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June 06, 2006

A Question for Readers - quick replies please!
Posted by Suzanne Nossel

Joseph Cirincione - up on the podium - wants to know your view:  Have North Korea and Iran made more progress on the development of their nuclear programs over the last six years, or during the period prior to 2001?  In other words, have US policies during the Bush Administration set back or fostered the momentum of nuclear proliferation?

Please give us your views!


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The current administration has done more to foster the proliferation of nuclear weapons development in the last six years than any other time before, by virtue of the reckless and feckless aggression it has pursued for the accomplishment of its goals. What goals? Not the spread of democracy, but rather the reestablishment of a global aristocracy, held in place by military means and financed by the facade of "international free trade agreements" which leave poor nations trapped in a cycle of "development debt" and corporate exploitation, while at the same time annihilating the existing middle classes in all industrialized nations, rationalizing this cultural erosion as "protection in the war on terror". These simpletons in the W Bush administration don't seem to get the idea that the human species didn't get to where it is today by simply rolling over and submitting to "those in power". Every empire falls; power shifts at the touch of Random Fate; and in spite of all the best efforts that purchased science can offer, even the wealthiest and most powerful people DIE. I, for one, don't want to live in a world where a small number of people determine who lives and who dies, and I don't care if that small number of people are radical insurgents or radical politicians.

Oh, and for the record, I don't believe in the Second Coming, either.

There is no doubt in my mind. I believe the nuclear proliferation crisis can be laid right at the Bush administrations door. Their shoot first and ask questions later/Axis of Evil/ Bring 'em on jingoistic rhetoric completely undercut the moderates in the Iranian government while playing right into the hands of the reactionary, fundamentalists. There was no upside for North Korea or Iran to not going for the nuclear option – especially after watching the US diplomacy in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq.

Of what use is the opinions of an uninformed audience?

None of us have any idea whether their nuclear programs are progressing or it is all bluff. As a matter of fact neither does the CIA (apparently). One of the great fallacies of modern society is to think that asking people for their opinions about things which have a factual answer serves a purpose.

How about instead: "Do you think water boils at 212 degrees or not?" "Has the present administration altered this condtion or not?"

How about a real question: "Should the US engage in one on one talks with North Korea and Iran to solve the nuclear issues or should we continue the failed multi-lateral program?"

When a bully calls you names and backs you into a corner, do you start studying up on self defense or relax?

Bushco definitely wants more profits from war. He set up the opportunity for many conflicts and laid out 'the enemies' quite clearly with his famous Axis of Evil crap. If we can manage to engage multiple, complex parties and issues, then money will flow to the military industrial complex and keep his chummy class of cronies in power.

The momentum is building in N. Korea and Iran to defend from our attacks or 'pre-emptively strike' us, using the Bush doctrine against us.

If the largest military power in the world (by far) unilateraly withdrew from international arms control treaties, invaded the toothless dicatorship next door on the basis of fabricated "evidence", engaged in secrecy, spin, and disinformation that would make the Nixon administration blush, practiced contemptuous disregard for its own laws and institutions, named your country as a member of the "axis of evil", and on top of that, refused to engage in substantive discussions with you, would you feel more inclined or less inclined to seek greater security in the form of a nuclear stalemate?

I think that the U.S. invasion of Iraq has had a perverse effect on weapons proliferation by other dangerous regimes. Rather than deterring North Korea and Iran, the use of force against Iraq actually seems to have encouraged these nations to quicken their pace of weapons development (perhaps out of a belief that without nuclear weapons they will be the next targets), while our military and diplomatic resources are otherwise engaged.

I recently heard former Secretary of State Madame Albright say the Colin Powell confirmed the Bush Administration had an ABC policy ( Anything but Clinton). Therefore, it was easy to abandon talks with North Korea and to refer to their leader as a pygmy

The new Bush policy called for romancing Pakistan. It was easy to ignor the role of Pakistan's hero who transferred the technology to North Korea and allow him to remain protected and under house arrest.

And the evil ones are difficult to recognize when shuffled about in this way and particularily so when they are given nick names by our leaders.

Dangerous and fantastical when combined with
careless ambition.

I read somewhere that we were approached by Iran three years ago TO TALK ABOUT Nuclear Issues and we declined to respond. Too busy declaring victory in Iraq.

Regards, Kat

From what I've read and heard on TV I believe Korea and Iran have made more advances in nuclear power in the last five years. I also base that belief on the almost total incompetency of everyone in this administration from Bush on down. When have they done a good job on anything?

The answer would seem to be as obvious as asking "Did more years that start with 2 occur during the Bush or Clinton Administration?" The actions of this president have made the entire world feel unsafe, unheard, and unimportant, except maybe the Southern Baptist Convention. It is understandable that they don't want to be caught in a position of weakness with Christ's Cowboy in charge of the military resources of the US.

i agree it's not a question of whether NK & Iran are progressing more rapidly ("i don't know, but i would be if i were them"). question is has the Bush Admin pursued policies that make it more or less likely that they'll get nukes sooner rather than later. clear-cut, obvious answer is that such a worrisome outcome is much more likely.

Bush apologists (sorry, "steadfast, unyielding icons of moral clarity") would say that Bin Laden is responsible for these conditions, i.e that it was the event of 9/11 that changed everything rather than Bush/Cheney's response to 9/11. They'd say that at every step since 9/11 (9/11 ... 9/11 ...), Bush has done the only thing that could be done in the shadow of something as horrific as 9/11 (9/11 ... 9/11 ...).

To which i'd say, interesting point. why don't you haul Bin-Laden in here and we'll put him on the spot with that very assertion.

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