As many readers know, the USA and other western nations have long stated that it is “unacceptable” for Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. However, an article in Foreign Affairs, the bi-monthly journal of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), has offered a radically-different viewpoint that it is now acceptable for Iran to obtain nuclear weapons (see link). The CFR publishes articles in its journal which do offer differing perspectives from time to time, but the fact that this article was the featured article in the current issue of Foreign Affairs indicates that it must have the approval of a significant percentage of the CFR’s leadership.
This article, in my view, was one of the most myopic, imbalanced pieces ever published in this CFR publication. It states that letting Iran get nuclear weapons “would probably be the best possible result: the one most likely to restore stability to the Middle East.” What does he mean “restore” stability to the Middle East? That region has been in a ferment of instability for as long as the world can remember. The article is stunningly anti-Israeli. It adds: “Israel’s regional nuclear monopoly…has long fueled instability in the Middle East…It is Israel’s nuclear arsenal, not Iran’s desire for one, that has contributed most to the current crisis.” You can read the full article to fully realize the deeply imbalanced attitude toward Middle East politics that it espouses.
What planet does this author come from?, I am tempted to ask. If anything, it is the fact that the Israelis have had a nuclear arsenal (and the willingness to use it to preserve their survival) that has most contributed to Middle East stability! Who knows how many more conventional wars would have occurred and how many tens of thousands would have died in those wars if Israel had only been a conventionally-armed state? It is the Israeli nuclear arsenal that has provided the necessary power to deter attacks by Israel’s enemies that has kept the Middle East from being engulfed by additional warfare. This CFR article completely ignores this obvious fact.
Also, the article indicates that a nuclear-armed Iran would be good for the Middle East to serve as a counterweight to the Israeli nuclear arsenal even as the Indian-Pakistani confrontation is balanced by both of them having nuclear weapons. How could so clueless a comparison ever be published in the CFR magazine? This assumes some kind of moral equivalency on the part of the Israeli and Iranian regimes. This is obviously a fantasy. The Iranian leaders have openly threatened, as a matter of state policy, to “wipe Israel off the map” and obtaining nukes is the quickest way to accomplish that goal. This article conveniently forgets this fact. Have the Israelis ever threatened to “wipe Iran off the map” or have they threatened to wipe any other Islamic nation off the map? Of course not. The Israelis have a nuclear arsenal to ensure their survival and deter war. They could easily “wipe off the map” any number of Islamic nations on any given day that they were in a mood to do so. That they have not done so, in spite of endless provocations from Islamic radicals in Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, etc., confirms a strong sense of national responsibility on the part of the Israelis. This CFR article is blind to the reality that it is a stated policy of Iran to “wipe Israel off the map.” No nation having such a stated policy toward another nation can be allowed to have nukes.
Furthermore, the CFR article defends a belief that the Iranian leadership is rational enough to have nukes. Did he read the entrails of an animal with a soothsayer to come up with such a groundless belief? Is the writer of this article not aware that Iran is led by a Shiite extremist sect which believes their anticipated “Shiite messiah,” who I think they call the “12th Imam,” can only come during a great conflagration? Their leadership needs to have and use nukes to set off their desired global conflagration in order for their “messiah” to come. Any nation whose leaders’ religious beliefs actually want a conflagration cannot be trusted with nukes. This should be obvious to anyone.
The fact that this defeatist, appeasement-based article appeared in the CFR’s publication shows the spirit of Neville Chamberlain is alive again in the western world. Confronted with the obviously evil intent of Hitler and the Nazis, Chamberlain chose to live in denial and pretend the threat didn’t exist. This CFR article has the same approach. Confronted by the obvious (and openly-stated!) evil intent of the Iranian regime, this CFR article chooses to live in denial and ignore the threat. That approach didn’t work for Neville Chamberlain and it won’t work for the western world today.
Indeed, the obvious spirit of surrender espoused in this featured CFR article may convince the Israelis that the western world has so lost all its backbone and resolve that there is no reason to delay an Israeli strike any longer against Iran. The weak attitude expressed in this CFR article could actually hasten the very Middle East war it seeks to avoid. I hope there are still clearer heads in the western’s world’s leadership that do not share the attitude of open appeasement and the denial of a clear danger that this CFR article represents.