Weapons of Mass Destruction

We are right to be very concerned about the potential for North Korea or Iran to develop nuclear weapons. The reasons why are obvious. However, what I don’t understand is why we as a nation – and from what I can see much of western society – don’t seem to be overly concerned about the continuing proliferation of nuclear and other weapons in other countries.

It wasn’t that long ago that concern about nuclear disarmament was prominent and widespread. The ‘peace dividend‘ from the end of the Cold War hasn’t delivered as much as hoped, yet there seems to be almost a passive acceptance of the reappearance of nuclear weapon development.

Despite all the concern about Weapons of Mass Destruction in other countries and the prospect of Iran and North Korea becoming nuclear armed, Australia is planning to export uranium to China and may well look at doing the same with India. We have also expressed no concerns about Britain’s plan to update its nuclear weapons by replacing their Trident weapons system, or at the plans in the USA to develop new types of nuclear weaponry.

The Chairman of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, Dr Hans Blix, is reported on this blog as saying that we have “stagnated” regarding disarmament, and are rearming with Trident at a time when our warheads have almost halved from the peak of the cold war when they numbered 50,000 to 27,000 today.

Here are some other reported comments by Dr Blix from a speech he just gave in London:

Dr Blix will take Britain and the other permanent members of the UN Security Council – America, China, Russia and France – to task for failing to comply with their obligations under the NPT by failing to do more to eliminate their nuclear arsenals. He will point out “the strong feelings of frustration” at the way nuclear nations “are in the process” of developing new types of weapons rather than examining how they could manage defence needs with non-nuclear weaponry.

Dr Blix also said the decision by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair (supported by his successor Gordon Brown) to press ahead with a full replacement for Trident – a new generation of submarines, with US-designed missiles and a new nuclear warhead – will make it more difficult to stop Iran acquiring the bomb.

He said “modernising Britain’s arsenal puts the non-proliferation treaty (NPT) under “strain” and increases the feeling among non-nuclear states, such as Iran, that they are being “cheated” by the nuclear states.”

Some of Dr Blix’s comments are also reported on the Islamic Republic News Agency website.

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112 Comments

  1. Calm down MarkL, wipe the froth from your mouth.

    I wasn’t talking about hardcore communist ideology when I spoke of “lefties” I throw that term out to you because it is the one in which you label anyone with progressive thinking, who won’t agree with your ultra conservative ideology.

    If you can’t see the similarities between fundamental christians and fundamental islamists, then you can’t be looking very hard or just refuse to see it.

    I only need to quote Chomsky to reinforce my position.

    http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/20061103.htm

    A Cacophony of Fundamentalism:

    “Gilbert Achcar: When Arab nationalism, Nasserism and similar trends began to crumble in the 1970s, most governments used Islamic fundamentalism as a tool to counter remnants of the left or of secular nationalism.

    A striking illustration of the phenomenon is Egyptian president Anwar al-Sadat. He fostered Islamic fundamentalism to counter remnants of Nasserism after he took over in 1970 and ended up being assassinated by Islamic fundamentalists in 1981.

    Today in the Middle East the same genie is out of the bottle and out of control. The repression of progressive or secular ideologies, aggravated by the collapse of the Soviet Union, has left the ground open to the only ideo- logical channel available for anti-Western protest — Islamic fundamentalism.

    Noam Chomsky: Without drawing the analogy too closely, I think there is something similar in the US fundamentalist situation.

    It should be added, however, that the dynamic may be universal. [Whether] Christian or Jewish or Islamic or Hindu, the fundamentalist religious impulse can be turned to serve political agendas. (your useful idiots)

    In the past 25 years, fundamentalism has been turned for the first time into a major political force. It’s a conscious effort, I think, to try to undermine progressive social policies. Not radical policies but the mild social democratic policies of the preceding period are under serious attack.”

  2. Calm down MarkL, wipe the froth from your mouth.
    COMMENT: ARGUMENTUM AD HOMINEM. Open with an ad hominem, as usual. Let me guess, you have absolutely nothing, right?

    I wasn’t talking about hardcore communist ideology when I spoke of “lefties”
    COMMENT: Nice cherrypicking. I guess you lack the ability to understand the concept of ‘ideological spectrum ’. I actually know, admire and get on very well with a couple of unreconstructed Marxists. I would never insult them with the comparison, Little Debs, as they despise “parlour pinks” such as you (their words, not mine).

