Friday, September 01, 2006

Iranian Water: Snake oil or Miracle drug?

One of the things I continuously wonder about is why we some people don't seem to take it seriously when Iran has made it very clear that they will do anything to obtain nuclear weapons (if they didn't have them already). We can agree that Iran having them would be very, very bad, yes? Yet as they continue to barrel down the path towards the bomb, their excuses are lapped up by those who can't believe for a second that someone would ever lie about such matters.

For example, Iran has built a heavy water production facility. Heavy water is used in the production of nuclear weapons. You don't need it for nuclear power. What does Iran have to say about this?
Mohammad Sa'idi: One of the products of heavy water is depleted deuterium. As you know, in an environment with depleted deuterium, the reception of cancer cells and of the AIDS viruses is disrupted. Since this reception is disrupted, the cells are gradually expelled from the body. Obviously, one glass of depleted deuterium will not expel or cure the cancer or eliminate the AIDS. We are talking about a certain period of time. In many countries that deal with these diseases, patients use this kind of water instead of regular water, and consume it daily in order to heal their diseases.

In other words, the issue of heavy water has to do with matters of life and death, in many cases. One of the reasons that led us to produce heavy water was to use it for agricultural... medical purposes, and especially for industrial purposes in our country.

For those who don't know much about chemistry, let me spell out to you why the entire preceding paragraph is weapons grade bolonium.

Deuterium is a form of hydrogen. Most hydrogen in the world is made of one proton and one electron, but deuterium is about twice the size, having an additional neutron in its nucleus. This only changes the properties of the molecule very subtlely, but in ways which are still significant. Deuterium doesn't have much of an effect normally because it makes up less than 1% of all the hydrogen in the world.

Water is made of two hydrogen atoms bonded to one oxygen atom. Heavy water replaces one or both of those hydrogens with a deuterium. This change is siginificant in biological systems, because it disrupts the ability of the water to make hydrogen bonds, a weak chemical bond essential in nearly every aspect of biological processes. At some point, I believe 37% concentration, heavy water in the body begins to kill you.

Using deuterated water as a medical treatment? This would be believable if 1) we didn't have reason to suspect ulterior motives from Iran and 2) we didn't already know that D2O has no useful medical application.

We already suspected Iran was up to no good. It doesn't help their case when they use ridiculous excuses for blatant moves. Will the world wise up before something terrible happens?


Steve the Troll said...

Being the optimist that I am, I disagree that Iran having nuclear weapons would be very, very bad.

First, and most importantly, Iran has the right to defend herself, just like we do. I believe our country has some nuclear weapons, so why should Iran not have them? Also, their neighbor, Israel, is allowed to possess nuclear warheads, so I think it is only fair that Iran be allowed to as well. The double standard is ridiculous.

Secondly, we need to ask what Iran wants to do with these weapons. Answer: I don't know. Most likely target: Israel. So, what happens? They shoot off a few nukes, the middle east is wiped off the face of the earth, and all you lose if 50 million religious fanatics of all kinds, and a bunch of "holy lands" that nobody will want anymore. I say, if Iran can't light this fire, we should step in and do so.

Who's with me?

Hal said...

Steve, like I said, I can never tell when you are joking and when you aren't.

Iran having nuclear weapons would be okay if we could be guaranteed that they would be responsible bearers of the nuclear torch. All they have done from the git-go is play "hide the salami" with IAEA inspectors. Combined with their telling remarks towards Israel, and it's not a good scenario.

The entire point of diplomacy is to prevent war. I advocate a strong position on Iran because I see the loss of life that might occur through a brutal bombing campaign much, much more favorable than the eventual MAD that would occur if Israel and Iran exchanged nuclear missle fire.

These guys have said they want to destroy Jews. I'm willing to take them at their word. Or would you prefer to let another Holocaust occur before any action was taken?

Steve the Troll said...

1) From a "scientific" standpoint, I would prefer another holocaust (although Israel would squash any Iranian offensive).

2) Is the US subject to IAEA searches? If not, then I can understand why Iran doesn't feel obligated to submit to these searches.

3) I don't understand your point about "diplomacy." I mean, we didn't try diplomacy in Iraq (or Afghanistan, for that matter). I don't really understand why we haven't started a ground campaign in Iran already. They are significantly more threatening than Iraq ever way.

Hal said...

Steve, what's this "scientific" rationale for another holocaust? You're either yanking my chain or believe something inconceivable.

Also, your grasp of history is lacking.

As a founding member of the IAEA, the US is subject to all rules and regulations of the body. Iran is suspected of being in violation of the rules of the NPT, and has refused to cooperate with all investigations into the matter. Europe, Russia, and China have all agreed that the situation is untenable (though they can't seem to agree on what to do about it).

And as for your "diplomacy" remark, we tried diplomacy there. Twice. We spent nearly a year working with the UN to get things turned around in Iraq, with the UN dithering and Saddam balking. When we tried diplomacy with Afghanistan after 9/11 (not that anybody, on the right or the left, wanted it), they essentially told us to go fornicate ourselves with an iron pole.

You act like we just bomb at the drop of a hat. Despite what you think of the people in charge, they are not so devoid of humanity and civilization as you imagine.

Steve the Troll said...

By "scientific," I meant if we can eliminate the middle east by any means, we will improve the IQ of the world AND control the population, which means less consumption of resources and waste production.

Don't we have more nukes than Iran? (yes) This would indicate that nukes are proliferating in the US at a higher rate than in Iran. No wonder Iran doesn't give a darn about the IAEA. The IAEA doesn't curb our development of nukes, so why should they be allowed to tell Iran to stop?

And, no, we did not try diplomacy in Iraq. We had no reason to go in there...they were not a threat to our country, or England, or the other two countries that went against the UN. Turns out they didn't even have WMD's (just ask Colin Powell). Don't tell me we tried diplomacy...diplomacy is NOT about making up stories as an excuse to kill innocent people.

I admit that my awareness of the history of NP is lacking, but you need to admit that your understanding of diplomacy in the Bush administration is lacking. Start by reading the Downing Street Memo. Then tell me we don't just bomb at the drop of a hat.

Hal said...

Steve, the idea of proliferation is "expanding". Since the founding of the IAEA, America and Russian, the two largest owners of nukes in the world, have actively been disarming those weapons. As in, we're trying to get rid of them. It takes a long time because doing so is both expensive and environmentally tricky. Even after the right treatments are made to nuclear weapon grade material to "sanitize" it for disposal, you can't just dump it in a state park. But it tends to sit where it was treated because everyone has a conniption when you try to transport nuclear waste from point A to point B. NIMBY-ness and what-not.

And I must say, your goal of just letting everyone die in the Middle East . . . not a very "humanist" stance, is it?

Steve the Troll said...

Okay, not humanist, but at least give me bitter in, let's get rid of non-humanists to make the world a better place. There must be some humanism in there somewhere.

Anyhow, you're avoiding the Downing Street Memo, Hal. Oh, wait, you probably don't know anything about it because of the massive coverup the administration is doing.

By the way, today, Tony Blair said he will step down within a year. I guess when you do something dumb and your country hates you for it, stepping down is the right thing to do. Props to Mr. Blair for doing the right thing...I wish that happened in this country.

Anonymous said...

I agree! It's wrong to invade a nation whose govt has caused the world so much grief and suffering, but it's okay to wipe out an entire world region because we fundamentally disagree on issues!

Vote Democrat!

steve the troll said...

I was just thinking we could help them along, since it's taking them a while to wipe out the region themselves (though they are trying very hard). Also, if we wipe out the whole region, Jesus might show up.

Vote Jesus.