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Thread: The Nuclear Issue

  1. #1

    Default The Nuclear Issue

    I'm sure many of you have seen the news about the UN Security Council Resolution on nuclear proliferation today.

    On the face of it it seems hard to criticise the expression of a sentiment towards reducing the amount of nuclear weapons in the world but I'm afraid that, well-meaning as this may sound, it sadly strikes me as an utterly futile and cheap politicing media moment. Without getting too far into the ghastly inequities of the UN structure, the Security Council is perhaps the most narrow, illegitimate and unrepresentative, not to mention handicaped and ineffective, old world relic of modern geopolitics to be seen today, and these kind of proclamations, which amount to a sort of 'tut, tut' from a birch-using headmaster as an attempt to discourage fighting in the playground at school don't go anywhere towards addressing the real issues of nuclear proliferation.

    The obvious target of all this is Iran and the motivation to ameliorate any threat the possibility of her acquiring nuclear weaponry may pose, but the thinking seems so ultimately compromised and specious to me. The problem is that Iran's desire to become a nuclear power makes perfect sense from Iran's point of view and nothing is being done to try and change that. Tehran's biggest perceived enemies and threats - Israel, America and Britain - have nuclear weapons and show no meaningful desire to disarm in the name of preserving 'the deterrent' while at the same time constantly reiterating that they do not want Iran to join them in the nuclear club. I heard a Hilary Clinton soundbite on the radio this morning to the tune of, "it is legitimate for Iran to pursue nuclear energy but it is not legitimate for Iran to pursue nuclear weaponry". 'Not legitimate'. I can't see how that is anything other than playing into Iran's hands and gifting them with justification and provocation when you consider that what we're looking at here is one nation-state of equal legal stature saying to another that it is legitimate for one of them to possess something but not the other. Now, that is obviously going to be construed as arrogant and threatening imperialism by the Iranian government and as such is antagonistic and plainly counter-productive. It's saying to Iran and it matters not a jot whether this is the motivation because it is how it plays we don't want you to advance to our level because it undermines our power and strength, a power and strength that Iran already feels threatened by.

    I suppose I should point out at this juncture that I don't want a nuclear Iran either. Iran is a dangerous and oppressive regime as is, and nuclear weapons in anyone's hands only increase the risk of danger. The point is that I don't think this diplomatic tone works at all. What needs to happen before anything else is a meaningful move to reduce the nuclear capabilities of the established nuclear powers. There has been talk in Britain about downscaling the Trident replacements from three to four submarines. This is utterly pointless. The savings of 3bn or so are, in context, immaterial, and the country will still possess weapons capable of ruining a country and killing millions of people that will never be used and serve no useful purpose in the context of modern diplomacy and warfare. Trident simply shouldn't be replaced; it's a relic from a bygone age clung to out of a weird machismo fear. If Britain could go to Iran on the back of announcing that she won't be renewing Trident then Iran's own nuclear ambitions could be discussed with far greater legitimacy that would undermine Iran's arguments of necessity. Obama's move to look at cutting the US arsenal is a genuinely encouraging one that should be taken further but it's not enough to legitimise the tone taken with Iran which will only play as hypocrisy when the absurd levels of destructive power that we posses are maintained.

    So, I'm sure I've written such an amount so as to have lost most of your interest but, in essence: angering and alienating Iran isn't going to get us anywhere and will fail to do anything other than re-enforce fear, suspicion and pliability among the populous just as it failed with North Korea, and the words of the West will sound inevitably hollow and hypocritical until we make the first, decisive moves in what should now be a nuclear disarmament race.

    Your thoughts?

  2. #2

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    The Genie's out of the bottle, there is no going back. These weapons will be with mankind until the bitter end ( and may even play a part in the end of our species ).

  3. #3

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    I heard someone speaking on this subject on John Stewart's show last night. He was talking about Iran, and he said the solution to Iran is their gaining economic prosperity. Many of the Iranians want to join the rest of the world in trade, achieving a level of prosperity for themselves. They would like to have a much more moderate government, but unfortunately, they are still in a minority, and so don't have enough clout to change their repressive government.

    Iran is far to unstable to have nuclear weapons. They have already publically stated that they wish to destroy Israel. All they lack is the means. They also have publically stated that they don't believe the Holocaust ever existed. Would you put a nuclear weapon in the hands of an insane man?

    Russia and the United States still have enough nuclear weapons to destroy every life form on the planet. We must live with this fear everyday. Everyone puts it to the back of their mind. It is too scary to conceive that nuclear weapons would ever be used. That's why they eventually must all be destroyed. The problem is verification.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    Would you put a nuclear weapon in the hands of an insane man?
    Yes.. but only if I was felling whimiscal and not giving a shit.

