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While I was still living in Germany, I would ask some of my colleagues who were skeptical of American foreign policy (to put it mildly) what Germany would do if terrorists managed to set off a nuclear bomb in, say, Hannover. They always deflected the question of course, because there is only one possible answer: There is nothing they could do other than capitulate.

Will it come to that or something similar? Probably not. It seems more likely to me that as the Islamic world grows in strength, Europe will avoid such a scenario by "slowly" capitulting to Islam; that is, by backing Islamic governments in international negotiations and disputes (they already do a lot of this), by allowing Islamic minorities in their countries more automomy (they effectively do this as well), and by eventually imposing some elements of Islamic law on all citizens (my sister-in-law's children have Islam lessons in their German public grade school), possibly even becoming completely Islamicized at some point.

Anyway, it is just a matter of time until a few wild-eyed suicidal nut cases get their hands on nuclear weapons. Kind of like cell phones -- at some point you reach a critical mass and everyone on the planet has one. The question ultimately isn't how to prevent it, but how we will live with it.

Well-written and interesting post by Helian.

qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum.

Let him who wants peace prepare for war.

Helian,

great posting, thank you for this information, and thank you for all your interesting commentaries here in this weblog. I always appreciated them. Good to know who is behind "Helian".

It was great to get this information, not just opinion.

There is no fear among people in Germany about this threat. They really don't feel this danger. For some days the two Koffer-Bombers let them think but .... no, after some days ... they just go an with bashing the "wild" US and Israel.

@beimami

Leaving aside the fact that it's incredibly generalizing to speak of Europe as a whole when the individual European countries all still have different laws, especially where inner and security as well as educational affairs are concerned, I have a couple of questions:

when and where and which country has been backing Islamic governments ("a lot", as you say)? What country is allowing Islamic minorities more autonomy? Are you talking about banning headscarves? Do you really think that teaching children about the second biggest religion in the world amounts to "imposing some elements of Islamic law on all citizens"? If not, where else was Islamic law imposed? Just asking.

Christ! Helian is only a nuclear physicist?

I thought that he was a brain surgeon, rocket scientist or something like that ...

-- If not, where else was Islamic law imposed?--

For starters, The Holy Land and al Andalus - DBA "Spain."

PC/victimization and "toleration" are starting to impose it w/o making it official.

Look at how some US schools teach it, how's it being taught in Gemrany?

They try and teach it like that to my daughter, she'll be the only dhimmi in the class. Kids are taught to be "fair," wait'll they learn about how unfair it is.

And flux, I thought the EU was trying to unify those pesky individual laws, or was what I read about breaking Europe up into sections and destoying England a joke?

The five to eight year time period that Helian mentions is even less "not quite so rosy." I have no clue to the probability, but it is quite possible that Iran already has the immediate ability to build a bomb or even already has one or more bombs due to the work of AQ Khan and/or the chaos during the dissolution of the USSR. The Soviets had thousands of bombs and is anyone really sure that they are all accounted for? After all, some people will sell their souls and even lives for the right price.

(Great post Helian, you should do a feature for the Sunday New York Times magazine.)

The first strike with a dirty bomb would be Tel Aviv. All those bacon eating, Sex and The City watching Jews. They’d move. Israel would lose people, wealth, sunny future; 500 million Arabs, Muslim and Christian would be ecstatic.

And whom would Israel attack? And no freaking way would Europe let them. Naturally Europe would feel bad, probably take in some Jews, and, try and ‘heal the divide’. Whatever. Islam is forever, paradise awaits, and Muslims have time. No need for them to have a GOTTERDAMNERUNG with the West, just steady, constant, tiring pushing.

There are many fallacies related to the issue of proliferation of nuclear weapons or even rogue nations acquiring nucelar weapons. Helian just described one.

The most common fallacy nowadays, and is much touted among leftist-liberal circles in order to devaluate the danger of a nuclear Iran, is the argument that a nuclear weapon is actually only good as a means of dissuasion due to the known Cold War strategy of Mutual Destruction.

