Nuclear Bullsh*t

Not long ago, as reported by ABC News, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticized his opponent, president Barack Obama, for not doing enough to stop the Iranian development of nuclear weapons.

“If Barack Obama gets re-elected, Iran will have a nuclear weapon…and I’m not willing to allow your generation to have to worry about a threat from Iran or anyone else that nuclear material be used against Americans,” Romney said.

I’ve written previously about the hypocrisy of much political campaign talk about Iran’s nuclear weapons program and the ability of this (or any) American president to influence its eventual (and inevitable) outcome. I’ll say it again: short of bombing it to the Stone Age (which no one can seriously advocate), the American president can do nothing to prevent any other highly-motivated and highly-resourced country from developing nuclear weapons. The science is known, the materials and technology are available, the expertise exists. Sanctions (economic, trade, or otherwise), diplomatic action, even targeted military action will not prevent anything. These steps can only make nuclear weapon development take longer and be more costly, so, at best, temporarily forestall the inevitable.

So, Romney can say he won’t “allow” Iran to have nuclear weapons all he wants; it’s merely campaign ‘sound and fury.’ And it’s mighty telling that, when pressed, Romney hasn’t been able to articulate a concrete path toward the stance he suggests Obama can’t deliver. Know why? The path doesn’t, in fact, exist.

In this election season, can’t you at least be honest about that one little thing, Mitt?

Nukes for Iran

[Please also see my subsequent posting: https://sanfranciscoba.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/nuclear-bullsht/]

 

The atomic bomb was conceived and created 60-something years ago in the minds of men and the high desert of New Mexico.

Almost immediately, the very men who made it had second thoughts. Some tried to talk the president, first Roosevelt, then Truman, out of its deployment, or even disclosure.  It was reported that as nuclear physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer watched the detonation of the first atomic bomb during a test, he recalled words from the Bhagavad Gita: ‘Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.’

The bomb was, of course, deployed to devastating and horrific result. And, in the contrary nature of humankind, people were both repulsed and irresistibly attracted by the blinding light. The United States had it and everyone else wanted it. We tried our best to hold the secrets safe but, in the end, it was a fool’s errand.

The Soviet Union got it. Others got it too. Science works that way.

The sad truth is, any country on earth able and willing to devote adequate resources can have a nuclear weapon. No president, no political party, no economic sanctions, no alliance of nations, no army can prevent it. That is a stone-cold fact. Pretending otherwise is either (1) whistling past the graveyard or (2) ugly pandering for votes.

We have let the nuclear genie out of the bottle and, armies and sanctions be damned, he will not be returned. The prescient writings have been fulfilled, Dr. Oppenheimer.

‘Now, I am become Death, destroyer of worlds.’