Nuclear Hypocrisy

In the April 16 issue of The New Yorker, Seymour Hersh reported that "some in the [Bush] Administration were looking seriously" at the possibility of using nuclear weapons against Iran (32).

Scary as that sounds, there are some interesting twists to the story that I only read about recently in the current issue of Tikkun.

Tad Daley writes,
Perhaps because the Bush administration has displayed such unconcealed disdain for international law, hardly anyone since the Hersh story first broke has mentioned that a U.S. nuclear strike on Iran would explicitly violate the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NTP). ("Nuclear Irony," 26-27)
Daley explains that, in that treaty, the non-nuclear weapons states "agreed never to produce or acquire nuclear weapons, in exchange for a promise from the five nuclear signatories to eventually get rid of theirs" (27).

Daley further explains that "the NPT also contains a number of other, smaller mutual pledges. One of these was that the non-nuclear states insisted, in return for promising to remain non-nuclear, that the nuclear states promise never to launch a nuclear attack upon them" (27).

This is not quite accurate. That pledge is not contained in the text of the NPT itself, but rather in UN Security Council resolution 984.

Still, the irony remains: "in order to show the illegitimacy of nuclear weapons, and to demonstrate our categorical intolerance for nuclear weapons, the United States was going to keep another state from obtaining nuclear weapons.... by using nuclear weapons" (26).

Is that irony or hypocrisy? Sometimes I can't tell the difference.

Interesting sidebar: in that April 16 New Yorker article, Hersh says that he asked government consultant about the possibility of Hezbollah getting involved in the conflict. The consultant said that, "if Hezbollah fired rockets into northern Israel, 'Israel and the new Lebanese government will finish them off'" (37).

Oh, is that right?

Works Cited

Daley, Tad. "Nuclear Irony." Tikkun. July/August 2006: 26-28.

Hersh, Seymour M. "The Iran Plans." The New Yorker. April 17, 2006: 30-37.

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