Saturday, October 07, 2006


An Iranian nuclear bomb is good for America

What kind of contrarian would I be if I didn't posit an alternate reality to all the hysteria about the current Iranian nuclear program. Lets set the stage: America has enough nuclear capability to destroy the industrialized world four thousand four hundred and eleven times. This is not an exaggeration: we currently have 150,000 megatons in our arsenal and most experts agree about 34 megatons would be enough to end civilization as we know it. It would be natural to assume that any government that would want to protect itself from such an arsenal would want to develop its own deterrent. The reason we did not have a nuclear war with the soviet union was the idea of mutually assured destruction. This is the same idea that would motivate any country that we have labeled an enemy. Mutually assured destruction is the prime motivator for diplomacy, which is exactly what is needed to avoid conflict. Those who would argue that the crazy theocracy in Iran would use such a weapon against us or Israel assume that most Iranians are suicidal. I believe that Iranians don't want to see their children die in a nuclear war any more than Americans or Israelis. Iran wants to be able to stand as an equal nation to the industrialized world, and wrongly think that a nuclear program would provide this for them.

The soviet union had a large arsenal of weapons, some first strike capability with their subs, and leaders who pronounced "we will bury you" at the UN, but the concept of mutually assured destruction made diplomacy the ultimate way to resolve conflict. A nuclear weapons program in Iran is a bad use of resources for Iran, but will be good for promoting diplomacy with the US.

But the presence of nuclear bombs in the Soviet Union pervasively affected two generations of Americans. Now, if TWO countries that our president labled as "evil" had the bomb, that ominous presence will lurk over our generation, and perhaps that of our children.
You never really believed the threat of nuclear war would disappear? As if we would forget? Nuclear war will be a threat almost as long as modern man will walk the earth.
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