But even during the Cold War, it was already known that Mutual Destruction did not contemplate all scenarios. For instance, at the time, it was asked how the US would react if the USSR launched 1 nuke and immediately afterwards called for a cease of hostilities. How would the US react? Would they escalate into a complete destruction of the whole world or would they grab this flimsy chance to still salvage whatever was possible? Hmmm... I'm glad it never came to that.

The problem with Iran is a different one though. Nobody is actually expecting Iran to use the weapon. Just one hint that the weapon is going to be used and Teheran would be pulverized. The problem behind a nuclear Iran is the regime believing the protection provided by the nuclear weapon affords them the right to do whatever they want.

And if this is true, then we can expect a much more chaotic world in the future, with much more terrorism and regional conflicts, promoted and financed by an Iran protected by its nuclear shield.

@flux

Thank you for your inquiry. I'll be glad to respond.

"Leaving aside the fact that it's incredibly generalizing to speak of Europe as a whole when the individual European countries all still have different laws, especially where inner and security as well as educational affairs are concerned,..."

No need to leave it aside. Despite their differences, European countries have many things in common (they are all Europe, for example), including proximity to Iran and a large and growing Muslim minority. They will all have to adjust to the threat of radical Islam and a nuclear Iran.

"When and where and which country has been backing Islamic governments ("a lot", as you say)?"

France and Germany protected Saddam as long as they could and France was always a strong supporter of Arafat. The growing tendency of the continental press and population to side with the Muslim world against Isreal is obvious.

"What country is allowing Islamic minorities more autonomy? Are you talking about banning headscarves?"

I'm talking about special hospitals and beaches for Muslims, etc. There have been many other example reported in the European media. Look 'em up if you want. I'm not going to do it for you.

"Do you really think that teaching children about the second biggest religion in the world amounts to "imposing some elements of Islamic law on all citizens"?"

Six and seven year olds are not capable of understanding the issues involved. It is nothing more than indoctrination. If teaching about large world religions were so important, it would have been done long ago and would include teaching about other religions as well.

"If not, where else was Islamic law imposed? Just asking."

I didn't say anything of the sort.

Very interesting post, Helian.

Speaking of Germans and the Iranian Bomb, this should shed some light:

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Most French and Americans would support military action against Iran as a last resort if other means fail to stop it acquiring nuclear weapons, a major transatlantic opinion survey showed on Wednesday.

But among Germans polled, more said they would accept Iran getting the atom bomb rather than using force if diplomacy or sanctions do not work.

[...]

However, when asked what should happen if non-military measures failed to stop Tehran acquiring atomic weapons, 53 percent of Americans and 43 percent of Europeans supported taking military action rather than accepting a nuclear Iran.

In France, the figure was 54 percent. In Germany, 40 percent supported military action but 46 percent said it would be better to let Iran acquire nuclear arms. (emphasis mine)


I don't know what else I could add to this. Sad, crazy, sick...? There are no words for this blindness. What was the role of the German MSM ?

It's not sad, crazy or sick.

How else you going to take care of those pesky 'Merkins?

That happened in Germany!

SPIEGEL ONLINE - 06. September 2006, 14:49
URL: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,435261,00.html

Anwältin Seyran Ates
"Ich wollte nicht enden wie Hirsi Ali"

Die Berliner Anwältin und Frauenrechtlerin Seyran Ates hat ihre Kanzlei geschlossen - aus Angst vor gewalttätigen türkischen Männern.

Im Interview mit SPIEGEL ONLINE spricht Ates über die Feigheit deutscher und türkischer Verbände und ihre Hoffnung auf mehr Zivilcourage im Land. SPIEGEL ONLINE: Frau Ates, jahrelang haben Sie Anfeindungen und Drohungen standgehalten. Warum gab es für Sie jetzt keinen anderen Weg mehr als die Kanzlei zu schließen?


SPIEGEL ONLINE
Anwältin Seyran Ates: "Ich habe mich von der Gesellschaft im Stich gelassen gefühlt"
Seyran Ates: Es ist richtig, dass ich jahrelang mit der subtilen, latenten, aber auch mit der realen Angst gelebt habe. Seit ungefähr zwei Jahren ist die Bedrohung aber gestiegen - auch weil ich fast nur noch Familienrecht gemacht habe. Dann hat die türkische Tageszeitung "Hürriyet" eine Kampagne gegen mich gestartet.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Bedeutet ihr Rückzug, dass es in Deutschland nicht möglich ist, Kritik am politischen Islam und an der Unterdrückung der Frau zu äußern, ohne ständig in Gefahr zu leben?

