Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Obama's threatened next war?

Tony Karon of Time magazine and Rootless Cosmopolitan explains what's going on with Iran and what Iran wants from the U.S. in terms simple enough for most of us.

The problem is rooted in the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, whose signatories, of which Iran is one, are allowed to develop nuclear energy technology, including uranium enrichment, for the production of energy; but much of that peaceful technology can also provide the essential infrastructure of a nuclear weapons program. The dividing line between legitimate and illegitimate use of the technology, under the NPT, is established by monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). To date, all of the uranium enrichment activities at the centre of the Iran nuclear dispute have occurred under IAEA monitoring, and the UN agency has certified that all materials are accounted for and are kept under IAEA seal, and that none has been enriched above the permitted level of five per cent.

So the claim by the hawks that Iran has enough material for one nuclear bomb is a little misleading: if it spent another year or so feeding its low-enriched uranium through its centrifuges to attain weapons-grade enrichment, it would have enough material for a bomb -- but it could only do this by breaking with the NPT, kicking out the IAEA inspectors and unsealing the stored uranium, thereby alerting the world to its intentions.


Nations typically pursue nuclear capability as the ultimate guarantor of their survival, because they deter any enemy from using conventional or nuclear military superiority to eliminate a regime. And if Iran were to seek nuclear weapons capability, a sober analysis suggests that its aim would be to assure its own survival rather than to initiate a suicidal exchange with any other nation.

So when Mr Obama talks about "carrots" being offered to Iran, just like Mr Bush he confines himself to economic incentives: "They could benefit from a more open economy and being part of the international economic system," he has said. But Iran's key concern would be to secure its regime from overthrow by outside intervention, and to win recognition of its role as a regional strategic power.

The National

During the campaign, Obama was bellicose about Iran. This makes the Israel lobby happy, but otherwise makes no sense at all. Fear of enemies is what drives the very Iranian programs the U.S. and the European Union are trying to limit.

The Obama guy is smart, but even smart guys sometimes box themselves in. I doubt very much that most of us really want to be stuck in Obama's Iran war box. Together, can we all get out?

1 comment:

Tina said...

As long as time and energy are not put into neutralizing the Israel lobby, you can expect more wars in your name. There is already a war of annihilation launched against the Palestinians in Gaza, and the good Americans are still silent. From my experience in the USA I can state that the non-Jews expect the Jews to move alone against the lobby from fear of being labeled anti-Semitic themselves. It is not a good excuse and one can state that the USA government And People are supporting the racist state of Israel and its actions against the Palestinians, like they supported the wars of destruction of Lebanon by the same state with American supplied weapons including landmines and cluster bombs.

In French: Qui ne dit mot consent. Who stays silent, agrees. correct the translation please.

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