8/7/11 Hiroshima & Nagasaki: US Global Agenda; Cables Expose U.S. Strategy in Syria ; World Map US 'Interventions Since WW2

The Soviet Union, then a revolutionary socialist beacon was the obstacle the U.S. would stop at nothing to defeat, through WW2 to World State Terror War.

August 6, 1945, US bombed Hiroshima with the nuclear weapon "Little Boy", August 9, 1945 it bombed Nagasaki with the "Fat Man" nuclear bomb.

"We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world. This weapon is to be used against Japan ... so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children. Even if the Japs are savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop that terrible bomb on the old capital or the new... It seems to be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful." President Harry S. Truman, Diary, July 25, 1945

Why World War II ended with Mushroom Clouds
by Jacques R. Pauwels
2010-08-06 http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=20478
The unspoken objective of the atomic bomb was US Hegemony in Asia and the Pacific
Jacques R. Pauwels, author of The Myth of the Good War: America in the Second World War, James Lorimer, Toronto, 2002

...War Department study 'Use of Atomic Bomb on Japan' written in 1946 .declassified in the Seventies, found that "the Japanese leaders had decided to surrender and were merely looking for sufficient pretext to convince the die-hard Army Group that Japan had lost the war and must capitulate to the Allies."...Eisenhower recorded telling Stimson "Japan was already defeated and dropping the bombs was completely unnecessary" and by Admiral William D Leahy "the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender."...as soon as the bomb was proven to work at the Alamagordo base in New Mexico on 16 July 1945 - the US military and civilian leadership no longer needed Russia. In fact, the bomb was a good diplomatic weapon against Russia. As Secretary of State-designate Byrnes explained, "our possessing and demonstrating the bomb would make Russia more manageable in Europe"... limiting its claims on a postwar set-up in the Far East. http://leninology.blogspot.com/2007/08/dropping-big-one.html

The birth of 'mere terror'
Hiroshima wasn't uniquely wicked. It was part of a policy for the mass killing of civilians
Making war on civilians took a further turn in the Far East... Before August 1945, very many Japanese had already been killed by "conventional" bombing. On one night in Tokyo in March, American bombers killed 85,000 civilians - more than would die at Nagasaki - and at least 300,000 were incinerated in great fire raids over the following months. And so it was that, as Evelyn Waugh put it...in 1948: "To the practical warrior the atom bomb presented no particular moral or spiritual problem. We were engaged in destroying the enemy, civilians and combatants alike. We always assumed that destruction was roughly proportionate to the labour and material expended. Whether it was more convenient to destroy a city with one bomb or a hundred thousand depended on the relative costs of production." Hiroshima was but one more step.

The myths of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
By Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, LA Times 8/05/05
...Americans were told that use of the bombs "led to the immediate surrender of Japan and made unnecessary the planned invasion of the Japanese home islands. "The hard truth is that the atomic bombings were unnecessary. A million lives were not saved. Indeed, McGeorge Bundy, the man who first popularized this figure, later confessed that he had pulled it out of thin air in order to justify the bombings in a 1947 Harper's magazine essay he had ghostwritten for Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson.
The bomb was dropped, as J. Robert Oppenheimer, scientific director of the Manhattan Project, said in November 1945, on "an essentially defeated enemy." President Truman and his closest advisor, Secretary of State James Byrnes, quite plainly used it primarily to prevent the Soviets from sharing in the occupation of Japan. And they used it on Aug. 6 even though they had agreed among themselves as they returned home from the Potsdam Conference on Aug. 3 that the Japanese were looking for peace... 
Today, in the post-9/11 era, it is critically important that the U.S. face the truth about the atomic bomb. For one thing, the myths surrounding Hiroshima have made it possible for our defense establishment to argue that atomic bombs are legitimate weapons that belong in a democracy's arsenal....but as Oppenheimer said, "they are weapons of aggression, of surprise and of terror," ...Hiroshima's myths have gradually given rise to an America unilateralism born of atomic arrogance. 

