law based on the fact that the parties were allowed to contest with independents the one-third parliamentary seats reserved for individuals. Although there was a near-consensus on this law by all the political parties at the time, it has been used by the adversaries of the winners of the elections as a back-up plan that could be utilized to dissolve parliament at the appropriate time. According to Parliament’s speaker and senior FJP official, Dr. Saad Katatni, SCAF deputy commander Gen. Sami Anan and Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri told him last March that if the MB persists on its demand of forming the government, the dissolution of parliament was a distinct possibility that could be set in motion at any moment.
Realizing this grave threat, instead of uniting the revolutionary groups to stand up to SCAF, the MB responded by fielding its own candidate in order to seriously challenge SCAF’s threat, albeit for the first time since the triumph of the revolution. Furthermore, the parliament (dominated by the FJP and its allies) immediately passed a law to ban from any political activity any candidate affiliated with the old regime. After massive popular demonstrations that compelled SCAF to sign the law, the Elections Committee refused to apply it and disqualify Shafiq. Instead it referred the law to the High Constitutional Court (HCC) in order to decide on its constitutionality. Furthermore, although the lawsuit against the parliamentary elections has been pending for months, the HCC chose to schedule a hearing and rule on both motions this Thursday, two days before the runoff elections.
On the first issue, a report submitted this week to the HCC by legal experts was issued that concluded that the Elections Committee had no jurisdiction to refer the law to the HCC since it is an administrative body and not a judicial one. If adopted the ruling would result in forcing the Elections Committee to disqualify Shafiq from running in the second round next week. Such decision would then compel the runoff elections to be cancelled and the first round elections to be held again.
On the other hand, the experts committee also said in its report that if the HCC accepts jurisdiction, then its recommendation was to deem the political banning law unconstitutional, and thus to hold the runoff elections next week between Mursi and Shafiq, the top two contenders of the first round. On the second motion the committee recommended that the parliamentary elections law be deemed unconstitutional, and thus the HCC must decide to either dissolve the Parliament or hold new elections for a third of its members. In either case, the Parliament would no longer be functional.
In short, there are four possible scenarios with regard to the outcome of the HCC rulings this week. Each one would most likely benefit a distinct and different political faction. They are:
Scenario 1: The HCC rules that it has jurisdiction over the banning law and deems it unconstitutional. In addition, it rules that the parliamentary elections law was constitutional. In this instance, which is the status quo, the MB and their presidential candidate would be the beneficiaries since such outcome would favor them as they keep their majority in the Parliament. Furthermore, absent massive elections’ fraud by the security agencies, the MB believes its candidate will win the presidential elections against Shafiq with the group’s adept organizational machine and massive mobilization efforts across the country.
Scenario 2: The HCC asserts jurisdiction and upholds Shafiq’s candidacy by ruling the banning law as unconstitutional. It also decides to dissolve Parliament or invalidate the elections of one-third of its members. This ruling would clearly be favored by SCAF and the fulool since the power of the MB and the other Islamic parties would immediately be curtailed, which in their view would be very difficult to regain in new parliamentary elections (this time it may or may not be free and fair.) The fulool also believe that with such a ruling they would have the momentum to get Shafiq elected by this Sunday’s presidential runoff and thus completely defeat and obliterate the revolution and roll back its most significant gains.
Scenario 3: The HCC bans Shafiq, and dissolves parliament. This scenario is favored by the secular revolutionary groups. Having clipped the wings of the Islamic parties by dissolving the Parliament, the secular groups hope to have another opportunity to challenge them at the polls. They also think that by repeating the first round elections their candidate (whether Sabahi or even Mousa) would defeat the MB candidate in the runoff, as he would be supported not only by the secular revolutionary groups but also by Shafiq’s and Mousa’s supporters.
Scenario 4: The HCC bans Shafiq but keeps the Parliament. This scenario is favored by the moderate and liberal Islamic and pro-revolutionary groups, the majority of which supported Abol Fotouh for president in the first round. In this scenario, the only political institution established by the revolution, namely the Parliament, would remain viable and strong. The supporters of this outcome also hope to unite the revolutionary forces behind Abol Fotouh or even form a single ticket that would include Abol Fotouh and Sabahi in order to defeat the MB candidate in a potential runoff election.
It is evident that SCAF has for over a year outfoxed all revolutionary groups, Islamic or secular. Depending on what scenario prevails on Thursday, it is equally clear that SCAF will have to either force their candidate on the Egyptians using all the tools of the “democratic process”, or take the country back to square one through a clever judicial ruse.
No matter what the military decides, the youth this time are determined not to put their trust in either the military or the political class but on their capacity to stay the revolutionary course until all their objectives are achieved. Hundreds of their pioneers, led by dozens of women including Asmaa Mahfouz and Nawwara Nagm, among the first to call for the January 25 demonstration that sparked the revolution, have been on hunger strike and continuous sit-in for over a week in the middle of Tahrir Square.
But now they are determined not to leave until their revolution is revived, the fulool are defeated, and the military return to their barracks.
Press TV talks with Dr. Webster Griffin Tarpley, author and historian in Washington, to further shed light on the issue.
Israel is apparently laying the groundwork for a possible military attack on Syria by alleging that Damascus could be using chemical weapons against the Syrian people. Tel Aviv has recently expressed concern about what it calls the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Israel says the weapons could fall into the wrong hands and that they may even be used by Syria to carry out an attack against Israeli forces. The pretext is being used to justify a possible military assault on Syria even if it means triggering a broader conflict across the region. Ayoob Kara, a senior member of the Israeli Likud Party led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, claimed in an interview with Israel Radio on June 9 that the Syrian government has used “chemical weapons against men, women, and children” during the past months of unrest in the country.
Any fool knows that Jews find Israel and Zionism beautiful. But does anyone else? And is this only because they’ve been brainwashed by Jews?
Or….does it have some kind of inherent beauty?
Does such a thing exist? And if it does exist, does it exist in Zionism and Israel?
And does this mean that Israel and Zionism just aren’t as bad as everyone makes out?
Or is it that there can be “No ethnic cleansing without poetry” ………and “if you want to understand barbarism you better learn to see the beauty that is entangled with it..”
News Analysis 06-12-2012 from Press TV. Saudi Arabia’s Crown prince is nowhere to be seen! Questions about Prince Nayef’s worsening health condition have once again sparked a debate about the future successor to the Saudi throne.
Is Riyadh headed to a political crisis?
On this edition of News Analysis, we’re also asking has Saudi Arabia focused too much on regional developments to notice the power of the popular protests at home as the country is widely accused of implementing a counter-revolutionary strategy against popular revolutions in the Arab world.