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Why can't they have nukes?

By       Message Raff Ellis     Permalink
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Everyone accepts without question the underlying principle that “rogue” states North Korea and Iran cannot be allowed to have atomic bomb making capability. The governments who have taken on the responsibility of policing this policy are charter members of the nuclear club (NC). Why are they restricting their monopoly membership, and by what authority (especially since they continue to refurbish and update their own nuclear arsenals)? 

The NC’s original five members, US, Russia, China, Great Britain, and France, has illegally grown to nine under this policy. Non-signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), that coincidentally have such weapons, include Pakistan, India, and Israel—with North Korea having withdrawn its signature in 2002.


The US’s nuclear arsenal is benignly described as a “deterrent force,” meaning that our justification for having them rests on the premise that no one would attack us for fear of retaliation—read annihilation. The deterrence argument also has a corollary called MAD, mutually assured destruction, i.e., if you are foolish enough to try to destroy us, we will destroy you.


Thus, the theory goes, by owning nuclear weapons all others are deterred from attacking you. This argument obviously does not apply to the “rogue” state nuclear wannabes Iran and North Korea. These regimes, we are led to believe, are insanely fanatical and given a few bombs and limited range missiles, will attack us Kamikaze style—and consequently be wiped off the face of the earth. Their aspirations to join the NC must be squashed by the bigger, more powerful nuclear-tipped countries—lest these weapons fall into terrorist hands.


The “wolf is at the door” argument is not new to us. A frightened populace has been proven time and again to be a controllable populace—one that is quite willing to give up basic freedoms while entrusting their safety to a few “brilliant” planners. These are the “smartest people in the room” who plot the fate of the world—in fortified, undisclosed locations that will ensure their survival in case of nuclear war. Never mind that they are of the same ilk as those who decided that we should fill our arsenals with enough nuclear warheads to blow up the world several times over; who thought up the Agent Orange program; who decided that phantom WMDs in Iraq was sufficient cause for preemptive war; and who foolishly planned the siege at Waco; among other colossal blunders.


If indeed our deterrence strategy is sound, then we have nothing to worry about. In fact it’s so good it should be expanded. Just think, if every country had nuclear weapons then no one would be attacking anyone else and there would be no wars—because everyone would be… deterred! Sounds good to me.

 Raff Ellis is an Author/Lecturer who can be reached at: or through his web site:


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Author/Lecturer, frequent writer of short stories, essays, and political commentary. Mr Ellis has numerous pieces published in newspapers, magazines, and on various Internet web sites. He is the author of the recently published memoir, "Kisses from (more...)

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