The Lies Of Hiroshima Are The Lies Of Today
By John Pilger
06/08/08 "ICH" -- - On the anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, John Pilger describes the 'progression of lies' from the dust of that detonated city, to the wars of today...
In the immediate aftermath of the bomb, the allied occupation authorities banned all mention of radiation poisoning and insisted that people had been killed or injured only by the bomb's blast. It was the first big lie. "No radioactivity in Hiroshima ruin" said the front page of the New York Times, a classic of disinformation and journalistic abdication, which the Australian reporter Wilfred Burchett put right with his scoop of the century. "I write this as a warning to the world," reported Burchett in the Daily Express, having reached Hiroshima after a perilous journey, the first correspondent to dare. He described hospital wards filled with people with no visible injuries who were dying from what he called "an atomic plague". For telling this truth, his press accreditation was withdrawn, he was pilloried and smeared - and vindicated...
The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a criminal act on an epic scale.... premeditated mass murder that unleashed a weapon of intrinsic criminality. For this reason its apologists have sought refuge in the mythology of the ultimate "good war", whose "ethical bath", as Richard Drayton called it, has allowed the west not only to expiate its bloody imperial past but to promote 60 years of rapacious war, always beneath the shadow of The Bomb.
The National Archives in Washington contain US government documents that chart Japanese peace overtures as early as 1943. None was pursued. A cable sent on May 5, 1945 by the German ambassador in Tokyo and intercepted by the US dispels any doubt that the Japanese were desperate to sue for peace, including "capitulation even if the terms were hard". Instead, the US secretary of war, Henry Stimson, told President Truman he was "fearful" that the US air force would have Japan so "bombed out" that the new weapon would not be able "to show its strength". He later admitted that "no effort was made, and none was seriously considered, to achieve surrender merely in order not to have to use the bomb". His foreign policy colleagues were eager "to browbeat the Russians with the bomb held rather ostentatiously on our hip". General Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan Project that made the bomb, testified: "There was never any illusion on my part that Russia was our enemy, and that the project was conducted on that basis." ...
In waging their bogus "war on terror", the governments in Washington and London declared they are prepared to make "pre-emptive" nuclear strikes against non-nuclear states. With each stroke toward the midnight of a nuclear Armageddon, the lies of justification grow more outrageous.... just as the lies about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction originated with the Iraqi National Congress, set up by Washington...
The question begs: are the rest of us to be mere bystanders, claiming, as good Germans did, that "we did not know"?

"...a stable and prosperous Japan is the key to U.S. security interests in Asia..."
#Assist the Japanese leadership. The Bush Administration should assemble a group of key economic and financial advisers to work with their counterparts in Japan to assist in financial reform. This group can provide key lessons learned from America's own savings and loan crisis in the 1980s and assist in the technical aspects of implementing new policies.
# Communicate U.S. priorities to Japan. The Bush Administration must make clear to the Japanese leadership that Washington will not overlook any lapses in financial, economic, and political reform in exchange for Tokyo's support of the American war on terrorism.
While Japanese support in the war effort is vital, repairing the Japanese economy must take priority; a stable and prosperous Japan is the key to U.S. security interests in Asia.
Addressing the Looming Financial Crisis in Japan, March 26, 2002 by Balbina Hwang, Ph.D. and Brett Schaefer Balbina Y. Hwang is Policy Analyst for Northeast Asia in the Asian Studies Center, and Brett D. Schaefer is Jay Kingham Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs in the Center for International Trade and Economics, at The Heritage Foundation.

China Policy Main Topic for the G-20
The United States and its allies, frustrated in their efforts to pressure China directly to change its economic policies, are seeking to enlist other developing nations in an international campaign that China may find more palatable.At a meeting of finance ministers from the Group of 20 nations on Friday, the United States hopes to advance a set of proposed standards for judging the risks that individual nations pose to the global economy. Those standards could be used by the end of the year to put a spotlight on China for suppressing its currency to keep its exports cheap.Even if the exercise succeeds, the benefits are unlikely to be tangible or clear. The United States and China have wrangled for years over the relative value of their currencies. The Chinese have made modest concessions in recent years, but mostly because of internal concerns about inflation and economic dependence on exports.A senior Treasury official said that it was important for countries to establish shared standards, and in particular to highlight that large deficits and large surpluses were two sides of the same issue and merited the same concern.
The purpose of the standards is not lost on China, which has resisted. In February, the Chinese fought successfully to exclude one important measure, reserves of foreign currencies, from the list of proposed standards. China holds more than $2.85 trillion in foreign currency, the world’s largest reserve. It has pursued an aggressive policy of printing renminbi to buy foreign currencies, lifting the value of those currencies and holding down the value of its own. Earlier this week, a senior Chinese official published an article blasting the standards as a “political tool” intended to make developing nations like China pay for the economic recovery of developed nations like the United States. Li Yong, vice minister of finance, wrote that developed nations were responsible for overprinting their own currencies, driving up the price of commodities and creating inflationary pressures in developing countries. Mr. Li wrote that the real goal of those countries was to increase demand for their own exports. “The issue of external imbalances is a sensitive topic related to the development rights and growth potential of China and other emerging economies, and is another political tool, after the exchange rate, used by developed nations such as the U.S. to curb China’s economic development,” Mr. Li wrote in the article, which was published on the Web site of the finance ministry.
Still, China has shifted slowly in the direction sought by the international community in recent years. China’s policy makers adopted a five-year plan in October that calls for domestic consumption to replace exports as the driver of economic growth. The country also has allowed its currency to appreciate 4.4 percent against the dollar since last June. American officials describe this as an effective increase of 10 percent because the rate of inflation in China is much higher than in the US. The US has embraced an elevated role for the Group of 20 as the primary forum for international economic coordination.
The Group of 7, which previously played that role, is composed of nations with economies driven by consumption, and currencies that float freely in response to demand. The new seats at the table, by contrast, are held mostly by nations like China, India and Brazil that manage their currencies to create a competitive advantage for their exports. There is broad agreement that the unbalanced relationship between those two sets of countries — debtors on the one hand, exporters on the other — is a major fault line that threatens global stability. There is much less agreement about the proper allocation of the economic pain associated with potential solutions... the two sides will meet separately Thursday. Finance ministers from the Group of 7 will consult quietly in Washington. Meanwhile, heads of state from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — the emerging powers known as BRICS — are meeting on the Chinese island of Hainan.
The goal of the current process is to break that controversial issue into manageable pieces. France, the current chairman of the group, has spent this year simply trying to create agreement on the rules for analyzing nations that can be completed by the time heads of state meet in Cannes this fall. Those rules would be used to single out nations that posed the greatest risks for further study. A French official said he hoped there would be “incremental progress” on Friday.

