2007.02.08: February 8, 2007: Headlines: Figures: COS - Cameroon: Journalism: Speaking Out: Capital Times: Margaret Krome writes: 'Rogue nations' aren't the only nuclear threat

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Cameroon: Special Reports: Cameroon RPCV and Columnist Margaret Krome: 2007.02.08: February 8, 2007: Headlines: Figures: COS - Cameroon: Journalism: Speaking Out: Capital Times: Margaret Krome writes: 'Rogue nations' aren't the only nuclear threat

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Margaret Krome writes: 'Rogue nations' aren't the only nuclear threat

Margaret Krome writes: 'Rogue nations' aren't the only nuclear threat

"It is a legitimate concern that those who hate us seek nuclear weapons, but simply seeking to contain "rogue nations" isn't enough. If the Bush administration hopes to contain the spread of nuclear weapons, we need both to change rhetoric that is perceived as anti-Islamic and to remove our own uses of nuclear arms from situations seen as provocative by everyone but our leaders." Journalist Margaret Krome served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon.

Margaret Krome writes: 'Rogue nations' aren't the only nuclear threat

Margaret Krome: 'Rogue nations' aren't the only nuclear threat

By Margaret Krome

Feb. 8, 2007

Thankfully, the international report on climate change is finally forcing leaders globe-wide to acknowledge its serious threat to the globe. But an even more serious global danger, because immediate and permanent, may be nuclear proliferation, and the Bush administration has thus far failed to address it thoughtfully over the six years of its tenure.

The United Nations reports that over 30 countries have the capability to produce nuclear weapons, and before leaving office, former Secretary General Kofi Annan said that of all the dangers facing the globe, nuclear weapons present the greatest danger, because they present a "unique existential threat to all humanity."

In January, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists advanced its Atomic Clock from seven minutes before midnight to five minutes before midnight, signaling its view of the drastic increase in the danger of nuclear disasters.

As our nation's foreign policy leaders demonstrate uncanny ability to antagonize more nations than a Chinese plate spinner spins plates, suddenly, nuclear proliferation grows deadly serious.

While these concerns arise in part from renewed interest in nuclear power for energy, the real source of distress derives from the prospect of nuclear arms among what people like to call "rogue nations." This is intended to mean nations whose aggressive behavior casts themselves outside of the circle of responsible global leaders. It's code especially for Iran and North Korea.

Some say that U.S. concerns about Iran's access to nuclear weapons is mere Islam-bashing. But concern about terrorist uses of nuclear weapons is more than racist rhetoric, and Iran is not blameless. Its refusal to support the U.N. resolution in late January simply commemorating the Holocaust was a characteristic attempt to polarize anti-Israeli sentiment among Arab states, none of whom joined the 103 countries co-sponsoring the symbolic resolution. Iran contends that it has never stepped outside its borders in an act of aggression since the formation of the U.N. But this is disingenuous, considering its backing of armed Shiite groups in Iraq.

Given the redefinition of jihad tactics that include using bombs to kill shoppers, shopkeepers, bystanders, children, elderly and anyone else who happens to be near, there's good reason to doubt Iranian protestations that they consider military use of nuclear weapons against the very principles of Islam. It doesn't take a Zionist fanatic to fail to see Muslim respect for the sacredness of life in the human slaughter in Iraq today. So concern is justified, and the U.S. has pushed through two U.N. Security Council resolutions supporting sanctions against Iran for nuclear enrichment and processing even for peaceful uses.

Americans like to think we're the voice of peaceful reason in a dangerous world. But our nation is gaining the reputation of destabilizing the world order with our own nuclear weapons capabilities. For many decades we've steadily developed more nuclear weapons systems and distributed them to provocative places throughout the Mideast, especially Israel. We currently position naval ships with nuclear weapons in major shipping areas in the region. And we clearly provoked a war responsible for horrific loss of human lives as well as economic and social devastation. When the U.S. proposes regime change in Iran, many see only an aggressive stance by a superpower holding massive nuclear weapons capabilities. From the start of the Bush administration's response to 9/11 and buildup toward the Iraqi invasion in 2003, our nation's allies cautioned against unilateral action. Cowboy diplomacy has indeed proven ineffective in Iraq, but it has also left our nation vulnerable to a deep anger that will not be contained easily or indefinitely.

It is a legitimate concern that those who hate us seek nuclear weapons, but simply seeking to contain "rogue nations" isn't enough. If the Bush administration hopes to contain the spread of nuclear weapons, we need both to change rhetoric that is perceived as anti-Islamic and to remove our own uses of nuclear arms from situations seen as provocative by everyone but our leaders.

Margaret Krome of Madison writes a semimonthly column for The Capital Times. E-mail: mkrome@inxpress.net

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Story Source: Capital Times

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