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US comes out against ridding the Middle East of WMDs. Film at 11.

Yeah, I’m simplifying. But not much. Syria introduced a Security Council resolution that would require all Middle Eastern countries to rid themselves of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. The US said “No, no, the time isn’t right.” That means, of course, “We don’t want to make Israel give up their nuclear weapons.”

I have to grudgingly admire the acumen of Syria. Not only did they make the US object to a positive resolution, they nudged us into admitting that the Security Council matters after all. Odd; I could have sworn Bush said that the Security Council would be irrelevant if it didn’t vote to allow us to invade Iraq. Why do we care what resolutions Syria introduces?

Answer: because even if we don’t care, most of the rest of the world — including the UK, Spain, Italy, and Australia — does. And we are not capable of defeating the rest of the world singlehandedly. From a military perspective? Quite possibly. From a financial perspective? Not a chance in hell.


  1. I grudgingly agree that the UN still matters, but only because it’s important to our close allies. They have their reasons, I guess, which we need to respect because we do need them economically, even if not as much as they need us.

    But perhaps more importantly, we need their help with our national (and global) security, which, as I think you might’ve previously voiced concern, will become more and more difficult as the unpreventable trickle down of technology and related know-how enables terrorists to do terrible things with ever increasing ease.

    So, while I think the UN is a terribly flawed body for pretending equal moral standing among member nations, I can see the benefit in our diplomatic participation. That ain’t giving much, I know, but it’s the best I can do considering its history of failing to step up to plate when it counted.

    And I gotta disagree with you that Syria’s proposal, if passed, would’ve been a positive resolution. As I’m sure you know, Israel has never officially admitted to possessing nuclear weapons, though it’s almost certain that it does, hence Syria’s proposal to rid the Middle East of CBN weapons.

    Syria and Iraq might be the only Middle East countries to have CB weapons, and if either of them, or any Arab country for that matter, got hold of a nuke, God forbid, how long do you think Israel would exist? Especially if they knew the Jews had been disarmed?

    Given the Jew-hating obsession that runs deep through much of the Middle East, it’s probably not a good idea to disarm Israel.

  2. Yeah; I agree that the UN is not a source of moral standing, actually. My view is that in practical terms, it’s a retardant on actions — which is really the function for which it was designed. It’s meant to slow down the start of a world war.

    We get some pretty decent humanitarian stuff out of it, though, which is a bonus…

    On Syria — I’m not sure I think it would have been a positive resolution. It’s hard to say, cause I don’t think Syria ever expected it to get passed. I just think it was kind of a clever diplomatic move, since it puts the US in the position of having to block a disarmament resolution.

    In particular, it puts Syria in a good position with other Arab nations. It probably has less significance in the West.

    Would Syria nuke Tel Aviv if it could? Hm. I don’t honestly know. I sincerely hope not, because it seems fairly certain that they’re gonna be able to buy one within a decade at the most. They’ve got a trade relationship with North Korea, at the very least for missiles, and North Korea really needs cash. Syria must be a potential buyer for nuclear weapons.

    On the other hand, Syria’s been deterred before by American pressure. And in the end, Iraq didn’t use any CB weapons it may have had, so perhaps our worries about Middle Eastern insanity are a little less certain than we thought. Hard to say.

    I certainly wouldn’t disarm Israel. Nukes… hm. I don’t particularly want America to take on the nuclear deterrence responsibility vis a vis Israel too. (I didn’t like America as the protector of Germany, either. It’s a general libertarianesque position, nothing to do with Israel per se.)

    Thanks for the comments — I don’t think I said so on the last exchange, but you bring a lot to them and I think Popone is the better for your contributions in these threads.

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