“ US decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ... to kick-start the Cold War against the Soviet Union
July 21, the British New Scientist magazine undermined this chorus when it reported that two historians had uncovered evidence revealing that “the US decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ... was meant to kick-start the Cold War [against the Soviet Union, rather than end the Second World War”.Peter Kuznick, director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at the American University in Washington stated that US President Harry Truman's decision to blast the cities “was not just a war crime, it was a crime against humanity”. With Mark Selden, a historian from Cornell University in New York, Kuznick studied the diplomatic archives of the US, Japan and the USSR. They found that three days before Hiroshima, Truman agreed at a meeting that Japan was “looking for peace”. His senior generals and political advisers told him there was no need to use the A-bomb. But the bombs were dropped anyway.

The United States has conducted 1,127 nuclear and thermonuclear tests — 217 in the atmosphere.
The Soviet Union/ Russia 969 tests — 219 in the atmosphere.
France, 210 tests, 50 in the atmosphere.
The United Kingdom, 45 tests — 21 in the atmosphere.
China, 45 tests — 23 in the atmosphere.
India and Pakistan — 13 tests underground.
Israel — possible 1 test atmosphere South Africa 1979.
North Korea — 1 test underground, October 2006.
“The United states has drawn up a battle plan for the potential use of nuclear weapons in Iraq and the United States has been involved in planning potential nuclear use scenarios for Iran.”
“The United States is now involved in a massive program to overhaul its nuclear arsenal. In fact they're working to replace every nuclear warhead and all of the existing delivery systems in the arsenal to ensure prompt precision global strike capabilities.”
Jackie Cabasso — Western States Legal Foundation

Opposition to using the atomic bombs
"...the Japanese were prepared to negotiate all the way from February 1945...up to and before the time the atomic bombs were dropped..." (Gar Alperovitz, The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb, pg. 635)... William Donovan, director of the OSS, sent a memo to Truman on 31 May, stating that Japan was ready to cease hostilities if it could keep its "home islands". A 12 July message, intercepted just before Potsdam, showed that the Japanese emperor himself had decided to intervene to attempt to end the war. In his private journal, Truman described it as the "telegram from [Jap Emperor asking for peace."...Eisenhower records telling Stimson "Japan was already defeated and dropping the bombs was completely unnecessary" (- Dwight Eisenhower, Mandate For Change, pg. 380) ...Admiral William D Leahy opined "the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender" (William Leahy, I Was There, pg. 441)...Secretary of State-designate Byrnes "our possessing and demonstrating the bomb would make Russia more manageable in Europe"... Brigadier Gen. Carter Clarke, military intelligence officer in charge of preparing intercepted Japanese cables - the MAGIC summaries - for Truman and his advisors: "...we didn't need to do it, and we knew we didn't need to do it, and they knew that we knew we didn't need to do it, we used them as an experiment for two atomic bombs." (Gar Alperovitz, ibid)

old nuclear threat hands
NTI is co-chaired by Ted Turner and Sam Nunn. The Nuclear Security Project started with the January 4, 2007 Wall Street Journal op-ed by former Secretary of State George Shultz, former Secretary of Defense Bill Perry, former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger and former Senator Sam Nunn. All four are leading the Project and NTI serves as the Project Secretariat.
Securing the Bomb 2008, commissioned by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, finds that the world still faces a "very real" risk that terrorists could get a nuclear bomb. The Obama Administration must make reducing that risk a top priority of U.S. security policy and diplomacy, according to the report, which is accompanied by a paper offering a specific agenda for the presidential transition and the opening weeks of the new administration.
Read the Executive Summary (319KB) or the Full Report (1.28MB)
Read "Preventing Nuclear Terrorism: An Agenda for the Next President"

