Quotable

"The moral cost of nuclear armament is that it makes of all of us underwriters of the slaughter of hundreds of millions of people and of the cancellation of future generations." -Jonathan Schell


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Dream of a Nuclear Weapon's Free Middle East

Friends,

With last week's overwhelming United Nations General Assembly vote to grant non-member observer state status for Palestine - the US and Israel were two of nine members voting no - still warm, the US and Israel were once again joined at the hip for a number of votes this week.

Once again, the US and Israel were in the minority on Monday for votes on draft resolutions including one on depleted uranium munitions and another decreasing operational readiness of nuclear weapon systems. 

Then came the resolution (that passed) on non-proliferation in the Middle East.  You guessed it - The elephant in the closet not only voted against the resolution, but Israel's representative pointed fingers at Iran and Syria "due to the clandestine activities [of Iran and Syria] in contravention of their NPT obligations."  Of course, Israel isn't even a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and no one has been more "clandestine" in its nuclear weapons activities than Israel (OK, so maybe North Korea).

The vote on Non-Proliferation in the Middle East: 180 - Yes, 2 - No, 2 - Abstain.  I shouldn't have to tell you who the two "No" votes were.



This YouTube video has not only Israel's statement on the non-proliferation resolution, but also Iran's and Syria's responses.

That the community of nations is speaking out clearly for non-proliferation and disarmament is important.  It is time to bring all pressure to bear on all nuclear weapons states - and not just signatories to the NPT - to begin good-faith negotiations on a binding nuclear weapons convention.

Of course no progress toward a nuclear weapons-free Middle East can be made without Israel's participation.  To even begin the conversation necessitates some serious closet cleaning.  The US needs to clean out not only its own closet, but Israel's as well. It is the responsibility of the US to open the conversation and debate on Israel's nuclear weapons, and it needs to begin now!

The US needs to stop rubber stamping UN votes regarding Israel.  Otherwise, the dream of a nuclear weapons-free Middle East will remain just that - a dream.

Towards a nuclear weapons-free world,

Leonard

1 comment:

  1. This is one crisis whose apparent dangers has been avoided in the past and can be rationalized again. However, it must be recognized that all nations are entitled to participate in the benefits of employing nuclear reactors for energy generation and space exploration as well as for production of nuclear isotopes for medical treatments, seismic logging, and metallurgical testing. Once that is accepted, nations can agree to provide safeguards against improper use of the technology. While petroleum remains a feedstock for extremely valuable products not related to transportation or energy generation, its conservation as a raw material vital to a nation’s economy should not be denied.

    A new treaty and protocol for benevolent nuclear energy use will have to be developed limiting “proliferation only of plutonium or highly enriched uranium whose sole purpose is making Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).” A “carrot and stick” approach with the advanced nations providing the technology, the fuel, and the recycling or storage facility under a new inspection and control protocol will stave off rogue elements attempting to misuse the technology. Any misuse must carry penalties.

    Non-proliferation treaties will not prevent all terrorists from obtaining and detonating nuclear devices. The only questions are where and when, how many will die—and how will the West respond? Will it take one million—or five million—or ten million deaths in a single attack to arouse the non-Muslim nations to recognize the epic nature of this struggle for the survival of their freedoms? Bin Laden issued an order for all true Muslims to leave the United States. He promised to attack ten or more major US cities to “cause horrendous death and destruction.” Western intelligence agencies have reported that al-Qaeda has already obtained 20 suitcase atomic bombs of one kiloton and will probably combine these with biological and/or chemical weapons to increase the death toll. (Still, that report seems questionable—or an attack would surely have occurred by now.)

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