Sunday, January 15, 2006

Nuclear Non-Proliferation is for Morons

Paying attention now?

Looks like the Bushco's getting all hot and bothered, panties-in-a-bunch, over Iran breaking the seals on a couple of IAEA nuclear research sites and is starting the drumbeat whose unmistakeable message is: "...Vote for us. We'll protect you. Vote for us. We'll protect you..." With Our Rulers looking unpopular going in to the 2006 mid-term election cycle, clearly it's time for a little fear- and war-mongering to get the rubes lined up to pretend the voting machines aren't gamed and to keep the charade of democracy going long enough to consolidate their permanent hold on power.

And this time, Europe's on board with this Iran's-going-to-destroy-us-all nonsense. You'd think the EU would have taken a lesson from that other country next door to the Satan-of-the-week.

Face it, folks, the whole idea of nuclear non-proliferation was idiotic from the outset. Maybe we could have had some success if we'd gunned down Oppenheimer, all his colleagues, their friends, their families, all the Nazis working on heavy-water experiments and then expunged the memory of Einstein and his work from all records around the world and outlawed the study of nuclear physics everywhere, but once you've got E=MC2, you know that matter is energy and the conversion from one to the other is going to make a pretty big bang.

It's amazing that the nuclear club has been kept so small for so long, mostly thanks to the Cold War and alignment of everyone in the world with one nuclear arsenal or another, but the idea of nuclear non-proliferation implicitly asserts that you're going to keep the means, methods and materials necessary to the production of nuclear weapons locked away forever.

Forever's a long time.
Take all the time you've waited in the offices of physicians and bureaucrats, bus stations, for your significant other to show up, for your tax refund, and multiply that by the number of atoms in everyone who has ever lived on this planet, and you're not even close to taking a fingernails pairing off forever. It's long, and it's beyond the scope of anyone to imagine, and it's no time scale for planning to keep a secret.

Lots and lots of people know how to make nuclear weapons. It isn't easy, and isn't terribly cheap, and you need a good industrial base and some exotic materials, but if Pakistan can manage it, I'm guessing a whole lot of other countries could manage it as well.

If they wanted to.

As the Bard said, "There's the rub." Hoping your enemy doesn't get the weapons you have is a short-term strategy for wartime, when you're about to obliterate your enemy forever (see above). Unless the USA and Europe are willing to begin bankrupting and pointless genocidal wars of conquest around the world to prevent nuclear proliferation, the only sane long-term strategy is to figure out why someone might want to attack you and change their minds.

Unless, of course, it's because they hate freedom.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the US, the EU, and the UN are all
idiots and morons? That's a pretty big insult to throw around.

Let's assume, as you do, that Iran is destined to acquire nuclear weapons.

Let's also assume that they intent to destroy Israel, as they've stated on many occasions.

Do you believe all those people should be incinerated? If not, should the US do something about it?

3:03 PM  
Blogger Antonius said...

Unless the USA and Europe are willing to begin bankrupting and pointless genocidal wars of conquest around the world to prevent nuclear proliferation, the only sane long-term strategy is to figure out why someone might want to attack you and change their minds.

1:01 PM  

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