NTI Nuclear Threat Initiative
...Vocabulary Pitfalls in Outlining Nuclear Objectives
By Elaine M. Grossman Global Security Newswire, Sept. 18, 2009
U.S. President Barack Obama's national security team is struggling to choose its words carefully in describing how it intends to maintain a viable nuclear deterrent into the future, according to a senior Defense Department official (see GSN, Aug. 27). (Sep. 18) - U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, shown yesterday, is leading the Obama administration's Nuclear Posture Review. The wording of fact sheets describing the review has come under scrutiny.
Even before the Pentagon's Nuclear Posture Review concludes late this year, policy leaders are encountering rhetorical land mines as they parse Obama's stated objective of keeping the arsenal "effective" or "reliable"...
A Defense Department document describing the review's approach to arms control and deterrence -- released Aug. 6 to issue specialists -- states that the nation "will maintain a safe, secure and effective arsenal to deter any adversary, and guarantee that defense to our allies." This wording echoes precisely Obama's April speech in Prague...His White House will reduce the size of the arsenal and seek to decrease the role these weapons play in international security. For the time being, though, the US "will maintain a safe, secure and effective arsenal to deter any adversary, and guarantee that defense to our allies," he said. However, a second Pentagon fact sheet also released on Aug. 6, providing general background on the nuclear review, adds the word "reliable" to its description of the future posture. The United States, it said, would "maintain a safe, secure, effective and reliable nuclear deterrent."
Some nuclear arms experts see the difference as something more than semantics.... The Nuclear Posture Review is expected to maintain multiple warhead designs as a guard against the possibility of discovering a chink in the armor...."the plain meaning of Obama's [Prague speech] sentence is to admit the possibility of an 'effective' arsenal that does not make a fetish of reliability."

As Japan faces its worst crisis since World War II, we are reminded of an ancient Japanese myth: A giant catfish in the sea carries the archipelago on its back and causes earthquakes, thus shaking up the balance of wealth and power. As the smoke clears, we begin to see exactly how the 2011 earthquake will shake up Japanese politics, military and energy, well beyond the physical damage. We have all seen footage of this devastating world event. It's important to watch. But the real advantage comes from understanding how the tragedy will go on to affect the big picture, such as Japan's reliance on Persian Gulf oil or its alliance with the U.S.... subscribe to STRATFOR, where a team of geopolitical experts has already laid out how the disaster will affect Japan on the international scene.

U.S. Stealth jets on Okinawa mission
BBC News 11 February 2007
The deployment of United States Air Force (USAF) F-22 stealth fighter jets, the most expensive in its arsenal, to a U.S. base on Japan's Okinawa island has prompted protests from residents.

US Spent Nuclear Fuel Largest Concentration Of Radioactivity On Planet
3/26/11 http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&I...
from Real News Earthbeat interview with Bob Alvarez, a nuclear policy specialist since 1975 and a former policy adviser under the Clinton Administration in the Department of Energy.
The Fukushima reactors contain about 100 metric tons. Spent fuel pools in the United States contain as much as 500, 600, 700 metric tons. US stores spent nuclear fuel rods at 4 times pool capacity, has 71,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel not properly protected The U.S. Hiroshima atomic bomb created about 2000 curies of radioactivity...spent fuel pools at Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant (U.S.) hold about 75 million curies.” ...

KHS's article contains important technical information
Lifting the Veil of Nuclear Catastrophe and cover-up
by Keith Harmon Snow
3/18/11 http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23764
...The U.S. nuke industry is blaming Japanese experts, distancing itself from the monster it created. Instead of sending nuclear or health experts to assist the Japanese people in their time of desperate need, US President Barack Obama first sent teams of intelligence agents and FEMA trained military grunts with special security clearances. The Pentagon floated a naval strike force led by the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan off the coast of Japan: advertised as a 'humanitarian' operation, the strike force was repositioned after it was partially irradiated. Can we trust officials and the corporate news media to tell us what is happening in an honest, timely, transparent manner? Are there precedents to the nuclear crisis in Japan? What is the U.S.really concerned with here?..."I repeat, there was and will *not* be any significant release of radioactivity from the damaged Japanese reactors," wrote Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Dr. Joseph Oehmen on March 13. "By 'significant' I mean a level of radiation of more than what you would receive on -- say -- a long distance flight, or drinking a glass of beer that comes from certain areas with high levels of natural background radiation."
So begins a recent U.S. business sector article titled You Can Stop Worrying About A Radiation Disaster in Japan -- Here's Why, published four days after the earthquake struck in Japan. It has already proved false. Properly understood for what it is...an arrogant attempt to belittle the truth and influence public opinion, the article provides an example of the rampant industry disinformation... The post went viral, republished widely.
The You Can Stop Worrying "article" first appeared as a reader's comment posted following the Business Insider journal story Japan Death Toll Climbs Astronomically As Nuclear Crises Intensifies, itself republished and retitled as New York Times feature March 13. At first glance, the two Business Insider stories couldn't be further apart in their general themes: You Can Stop Worrying, which translates to, calm down, don't get hysterical, pay no attention to those anti-nuclear fanatics who think that even microwave ovens will kill you, versus the Death Toll Climbs Astronomically feature, which for all practical purposes we can translate to Holy shit, brother! Run for your life! Duck and Cover! However, both stories serve the global media disinformation campaign... most of the reportage.. .based in money, greed, private profits and loss...mostly talking about people NOT... about who lives or dies...but financial balance sheets, corporate images, retirement portfolios, and the fall of the Nikkei Index and Dow Jones trading they drool over. ... the events in Japan, no matter how alarming, should not be allowed to interrupt the "nuclear renaissance" touted by U.S. President Barrack Obama...

