Friday, April 09, 2010

Nuclear Arms reduction: is this a Twilight Zone episode?

This looks like a 50s sci-fi movie or an episode of the original Twilight Zone. America has a black president and US and Russia have just signed a treaty to reduce nuclear weapons and appear to trust each other. Okay - so they only reduce their arsenals by 1/3rd (and retain enough to destroy the planet several times over), but still, this is still an excellent step in the right direction. This makes NPT relevant too - as one of the key condition was the reduction of nuclear weapons by states who have them. Much more work needs to be done, but lets take a moment to applaud this:
In a ceremony filled with flourish and the echoes of history, President Obama and President Dmitri A. Medvedev put aside the tensions of recent years to seal the New Start pact paring back their nuclear arsenals.
For a broader context, including that of Iran, check out this very sensible interview with Obama. Unlike Bush, it is refreshing to see Obama taking local political realities of Iran into account, especially when dealing with rhetoric (rather than calling them evil!). Also, he is right in saying that Iranian government is not crazy and, in fact, it will react in a pragmatic way. Lets see what happens at the nuclear summit in US this week. Here is the Obama interview:

Two quick things: Obama's response to Palin bait was perfect. Ignore her. Second, it was amusing to see Obama at one point ask George Stephanopoulos to formulate his question properly.

Next on the Twilight Zone: India and Pakistan sign a peace treaty, open their borders for free trade, and send all of their nuclear weapons into the Sun on a rocket jointly built by their respective national space agencies. Unfortunately, this ends up creating a radiation-charged Nuclear Man from the Sun...oh wait. This is from the awful Superman IV. What, you say? Was there a Superman IV? Unfortunately yes, and I even accidentally watched it once on TV. So much for the world peace.


Don said...

1) Did someone just take a pravda article seriously?

2) Let's see if Iran DOES react in a pragmatic way. I'm not sure what you mean by "pragmatic", here... what about Scott Atran's point on non-rational influences in global politics? Didn't he claim that Iranians consider nuclear power (at the least) a sacred value?

Dr. M. Akbar Hussain said...

I have some material for you. One nonsense article in a very "credible" newspaper. Enjoy!

Salman Hameed said...


Atran's findings showed that for 10% of Iranian population it has become a sacred value. However, leadership can view things differently than the general population (this was the case in Atran's study of Palestinians and Israelis).

On a related note, Iran had tried to have negotiations in 2002/03 - but at the time US rebuffed their offer. It seems to me that Iran's rhetoric is to get the best deal possible in exchange for opening up their nuclear program. My guess will be that, unlike North Korea, Iran will not conduct a nuclear test, but will get far enough in enrichment to leave doubt about its real ability. I guess we will find out this week about the possibility of sanctions on Iran.

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