From Pine View Farm

Drumbeats 0

Mark Bowden in Sunday’s local rag:

(President Truman) was determined to keep America’s nuclear advantage, but knowledge cannot be forever sealed in a safe somewhere in the White House basement. It wasn’t true in 1949, when the Soviet Union exploded its first atom bomb and kicked off the Cold War, and it is even less true today, when the globe is so electronically interconnected that information can circle the Earth instantaneously. Detailed knowledge of how to build a nuclear weapon is already widespread. The genie has been out of the bottle for decades.

Yet somehow we persist in believing the opposite. Just weeks ago, President Bush famously remarked, “I’ve told people that, if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing [Iran] from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.”

The WWIII mention got the most attention, but it was the last part of his comment that was the most startling to me.


With U.S. forces occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, and with a nuclear Pakistan on Iran’s southeastern border, the Islamist Republic is surrounded by nuclear-armed adversaries. When I visited Tehran several years ago, even moderate pro-West Iranians who could read a map supported development of their own nuclear deterrent. They scoffed at the idea that they should be prevented from doing so by the United States or anyone else, just as Americans would scoff at the idea that Russia should dictate the terms of our own security.

“What hypocrisy!” one friendly Iranian journalist remarked to me. I suspect the bellicose policies of the Bush administration have done little to dampen this point of view, and have done much to strengthen the hand of the religious radicals in charge.

If ever Theodore Roosevelt’s advice – “Speak softly and carry a big stick” – made sense, it does so today in our dealings with Iran. The outcome we should most desire is for the mullahs to conclude that the cost of building a handful of nukes is too great, and that the advantage in having them is too small. The more Iran feels threatened, the less likely that becomes.

Mr. Bowden misses the point.

The Current Federal Administration is in no way connected with reality.

David Frum thinks it’s all talk and no action. Follow the link to listen to the interview:

David Frum, a former speechwriter and special assistant for President Bush, explains why he thinks that the Bush administration isn’t on the road to war with Iran. Frum is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror.

But, mark this! anyone who has said, “Oh, well, the Bushies couldn’t possible mean that,” has been proven wrong, over and over again, as the Current Federal Administration has pursued its apparent goals of making the rich, richer; the poor, poorer: and betraying the ideals of the Founders.


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