The proponents of nuclear power use all kinds of disinformation and tactics to protect the industry -- compelling the nuclear complex to arm guards to 'protect' these secrets and to 'protect' civilian reactors. It is not only 'terrorists' the nuclear establishment seeks to protect us from: the armed guards and classified documents are to prevent the public from learning the truth about the destruction of documents, the disappearing of evidence, the falsification of reports and records, the calculated fudging of risk and safety assessments. There have been countless exposes, such as Daniel Ford's 1982 book The Cult of the Atom: The Secret Papers of the Atomic Energy Commission.

CNN's nuclear consultant, Dr. Jim Walsh, an expert in international security and a Research Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Security Studies Program (SSP) -- which also shares U.S. special forces as 'research fellows'. He is published and selected as the chosen expert by the major U.S. and European media. Dr. Jim Walsh is the former Executive Director of the Managing the Atom project at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a visiting scholar at the Center for Global Security Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory -- one of our Department of Energy SUPERFUND sites, deep down the dark [nuclear] rabbit hole. Dr. Jim Walsh is another government spook.

KHS http://www.allthingspass.com/services.html Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Electrical Engineering, with honors from the University of Massachusetts. Before 1990 I worked in low-level classified programs at GE Aerospace Electronics Laboratories: communications, radar and missile guidance systems for Ronald Reagan's infamous Star Wars (Strategic Defence Initiative) programs. From 1990 to 1993 taught English at Japan's big Soga Shosa (trading houses) Mitsubishi and Sumitomo Corporations...Began career as a journalist by looking deeply into the rabbit-hole of nuclear power from 1993 to 2000. I visited the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Public Document Rooms -- which have since been closed in many places -- where I read thousands of microfilms and scanned microfiche records and excavated documents, visited nuke plants in New England and industry conferences, interviewed officials and attended boring, sometimes secretive public meetings with the most stifling and unimaginative bureaucrats and engineers (like me) searching for the truth. Since then, reported on regulatory corruption, technical failures, undemocratic initiatives to betray the public trust, accumulating radiation and nuclear poisons -- and the ways mass media supported and perpetuated mythology.

Further Sources:
Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, by Alexey V. Yablokov and Vassily B. Nesterenko and Alexey V. Nesterenko (English publication: 2009), recently reviewed by toxicologist Janette Sherman on BlipTV, and also reviewed last year by Professor Karl Grossman at Global Research.
Nuclear Reactors in Earthquake Zones around the Globe (TreeHugger, compiling various sources)
US Radiation Monitoring Map in Real Time (Radiation Network)
Video Maps Spread of Radioactivity in Real Time (Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics, Austria)

Humanitarian capitalist calculations
The Costs of Japan's Tsunami
March 11, 2011, by Sheila A. Smith, Senior CFR Fellow for Japan Studies, http://www.cfr.org/japan/costs-japans-tsunami/p24359
This is likely to be a humanitarian relief operation of epic proportions....Already struggling with a protracted process of political transition, the Japanese government will be sorely tested by this disaster. In 1995, the government response was severely criticized for being too little, too late, when the 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck Kobe. But the government response today has been all-out and rapid. The government has mobilized almost ten thousand Self Defense Force personnel, as well as Coast Guard, fire, and disaster response teams in a mammoth disaster relief operation. Hundreds of military aircraft and over sixty ships are already deployed to northern Japan for relief operations. All major highways north have been reserved for emergency use, and various organizations are rapidly consolidating emergency relief supplies. Consultations with U.S. forces stationed in Japan are already underway to organize emergency relief support by them.
The economic impact on Japan's economy will be devastating. The Nikkei stock market has already begun to dip precipitously in the world's third largest economy. The long-term economic blow to a country already struggling to lower its budget deficit, which is now close to 10 percent of the GDP, will be significant. The 1995 earthquake in Kobe cost Japan $132 billion in damage and was the world's most expensive natural disaster.
One other concern is potential danger from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility in north-central Japan, and an emergency evacuation has been ordered for those within three kilometers of the facility. While all Japanese nuclear facilities across the country have reportedly shut down automatically, and at this time there seems to be no danger, the government declared a nuclear safety emergency as a precaution. The United States has mobilized additional military support to assist the Japanese government effort... The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan changed course to bring helicopter and other support in case of a Japanese government request for assistance. Likewise, three U.S. Navy warships already in Asia are readying in anticipation of humanitarian assistance.

