Why the Fuss Over Iran's Nuclear Ambitions; Afterall, It's Still A Nuclear Nightmare Out There!
Not a day passes nowadays without some prescient ominous reference to Iran or what many in western media circles are now calling the Iranian problem.
The storyline, now fabled and interestingly widely viewed as credible and authoritative, is quite simple. Iran, like North Korea before it, has purportedly abdicated its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty obligations by surreptitiously seeking after The Bomb.
Despite Iran’s repeated protestations that its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful purposes, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Director General, Yukiya Amano, is continuing to be openly skeptical; he, this week, reiterated agency warnings that it could not definitively confirm that Iran's nuclear program is peaceful.
Buoyed by that lingering cloud of doubt from the IAEA, a coalition of western powers led by the United States instituted a series of punishing sanctions presumably intended to force authorities in Tehran to abandon their nuclear ambitions.
There has even been an increasingly deafening insistence on the use of all means possible, including pre-emptive military action, to scuttle Iran’s plans.
For reasons too obvious to warrant enumeration, propelled by a blinding sense of uprightness, the United States and Israel are now leading the charge. For either nation, it’s a natural call to duty: Iran must be stopped.
The crisis has even assumed a familiar, alluring epic quality.Woven into the Armageddonesque “good” vs “evil” script that has since taken hold are all manner of scenarios, by policy experts and military strategists alike, looking to proselytize a host of best-case and doomsday outcomes. The “good” in this particular circumstance understandably as us (the US, Israel and the rest of the Judea-Christian, rational or “civilized” societies of the west) and the “evil” being them (Iran and the rest of the unenlightened, erratic, sadistic peoples of the world).
President Obama seized Monday’s visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to add fodder to the heightening tensions in the region when in characteristic style, and in a frenzied effort to declare the US’ unflinching dedication to Israel’s security, he said "I reserve all options and my policy here is not going be one of containment; my policy is prevention of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons."
“The United States," he reiterated, “will always have Israel's back when it comes to Israel's security."
Netanyahu, amidst flashing lights from the assembled White House press corps, basically regurgitated the same worn mantra about Israel’s inalienable right to defend itself.
It really was hard to conceal the overpowering feeling of bemused incredulity at such horrendous mis-characterization of reality.
Truth is that given Israel’s long-standing tendency to defy or disregard international codes and other conventions of national behavior, it certainly is totally ill-qualified to deliberate over Iran’s options relative to the nuclear question.
After all, it is common knowledge that Israel has a sizable stockpile of nuclear weapons---an arsenal that it, by the way, acquired through extra-legal means and with the full knowledge and active connivance of Washington.
It is not difficult to see that the US, on its part, is essentially continuing to go down the same conceited, duplicitous path that foists and perpetuates a climate of cynicism and suspicion internationally regarding its actions and intentions.
If it’s okay for Israel to acquire and covet The Bomb, why is it so outlandish for Iran to do the same? If everyone is worrying about Israel’s right to self-defense, who is worrying about Iran’s right to the same? Wasn't Israel the one that tipped the balance of power by introducing nuclear weapons to the Middle East in the first place? Where was the rest of the world at the time; why didn't the same level of trepidation and outrage obtain?
I believe that beyond the odious and dubious representation of the intentions and right of the Iranians, and any other nation for that matter with a modicum desire for respect or a rekindled interest in national glory, to pursue a nuclear energy program, it is still a very dangerous world out there.
With a combined total of more than 20, 000 nuclear warheads, 5,000 of which are currently deployed (meaning that the warheads are placed on missiles or located on bases with operational forces) at the end of 2011, the threat of an irreversible thermo-nuclear conflagration continues to loom large.
The US and Russia have simply shown pitiable leadership since the years of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I & SALT II) of the 1960s/1970s and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties (START I & START II) of the 1990s in working aggressively to whittle down these stockpiles of nuclear weapons.
An unavoidably certain way to make it crystal clear to Iran and other would be nuclear weapons enthusiasts that these kinds of weapons programs are now truly a relic of a dreadful past is to denounce it for all and rapidly liquidate existing hoards.
Until that is realized, the threat of a thermo-nuclear conflict will hang menacingly over our human civilization like the sword of Damocles.