Saturday, November 4, 2006

Nuclear proliferation in the wake of Iran

Six Arab states join rush to go nuclear This is a Times of London article discussing six Arab countries who have announced their intention to build nuclear reactors, and presumably move to join the list of countries possessing nuclear weapons. One stated reason is for desalination. I flew over the Gulf region last year, and from 45,000 feet the whole area sure looked to be exceedingly dry. They have long wanted a source of non-salty water. Though, nuclear power seems to be a curious way to achieve that goal.

The countries are: Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia.

The article clearly links this move with Iran's budding nuclear program. Pakistan and Israel are known to have nuclear weapons, and it's likely that Iran will also have them in a few years. These other countries surely will feel threatened by that, and seek to have these weapons themselves.

The question then is, what will come of this growing presence of nuclear weaponry? The fear with nuclear proliferation has long been that it's a slippery slope until eventually some power-mad world leader who doesn't care about the consequences will use their "ultimate weapon".

That's a scary thought, but I think the example GW Bush shows us is that the power-mad world leader need not be the stereotype we've been fed. Namely, it might not be the uneducated third world leader but it might be the fundamentalist American who thinks they're hastening Armageddon and therefore bringing about the New Heaven and New Earth promised in the Book of Revelations.


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