Friday, January 21, 2005

Iran with Nukes

This post from Done With Mirrors is a sensible take on why we don't want Iran to possess nukes, and why that doesn't make sense to some in Europe and the rest of the world.
Israel has nukes, that's an open secret. Do Europeans really fret over that? Do they think Israel's going to lob one into Damascus someday, just for the hell of it? Do they not think, as I do, that Israel wants this ultimate deterrent because they live in a, what is it?, 19-mile wide strip of hillside beset by enemies on all sides who perpetually vow to drive Israel into the sea and kill or enslave all the Jews?

We're talking about the ultimate weapons here. Better off if they never existed, but they do. The genie doesn't go back in the bottle. Yet there seems to be a view at work in Europe that regards possession of nukes as a natural right, at least of every nation that claims to feel threatened by Uncle Sam.

Seriously, now, isn't that like arguing that all your neighbors have a right to own automatic sub-machine guns? Doesn't matter if they're decent folk or hallucinating drug addicts or hardened criminals or decent folk who have the bad habit of leaving their doors unlocked and getting robbed by psychopaths.

Even in the U.S., where gun ownership is a constitutional right (and the Europeans think we're dingbats for that), not everyone can own one. Hell, you can't even drive a car without taking a test and getting an official certification that you know how to drive a car. But they seem to seriously want to hand out nukes to everyone who's afraid of Israel.

If I have to, I can accept these ultimate weapons in the hands of the Soviet Union, the U.S., Britain, India, modern China, France: more or less stable, conservative, secular, self-interested states. The dreadful balance of power implied in "mutually assured destruction" was sufficient to restrain the Cold War powers when simple human sanity was not. Even without the threat of retaliation, they operate with sufficient restraint. In 1982, a nuclear power, Great Britain, went to war. Nobody worried that Thatcher would nuke Buenos Aires.

But we're talking about Iran. We're talking about a nations whose leadership class considers suicide attacks not just an acceptable tactic but a religious duty. A county whose quasi-independent military openly recruits its citizens to be car-bombers to kill foreign construction workers building sewage plants in Iraq, or blow up Israeli buses full of school children.
He also reminded us that the Iranian parliament stood up in unison last year and chanted "Death to America" repeatedly during one session. No I don't want them to have nukes. Yes, I hope reports that the US is secretly inspecting suspected nuclear sites whithin Iran as we speak are true.

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