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Let’s go to Nuclear War!

“There is no procedural or institutional mechanism that can stop a president from giving an order to use nuclear weapons”

You can exhale, though: Most nuclear security experts are not particularly worried by this aspect of the Trump presidency.

Let’s consider some options, a nuclear strike on a civilian target could realistically happen in one of two ways: Either

  1. tensions between two nuclear states rise to the point where a single miscommunication or technical failure could trigger a launch; or,
  2. a terrorist organization could acquire nuclear weapons capabilities.

So how likely is either scenario?

The nuclear football as it appeared during the administrations of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.

 

State use of nuclear weapons is more likely than you think.

On the state side, there are a number of ongoing conflicts that could, in theory, go nuclear at any time. “Increasingly, some regional powers are relying on nuclear weapons for their day-to-day security against conventional conflict,” said Vipin Narang, author of “Nuclear Strategies in the Modern Era.” “If they think that a conventional invasion is coming — whether it is or not — they may be worried that the nuclear forces that they rely on for their survival might be threatened … there may be what’s sometimes called a ‘use it or lose it’ situation.”

The conflict that topped experts’ list of clashes to be concerned about is India-Pakistan. Both states have developed nuclear weapons outside the jurisdiction of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, both states have limited capabilities, which may incentivize early use, and both states — though their public doctrines are intentionally ambiguous — are known to have contingency plans involving nuclear first strikes against military targets.

Then there’s North Korea, whose recent missile tests have brought renewed attention to the state’s nuclear weapons program, which has spurred international trade sanctions. The Korean War never officially ended, so North Korea is still technically facing the threat of a U.S.-backed South Korea, and nuclear weapons remain central to North Korea’s national defense strategy. Some experts believe that the seemingly erratic behavior of the Kim regime is in fact strategic: If you’re handcuffed to your adversary on top of a cliff, dancing erratically near the edge is a smart way to extract concessions.

Beyond these two clear danger zones, several experts cited U.S.-Russia or Iran-Israel as distant third-place threats to go nuclear, with one suggesting that U.S.-China could heat up in coming years as the situation in the South China Sea develops.

In any of these active conflicts, we shouldn’t necessarily expect that fear of mutually assured destruction will save the day. We can’t say with any confidence how likely a nuclear conflict is because we don’t know what a total war between two nuclear states would look like — we’ve never had one.

Nuclear terrorism is plausible, but difficult to pull off.

Similarly, just because there’s never been a nuclear terrorist attack doesn’t mean that it will never happen. In theory, if a non-state actor got a hold of enough fissile material — the active ingredient in nuclear weapons — it would be relatively easy for them to assemble and detonate a bomb, according to Robert Rosner, former chief scientist and laboratory director at Argonne National Laboratory. “You’d need some physicists who know what they’re doing,” Rosner said. “But based on what’s available in the public literature, you could go ahead and make a uranium bomb.” Detection and prevention at this point would be very difficult, Rosner says — a weapon could be assembled in a garage and smuggled in a standard box truck.

A terrorist with nuclear ambitions, then, would have to acquire existing fissile material from one of the nine nuclear states, which could happen in one of two ways. First, there’s open theft, either of fissile material or of a fully assembled weapon. This would likely require a firefight, according to Rosner — nuclear facilities have armed guards — which would alert authorities to the presence of a threat. Second, which is the likelier possibility according to several of the experts I talked to, is through the assistance of an insider: A double agent with terrorist sympathies could infiltrate a state’s nuclear apparatus and simply deliver a weapon to a non-state actor.

On both counts, Pakistan again emerged as the consensus pick for the No. 1 cause for concern, largely due to its instability. “If the Pakistani state does collapse, it probably wouldn’t collapse in one big bang, but slowly become more and more dysfunctional,” said Ramamurti Rajaraman, professor emeritus of physics at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Finally, an act of nuclear terrorism would require the existence of a non-state actor that had both the organizational sophistication and the military ambition to entertain the prospect of nuclear violence. We got The ISIL Caliphate for that.

 

Humanity’s best recourse, if we (prudently) assume that accidents are inevitable, is to back away from the edge of the cliff until we can afford a stumb.

Nuclear disarmament is the only way to get rid of the threat. That is simply not happening right now.

Hopefully nobody is crazy enough to drop one,” said Rajaraman. “But nobody has the guts to get rid of them. I think it’s going to go on like this until something stupid happens.” Hopefully and crazy are variables in this equation.

 

 

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Caliphate ISIL : An absurd comedy of Errors – I

Ramadan Kareem!

“The most excellent Jihad is that for the conquest of self.”

Prophet Muhammad was a renowned scholar and founder of Islam. According to Islamic doctrine, he was God’s Messenger, sent to confirm the essential teachings of monotheism preached previously by Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets.

He is viewed as the final prophet of God in primary branches of Islam.

Asiya (wife of the Pharaoh), Mary (mother of Jesus), Khadija (wife of Muhammad) and Fatimah (daughter of Muhammad) are considered as female prophets by many.

Muhammad united Arabia into a single Muslim polity and ensured that his teachings, practices, and the Quran, formed the basis of Islamic religious belief.

Muhammad was spiritually awakened after his seclusion in a mountain cave named Hira for several nights in complete darkness. The night is darkest just before the dawn. Mohammad survived the dark night of decree.

He was paid a visit by Gabriel and Muhammad received his first revelation from God. Three years later, in 610, Muhammad started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that “God is One“, that complete “surrender” to him is the right course of action and that he was a prophet and messenger of God, similar to the other prophets in Islam. The revelations (each known as Ayah, lit. “Sign [of God]”), which Muhammad reported receiving until his death, form the verses of the Quran, regarded by Muslims as the “Word of God” and around which the religion is based. 

