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September 21, 2006

Is A 'Nuclear Dawn' Emerging In The Gulf?

Topics: Iran

nucleardawn-thumb.jpgFirst the answer: Yes, and at the core of the problem is the West's failure to collectively recognize that Iran has been, and continues to - play the international community for the fools they are, while Iran's neighbors, knowing full well what Iran is up to, are more and more less willing to wait for Iran to complete its nuclear weapons program that they are lying about not having.

Now the story: While Iran continues play a game of cat-and-mouse over its nuclear ambitions, its Arab neighbors have discussed the possibility of a joint atomic energy program.

As Iran tries to buy time in its dispute with the international community over its nuclear program, the Arab world's interest in atomic energy is apparently growing.

The secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Abdul Rahman al Attiyah, recently called on the "Arab nation" to work "together on a nuclear program," to prevent being left behind as others in the region -- namely Iran, which is Persian and sometimes at odds with its neighbors -- pushed ahead with atomic research.

Attiyah's call points to a shift in policy. Arab governments in the past have criticized both Iran's nuclear ambitions and Israel's (officially nonexistent) atomic program, while arguing for a nuclear-free Middle East and swearing off plans to pursue the bomb.

Of course, Attiyah and other Arab leaders say they want nuclear power only for civilian purposes -- but so does Iran's controversial President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The mere suggestion of "nuclear cooperation at an Arab level" therefore raises fears in the West of an arms race.

"The mere suggestion of "nuclear cooperation at an Arab level" therefore raises fears in the West of an arms race," brings us to a question: What else should the West expect the Arabs to do, given the absolute failure of the international community to effectively deal with the Iran nuclear problem?

Captain Ed's apparently agrees - the problem is Iran, and interestingly the Arabs are more concerned about Iran than they ever were about Israel :

While the Israelis have long been rumored to have nuclear weapons, the Arabs -- apart from Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gaddafi -- never seemed all that interested in them. They preferred to do business with the West, and part of that trade meant eschewing nuclear weapons.

Now that dynamic has changed, and it's changed because of Iran and not Israel. This seems a tacit admission that the true threat to Arab nations doesn't come from the Israelis after all. The Sunni Arabs that mostly control the petrostates in the region understand the existential threat of a nuclear-armed Shi'ite Iran. They abided a nuclear Jewish state for at least two decades, if not more. They comprehend the Iranian threat better than the West, and if we do not stop Iran, they will take steps to make sure Iran stays put.

Publius Pundit also understands the problem to be Iran:

This is a sign that indeed we are sliding down the slippery slope. The only reason that the Arab countries are beginning to think about a nuclear program is because they Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. Given that Iran is a Persian, Shia Muslim state, this sends signals to the Sunni Arab countries that the big imperialist in the neighborhood is not really the United States, but the growingly pan-Islamic Iran. And they have to do something to defend themselves against this powerful threat. This same kind of deal went down between India and Pakistan, the same is happening here.

What you'll have now is Iran with a bomb, Egypt with a bomb, Saudi Arabia with a bomb, and complete and utter destruction if one of the madmen at the top decide one of the others needs to be turned into a glass parking lot. As far as I can tell there is at least one of those who might do it.

And Blue Crab Boulevard appears to be as frustrated with the West's inaction as the rest of the "wide Awake" - side of the blogosphere:
Earlier today I linked an article that described remarks made by the son of Hosni Mubarak, Gamal, about Egypt wanting to pursue nuclear power - a euphemism for pursuing nuclear weapons. To all but the totally dim, that is. Well guess what. It ain't just Egypt. Even if the hand-wringing American and European leftists can't figure out what Iran is doing, their neighbors sure as heck can.

... These are countries where people right now are calling for the death of the Pope over a few words he spoke. Ask yourself: what would we be hearing if some of these people had access to nuclear weapons? Would the Vatican already be renamed from "Vatican City" to "Vatican Crater"?

One would think that given nearly 20 years of Iran's lying and playing the entire international community like a toy fiddle, the international community would have learned by now that appeasement and negotiations with Islamists, goes nowhere but down the slippery slope mentioned by Publius Pundit. That slippery slope has now taken us to the brink of an emerging nuclear dawn in the Middle East, and unless the U.S. says to hell with the international community, and puts together another one of those "coalitions of the willing" to turn Iran's nuclear sites into glass factories, the West risks itself becoming that glass factory - much sooner than it expects.

The world just heard from two, two-bit, terrorist-supporting dictators (true democracies my ass ) of third world countries, speaking at the UN, threaten the U.S. As asked by Blue Crab Boulevard, "what would we be hearing if some of these people had access to nuclear weapons?"

The Arabs not only know the answer to that question, but at this point, have a hell of a lot more sense than the U.S. and its allies.

Posted by Richard at September 21, 2006 8:39 AM

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