Nukes & Iran: Who will step in?
Iran is on the verge of creating a nuclear weapon. This is bad news for the United States and Israel, who have warned Tehran against holding nuclear power.
The United States needs to step in and mollify at the crucial moment. Israel has been able to sabotage any Iranian progress in developing nuclear prowess, but no one has produced a key to a more peaceful route to reconciliation.
So where are the peacemakers? Israel wants the United States to step in or even lead the way to block Iran’s new nuclear ambitions. Iran, which has seen several of its nuclear scientists assassinated in the last year, is on the verge of becoming a nuclear power. However, Israel is determined to protect its nuclear dominance in the Middle East — it is the only country in the region that has a nuclear arsenal.
The current crisis is on a fast track because Iran is continuing to build a nuclear bomb, even though they say their intentions are peaceful. The crisis build up, the world waiting for the other shoe to fall, is the talk of the town.
In 1981, Israel bombed Iraq’s nuclear facility, sending several U.S.-made F-16 bombers to wipe it out. In later years, Israel blocked Syria’s attempt to create a nuclear product.
There is little doubt the United States is totally complicit in the attempts to bolster Israel’s nuclear monopoly in the Middle East.
After World War II, it seemed the world was ready for disarmament; there was much work done on plans to reduce nuclear stock piles. The former Soviet Union had developed its own nuclear arsenal. Many hopes were pinned on lessons learned after the U.S. had dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and then Nagasaki, in Japan. Those historic horrors led the Western world to begin serious negotiations on disarmament.
Both the United States and the Soviet Union recognized the need for arms reduction, and at the same time many scientists debated the morality of using nuclear weapons in war. Some scientists who had worked on the bomb had urged the United States, before the Hiroshima attack, to bomb a lonely atoll in the Pacific Ocean, so Japan and the rest of the world might observe the power of nuclear warfare.
At that time, the U.S. military was convinced that the United States would suffer tremendous human losses in the Pacific theater, and President Harry S. Truman agreed and went along. There is no question that the bombing, devastating as it was, brought World War II to an end in the Pacific.
Russia then became a super power rival, matching the U.S. nuclear capacity. Many rounds of disarmament talks began. Afterwards, several countries developed their own nuclear weapons, including India, Pakistan and North Korea.
Israel began stockpiling weapons at a desert complex in Dimona. It was the world’s biggest non-secret. The United States had made a pact with the late Prime Minister Golda Meir never to say that Israel had produced nuclear weapons. To this day, American officials have refused to acknowledge that Israel is the sole nuclear power in the Middle East.
I asked President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton if there were any nations in the Middle East that had nuclear weapons. Responding to a question at a White House news conference, Obama said, “I don’t want to speculate.” Clinton and others also dodged the question, and not too deftly, but they preserved the official lie.
Israel has become the self-appointed nuclear watchdog in the Middle East.
The world is watching to see if the United States or Israel decides to attack Iran. But there seems to be more caution that did not exist in previous critical times.
Obama is preoccupied in the time-consuming run for re-election. It seems it is time for him to step in and calm the waters. Surely no nation wants to see a global war. There may be a way to work out a peaceful resolution with Iran. It’s worth a try.Helen Thomas' posts appear here courtesy of the Falls Church News-Press.