    //

  3. I throw that term out to you because it is the one in which you label anyone with progressive thinking, who won’t agree with your ultra conservative ideology.
    COMMENT: Actually, I use is as a generic descriptor for those in the left of the political spectrum, just as I use “righties” as a generic descriptor for those in the right of the political spectrum. The labeller here is you, as usual, you have used “ultra conservative ideology” not me.
    You appear to regard it as “progressive” to ally with theocratic fascists in the cause of anti-Americanism. Y’know, in your case, I believe that would be what you’d do. As for me being an ultra-conservative, well, you DO love your simplistic labelling. The real world is much more complex. I am actually an ex starry-eyed socialist who met the real world, saw that socialist ideals explained nothing about reality, and adapted accordingly. I am a rationalist politically, and a swinging voter. My grandparents were card-carrying ACP members from the 1920s until death. I have met genuine progressives – including some who volunteered for the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War, people who actually fought fascism physically and voluntarily. You befoul the word “progressive” by calling yourself one. You are a merely another theofascist-sympathising reactionary who hides under the label of ‘progressive’, driven mostly be unthinking knee jerk anti-Americanism.
    //

  4. If you can’t see the similarities between fundamental christians and fundamental islamists, then you can’t be looking very hard or just refuse to see it.
    COMMENT: Ah! Shifting the Burden of Proof and DICTO SIMPLICITER! This is risible. I say “here are all these examples of mainstream islamic fundamentalist values, I have looked and can find NOTHING similar in any mainstream Christian fundamentalist structure, please provide PROOF OF YOUR OWN POINT HERE.”
    You respond with “I have NO PROOF TO OFFER, but that is because YOU are to blame.”
    A five-year-old might try something this idiotic, but even a five year old would not expect such arrant twaddle to be taken seriously.
    //

  5. I only need to quote Chomsky to reinforce my position.
    COMMENT: ARGUMENTUM AD VERECUNDIAM is the logical fallacy here.

    Much worse for what is laughingly described as your “argument” is that this very quote demolishes your own point! I mean Chomsky is an emotive, anti-American, hypoctite and turgid clown, but when he says “Without drawing the analogy too closely, I think there is something similar in the US fundamentalist situation” : did you not read the bit which says “Without drawing the analogy too closely”?? You are saying that islamofascist fundamentalism and Christian fundamentalism ARE THE SAME. Chomksy is NOT saying that. He is raising an entirely different point. And you missed it in your own quote, which really is comedy gold.
    BTW, I love it when the ignorant appeal to Chomsky. He has spent his life fawning over every squalid little tin-pot dictator he can find (all they have to do is be anti-American and anti-semitic), and printing turgid screeds about the evils of capitalism, the horrors of the USA and the socialist glories of Cuba.
    But by doing so, he has become a CAPITALIST MULTI-MILLIONAIRE through book sales, paid tours and a very impressive stock portfolio (he is a shrewdly capitalist investor in Wall Street) and he lives in NEW YORK CITY. So he is, at best, a cynical exploiter of leftists, making millions by pandering to their self-loathing, starry-eyed idealism and anti-Americanism. And none of this ilk seem able to perceive the fundamental hypocrisy of his position.

    A Cacophony of Fundamentalism:
    “etcetera.”

    Two illogical fallacies in one: APPEAL TO AUTHORITY and PETITIO PRINCIPII
    Your constant efforts to shift the burden of proof are also indicative of your utter inability to conduct a rational discourse.

    Hilariously, your own words and lack of examples form a classic example of IGNORATIO ELENCHI

    MarkL
    Canberra

  6. Talk of cherry picking, you’re the grand master, the one who argues on small points, then launches into a tirade of irrational thought and hyperbole, which always comes back to your central theme – western (US) world power, dominance and wealth, must prevail at all costs.

    There is not one thought devoted to the underlying causes of terrorism eg the dispossession of land, the oppression of the Palestinians and the human rights abuses by Israel. It is the US and it’s unjust funding, support and protection of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, to which the blame should be laid. The US IS the problem.

    Most of your rants can be found on any Neo Con propaganda site, you even have the good and evil theme well under way, in fact I think you’d be a winner in this quiz:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/specials/neocon/neoconQuiz.html

    You respond with “I have NO PROOF TO OFFER, but that is because YOU are to blame.”

    Can’t recall saying that at all, you can carry out both sides of the debate all by yourself if you like.

    I do not know why some people quote in a near dead language, other than to try and show superiority and pretence at a higher intelligence – but in reality, they just look like pretentious wankers.

  7. Ah, the ever-amusing little Debbikins

    Talk of cherry picking, you’re the grand master, the one who argues on small points, then launches into a tirade of irrational thought and hyperbole, which always comes back to your central theme – western (US) world power, dominance and wealth, must prevail at all costs.
    COMMENT:
    Irrational? Perhaps you should take a course in applied logic. I am hardly the one ignoring facts and basing my opinions on delusion.