Ates: Ja, aktuell heißt es das. Für eine Einzelperson ist es zu gefährlich, authentisch Kritik zu üben. Man muss vorsichtig und diplomatisch sein.


@beimami

The Islamic world grows in strength. Actually I do not see this development(maybe with the exception of smaller gulf emirates like Qatar or the UAE). But be serious. Strength has always one source. Economic strength. But right now I don't can see any arabian caountry that has built up a significant industry or any other important kind of significant business. So stay calm. As along as the islamic world keeps blaming the West for the inability of its children to read and write, there's nothing much to worry about.

But I agree with you about your last statement. Europe will become some kind of islamic colony. But well West Rome has fallenl, because it has led too many Germanic tribes. West Europe will fall for a simmilar reason. However after the fall of West Rome, East Rome has still been a significant power for the next 500 years. With America it will be the same way.

@ phil

"But I agree with you about your last statement. Europe will become some kind of islamic colony."


At the moment some 3.2 percent of the european population is considered muslim. Only with the currently not very likely entry of turkey it will rise clearly. The influence of muslim communities on political decisions is very weak due to their many organisations. Unlike other religious groups they have no strong lobby which speaks with one voice.
Many of the mentioned 3.2 percent do not consider muslim as their main feature when describing themselves.
Moreover, islam is part of european history and culture, muslims live in europe for more than 13 centuries. To be afraid of islam as a religion is a mistake.


I would like to add a general impression I got of the comment section:
Many of the commenters I read here demonstrate their ability to think sharply and express themselves clearly. But they make only use of these virtues when it suits them. While using a lot of thought to make their own point - which, if factual, often is interesting to read! - they are also masters of the polemic. If it is convenient, the sharpness of thought is replaced by dull slogans and stringing together undifferentiated half-truths. Which I do not like because they have already shown their ability to do better.
So to draw a conclusion I would like to see a debate less driven by deadlocked opinions, but then maybe I have been visiting the wrong blog-

"At the moment some 3.2 percent of the european population is considered muslim."

Since many European countries don't keep track of population by religion or even ethnic groups there is no way of really knowing the actual percentage. But there is no doubt (from several sources) that several European countries have Muslim populations of more than 5%. There is also no doubt that the Muslim populations of most European countries are increasing (via both birthrate and immigration) while "natives" of the same countries are actually decreasing.

"To be afraid of islam as a religion is a mistake."

Now why would that be a mistake? History (especially in Europe and India) demonstrates that Islam has always been a danger to non-Muslims. Current events show that Islam is a danger to people everywhere in the world where Muslims make up even a small percentage of the population and even more so where they make up a majority or large percentage. In fact, can you name a country with Muslims in which non-Muslims are not being attacked or threatened to some extent or another by Muslims?

Don, "In fact, can you name a country with Muslims in which non-Muslims are not being attacked or threatened to some extent or another by Muslims?"

Please allow a modification.

In fact, can you name a country with muslims in which muslims and non-muslims are not being attacked or threatened to some extent or another by muslims. The case is more virulent than initially imagined, they hate everybody.

@Mike H.

Of course, you're right. I just take the Muslim on Muslim violence (i.e. sectarian) as a given since it is everywhere where more than one sect exists. When one adds in the violence towards women it is ubiquitous.

I noticed one thing regarding the negotiations with Iran:

In our news, you can over and over hear the term "the 5 veto-powers of the UNSC and germany" did this and that. It is always "the 5 veto-powers AND germany". Germany should really become part of the Council in the next years, because otherwise this expression will make the people here more and more convinced of the fact that we are special and not wanted by the others. So maybe our government would act with lesser and lesser respect to them in the future.

You know which power is standing by to support our turn-away from the western allies - Russia.
There is no need to make the 21st century a possible repetition of the 20th.

Thank you Helian. My nightmares are now in technicolor. But technically, I'm still not clear on something.

