President Obama hosted a two-day Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C. on April 12th. The central issue was securing the worlds nuclear materials against terrorist organizations with more than an honorable mention of possible sanctions against Iran.
"For the first time, preventing nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism is now at the top of America's nuclear agenda," was a statement from President Obama during the summit. Despite the promising political statements, America’s stance on nuclear weapons retains the right to strike at will. I wonder if Obama had the “football” with his missile codes close by throughout the meetings just in case someone pointed out the double standard.
Many countries gave up enriched uranium altogether while the U.S. and Russia each agreed to dispose of 34 tons of fissionable material eight years from now. This accord that has been in the works since the Cold War also included a meager reduction in the strategic stockpile of both nations.
Republican commentators and politicians denounced these baby-step measures as the administration taking a vulnerable position on national security. Obama clearly maintained our security by reserving the right to attack non-nuclear states with nuclear or traditional military means if those countries stood in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Even with reductions in strategic weapons, we will still retain the world’s greatest counted number, and there are plenty of un-addressed tactical weapons to participate in the coming nuclear war.
The U.S. didn’t invite Iran (or North Korea) to its 47-nation nuclear summit stating that the country is one suspected of attempting to weaponize nuclear material. During the conference, the U.S. attempted to garner support for future sanctions against Iran. If the U.S. believes Iran to be in violation of the NPT, then this summit would have provided the perfect opportunity to reengage the country in a diplomatic or democratic process to persuade Iran to bolster confidence in it’s claims of peaceful nuclear research. Iran has been under close scrutiny in the international community since the discovery of undisclosed enrichment sites and the reversal of intent to comply with Code 3.1 of its IAEA Safeguard Agreement in 2003. As of October 2009, Iran has allowed inspections to resume amid allegations that ample time before the first inspection will allow further concealment of activities.
In true schoolyard fashion, Iran held its own 60-nation summit without inviting the U.S. and focused more on expanding nuclear energy and disarmament of nuclear weaponry. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad resented being threatened with sanctions or even nuclear force while the U.S. turns a blind eye to Israel, who still refuses to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and it’s 200-warhead stockpile of weapons. As it is the undeclared nuclear super-power of the Middle East, several countries of that region see Israel’s wanton abuse of human rights and it’s willingness to invade neighbors as a direct threat to their own sovereignty.
Israel did not attend either party. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu feared pressure to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968 and decided not to attend.
U.S. Sanctions against Iran are once again the topic du jour as a legitimate response to strained relations between Ahmadinejad and IAEA inspectors. Iran has repeatedly denied accusations that it is building a nuclear arsenal. Instead, Iran insists that it is in compliance of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and it’s declared uranium enrichment program is for peaceful energy purposes. The U.S. is not so certain, but instead of wasting words, they still contend sanctions against the people of Iran as a formidable deterrent to curb the country’s nuclear plans.
In October of last year, Iran met with the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council. The meeting was the first time that U.S. representatives had spoken with Iranian diplomats since the Tehran revolution of 1979. Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency was optimistic about diplomatic progress.
“Words have to mean something. There have to be some consequences.”
As President Obama repeatedly reminds us, words cannot be empty of intention. While he also said that “Sanctions are not a magic wand”, dialogue between Iran and the U.S. has been open for less than six-months after a thirty-year hiatus. Sanction “wand” waving has already started in an eerie prelude to further combat ‘operations’ in the Middle East.
The question remains, if Iran is indeed developing nuclear weapons, are they concerned with defense against Israel, India, or Pakistan? Is it all that different than the American and Russian nuclear arms race of the Cold War?
As in the stated intent of the summit says, nuclear arms are the greatest threat to the security of every nation. Putting another combo lock on the uranium safe won’t keep them out of the hands of terrorists. Or out of our hands. Or Israel’s. Instead, let’s launch every last nuke at Google Earth’s satellite. That would stop Sarah Palin’s world travel plans and secure the planet from thermonuclear disaster. Everybody wins.