Everywhere Arms Races

Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and President Obama claim that both North Korea and Iran must be prevented from developing nuclear capabilities to prevent arms races in North East Asia and the Near East. Clinton warned that North Korea’s refusal to discuss its nuclear program could escalate tensions and provoke an arms race in northeast Asia and that a nuclear-armed Iran is “going to spark an arms race” in the Middle East. And the President said, “It’s very important for the world community to speak to countries like Iran and North Korea and encourage them to take a path that does not result in a nuclear arms race in places like the Middle East.”

Now it is well known that Americans are not very good at geography. That the Secretary of State and the President fall into this class of ignorant Americans is surprising. So lets look at some geography.

The North East Asian countries in North Korea’s proximity are The Russian Federation, Mongolia, China, and Japan. Both the Russian Federation and China have been nuclear powers for many years. Japan enjoys protection from America’s nuclear umbrella. That leaves merely Mongolia as the only nation that could still get in the race, yet not a peep has been heard out of Mongolia in objection to North Korea’s nuclear development. What kind of race could this possibly be? North Korea comes in last.

A similar situation exists in the Middle East. Seventeen nations exist in Iran’s proximity: Afghanistan, Bahrain, India, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, The United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Yemen. The Israel, Pakistan, and India are already nuclear powers. There are conflicts taking place in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen brought on by the War on Terror. Lebanon has been in political turmoil for decades. That leaves Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, The United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Turkmenistan. None has been very vocal about Iran’s nuclear programs. So again, what kind of race could this possibly be if before you start to run, three runners have already taken the win, place, and show positions?

Clinton’s and Obama’s claims are difficult to understand. The United States of America began the international nuclear arms race more than sixty years ago. The country has never taken the task of eliminating nuclear weapons seriously. So yes, as ye sow, so shall ye reap! Why should anyone expect otherwise.

©2009 John Kozy

Retired professor of philosophy and logic who blogs on social, political, and economic issues. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he spent 20 years as a university professor and another 20 years working as a writer for various private companies. He’s an active blogger. His pieces can be found on http://www.jkozy.com/.

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