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Friday, April 20, 2007

The Nuclear Disorder

Another transmission from Das Heimchen:
As you know, I always look for positive signs of changing attitude in the European media. The attached is a translation of a commentary I read at Tagesspiegel online. It shows a sign of awakening to reality, though the entire article did not mention the War on Terror once, nor was there any reference to the threat of the Islamic menace, which is at the base of Iran's belligerence. But I liked the author's realization that it would take the US and our military might to stem the advancing threat.
His attachment:

The following is a translation of an article that appeared in today’s Tagesspiegel, a leading Berlin newspaper.

The Nuclear Disorder

Iran’s nuclear plans can only be stopped by the USA - By Sibylle Tönnies

As long as the British sailors remained in Iranian custody, everyone made as if there was no connection between this affair and the nuclear controversy, as if this episode happened at the hottest border of the world purely by coincidence. For diplomatic reasons, this obvious connection was viewed with a blind eye.

But the most recent events in Iran underscore the need to consider the world-political context in which this kidnapping happened. The triumphal celebration of the enrichment successes, the proclamation of the exit from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, reminded the western world of the fact that Iran is their archenemy. Instead of discussing the question whether the young Brits may sell their stories to the press, the public needs to ponder a more important fact: With their imprisonment Iran has symbolically set the scene for claims to its territorial integrity, before it threw down the gauntlet to the West.

And successfully. In any case, Tony Blair was forced to attest to Iran - something, which otherwise might have been lost from memory - that the land has a great history and possesses its own dignity. And implicitly, that it is not a rogue state whose territorial integrity may not be ignored. With that, Blair confirms explicitly the principle of equality of the states, which Iran cites when it demands the same right to go nuclear as other nations.

That Iran is an archenemy I stated guardedly. It is a problematic old term, which should not imply that Iran is evil, more evil, for instance than the USA. Not at all! The question here is not about good and evil. The subject here is a necessary antagonism, which leads to a necessary world-political metamorphosis.

Each of the two antagonists represents a position that has its legitimacy. While Ahmandinejad insists on the old principle of equality of the member states, set by the UN Charta, which is based on territorial integrity, the Bush politics, is led by a new, though undeclared and undeveloped structure of world security: A unilateral, world police-based guard against the dangers of nuclear proliferation and that does not worry about sovereignty.

The current world order is undecided between the two positions. The current system of collective security, headed by the UN, though without military force - this system that prohibits attacks on the territorial integrity of others, without offering protection from those attacks - is no match against nuclear threat. The balance of terror of the Cold War had hidden this flaw for a long time.

Yet, there is no resolve amongst the community of nations to give up the sovereignty of nations in favor of a central world police. The thought alone causes fear - mostly because the US alone should not take charge of it. However that would be quite inevitable. Because like any national police, the world police would also need an over- whelming potency of thread, an effective military force. And faced with this requirement the UN is powerless. Only the US would be up to it. But for Heaven’s sake! No one wants that, not even the Americans themselves. But on the other hand, the thought of nuclear proliferation is horror inspiring. It is not because he is a rogue that no one wants to see Ahmandinejad nuclear armed, but because he is not allied with the US. One would much rather see the nuclear powers under one command.

The balance is held by two kinds of fear and a decision is difficult. This is why it is hard to find un-ambivalent opinions in favor of multi- or uni-polarity. Therefore, the question is avoided in that abstraction. The concrete “line in the sand” lies in the waters between Iraq and Iran.

The author is a professor of law and teaches at Potsdam University.
Yes, it's quite a conundrum for the anti-American worldview. They'd like to think a nuclear Iran really isn't any different than, say, a nuclear UK or US. But whenever the shit hits the fan anywhere in the world (including Europe) they don't call on Iran. Deep down some even know, for man-made disasters at least, Iran may have planned, funded, or carried it out.

When help is needed even anti-Americans expect the US to lead the cause, pay the bills, and if necessary send it's boys to kill and die. That is at least as long as doing so won't interfere with any non-American "territorial integrity", the economic interests of the anti-American's own territory, or the interests of "presidents" and "freedom fighters" who act an awful lot like lawless gangsters.

But then an anti-American doesn't really want to go there. Because resolving the conundrum might require sorting out the difference between good and evil, which is of course more distasteful for them than accepting a nuclear Iran.


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