In modern culture terms, Muhammad’s saying became viral and Muhammad became a respected celebrity overnight. Fame comes with haters. Meccan tribe leaders became wary of Muhammad’s growing popularity. They orchestrated unrest and wished to prosecute him. Reward was offered to anyone who assisted his capture.

To escape persecution, Muhammad migrated from Mecca to Medina in the year 622. Initially, Medina was not very welcoming towards Muhammad. He experienced a lot of hostility. In Medina he wrote a  book titled ‘Charter of Medina‘. This book helped him unite the tribes and gain popularity. In December 629, after eight years of intermittent conflict with Meccan tribes, Muhammad gathered an army of 10,000 Muslim converts and marched on the city of Mecca. The attack went largely uncontested and Muhammad seized the city with little bloodshed. In 632, a few months after returning from the Farewell Pilgrimage, he fell ill and died. Before his death, most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam.

Muhammad’s death started the power struggle for the next successor. The standard Arabian practice at the time was for the prominent men of a kinship group, or tribe, to gather after a leader’s death and elect a leader from amongst themselves.

A caliphate (Arabic: خِلافة‎‎ khilāfa) is a territory under the leadership of an Islamic Leader known as a caliph, a person considered a religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad and a leader of the entire Muslim community. The first caliphate, the Rashidun Caliphate, was established immediately after Muhammad’s death in 632.

Muhammad established his capital in Medina; after he died, it remained the capital during the Rashidun Caliphate.

Okay, I do understand that as much captivating Muhammad’s journey might sound to you, you are waiting for me to talk about the most popular TV show of all times –

ISIL : An absurd comedy of Errors

It’s been a long time since the first Caliphate fell. The last one however just came in existence. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant declared itself a caliphate under Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on 29 June 2014 and renamed itself as the “Islamic State“.

This group has been designated a terrorist organisation by the United Nations and many individual countries. ISIL is widely known for its videos of beheadings of both soldiers and civilians, including journalists and aid workers, and its destruction of cultural heritage sites.

The United Nations holds ISIL responsible for human rights abuses and war crimes, and Amnesty International has charged the group with ethnic cleansing on a “historic scale” in northern Iraq.

Prophet Muhammad’s Caliphate is often referred by the term Dil Dil Caliphate.

( My heart loves my country)

ISIL is referred as The Evil Death Cult.

Something must have gone terribly wrong in the world between the first and the last Caliphate. Lets find out. I am gonna research and present you the facts tomorrow.

For the time being, I present to you, a little pictorial food for thought!

vlad-and-assadus-drones-in-pakistan

Shab-ba-khair!

Hijab – A Veil worn by Muslim Women

Hijab – A Veil worn by Muslim Women

I am extremely agitated by the fact that I am investing my time addressing an issue about a piece of cloth worn by women. I was under the impression that feminists were taking care of it. But I was wrong. I guess I need to be more in tune with popular media.

Today morning I saw a video as per YouTube’s recommendation. It was a talk show. A friend of mine was in it. Hanna Yusuf. She is a freelance writer with an interest in feminism, interfaith matters, and the European-Muslim identity. She tweets at @HannaAYusuf.

She was addressing a recent EU court ruling.

‘Employers are entitled to ban workers from wearing headscarves.’

Let’s act as human beings for a second. Hijab as per the popular culture belief is a veil traditionally worn by Muslim women in the presence of adult males outside of their immediate family, which usually covers the head and chest.

But that is not entirely true. Let’s replace the term Hijab with Veil. Veiling did not originate with the advent of Islam. Statuettes depicting veiled priestesses precede all major Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam), dating back as far as 2500 BCE.

 Elite women in ancient Mesopotamia and in the Byzantine, Greek, and Persian empires wore the veil as a sign of respectability and high status. 

Prophet Mohammed was a renowned scholar. People swarmed to meet him from all across the globe.

He says in Sura 33:53

“And when you ask [his wives] for something, ask them from behind a partition. That is purer for your hearts and their hearts”.

Even you won’t like, your wife, talking to total strangers. This verse, however, was not addressed to women in general, but exclusively to Muhammad’s wives. As Muhammad’s influence increased, he entertained more and more visitors in the mosque, which was then his home. Often, these visitors stayed the night only feet away from his wives’ apartments. It is commonly understood that this verse was intended to protect his wives from these strangers.

There you go. It’s not a Muslim thing. Popular culture, please correct yourself.

I fancy Rockstars. I have a Black T-shirt. I used to wear it on Fridays at work. (Once upon a time, I was a corporate slave too) It used to say Peace Love Rock n Roll. I happily wore it to work. Nobody questioned me. I did not offend anyone.

As per the EU court ruling, any worker wearing headscarves at work can be banned. But the detailed synopsis suggests it only applies to Muslim Women. If a White American Women decides to wear a headscarf because she finds the look to be cool or she too thinks, hair are private, and doesn’t wish to display in public, it’s acceptable.  Further analysis suggests that the ruling has been taken keeping in mind that Hijab is offensive to people and preaches religion.

I am a man. Women wear barely impact my life in any manner. But I was wondering, what if tomorrow EU decides that my black T-shirt is spreading the religion Rock and my tee is offensive. I would be outraged. I act stupid when I am outraged. I burn things.

Anyways I am no expert in women wear, so I leave it on you. Below are two pics. One is of Hanna and other one is of Queen Rania of Jordan. None of them offend me. But as per EU, Hanna should and Queen Rania shouldn’t. Do leave comments on the blog if you find Hanna’s headscarf offensive. Comment is free. And subscribe to my blog if you liked the article. Happy Ramadan!

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