14 October 2009

The Nobel president and Israel's "secret" nukes

U.S. President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples." One certainly cannot dispute that Obama has strengthened international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples relative to his predecessor. But some things he has not changed from the previous administration. He still vigorously wages war in central Asia, for example. And he has agreed, like his predecessors going back to Richard Nixon, to collaborate in suppressing the fact Israel has nuclear weapons. Everyone knows they do, of course, the trick is to act as if they don't.

Obama has done much toward nuclear disarmament. In particular, he has established a new dialogue with Russia toward serious reductions in their arsenals. He and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev have pledged to deliver a major new strategic arms reduction treaty by the end of the year. And of course he has agreed to shelve the plan to station antimissile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic. This is significant in itself and sends a strong signal to other nuclear powers.

So one can appreciate the Nobel Committee's decision. Yet there is the unfortunate fact of his agreement earlier this year with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to not pressure Israel to disclose its nuclear weapons or to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The understanding was once described by former U.S. national security adviser Henry Kissinger in a memo that read, "While we might ideally like to halt actual Israeli possession, what we really want at a minimum may be just to keep Israeli possession from becoming an established international fact." The appropriate expression I believe is, "Don't ask, don't tell."

Palestine remains the most dangerous problem in international relations. The United States opposes Iran's nuclear research on the grounds it is attempting to produce a nuclear weapon and that will ignite a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. But Israel has already precipitated a nuclear arms race in the region and that race is likely to continue as long as Israel maintains its arsenal. Yet the United States has promised to not even talk about it. This, unfortunately, is in keeping with the Americans' servile compliance with Israel's perceived interests.

Peace will not come to the Middle East until the U.S. muscles Israel into seriously committing to a fair settlement for the Palestinians. If Obama ever does that, no one will doubt he deserves a Nobel.

1 comment:

  1. Very well said. I learned a lot from this. Kissinger was spot on with that description. However, I would say the primary goal of sanctions placed on Iran by the U.N. are because of it's intentions once they have the nuclear weapons. To destroy Israel.

    I will continue reading your posts, you have great insight.