The Zeitgeist Politics

Global Politics with a focus on The Middle East

The Iran Nuclear Question

with 8 comments

I have asked this question before but dismissed it, and I was reminded yesterday when I was reading through my reader items and a pearler from Andrew Sullivan sneaked in. The question is… why do the United States continue to deny the existence of Israel’s nuclear arsenal when it’s more or less common knowledge everywhere? The geopolitical implications of the US (and the international community) turning a blind eye to (and even supporting the existence of) Israeli nukes while simultaneously shaking its fit and making threatening noises at other countries considering developing the same smacks of hypocricy and makes little sense..

But it begins to look once again as if Israel is privileged not as normal allies are privileged, but as a very special case which has the right to have nukes, while demanding none of its neighbors does, and that we cannot even say it has such a capacity; that it has the right to launch wars and threaten wars against its neighbors, but its neighbors have no right to do the same, and so on. [Daily Dish]

Can something positive be said of Iran having the bomb? I mean it proved to be an effective deterrent and counter-balance during the Cold War didn’t it? Is Israeli hegemony by nuclear means a positive thing for the region and the world?

While I personally think that development of nuclear weapons is never a solution, should not be encouraged and should be opposed everywhere… the best way for this to happen is with a simultaneous global disarmament. And the best place to start the disarmament process is the ridiculously unbalanced and volatile Middle East. Israeli disarmament needs to start immediately however, of course, never will without any real international pressure.


Written by alexlobov

May 7, 2009 at 4:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

8 Responses

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    Adrian Hamilton asks a different question in The Independent: How will throwing Iran into the mix help?


    May 8, 2009 at 2:51 pm

  2. Very interesting article, throwing Iran into the mix wouldn’t help much unless Israeli nuclear disarmament is on the table (as Hamilton said). Thanks Saba.


    May 8, 2009 at 4:13 pm

  3. The reason that we let, and actively encourage, Israel to do whatever they want as far as aggression in foreign policy, is because people in this country have sorely misinterpreted a few passages of the bible.

    It says that essentially being a friend to Israel is akin to being a friend to God. American statesmen and by extension their constituents take this to mean that we should give them tons and tons of weapons and give them the green light to attack all of their neighbors.

    A real friend knows when to tell another friend that they’ve gone too far. We’re not doing them any favors. Any idiot can tell that Israel’s foreign policy makes them less safe. Unfortunately we seem to have a special kind of idiot who get elected in this country, regardless of party affiliation.


    May 9, 2009 at 2:02 am

  4. I agree strongly with your last paragraph however I’m waiting to see how Obama is going to deal with this, I’m fairly sure he knows the situation, the man is not an idiot, but I’m assuming he’s still manouvering around AIPAC and all the other political implications of his relationship with Israel. As Hamilton mentioned in the article Saba posted above, it seems Obama is on a collision course with Netanyahu over this.

    As for the Biblical interpretation, I don’t know how much of this misinterpretation is so rooted in the American psyche but I can tell you that people hadn’t woken up to this until 1972. Historically, the US only strongly deepened its support of Israel (to the point where we are now) during the Yom Kippur War, and that was largely Cold War move (because the Soviets were backing the Arabs and were about to annihilate Israel). So I wonder why in the span of just 37 years the US has managed to form a ridiculous alliance involving lying about Israel’s nuclear weapons and turning a blind eye to everything they do.


    May 9, 2009 at 2:04 pm

  5. I think you’re absolutely right…although I have more of a problem with the US ignoring their wider obligations to the NPT. Israel’s possession of nukes is a fait accompli i think Arab states are going to have to accept. The old men in charge at the Knesset are not interested in anything that will possibly compromise the survival of Israel and even if the US acknowledge the possession, it would do little.

    The main priority should be to prevent proliferation (like Iran) but its impossible with the US encouraging proliferation and not leading by example in disarming.

    According to the NPT, nuclear armed states are to take active steps towards disarmament and so far, South Africa is the only state to have had nuclear weapons and voluntarily disarmed itself. Under the Bush Administration, tactical nuclear weapons were developed for precision strike and upgraded from Non-conventional to conventional war fighting status.

    Academics are wondering if the wider perception around the world of the NPT (and indeed if it is actually even relevant anymore) is simply preserving the divide between the nuclear haves and have nots. Whilst India violated the terms of the NPT and developed and tested their own nukes, there were no sanctions against them, but instead the US rewarded them with one of widest FTAs, washington hawks are happy to have the US take efforts to counter balance against China. The only counter balance against such US behavior is global pressure and denunciation, and not one politician has the balls to do whats right.

    Sadly…it appears you cannot depend on states and the interpretations of national interest by politicians to do whats best for the world’s interest.

    On the brighter side….they are so fucking deadly it’d be pure madness for anyone to use them.


    May 12, 2009 at 5:45 pm

  6. Alex, maybe you can explain to me why the US feels like it has to police the world? Why can’t we just focus on the US and let the world take care of itself?

    Is it because we have to think in Macro terms. If we just focus on ourselves, then we ultimately lose because we lose touch with the world?

    Or is it because the US just has such a big ego that it wants to be involved with everything and spread ‘democracy’. What is it really?

    Great stuff here. Just stumbled your blog and submitted it to Viralogy:

    – Jun


    May 20, 2009 at 8:52 am

  7. Jun – Thanks for the stumble and Viralogy submit, mate. I’ve seen your Viralogy around the traps some but haven’t had a chance to properly check it out, will definitely do so.

    I think the concept of the US policing the world is somewhat overblown. I don’t think the US ever really did “police” the world, if they were to do so they would have been in other places where their intervention was needed – eg. Rwanda, Darfur. I think it’s more a matter of the US playing out realist politics and intervening in countries where either their interests are threatened or their interests could be furthered by intervention. Classic case is Iraq, never posed a direct threat to the US or even Israel, other countries were far more worrisome (such as Iran, Syrian, North Korea) and yet Bush invaded to secure oil for the US.

    I think in that context, the Iran vs. Israel nuclear question is… sure we should not proliferate nuclear weapons and therefore Iran should not be able to develop one but… at what point is it in US interests to defend Israel to the teeth, even when they are clearly wrong, and go to such extents as to lie about their nuclear weapons (which should be disarmed)? Why does the US permit Israel to have nuclear weapons in the first place? That doesn’t sound like Non-Proliferation to me.


    May 20, 2009 at 1:20 pm

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