    There is not one thought devoted to the underlying causes of terrorism eg the dispossession of land, the oppression of the Palestinians and the human rights abuses by Israel. It is the US and it’s unjust funding, support and protection of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, to which the blame should be laid. The US IS the problem.
    COMMENT: Nice bait-and-switch. I love this one, the bog-standard ‘I swallowed the propaganda hook, line and sinker’ approach. So the USA is to blame. But the Sykes-Picot Agreement etc etc which established the foundations of Israel were done by the BRITISH EMPIRE. Israel was voted into existence in 1948 by the UNITED NATIONS. The Arab League then attacked them with the stated aim of genocide. The Israeli’s beat them. The Arabs then started endless terrorist attacks on them. In 1956 the Israelis joined forces with the BRITISH and FRENCH to attack the Egyptians (where most of their terrorist problem came from at the time). The USA STOPPED THIS ATTACK ON EGYPT.
    In 1967 the UAR was 24 hours from yet another war of aggression when the Israelis pipped them at the post. The UAR lost.
    In 1973 the Egyptians and Syrians launched yet another war of aggression on Yom Kippur. In the end, they lost again.
    So you continue your delusion that it’s all the American’s fault. You must ignore the actual history to do so, but that seems a small matter.
    //

  8. Most of your rants can be found on any Neo Con propaganda site, you even have the good and evil theme well under way, in fact I think you’d be a winner in this quiz:
    COMMENT: I do not visit such sites. I find rightie nutters as offensive as leftie nutters.

    You respond with “I have NO PROOF TO OFFER, but that is because YOU are to blame.”
    Can’t recall saying that at all, you can carry out both sides of the debate all by yourself if you like.

    COMMENT: Really?
    How about #101 “If you can’t see the similarities between fundamental christians and fundamental islamists, then you can’t be looking very hard [so you HAVE NO PROOF TO OFFER that these similarities actually exist – you cannot answer my request for facts in post #99] or just refuse to see it.[AND THIS IS MY FAULT, for “refusing to see it”. See WHAT? You have provided NO FACTS to back your assertion, because you cannot, your point here is as rotten as a Spanish anchor.]
    Am I being ‘irrational’ again in asking you to back your points up with facts?
    //

  9. I do not know why some people quote in a near dead language, other than to try and show superiority and pretence at a higher intelligence – but in reality, they just look like pretentious wankers. (Debs: Please retain a civil tongue and try to act like an adult, this is vulgar and undignified. If you wish to insult, try to use some CLASS in doing so. Educated people appreciate the art of insult.)

    COMMENT: I realise that you are too intellectually stunted to understand this, but this is a case of linguistic absorption. The ENGLISH language uses many, many Latin (and French, Italian, Indian etc etc ) words. So a term like “Ignorato Elenchi” is considered to be an English (if technical) term. Same as when I use the word “verandah” or “amok”, I may be using an unmodified Indian or Malay word, but I am still using pure ENGLISH. Perhaps you did not get that far in primary school, though, so I forgive you your grotesque ignorance.

    Oh, BTW?

    “#92 On the whole, pretty much the same views as the fundamental conservative christians hold, the fundies are actually fighting each other. Would be sweet really, if they destroyed each other”

    You have still to explain yourself on this statement. For is still condemns you as an amoral monster.

    MarkL
    Canberra

  10. Explain myself? get a grip, the froth and spittle is really flying now.

    Could you actually link to some of those facts and rational outcomes that you have claimed to be true.
    COMMENT: For you? No – do your own research. I have tried that before and you either bait and switch or shift ground. Your interest lies in petty point scoring: basically you are rather a dull interlocutor, closed of mind and uninteresting. You have demonstrated that you are not simply worth even minor effort on my part. Besides, people who go and look for themselves instead of begging to be spoon-fed make interesting discoveries all their own. Try it, you will learn things.

    Now, why would I bother to explain myself or offer proof, when the last time it was asked of you, the above was the response. Hmm, yes, your froth and spittle rants are just so, so classy aren’t they?

    In fact, why bother to give oxygen for your rants at all?

    You are so obsessed with historical facts, you bury us in them, but you need to take off the blinkers that blind you to the reality of the here and now. As you neo cons keep stating – it doesn’t matter what went on before, or how we got to this, the issue is what do we do about it now?

    Perpetual war is not the answer. It’s not even a successful strategy is it – Iraq going so well and all.

  11. OK – this is breaching the comment guidelines ten times over. You’ve both had enough shots at each other, and the original topic has rather faded into the background, so I’ll close comments on this one now.

Comments are closed.