Friday, September 19, 2008

Thumbing their noses

North Korea and Iran have made it clear in recent days that they are going to press on with their nuclear programs, and they can feel pretty secure in the fact that the rest of the world isn't going to do much about it, other than threaten more sanctions. North Korea announced that it is going to restart its nuclear reactor, the same one it started to mothball last year in a deal with the United States and other countries. The North Koreans say they're reversing course because the U.S. has not removed it from a terrorism blacklist. They also claim promised aid has not been forthcoming. We should not be surprised. The North Koreans have been playing the Bush administration for years and, before that, the Clinton administration. It's much the same with Iran. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says his country has no intention of halting its nuclear program, despite the world's strong suspicions that it's geared toward producing nuclear weapons. Ahmadinejad is an absolute nutjob, but he's also a figurehead. The ayatollahs run Iran, and they're not going to drop a nuke on anyone and run the risk that their country would be turned into a parking lot. Which brings me to my main point: What gives the United States the right to determine which countries can and can't have nuclear programs? We allowed Israel to develop nuclear weapons, but we say none of its neighbors can do the same. Also, at the same time we're trying to block Iran and North Korea from nuclear activities, the Bush administration is pressing Congress to give swift approval to a nuclear cooperation deal with India. From what I've read, the agreement would not stop India from developing nuclear weapons because it has more holes than Swiss cheese. Also, we're not dealing with the most stable nation here. This is the country in which Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated. Her son, Rajiv, later because prime minister, and he was blown up by a suicide bomber. India also is wracked with religious violence and has an on-again, off-again conflict with Pakistan over Kashmir. There also was a report the other day in the Washington Post quoting a former U.N. weapons inspector who said India has been seling drawings showing the inner workings of a centrifuge - used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons - for as little as $10. That's not a typo. Ten bucks! The ex-weapons inspector, David Albright, told the Post that he shared his information with the U.S. State Department, which wasn't interested. "It didn't fit with their talking points," said Albright. "At the highest level, they were dismissive of our concerns." Sounds familiar, doesn't it?



Blogger Ellipses said...

I never knew nuclear plants were so PRETTY!

That is an awesome picture! I wonder if Baer has that color... Uranium 238... Sunrise on a nuclear winter morning!



September 19, 2008 at 6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the Nuke Boy's Club -- the US and our pals. Just like we were scared to death when the Soviets developed the bomb. We could have it, but no one else. The prevailing logic is that we're good guys and we would never nuke someone else. But in these days of pre-emptive strikes, who's to say some nutball in the White House might not decide to take out Iran, or North Korea, then claim we had faulty intelligence. It makes no sense and hasn't since the dawn of time, since the first caveman swung a club and his neighbor got a bigger club. But in those days, mutually assured destruction actually required you to stand toe to toe with the guy in the cave next door to off him. Not quite the same as pushing a button, is it?

September 19, 2008 at 7:25 PM  

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