    Like fifigal said, there's no stopping it now. We tried to stop North Korea from getting nukes too, we failed there. Best we can do is give them the fund to build the nukes they want and get to humanity's destruction even faster.

  5. #5

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    Let's just take a step back to the Manhattan project. The scientists who developed these horrible weapons should have been kept on lock-down for the rest of their lives. Their research and data should have never left United States soil, (physically or electronically). But I'm not positive it was all done in the US alone, as Russia seemed to have picked it up pretty quick. I don't know if that was because someone was paid off to sell the blueprints, if they used reverse engineering, or if it was a combination of scientists from different countries who made Nuclear weapons possible...But the point is simple: Once they first detonated one of these puppies and saw what these weapons could do, they should have kept everything about them top secret up the ass, (even more top secret than they do about everything else). Instead, they made films about it and bragged to the rest of the world about the wonderful tool of destruction they had created, and marveled at their own magnificence which they achieved from standing on top of a ladder mounted to the shoulders of mathematical geniuses.

    And now, everyone knows about it and we don't like the idea that they wanna develop them too. You can't blame them for not wanting to either. Right now, It's like the US, RUSSIA and the UK are the only countries possessing machine guns while the rest of the world is left to fend for themselves shooting spit balls off an inflatable aircraft carrier mounted with paper planes.

    The scariest thing about this, is that if Iran did become a nuclear power, and a terrorist organization "intercepted" one of their nuclear weapons, and then used it on a major city...How would we retaliate? Through MAD we've reached an understanding that no-one wants to fight nukes with nukes, so they'd be more than ready to bet if they know we're not going to call their bluff.

  6. #6

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    The day that nuclear weapons no longer exist, is the day people no longer exist. It's a sad fact that as long as humankind is around, there will always be the threat of nuclear annihilation. The one defense to this is the insane sounding Mutually Assured Destruction retaliation scheme, it's the only way to make sure nobody is the first to launch their nukes.

    Otherwise what's there to keep rogue states from letting loose with all they've got when they get bored? Almost any country has the ability to obtain nuclear weapons if they so desire. All the world can do in response is play a dangerous game of chicken (or perhaps it's Russian Roulette). It's not an ideal solution, but it has worked so far, and hopefully will continue to work in the future. It sounds very cold, but I have no better ideas.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    I heard someone speaking on this subject on John Stewart's show last night. He was talking about Iran, and he said the solution to Iran is their gaining economic prosperity. Many of the Iranians want to join the rest of the world in trade, achieving a level of prosperity for themselves. They would like to have a much more moderate government, but unfortunately, they are still in a minority, and so don't have enough clout to change their repressive government.
    I'd broadly agree with that, and that's part of the reason that talking of hitting Iran with more sanctions isn't going to get us anywhere. Sanctions hurt the people of a country first and foremost and allow the leaders of said country to point to sanctions as evidence to further fear of foreign oppression and exploration, which in turn strengthens their own argument for bolstering the military.



    Quote Originally Posted by diapeybabybrian View Post
    Let's just take a step back to the Manhattan project. The scientists who developed these horrible weapons should have been kept on lock-down for the rest of their lives. Their research and data should have never left United States soil, (physically or electronically).
    Well, the Manhattan Project was never an American-only thing, it was done jointly with the British and Canadians. There were also similar projects underway in Germany and Russia at the time. It all comes from a long line of research and thinking - all the way from Leucippus to Einstein to Rutherford. You can't stop that kind of advancement being discovered and utilised all over the world by detaining the first to implement it. I'm afraid it really doesn't work like that.

  8. #8

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    besides... science snt restriced to one country... for better or worse scientific knowledge is , in theory free to anyone who wants it. and we cant say nuclear science is completely bad, the medical and industrial applications in terms of screening and tracking are without compare.

  9. #9

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    IMO give everyone enought nuclear weapons to make certain of mutually assured destruction and leave it at that. Giving them to everyone effectively means there's no point to them.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by silent deadly alchemist View Post
    besides... science snt restriced to one country... for better or worse scientific knowledge is , in theory free to anyone who wants it.
    not really; modern science and engineering are primarily the developments of western industrialism and, since most islamic states are quite vocal about how they loathe western culture (and i'm not i can blame them on that point), while simultaneously playing with 'our toys', why shouldn't we take our toys back?
    if they won't play with us nicely, we shouldn't play with them at all.
    mum logic at work

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