Japan, the Persian Gulf and Energy
March 15, 2011 http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20110314-japan-persian-gulf-energy
...Japan is the world’s third-largest economy, a bit behind China now. It is also the third-largest industrial economy, behind only the United States and China.....For Japan, a country that went to war with the United States over energy in 1941 and was devastated as a result, this was no small thing. Japan had a safety net. The destruction of a series of nuclear reactors not only creates energy shortages and fear of radiation; it also drives home the profound and very real vulnerability underlying all of Japan’s success. Japan does not control the source of its oil, it does not control the sea lanes over which coal and other minerals travel, and it cannot be certain that its nuclear reactors will not suddenly be destroyed. To the extent that economics and politics are psychological, this is a huge blow. Japan lives in constant danger, both from nature and from geopolitics. What the earthquake drove home was just how profound and how dangerous Japan’s world is. It is difficult to imagine another industrial economy as inherently insecure as Japan’s. Japan’s problem is that its enormous industrial plant is built in a country almost totally devoid of mineral resources. It must import virtually all of the metals and energy that it uses to manufacture industrial products. It maintains stockpiles, but should those stockpiles be depleted and no new imports arrive, Japan stops being an industrial power.
There are multiple sources for many of the metals Japan imports, so that if supplies stop flowing from one place it can get them from other places. The geography of oil is more limited. In order to access the amount of oil Japan needs, the only place to get it is the Persian Gulf. The geography of the Persian Gulf is extraordinary. It is a narrow body of water opening into a narrow channel through the Strait of Hormuz. Any diminution of the flow from any source in the region, let alone the complete closure of the Strait of Hormuz, would have profound implications for the global economy. For Japan it could mean being unable to secure the amount of oil needed at any price. The movement of tankers, the limits on port facilities and long-term contracts that commit oil to other places could make it impossible for Japan to physically secure the oil it needs to run its industrial plant. On an extended basis, this would draw down reserves and constrain Japan’s economy dramatically...

2/17/10 Obama Announcement Drives Up Japanese Nuclear Reactor Makers
DailyFinance: http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/investing/obama-announcement-drives-up...
In Japan, shares of Toshiba Corp. surged 6.3% after President Obama told an audience he endorsed nuclear power and has earmarked $8.3 billion for the construction of two nuclear power plants. If approved, the contract would go to Southern Co. and its partners, which would build reactors designed by Westinghouse, a unit of Japanese company Toshiba -- that helped build the first nuclear power plants in America. According to The New York Times, there are now 104 nuclear reactors in the U.S., but a new plant has not been constructed since 1973. Japan, a country with extremely limited local energy resources, operates 55 nuclear reactors, has two more under construction, and even more in the planning stages.

nuclear war...no problem, pacifier's in the war dept. pipeline
US Developing Radiation Sickness Drug
Researchers are developing a drug that can both prevent and repair human cell damage from all types of radiation exposure. 'Ex-Rad' could be used before or after exposure. Such a healing medication has the potential to lessen panic and fear generated by catastrophic reactor accidents. Plant workers trying to make repairs near a crippled reactor's radioactive core might be less fearful if they could take a pill to repair their own radiation-damaged cells... the CEO of U.S. drug research firm Onconova, says such a wonder drug in the works. The company is collaborating on the drug, called Ex-Rad, with scientists at U.S. Defense Department research laboratory.

3/13/11 GE, the largest U.S.-based reactor builder, focused on the situation at the reactor in Fukushima weren’t available to comment on the outlook for the industry, Michael Tetuan, a spokesman for the Fairfield, Connecticut-based company, said in an e-mailed message. “In general, our business is going very well, but the situation in Japan is troubling,” said Vaughn Gilbert, a spokesman for Toshiba Corp. (6502)’s Westinghouse nuclear unit... Damaged Japanese Daiichi reactor, designed by General Electric Co. (GE) is similar to units running in the U.S....Preliminary construction has begun on new reactors in Georgia and South Carolina, where state regulators allow companies to recover the cost of reactors as they are built http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-13/nuclear-renaissance-threatened-...

