Is it peace in our time ? Is it the beginning of a nuclear arms race in the middle east ? mmm

If there is one lesson all historians agree about regarding World War II, it is that during the years 1935-1938, forceful movements by France and the United Kingdom could have stopped Germany's expansionist militarism. At that point in time, together, they had a larger, better armed army. A clear, aggressive, unyielding stance would have stopped each and every step the Germans made. And each step further down the line, made that clear stance harder, because the obvious price that would be paid in a time of war, was growing:

All of these moves, shortly followed by the bloodiest war humanity has ever known, were justified under a well structured policy called Appeasement whose planners had one goal, and one goal alone in their mind: Peace for their time. They sought peace by sowing weakness and they reaped a great and horrible war. 

Why do I dedicate the beginning half of this post for a well known historical time ? Because recent events make it appear as if the president of the United States of America has forgotten this lesson. 

He who speaks of "a real opportunity to achieve a comprehensive, peaceful settlement" forgets the lesson North Korea has taught the world: all a nation needs is one Atomic Bomb, and the balance of negotiations is changed, forever. 

The period of time given to Iran by the interim agreement, is that period of time which Iran shall be able to use, to make sure that in six months time, they are significantly closer to the bomb. Then, either they stand sanctions for another period of time, or they might already be in a possession of a single bomb. And that is all they need, to make sure that the next time negotiations are held, the balance of power is shifted. 

A simple glance at the published agreement, compared with the list of Iran's nuclear facilities tells the entire truth: the agreement is not detailed and wide enough to make sure all military nuclear development in Iran is stopped. A nation that has worked hard to enrich nuclear materials to levels useful only in military aspects, that has spent so much in developments towards a nuclear weapon, that has considered, since the end of the Iran-Iraq war the possession of a nuclear weapon as vital to its regime's future survival, will not give everything up at that point, for the right to enrich nuclear materials for civil purposes. Simple logic indicates that they had that all along. What they needed out of this accord was more time, in vaguely enough terms, so that supervision of the entire nuclear program shall not be efficient enough to hinder the real efforts. 

With this knowledge, is it a wonder that Saudi Arabia is indicating in any measure it has that what this agreement actually means is the beginning of a full scale nuclear weapons race in the middle east

One is astonished to read that the United States' national security adviser has explained such moves because "We can't just be consumed 24/7 by one region, important as it is". Imagine a nuclear middle east and its impact on the U.S level of involvement in the area. Imagine a World shaped by a global nuclear arms race, initiated by this agreement with Iran. 

One should not ignore Israel's share of the blame, as we discuss the interim agreement. I have been critical of Israel's public stance in the issue of Iran's nuclear plans, and have opposed the mass hysteria campaign Prime minister Netanyahu has been leading, for many reasons, but the most important one was that when such campaigns fail, the magnitude of the failure has impacts of its own. A secret campaign would have been a much better choice, especially considering our knowledge of past international campaigns of this nature. But Netanyahu, like his U.S counterpart chose not to learn from the past.

One wishes to fantasize that this is all an amazingly sophisticated American diplomatic maneuver, set to groups the entire middle east, the entire free world, against Iran's nuclear plans. One fears that that this is all a result of a bizarre American strategy, working under the assumption that a nuclear middle east is in the United States' best interests. But more than anything else, one fears that the statements made by U.S representatives in recent days are truthful. Because if this is the case, the U.S has completely forgotten the lessons learned before World War II. 

We all know what that means. As the philosopher George Santayana summarized so well: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". 


Closing the door on diplomacy would essentially lead to war ? but what kind of war

A White House official is quoted as saying that "given a choice between 'total capitulation' and advancing toward a nuclear weapon, Iran would choose the weapon,

That posture, according to this diplomat, would “close the door on diplomacy” and would “essentially lead to war.” 

One can only wonder about the spokesman's logic: 
  1. He states that Iran is committed to the idea of developing nuclear weapons to such an extent,   that forcing the country to give up the idea completely would push the Iranians to end the negotiations. 
  2. And yet, he wishes to convince anyone that the negotiations are going to remove the risk of a nuclear weapons armed race in the middle east ? After all, if Iran is that committed to this idea, is it really such a good idea to reach a compromise, which brings along at its end, a nuclear Iran ? 
  3. Furthermore, which situation is preferred, in the eyes of the aforementioned official - a war in which Iran is not armed with nuclear weapons, or a war in which Iran is ? 
Sometimes, even if you doubt Israel Prime Minister's diplomatic strategy, you just have to give it to him - U.S officials do sound a lot like a certain English Prime Minister, shortly before World War II, promising peace in our time. 


150 years to the Gettysburg Address

150 Years ago, Today, The President of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln, gave the Gettysburg Address. This wise speech, a unique combination of great oration and brevity, deals with the notion that the democratic form of government may not survive the tides of time. It was right when Lincoln spoke, in those harsh times of the American Civil War. It is just as true nowadays, when other, less obvious but much more sophisticated threats rise on democracies in America and around the world. May the sagacity of this address light the paths of humanity forever. May governments of the people, by the people, for the people, Shall never perish from the Earth.

Four score and seven years ago 
our fathers brought forth on this continent 
a new nation, 
conceived in liberty, 
and dedicated to the proposition 
that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, 
testing whether that nation, 
or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, 
can long endure. 

We are met on a great battlefield of that war. 
We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, 
as a final resting place for those who 
here gave their lives that that nation might live. 

It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, 
we can not dedicate, 
we can not consecrate, 
we can not hallow this ground. 

The brave men, living and dead, 
who struggled here, have consecrated it, 
far above our poor power to add or detract. 

The world will little note, 
nor long remember what we say here, 
but it can never forget what they did here. 

It is for us the living, rather, 
to be dedicated here to the unfinished work 
which they who fought here 
have thus far so nobly advanced. 

It is rather for us to be here dedicated 
to the great task remaining before us—
that from these honored dead 
we take increased devotion to that cause 
for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—
that we here highly resolve that these dead 
shall not have died in vain—
that this nation, under God, 
shall have a new birth of freedom—
and that government of the people, 
by the people, 
for the people, 
shall not perish from the earth.

Further reading