Posts Tagged ‘nuclear firepower’

Peace talk, war reality

April 6, 2009


Morning Star Online, April 5, 2009

IT is certainly true that US President Barack Obama’s broad and inclusive public persona is a welcome change from the narrow bigoted fundamentalism of his predecessor George W Bush.

And it is refreshing, albeit faintly incredible, to hear the commander-in-chief of the largest nuclear power in the world say that the US seeks “the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons” and continue that the US is “ready to lead,” has a “moral responsibility to act” and stands for the right of everybody to live free of fear in the 21st century.

It is only when one stands back from the dizzy power of Mr Obama’s rhetoric and measures it against the cold realities of world politics that the doubts start to crowd in like the qhost of Christmas past steaming in on Ebenezer Scrooge.

For someone so vocally committed to nuclear detente and eventual disarmament, President Obama cuts a strange figure on the world stage, mixing mixing peace talk with a cold-warrior reality which would not disgrace the most right-wing of his predecessors.

On the one hand stands a man who declares that “the world must stand together and prevent the spread of these weapons.”

But on the other stands a president in control of sufficient nuclear firepower to turn large tracts of the world into nuclear wastelands.

The man proclaims “America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” but the president continues to support Israel, whose illegal nuclear weapons clearly classify it as a rogue state among the nations of the world.

He shamelessly continues to use nuclear-armed Israel to counterbalance the regional influence of Iran and, to preserve the integrity of that counterweight, argues and threatens against an Iranian nuclear capacity while blithely disregarding the Israeli nuclear crime.

Mr Obama says that the “most immediate and extreme threat to global security” is terrorists possessing nuclear weapons.

But he continues to disregard the role of his own massive nuclear arsenal in making that possession into a logical aspiration for any organisation, be it nationally or religiously led, that wishes to become a force in world politics.

His condemnation of North Korea’s launch of a rocket on Sunday would have carried considerably more authority if it had come from a president who didn’t have a lackey following him around with the nuclear red button always within reach.

None of this is to say that Mr Obama’s initiative in reopening the issue of nuclear arms reduction should be rejected as phoney. Quitethe reverse.

Substantial bilateral reductions in the world’s nuclear arsenal would be an enormous forward move in any event.

The world would be much safer for such reductions and they should be pursued with eagerness.

But the fact remains that US influence to remove the perceived threat of an Iranian nuclear capability should be accompanied by the use of that influence to neutralise the Israeli arsenal.

And any bilateral talks should be predicated on an acknowledgement that war, whether nuclear or conventional, is not the continuation of politics by other means, but an outrage perpetrated on the weak by the strong and an inappropriate response from a man who wishes to be seen as a peacemaker.

And US policy on Afghanistan and Iran must reflect just that.

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