Today in Camera: An Op-Ed in USA Today Needs to be Addressed
The op-ed is by Kenneth Waltz, arguing that it’s a good thing for Iran to have nuclear capability—
Kenneth Waltz is senior research scholar at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies. This is a condensed version of an article that will appear in the July-August issue of Foreign Affairs.
who writes this paragraph—
The third possible outcome of the standoff is that Iran continues its course and publicly goes nuclear by testing a weapon. U.S. and Israeli officials have declared that outcome unacceptable, arguing that a nuclear Iran is an existential threat to Israel. Such language is typical of major powers, which have historically gotten riled up whenever another country begins to develop a nuclear weapon. Yet every time another country has managed to shoulder its way into the nuclear club, the other members have always changed tack and decided to live with it. In fact, by reducing imbalances in military power, new nuclear states generally produce more regional and international stability, not less.
What’s missing from this paragraph? Any notion that he has a clue as to what nuclear weapons actually do. He’s working from game theory, in which nuclear weapons and tiddly winks have the same value. Human life has some type of euphemism, if it’s considered at all. The phrase ‘Loss of capital’, for instance, would disguise the immorality very well. He also assumes that such a weapon would only be used once, on Israel, and this is acceptable. However, and it’s surprising the game player acting as Iran hasn’t played this strategy—Iran creates more than one bomb, and they strike when they can hit many areas, in Europe, in a suitcase in the US…which is the actual reason nations don’t want any more nuclear players.
Israel’s regional nuclear monopoly, which has proved remarkably durable for more than four decades, has long fueled instability in the Middle East. In no other region of the world does a lone, unchecked nuclear state exist. It is Israel’s nuclear arsenal, not Iran’s desire for one, that has contributed most to the crisis. Power, after all, begs to be balanced.
Once again emotions are factored out. For Waltz the hatred of Israel and Jews, which has been in the news more than once (just off hand I can think of Munich in 1972, for instance, and this had nothing to do with nuclear weapons) does not exist. His analysis is as cold and detached as a lost satellite. One of the mistakes that Jews have made when analyzing the Nazi regime is to overlook the cold, detachment that led to slaughter and exclusively focus on the long history of rabid antisemitism in Europe.
And so in his mathematical analysis, one nation having nuclear weapons, or a military advantage is not equal, and therefore de-stabilizing. The obvious solution for someone so detached—at least one more nation should have the same weapons. The equation is balanced, therefore peace will ensue.
Further proof that there is ice in him mind—
The danger of a nuclear Iran has been grossly exaggerated due to fundamental misunderstandings of how states generally behave in the international system.
At this point, the satellite is no longer within reach of human contact. He neglects psychology and history. And I suspect he is proud of this, viewing them as impediments to objectivity. This is where to begin right after the phrase ‘Never Again’, taking down this facade of objectivity.
Although it is impossible to be certain of Iranian intentions, it is far more likely that if Iran desires nuclear weapons, it is for the purpose of enhancing its own security, not to improve its offensive capabilities. Iran could be intransigent when negotiating and defiant in the face of sanctions, but it still acts to secure its own preservation.
Is this the same Iran that reached across the Atlantic to bomb a Jewish center in Argentina, that funds the massacres in Syria, that finances Hamas and Hezbollah? That Iran? I don’t have any trouble being understanding Iran’s intentions. Does he expect some highly placed Iranian official to say they want to kill as many Jews as possible? Although this too has been done. Has he forgotten the hundreds of years of imperialism, the colonialism that pretty much lead to the inevitable conclusion that not all nations act simply to secure their own preservation?
I could go on, Camera could go on, Lawhawk could go on, but it’s pretty clear that Mr. Waltz is riding his own satellite away from human history, current events, and emotion. The consequences of such rides are catastrophic.