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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/27/10

The False Promise of Yesterday's Reduction in Nuclear Arsenals

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As to yesterday's nuclear warhead agreement between the U.S. and Russia[1] (of each others arsenal) here is this writer's reaction, "So what!" And here's why there is no fanfare, no bell ringing and cheering wildly from this corner. Reducing nuclear weapons arsenals from "2,250 to 1550 nuclear warheads"[2] and reducing to 800 (from 1600) launchers of missiles, submarines and bombers means only in a nuclear conflagration the rubble of the world would bounce only 2 1/2 times rather than five.

The unthinkable, (and it must be considered as such) the possibility of a nuclear holocaust wasn't averted yesterday between Russia and the U.S. reducing their arsenals. It was a P.R. exercise, a political "feel good" moment that didn't make the world safer except perhaps in the minds of the diplomats and "politicos" that worked "tirelessly" to get the agreement.

Such is the state of xenophobia and brinkmanship that constitutes our nuclear policy. As to Russia, their arsenal gives them "status" in the world, not exactly the elevated level which was afforded the now defunct Soviet Union, but at least a "status" that precludes their being ignored in world affairs.

For the U.S. (as if anyone needed to be reminded) it's "we're still the meanest and baddest on the block." Republicans, of course will be sure to remind everyone, the nations defense is their paramount concern and they will scrutinize every word of this Obama driven deal to be sure he didn't secretly cede away any "real" nuclear capability particularly since so many Republicans (according to polls) believe he is a Muslim, the "anti-Christ", wasn't born in the U.S., is a Socialist and hates white people.

What is so ironic is here we are paranoid and suspicious of Iran developing a nuclear weapon. Who would they realistically threaten, Israel? A country that has its own sizable arsenal, yet (with U.S. complicity) continues to threaten to bomb Iran's fledgling nuclear facilities That are nowhere near of developing a nuclear weapon or the capability of delivering it, (its missiles capable of reaching Israel but only with conventional warheads).

Paranoid, reclusive North Korea only developed its modest few nuclear weapons as a deterrent against the possibility they would be targeted by the U.S. This belief was heightened of course when ex President George W. Bush branded North Korea as part of the "axis of evil" in 2002, that absurd alliance of Saddam Hussein's Sunni ruled Iraq, Iran controlled by Shiite Mullah's and Kim's reclusive North Korea that defied all reality (particularly between Saddam's Iraq and Shiite Iran that had fought an 8 year war in the 1980's).

But let's not digress too far. Until nuclear weapons are banned and eliminated completely the world will never be safe from incinerating itself (which may happen anyway if global warming and green house gases are not controlled,[but that's a whole other story]). Eliminating nuclear weapons entirely should be world's focus and ultimate goal.

These weapons have no offensive purpose. Not when certain retaliation and annihilation is assured for any country to realistically consider a preemptive strike. Such was the role of MAD, mutually assured destruction that prevented a nuclear confrontation between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. That concept remains even with the demise of the latter.

Accidents, (so far avoided), mis-perception of the others motives and intentions (the Cuban missile crisis in 1962), fear of their continuing as a country and surrounded by hostile enemies (Israel) that would compel it to act preemptively, and terrorists acquiring and detonating a "dirty bomb" are (and should be the main worries of all the world. Thus securing ALL nuclear weapons of ALL nuclear armed states should be of paramount necessity, including paranoid North Korea, (whose need for financial reserves prompts the regime to sell nuclear technology and parts [on the black market] as they have nothing else of value to export and sell). Of course this "activity" must not be permitted so some alternative must be developed to provide N. Korea "financial assets" so they wouldn't resort to selling their technology and parts on that black market. Call that a "bribe", call it "welfare", call it legalized "extortion", call it what ever you will. Anything is better than the present threats and intimidation and isolating them further that makes the regime more paranoid, more insular and a pariah. This is just bold thinking "beyond the box."

So again not to digress too far, yesterday's warhead cut is probably all that could be expected in today's nuclear arms state of affairs. To scoff too loudly at its "accomplishment" would be the ultimate in "politcal incorrectness." Definitely, let's not get get accused of that.

[1] "Warheads limit cut by 30%", by Paul Richter, "The Baltimore Sun", Saturday, March 27, 2010.

[2] See footnote #1

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