US, Japan to Create Partnership to Rebuild After Disaster
Announcement made Sunday by US Secretary of State Clinton's on her visit to Tokyo
April 17, 2011 http://www.voanews.com/english/news/Japan-US-Announce-Partnership-to-Reb...
Japan and the United States have agreed to create a public-private partnership, under Tokyo's guidance, to help rebuild communities devastated by last month's magnitude 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami.Businesses, civil society groups and public officials from the United States and Japan are to cooperate to speed the recovery of the region hit hardest by Japan's worst-ever natural disaster in modern times. As a series of perceptible aftershocks continued to rattle Tokyo, Clinton met Sunday with Japan's foreign minister, had tea with the emperor and empress, and then held talks with Prime Minister Naoto Kan. Japanese Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto told the U.S. secretary of state the assistance Washington has provided, including that from American military forces stationed in the country, is greatly appreciated. U.S. forces mobilized 20,000 personnel and nearly 200 aircraft and vessels for relief activities in Japan. The U.S. government has also sent experts from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Energy Department to help Japan deal with the emergency at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.Japan has faced criticism at home and abroad for delayed and opaque information about what has been happening at the damaged facility.The foreign minister pledged the Japanese government would be more forthcoming about the unresolved nuclear crisis, saying Sunday, "...we would like to disclose the information about the situation, as we should, to the international community." Prime Minister Kan, already on shaky political ground before the March 11 earthquake, is facing increasing calls to step down because of a perceived lack of leadership in response to the nuclear disaster.


WikiLeaks Cables Show US Strategy for Regime Change in Syria
06DAMASCUS5399 2006-12-13 16:03 2011-08-03 20:00 SECRET Embassy Damascus
...US State Embassy cables released by the media organization WikiLeaks provide a greater understanding of the Washington power politics that have led to this moment. For the past five to six years, the US policy toward Syria has used a two-pronged strategy for regime change: supported “civil society” activists and external opposition organizations; delegitimized, destabilized and isolated the country through sanctions and other measures to exploit vulnerabilities.
This cable summarizes our assessment of these vulnerabilities and suggests that there may be actions, statements, and signals that the USG can send that will improve the likelihood of such opportunities arising. These proposals will need to be fleshed out and converted into real actions and we need to be ready to move quickly to take advantage of such opportunities. Many of our suggestions underline using Public Diplomacy and more indirect means to send messages that influence the inner
circle. End Summary.

A cable from December 13, 2006, opens with the conclusion that the Syrian government has ended 2006 “in a position much stronger domestically and internationally than it did [in] 2005.” It features a collection of possible actions that could be taken to undermine the Assad regime.

The bottom line is that Bashar is entering the new year in a
stronger position than he has been in several years, but
those strengths also carry with them -- or sometimes mask
vulnerabilities. If we are ready to capitalize, they will
offer us opportunities to disrupt his decision-making, keep
him off-balance, and make him pay a premium for mistakes.

-- Vulnerability:

-- THE KURDS: The most organized and daring political
opposition and civil society groups are among the ethnic
minority Kurds, concentrated in Syria,s northeast, as well
as in communities in Damascus and Aleppo. This group has
been willing to protest violently in its home territory when
others would dare not. There are few threats that loom
larger in Bashar,s mind than unrest with the Kurds. In what
is a rare occurrence, our DATT was convoked by Syrian
Military Intelligence in May of 2006 to protest what the
Syrians believed were US efforts to provide military training
and equipment to the Kurds in Syria.

-- Possible Action:

complaints in public statements, including publicizing human
rights abuses will exacerbate regime,s concerns about the
Kurdish population. Focus on economic hardship in Kurdish
areas and the SARG,s long-standing refusal to offer
citizenship to some 200,000 stateless Kurds. This issue
would need to be handled carefully, since giving the wrong
kind of prominence to Kurdish issues in Syria could be a
liability for our efforts at uniting the opposition, given
Syrian (mostly Arab) civil society,s skepticism of Kurdish

The shadiness of US relations with Syria is only amplified if you look at the other aspect of the US push for regime change: the public funding of opposition groups.

The US Doesn’t Undermine Countries, It Transforms Them
In April, the Washington Post reported on the funding of opposition groups revealed in the cables and highlighted a group called the Movement for Justice and Development (MJD). It noted it was closely affiliated with the London-based satellite channel Barada TV, which started broadcasting in April 2009 but “ramped up operations to cover the mass protests in Syria.” The cables showed “as much as $6 million” had been “funneled” to the group “since 2006 to operate the satellite channel and finance other activities inside Syria.”

