.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Why Can't Iran Have the Bomb?

For years now a number of countries have had nuclear bombs and the capability to deliver them to distant targets. No one has done that since their first use, in a blow delivered against the civilians of Japan 60 years ago. But occasionally one of these countries will wag its nuclear stick at others. We can even say that the degree to which countries try to throw their weight around is in direct proportion to the number of nuclear weapons that they possess.

These threats to use them, however guarded, ought to be in violation not only of ordinary human decency but also of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, but apparently they are not. The main purpose of that treaty, signed by the Haves as well as the numerous Have-Nots of the Bomb in those days, was to get the Have-Nots not to emulate the Haves and develop one or a dozen or a hundred of their own. But times and attitudes change, small countries grow bigger, and can 70 million people really be told that they can't have the Bomb, when, for starters, one particular, much smaller entity right in their neighborhood with a demonstrated taste for preemptive action and with whom they have serious differences, has long had it?

History tells us that patents and the like don't apply when it comes to implements used to hit fellow humans over the head, and from the first tree branch picked up by Sir Habilis, there has yet to be a weapon that didn't in time become the world's common property. It's hard to understand why that reality doesn't extend to nuclear weapons as well. Certainly those weapons are horrible beyond belief, but that monster was let out of the bottle for good -- and bad -- before all his terrible features could be fully made out, way back in New Mexico in 1945. But that doesn't change the fact that nukes are just the latest versions of those tree branches of long ago. Meanwhile it's chilling to note how much farther advanced the nukes are than are the minds of those who wave them. Homo Habilis would find nothing strange in the pugnacity of today.

Who decides which countries are responsible enough to have the Bomb and which are not? The nations that have long been bristling with atomic weaponry think that they are the ones to decide that, even while they have no intention of shedding the missiles that they themselves have long caressed with satisfaction.

It keeps surprising me that Iran doesn't argue over and over that the attitudes of the U.S., the European Union, and Israel toward the possiblity of it going nuclear are weird and hypocritical. The automatic reaction is to accuse Iran of supporting terrorism, but those who have never -- or haven't recently -- experienced it conveniently take little note of how truly terror inducing it is to rain bombs and missiles on someone and to invade and occupy them -- activities in which Iran can claim to have little experience, when compared to the nuclear club members who would exclude them. But I guess that that argument is too simple to use in foreign affairs, where things are much more sophisticated though not necessarily more complicated than they might look to this least of weblogists.


Post a Comment

<< Home