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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Did Israel Drop The Bomb In Lebanon?

Well, according to the British paper, The Independent, they kinda sorta, well... yeah. Now, watch Shlemazl debunk this new 21st century blood libel. Reprinted in its entirety:
Dr Busby for Nobel Prize or Israel's New Nuclear Weapons

According to the Independent:

Scientific evidence ... suggests that uranium-based munitions may now also be included in Israel's weapons inventory - and were used against targets in Lebanon. According to Dr Chris Busby, the British Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, two soil samples thrown up by Israeli heavy or guided bombs showed "elevated radiation signatures". Both have been forwarded for further examination to the Harwell laboratory in Oxfordshire for mass spectrometry - used by the Ministry of Defence - which has confirmed the concentration of uranium isotopes in the samples.

Dr Busby's initial report states that there are two possible reasons for the contamination. "The first is that the weapon was some novel small experimental nuclear fission device or other experimental weapon (eg, a thermobaric weapon) based on the high temperature of a uranium oxidation flash ... The second is that the weapon was a bunker-busting conventional uranium penetrator weapon employing enriched uranium rather than depleted uranium." A photograph of the explosion of the first bomb shows large clouds of black smoke that might result from burning uranium. [ref]

I am well familiar with Dr Busby, the UK "expert" on low radiation. The man is known to be a complete idiot, but he still managed to surprise me.

In England he was the lauphing stock of all the people who have any clue about physics. He was also popular with "radiation" conspiracy theories. He founded the impressively sounding "European Committee on Radiation Risk" which unites him and a small bunch of other complete morons.

Early on in his "chemistry" career he was kicked out of the Queen Mary College [ref], but somehow still got a PhD by the age of 40. He supposedly works as a fellow in biology in the University of Liverpool, but lives in Wales.

Let us examine his latest claim. Via Independent he presents two options:

1. Israel used novel nuclear fission device (eg, a thermobaric weapon).

I don't know what to say about this one, other than that when a nuclear fission device is used in anger, peopele know about it because they see a mushroom cloud. I am lost for words. Thermobaric weapon is simply one of bunker-busting munitions whereas dispersed gas expolodes, often in enclosed premises. This weapon has nothing to do with "nuclear fission".

2. Israel used bunker busters tipped with enriched Uranium instead of depleted Uranium.

Does he think Israel is stupid? I mean what would be the point of doing this?

Depleted Uranium is routinely used in weapons because it is very heavy and enhances penetrating ability of munitions. Radiation risk from depleted Uranium is non-existent (not when compared to you gas oven at home or a piece of granite), but there are toxic risks associated with any heavy metal.

Using enriched Uranium instead of depleted in bunker-busting munitions would be equivelent to paving roads with diamonds instead of tarmac. The radiation risk would still be minimal, but the cost would go up astronomically. Note that the laboratory did not say anything about "enriched uranium"; only that the material is slightly radioactive, which is true for most materials around us.


I wonder why Israel is always the No 1 target for blood libel by the likes of Independent, Fisk and Busby. Perhaps some Englishmen have this in their blood.

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At 4:23 PM, Blogger amechad said...

OK, see, calling someone an idiot isn't a good rebuttal.

Look, I hope he's right and there is no truth to The Independent report (and I hope we can credibly prove that) but after the whole phosphorus bomb thing, I realized that Israel does stupid shit and you look like an idiot when you rush to condemn the charges as a "modern day blood libel" and then have Israel admit a few weeks (or less) later.

Although obviously I hope it's not true

At 6:41 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Yes, am, I understand where you're coming from, but using phosphorus munitions is not a "horrible or heinus crime". It doesn't violate the rules of war, regardless of the fact that Israel is NOT a signatory of the Geneva Conventions. You keep bringing that up as proof that Israel does "some" of what the world accuses them of doing. It's not true, and even in your article, you didn't really specify why this admittance is so huge or crucial. Shlemazl actually works in the field of physics and has worked on numerous projects that involve nuclear work. I trust his opinion, given his credentials.

And, I don't know about you, but accusing Israel of using "dirty bombs" in order to cause more casualties, without substantial proof sounds like a blood libel to me. It's just a bad as the accusations that Israeli soldiers pass out deadly candies to Palestinian children, and that Israel smuggles into Gaza AIDS laden prostitutes in order to spread the disease. It all comes back to the same source that Jews are malicious, crafty creatures, who go out of their way to inflict harm on others by ways other than conventional. No?

At 6:44 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

By the way, I know for a fact that he is right about the depleted uranium. Every military in the world uses it in some form or another in their heavy weapons, artillery, and/or tanks. The Challenger 2 tank uses depleted Uranium shells in order to penetrate targets. I've seen it in work. I know the term, "depleted or enriched uranium" sounds all Doomsday Nagasakiish, but it really isn't.

At 8:59 PM, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Well, we did drop phospher bombs...

At 10:53 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

yeah, again, SO???

At 5:19 PM, Blogger amechad said...

so what is NOT a good response.

the fact that it's legal (and, in the case of the phosporus bombs, it's only "legal" because Israel [and the US] isn't a signatory of the weapons treaty) doesn't make it moral.

It's not OK when Israel does it. It's not OK when the US does it. It's not OK what the Arab countries do either.

the problem, OC, is that it isn't a libel if it is TRUE.

At 5:45 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

According to the Geneva Conventions, Posphorous bombs are NOT in violation of weapons not allowed to be used in war. So, are you sure about what you're saying? If so, where's your proof. Why isn't it moral?

No, am, the problem is that it's a libel if it's NOT true. There is no substantiative evidence that proves that Israel is using "dirty bombs" or nuclear weapons against its enemy. Again, throwing this accusation, with the farce of having a PhD behind it, goes in the same category as the candy and prostitute claim. THAT makes it a libel.

At 7:59 PM, Blogger Gert said...

I agree that this article stinks, that Busby is an idiot and that Schlemazl's rebuttal is correct (I have nuclear experience too).

But to resort to the "blood libel" accusation? Sorry, that's almost quaint. In my view this post would have been more powerful by simply sticking to the facts and leaving the alleged blood libel out of it: the allegation reduces your credibility.

At 8:18 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Quaint? Blood libels are quaint? You don't believe that they exist today? Do you know anything about the world outside of your own existence? That is such an ignorant statement. Do you even know what a blood libel is? Please, provide us with your unique definition?

I'm sorry, when we try sticking to the "facts", as you call it, we end with... well... The Independent. On top of that, this is my blog, and I can voice the way I find something.

At 10:15 PM, Blogger Behemoth101 said...

Youare grasping at straws whenever you pull up the blood libel. It reduces your already rock-bottom credibility. I don't think even your landsmen are impressed.

At 12:24 AM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Behemoth, I'm warning you again. Didn't your mother ever teach you not to talk when you have nothing to say. You say I'm grasping at straws, then show how? Bring in a statement and refute it. You keep hurling accusations with nothing to back them up, the only one who's reducing their credibility here is you. You've never been in an actual debate, have you? Jesus, what kind of school do you go to, anyways? I've seen community colleges give better educations.


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