A cable from March 11, 2009:
MJD’s effort to expand its base in Syria is noteworthy in that it is a moderate Islamist organization that publicly eschews any ideological agenda aside from ending the Asad regime through democratic reform. XXXXXXXXXXXX That said, we have heard numerous unconfirmed rumors by very nervous democracy-reform advocates that the SARG may have penetrated the MJD. XXXXXXXXXXXX MJD’s role in organizing an opposition television platform for broadcasting into Syria would make it a high priority target for Syria’s security services. At the time that the cable was written, the group was banned from Syria. But, that didn’t hurt the allure of cooperating with such a group to bring “democratic change” to Syria.
According to the cable, the group “doesn’t believe in Sharia law.” Throughout 2008, it “participated in symposiums” in Europe in the United States. It is a member of the Damascus Declaration, a unity statement made by Syrian opposition in 2005 that called the Assad regime, “authoritarian, totalitarian and cliquish,` and called for peaceful reform through dialogue. They did not have a cooperative relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood. And they were working with the Middle East Partnership Initiative, run by the US State Department, on a satellite channel that the Ford Foundation was allegedly helping to finance....
While the Arab Spring has been viewed as spontaneous moments in history that spurred a domino effect leading multiple populations in the Middle East and North Africa to mount uprisings against repressive dictatorial regimes, embassy cables show that looking for the right moment to topple Assad for at least the past five years....As the Syrian government became aware of US funding NGOs and opposition groups, the regime turned more repressive. A figure in Syria, whose name is redacted from a cable sent out on November 25, 2008, criticized the US saying it had “united Islamist nationalists and secular Arab nationalists”...the U.S. played its hand very badly, using its war on terror in a counterproductive way. Instead of isolating the Islamists and creating the kind of dynamic social ferment and gradual upheaval evident in the USSR and Eastern Europe in the mid- and late-1980′s, the U.S. has created conditions that have united, in Syria at least, Islamist nationalists and secular Arab nationalists....making Syria a hero in the Islamic world. The fact that Ba’ath Party thugs, with some security services support beat up some opposition activists, intellectuals, and cultural figures... was a far more important than the US five million to support the opposition, noted XXXXXXXXXXXX
Not “Regime Change” But “Behavior Reform”...
On April 28, 2009, a cable describing a “new policy front” was sent out. US Chargé d’Affaires ad interim to Syria Maura Connelly suggested that since the “primary Syrian external opposition organization” had completely collapsed the US do less “regime change” and more “encouraging ‘behavior reform.’”...As a result, the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and the Bureau of Human Rights and Labor (DRL) took the lead in identifying and funding civil society and human rights projects...The cable lists Freedom House, American Bar Association, American University, Internews, MEPI with the Aspen Strategic Initiative Institute, Democracy Council of California, Regents of the University of New Mexico and the International Republican Institute (IRI). It highlighted how the most sensitive MEPI-sponsored programs are funded and noted the Syria government would “view any US funds going to illegal political groups as tantamount to supporting regime change.”
It suggests concerns Syria could address if it wanted to be seen in a more positive light. This aspect of the US “behavior reform” strategy appears to be rather consistent with the rhetoric of the State Department during the current uprising. Then, Connelly wrote:…Action on any one of the following five concerns might shift the SARG’s image into a more positive light. (1) The release of specific imprisoned high-profile civil society and human rights activists; (2) credible movement to resolve the citizenship status of stateless Kurds; (3) loosening media restrictions, including Internet censorship; (4) lifting travel bans on Syrian citizens; and (5) following up on promises to establish a “Senate” that would create a legislative space for opposition politicians to work in…
Finally, the cable on this Orwellian-sounding policy of “behavior reform” suggests further Americanization or Westernization could help achieve US goals in Syria as well (like exporting more KFCs and Gap stores)...
The rebels the US has supported and possibly armed) are now dealing with “tribal hostilities” within their ranks, meaning they are now assassinating and killing one another. What this shows is US diplomacy, funding Syrian opposition groups and covertly supporting regime change in Syria...has significantly influenced the regime’s decision to unleash its military and security forces... In short, efforts to advance American hegemony through the buildup of “civil society” and the so-called advancement of “human rights” have failed....


from The Anti-Empire Report
July 28th, 2011 by William Blum
= http://killinghope.org/bblum6/aer96.html
An updated summary record of US foreign policy. Since the end of the Second World War the USA has ...

Attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, most of which were democratically-elected. 7
Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries. 8
Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries. 9
Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries. 10
Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders. 11
In total: Since 1945, the United States has carried out one or more of the above actions, on one or more occasions, in the following 69 countries, more than one-third of the countries of the world: world map of US interventions: http://killinghope.org/index.html#intervention_map

British Guiana (now Guyana)
Congo (also as Zaire)
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
East Timor
El Salvador
Germany (plus East Germany)
North Korea
South Africa
Soviet Union
Vietnam (plus North Vietnam)
Yemen (plus South Yemen)