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Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Prospects of Armageddon

The logic that defends past nuclear atrocities is now used to support a strike against Iran

The Guardian

It is appalling, if unsurprising, to read the neoconservative cheerleader Oliver Kamm arguing in these pages that the atomic bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki 62 years ago saved lives and ended suffering. The subtext is plain. The same camp whose vocal endorsement led to the present catastrophe in Iraq are now hawkishly gazing at Iran. The same absurd and dangerous logic that defends the nuclear atrocities of 1945 can now be used to support the pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons against Iran - the threat of which in turn makes the idea of a conventional attack appear more palatable. Now, more than ever, we should be unequivocal in our moral position: as Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has said, the mere possession of nuclear weapons today should be viewed with the same condemnation and horror as we have regarded slavery and genocide in our modern civilized world.

Astonishingly, the calamity of Iraq has failed to dampen the belligerent clique within the White House. The arrival of an IAEA team in Tehran yesterday to discuss inspections is equally unlikely to dissuade advocates of a strike, nuclear or conventional. Such an assault would be in flagrant breach of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, but it would hardly be the first time the US has disregarded the 1968 accord. More...