Wednesday, June 28, 2006

STOP PROLIFERATION, STOP STARTING WARS

Gotta get some links together for this...but for now...

I'd like to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons--who wouldn't? They kill indiscriminately at the time of their deployment and for years afterward. I'd like to see nuclear weapons disappear from the face of the earth.

But realistically, that ain't gonna happen. But just as realistically, the conventional wisdom that says only the countries that currently have nuclear weapons will ever be allowed to have them is an insult a perceived threat to nations that don't currently have them. Obviously, it's a complicated problem.

However, the Bush administration's constant invocation of the principle of non-proliferation is, as Rumsfeld would say, decidedly unhelpful. It is hypocritical on so many levels to pretend to be working to stop proliferation given the following:

1. India/Israel
2. Development of new, "tactical" nuclear weapons
3. Always saying that every option, including the nuclear option, is "on the table"
4. Use of depleted uranium
5. Starting, or threatening to start, major wars/occupations/crippling sanctions in order to stop proliferation

The doctrine of American "exceptionalism" blinds a lot of people--in America--to this hypocrisy. America, the trope goes, will only use its military strength (including nuclear weapons) for benevolent purposes. This idea is even tinged with the suggestion that America is inherently unable to do anything in the world that is not for benevolent purposes, so free and democratic and Christianized are we.

To cite but one example, try telling that stuff to the family of the pregnant Iraqi woman who was killed at an American checkpoint, which ultimately wouldn't have been there had we not been supposedly trying to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Surely the targets of American threats are all too aware of the hypocrisy involved when Bush and the neocons say they're concerned about dirty bombs, nuclear terrorism, and so forth and only want to be at peace.

That's what is such a sick joke with what's happening in this current run-up to the coming military confrontation with Iran. We claim that the world can't live with a nuclear Iran, that if Iran gets nukes, then Turkey and Saudi Arabia will feel that they, too, will have to get them, and so on.

And here's my larger point in considering all this: what kind of logical sense does it make to start a war if your stated goal is supposedly to prevent a war? In other words, if you really want peace, you don't start a war now to not have a war in the future--because then you have war either way. And in fact, the future war you fear may never actually materialize.

Besides, wasn't the building of the world's largest, most expensive nuclear arsenal sold to us on the premise that it would actually decrease the threat of war? Because we'd be so powerful that no one would dare mess with us because they'd know we'd have power to utterly destroy anyone who tried?

That's another reason why it is so bizarre to see the media referring to the "Iranian threat." Don't you imagine that on Iranian TV, they have iconography that refers to the "American threat?" And wouldn't you agree that the threat Iran faces from America is multitudes greater than the threat America faces from Iran--who doesn't have even one measly nuclear weapon wherease we have thousands upon thousands?

Not only that, we are the only country in the history of the world that has ever actually used nuclear weapons in a war. I thought the idea of all our military spending over the years was to achieve "peace through superior firepower." Well, we definitely have superior firepower--no one in the world doubts that. So where's the fucking peace?

Some might suggest that access to oil and the propping up of the petrodollar are worth all this expense. But I don't see it that way. If the Middle East cuts off our access to oil, so what? We already know that we can run vehicles on corn oil, so what's the problem? I'd wager the "problem" is this: oil companies are obviously very accustomed to making gigantic, record, historical profits, and oil companies don't grow corn, if you see what I'm saying. And on top of all that, of course, former oilmen are running our country.

Why are we allowing this sick, immoral, unholy, deadly game to go on? Why don't we just say, "Keep your oil, we're going to switch to renewable energy"? Obviously because there's no powerful lobby for renewable energy.

Please, let's use peaceful methods to achieve peace with Iran and every other country in the world. Don't start real wars in the present to put a stop to fictitious possible wars in the future. Let's try to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons, that's a good thing. But let's do it with the recognition that we have the most nuclear weapons of anyone in the world and have used them in battle, and maybe make concessions of our own regarding the possession and use of such death tools.