Nation-states, self-determination and having the right to possess your own nuclear device.

Nuclear weapons: every country should have one?

A couple of days ago, the UN Security Council, which is dominated by the victors of WWII and a few of their friends, voted to impose further sanctions on Iran for its alleged nuclear weapons program. Now I am not a fan of the Iranian regime or the Revolutionary Guard but there is an awful lot of talk about themes such as ‘self-determination’ and ‘the right to exist’ but more often than not those themes are mentioned within the confines of Israel’s existence. If we are going to keep the current world formation of  nation-states with their overlapping (and occasionally contradictory) trading and ‘defence’ blocs, then surely it stands to reason that all countries have the right to exist and have the right to self-determination and those rights shouldn’t be in the gift of a small group of people who already possess a good deal of power and influence.

But what about Iran’s nuclear weapons progam, I hear some people cry. The truth is that there is no hard evidence that Iran actually has the capability to produce such a weapon and most of the commentators who talk darkly about an Iranian state bristling with nuclear weapons do so because they want a war with Iran. They want this war because they never recovered from the way in which their puppet, the Shah was ousted and all national assets – including oil- were seized by the revolutionary government. The desire for a war with Iran has very little to do with human rights or any other kind of rights, it is all about oil, oil, oil.

Furthermore, if Israel didn’t have a covert nuclear weapons program, I doubt Iran would have even bothered to begin the development of one…that is, if they have one or are working towards one.  Israel doesn’t face UN sanctions for its nuclear ambitions nor does it pay any attention to UNSC resolutions which are often vetoed by the US, UK and others.

It has been noted in the past that because there is no oil in many of those countries under authoritarian regimes, the West does no more than wring its hands. Burma, Zimbabwe, Uzbekistan and others are routinely lambasted for their lack of human rights but are not invaded nor do Western governments make bellicose noises in their direction. If oil was discovered off the coast of Burma/Myanmar, the Western powers would move hell and earth to oust the military regime.

At the forefront in the call for a war against Iran is Israel who acts as the West’s ‘eyes and ears’ in the Middle East. Indeed, Israel will make all kinds of claims with regards to Iran, even pointing to Gaza and claiming that it’s a nest of pro-Iranian vipers in order to justify their continued and illegal blockade.

I find it tragic that some people will continue to fall for the same old lies time and again. Remember Iraq and  Saddam Hussein’s alleged cache of WMD? I bet Tony Blair remembers and he still continues to insist that it was “the right thing to do” even though there were no WMD and the entire drive to invade Iraq was generated by the need to take back the oilfields that the West had lost when they were nationalised by Qasim in 1959. Of course, few politicians in this country and the US will ever mention Qasim or the real history of Iraq and how the nation’s oil was divided between the British, the French, the Americans and the Dutch in 1917 (Calouste Gulbenkian got 5% of the shares for brokering the ‘deal’); or how Iraq remained under British occupation until 1953.  We can’t let historical facts get in the way of ,er, democracy – right?

In the final analysis, it’s all about the filthy stuff that comes out of the ground; the same filthy stuff that continues to pollute the planet. As the old saying goes “where there’s muck there’s brass”. So which country should have the right to tell another country that they can’t have nuclear weapons? I’m not in favour of nukes. I hate them. I wish they weren’t there, but none of us can go back in time and assassinate the scientists working on the Manhattan Project. Now can we?But what if every country had its own nuclear device? Which one would be the first to press the button? It’s a heavy responsibility for anyone to bear. You can kill your enemy but, at the same time, you will find yourself running the risk of being nuked after having done the initial nuking.  This stand-off between the so-called ‘free’ and ‘communist’ hemispheres was referred to as  “Mutually Assured Destruction” or “MAD”. How apt.

Are we living through another MAD phase? Don’t ask.

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Filed under Iraq, Middle East, World

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