Eclectic Floridian: MAD - about Iran nuke power (pun intended)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

MAD - about Iran nuke power (pun intended)

The Christian Science Monitor has an interesting article about the flap surrounding Iran's nuclear power controversy.

Generally, it says that if Russia supplies the fuel for Iran's nuclear (not nuculear) power plant, then the likelihood of them developing their own
enriched uranium technology declines. Developing this technology is so expensive. That is if it isn't given (figuratively speaking) to you by the Chinese or "others".

That got me thinking ... always a dangerous thing. I'm not sure that even I believe what I'm about to say.

It's just an idea, one that I think may apply to Iran, but is shakier regarding N. Korea. Let's see if I can make it stick.
  • The Nuclear Genie is out of the bottle.
  • Nuclear power does provide a lot of relatively cheap power, with controllable side-effects, if done correctly.
  • Producing Nuclear power correctly requires existing expertise.
  • Existing Nuclear Powers have the expertise.
  • Russia, France and Germany, are existing Nuclear powers.
  • All three countries are frothing at the mouth to help Iran (as they were for oil production facilities in Iraq).
  • Inexpensive power is a quick way to increase the living standard of any nation.
  • Increased living standards always lead to a more enlightened citizenry (I know, a somewhat shaky assumption).
  • Nations with increased living standards have a lower tolerance for radical action Internationally (they have more to lose).
  • Russia needs cash. See the item above, remembering they still have more nuclear bombs than any nation but the US.
  • Iran, the Middle East, and maybe even Europe and the US, could benefit from an empowered, modern Iran with a middle-class their leaders have to answer to.
  • Even if Iran used their nuclear ability to generate nuclear weapons, how long would it take them to match the cold war capabilities of the U.S.S.R.
  • MAD, Mutually Assured Destruction, though distasteful, got us through the cold war. It did that because those on both sides realized that use of the bomb would result in their "territory" becoming a sea of molten glass.
  • The US still has it's stockpile in place and ready for use.
  • If you were Iran, would you produce nuclear weapons, then risk using them, in hopes of becoming the world's leading purveyor of Iranian Nuclear Glass?
I readily admit that you can never be sure what a fanatic will do. But, I do find it difficult to believe that any government will make Moves to Assure its own Destruction.

I also admit that such a policy would be a huge gamble. The gamble might be the diplomatic equivalent of the parent telling the teenager that it's their decision to take a risk. That is, encourage responsibility by showing faith in their intelligence, all the while, holding the Nuclear option.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Concerning this comment: "The genie is out of the bottle. Much as I wish the fanatic nations could be denied nukes, I suspect it can't be done." - I hope you folks will remember it was Liberals, Fellow Travelers, Socialists and Communists who are responsibile for the spread of Nukes.

Robert Oppenheimer, Ted Hall, Klaus Fuchs, the Rosenbergs and many other "progressive intellectuals" believed the world would be better off if the technology was available to our enemies, too. They thought it was the only way to save the world from the evil USA, so they took it upon themselves to do what they KNEW was best. Suddenly the intellectuals don't look very smart.

Unfortunately such short sighted thinking still penetrates and permeates our psyche.

5/08/2005 12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason that NK is developing nuclear capabilities is to use it as a bargaining chip with the west. NK brought in inspectors and went pretty far out of thier way to convince them that they had violated international law and did in fact have nuclear capabilities (though they were not entirely sucessful).

There should be no real concern that NK is going to use them, but because America is still stuck in the cold war mindset (and this is what NK is counting on) nuclear weapons are actually worth something to them, whearas they are really just a waste of our money.

5/08/2005 3:39 PM  
Blogger CWhite said...

Anonymous #1:

I agree that the intellectuals don't look very smart - now.

The problem is we are now faced with a fact. It is the fact that we must respond to. Drudging Oppenheimer, et al, will change nothing.

I said I'm not sure of my position, but, so far my mind isn't changed.

Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

5/08/2005 3:54 PM  
Blogger CWhite said...

Anonymous #2:

I can't argue that nukes are a bargaining chip for N. Korea - and Iran.

Isn't it true that if they truly have nukes, they earned the chip - not that I like it, if it's a fact, we must deal with it.

Re: US nukes "a waste of money." If we find ourselves having to negotiate with nuclear capable N. Korea and/or Iran, I'd say US nukes are a King high with 4 Aces kind of hand, and well worth the money as bargaining chips.

5/08/2005 4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding Iranian nuclear energy:

Fine, let's do that after we've fomented and supported (to the hilt) the revolution that gets rid of the current nutcases that run the place.

I'm happy if democracies have nuclear energy (=nukes), but not suicidal religous fanatics.

6/11/2005 5:36 PM  

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