Friday :: Mar 31, 2006

Another Nuclear Power

by pessimist

In a recent thread, one of our wrong-wing wregulars took issue with my usage of 'nuclear power', insisting that there is a difference between that term and 'nuclear weapons'. Methinks he doth protest too much!

When a nation has nuclear weapons, they have nuclear power. Using such weapons for strategic and diplomatic purposes confers nuclear power on a nation which so uses them in that manner.

Look at North Korea if you have doubts. Would George not have already invaded if the North was nuke-less? No rational person would so assert otherwise.

This morning - months after I covered this topic using readily-available sources coving the activities of this nation I am about to expose dating back to 1975 funding nuclear weapon research - it was revealed in the business press that Saudi Arabia seeks to be a nuclear power.

It just points out how lame the American media is
when a blogger with limited time (such as me)
can scoop the self-vaunted gods of information dissemination.

UPDATE: President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia sees nuclear deterrence as one of the key elements guaranteeing the country's security.

If the big guys can do it, why wouldn't the little guys like Saudi Arabia, North Korea, and Iran not want to as well?

I ran across news items covering this tale (which I posted on October 16, 2005) months before Forbes did apparently, but due to the limited exposure I get, this story didn't seem to go anywhere. Now it has:

Saudi Arabia is working secretly on a nuclear program, with help from Pakistani experts, the German magazine Cicero reported in its latest edition, citing Western security sources.

Saudi scientists have been working since the mid-1990s in Pakistan, a nuclear power since 1998. Cicero, which will appear on newstands tomorrow, also quoted a US military analyst, John Pike, as saying that Saudi bar codes can be found on half of Pakistan's nuclear weapons 'because it is Saudi Arabia which ultimately co-financed the Pakistani atomic nuclear program.'

The magazine also said satellite images indicate that Saudi Arabia has set up a program in Al-Sulaiyil, south of Riyadh, a secret underground city and dozens of underground silos for missiles. According to some Western security services, long-range Ghauri-type missiles of Pakistani-origin are housed inside the silos.

So why isn't George going after the Saudis like he's going after Iran? Because the Saudis may already have nukes on those Ghauri missiles.

It's sure amazing to me how Americans have forgotten the Cuban Missile Crisis. Missiles similar in capabilities to the Ghauri-type were placed in Cuba by the Soviet Union, and the world was almost vaporized as Kennedy and Khruschev went eye-to-eye over them. America certainly thought it was a major threat back then.

So why is it so hard to understand from the Iranian perspective? If the Saudis do already have nukes, then the Iranians would be fearing the same kind of threat that America faced back in 1962. They would want to be sure that if they were attacked - whether by the Saudis or Israel is of little concern to them - they could retaliate in kind.

This was the lesson of the Cold War that the world learned: I may not want to be the first to use nukes, but you will get what you give if you attack me with them!

This is why the nations of the world seek nuclear power through military weaponry. The few who once had them exclusively used them to pressure other nations into doing their bidding, and then didn't prevent the means of production from spreading all across the globe.

Now, any two-bit dictatorship can make them. Remember when the American college student came up with a workable design? The rest of the world doesn't lack for such expertise - they can do it too. Maybe they aren't going to be efficient and produce huge blasts like those of the big boys who once could afford to pay for Oak Ridges and Hanfords.

Such explosive efficiency isn't all that necessary in most of the world. Just the fact that someone - say, George W. Bu$h - has one is enough to strike fear and caution into the hearts of neighboring national leaders. They don't want to have to deal with a nation sickened by radioactity released by even the crudest and inefficient designs. Thus, they treat the possessor of such weaponry with more respect.

That is all they want - respect. But respect is something the modern corporatocracy only demands, never gives. Like our wrong-wing wregulars, but I digress.

No weapons technology ever developed remains unused. Before too much longer, someone is going to actually use one of these crude nukes. The nuclear jinn kept so tightly in the bottle will be freed to wreak incredible suffering once again. Hiroshima and Nagasaki will become historical footnotes as vaporizing cities and poisoning the surrounding population becomes commonplace, and the history of homo perdotus will begin a new chapter - perhaps the last.

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pessimist :: 6:51 AM :: Comments (10) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!