There are already many tons of both these materials on the planet today. Any state or terrorist organization that manages to get its hands on the amounts of SNM mentioned above will have the bomb, PERIOD.

How would a terrorist cell acquire this material if not with state sponsorship? And maybe that''s not something that should be discussed publically. You have my email.

@apschke

Moreover, islam is part of european history and culture, muslims live in europe for more than 13 centuries. To be afraid of islam as a religion is a mistake.

What the fuck color is the sky on your planet? Yes, there are centuries of European/Muslim history. Do you know any of it?

How would a terrorist cell acquire this material if not with state sponsorship? And maybe that''s not something that should be discussed publically. You have my email.

Nice try Pamela. How do we know that you are not a terrorist posing as a DMK regular...hmm?

Helian, don't trust her until we get Jack Bauer to interogate her first. :-)

James W.
Nice try Pamela

Well, yes it was. Honey, don't forget to pick up some milk on your way home. And Jack called. Can you do a four-some next Saturday? He thinks his regular golf buddies are going to be - um - 'busy'.

Oh Pamela, I should have swallowed the mouth full of coffee before I read that!

Have you ever had hot coffee come through the nose? Don't knock it until you've tried it.

@James W.

“Helian, don't trust her until we get Jack Bauer to interrogate her first. :-)”

Wow, now that you mention it, it isn’t really that much of a stretch is it? I’m so gullible! I was just about to list some of my private stash on eBay to show her how it’s done.

Seriously, Pamela, you just need a little imagination and Google. This link is a little dated, but still has some plausible scenarios of how smuggling might happen, and cites some of the more important incidents of actual smuggling up through about the first half of 1995. Here’s another old link that will add more pizzaz to your nightmares. It notes, among other things, “At the end of 1995, about 140 tonnes of separated civil plutonium were in store in Europe and Asia. This surplus is expected to grow to about 250 tonnes over the next decade. Surpluses are growing at these unprecedented rates because plutonium separation in reprocessing plants is not being matched by plutonium disposition through recycling as fuel in civil power reactors. France, the UK and Russia hold the largest inventories of civil plutonium, but an increasing amount of this material will be owned by NNWS in Europe and by Japan.” By “civil” plutonium they mean plutonium that’s been produced in nuclear fuel rods by neutron capture in U238 during normal operation. If you want “weapons grade” plutonium, that is, plutonium that is rich in Pu239, you wouldn’t operate a reactor as long as a normal power reactor. As a reactor continues to operate, heavier isotopes of plutonium are produced in ever greater amounts, so that the end product is “reactor grade” plutonium, which contains less Pu239, and more of the other isotopes. Unfortunately, it is quite possible to make a bomb with reactor grade plutonium. You just need more of it. Plutonium produces a lot of neutrons internally via spontaneous fission, making crude “gun type” weapons impractical. Such self-generated neutrons would set off a chain reaction prematurely, causing such a weapon to “fizzle.” Unfortunately, for reasons cited in my original post, terrorists might be quite happy with such a “fizzle” yield. Plutonium bombs are set off by surrounding a plutonium “pit” with explosives, causing the material to implode. They are technically more challenging than “gun type” weapons, but hardly beyond the capabilities of a sophisticated terrorist group.

This link describes the worst reported incident of SNM smuggling to date that I am aware of. According to the article, “The 363 grams of plutonium which taken to Munich allegedly came from a Russian nuclear research station at Obninsk, not far from Moscow. It is alleged that a chemist named as Gennadi Nikiforov was asked to obtain the plutonium and in turn give it to a man named Penkov, who lived in Obninsk. Nikiforov went to two other men who eventually provided the plutonium.” 363 grams is not enough to make a bomb. However, it is a significant fraction of the necessary 4,000 grams, and it is hardly unlikely that there are other, similar size chunks out there that the authorities didn’t catch.

Here’s a good read for you if I still haven’t succeeded in robbing you of sleep for many nights to come. You can probably find a copy on eBay.


jeez oh flip Helian! "One Point Safe" is $80 used.

But I bought it anyway.

I was surprised to find that one of the markets is the Basque region. Although that explains the CIA source in Spain.

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