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May 06, 2009

US To Pressure Israel On Their Nukes?

This story is making the rounds today. If true, it's awful but it also may be posturing before the big Obama-Netanyahu meeting in a few weeks.

The ostensible problem is the Obama administration playing fast and loose with the decades old agreement that the US looks the other way when it comes to Israel's nuclear arsenal. Not surprisingly these idiots are making noises that perhaps the Arabs and the Iranians have a point when they claim there's a double standard in how we deal with nukes in the middle east.

Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller, speaking Tuesday at a U.N. meeting on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), said Israel should join the treaty, which would require Israel to declare and relinquish its nuclear arsenal.

"Universal adherence to the NPT itself, including by India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea, ... remains a fundamental objective of the United States," Ms. Gottemoeller told the meeting, according to Reuters.

...Bruce Riedel, a former senior director for the Middle East and South Asia on the White House National Security Council, said, "If you're really serious about a deal with Iran, Israel has to come out of the closet. A policy based on fiction and double standards is bound to fail sooner or later. What's remarkable is that it's lasted so long." Mr. Riedel headed the Obama administration's review of strategy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan but does not hold a permanent administration position and has returned to private life as a scholar at the Brookings Institution.

It's longish but as the saying goes, read the whole thing.

Joining the NPT would mean Israel would have to declare its nuclear program and disarm.

Meanwhile another administration officials says that the Israeli and Iranian programs are "apples and oranges."

So which is it?

Obama has made worldwide nuclear disarmament some sort of aspirational goal that he trots out to cheers in Europe while knowing it will never happen. Meanwhile, as he meddles ever more in the mid east his administration is sending out conflicting signals on its commitment to 40 years of US policy. Awesome.

Just to be clear, this talk of the NPT is idiotic. The NPT didn't stop India, Pakistan or N. Korea from going nuclear. It didn't stop many countries like Iraq, Libya, S. Africa and others from giving it the old college try to one degree or another.

This faith in treaties is childish. Countries will do what they think to be in their best interest and what they can do with the resources they have. International regimes like the NPT may make it harder and that's a good thing but a truly determined nation will always find a seller for what they want to buy.

Not that Israel will ever sign up for the NPT but it's not that hard to imagine that if they did, they would abide by their commitments while Iran ignored them and proceeded with their weapons program.

Even more disturbing is the idea that the Obama people might think there's some sort of moral equivalence between Israel and Iran. The fact that some in this administration may not see the difference between a free western democracy and an oppressive theocracy is not surprising but it's still depressing when you see it laid out.

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posted by DrewM. at 11:39 AM

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