Sunday, October 22, 2006

What If the Dear Leader Has A Bad Hair Day?

LAST YEAR's Nobel Peace Prize went to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its head, Mohammed el Baradei. Interviewed by the Press upon hearing the announcement, he was asked, "If you could single out one issue, what is the most pressing issue that you have to deal with right now or in the nearest future?

"Well, I think the most single important issue today is to make sure that nuclear weapons will not proliferate beyond the eight, or nine, countries that already have nuclear weapons; and absolutely make sure that none of these nuclear weapons or this nuclear material will fall into the hands of any extremist or terrorist group, because if they got hold of this material, they would use it. That would be the beginning of the end for civilisation as we know it."

In his Nobel Lecture accepting the Prize, el Baradei waxes apocalyptic and declares that we are "in a race against time"

Mohammed El Baradei (Oslo City Hall, December 10, 2005): "I have no doubt that, if we hope to escape self-destruction, then nuclear weapons should have no place in our collective conscience, and no role in our security. To that end, we must ensure – absolutely – that no more countries acquire these deadly weapons. We must see to it that nuclear-weapon states take concrete steps towards nuclear disarmament. And we must put in place a security system that does not rely on nuclear deterrence.Are these goals realistic and within reach? I do believe they are. But then three steps are urgently required.

First, keep nuclear and radiological material out of the hands of extremist groups. In 2001, the IAEA together with the international community launched a worldwide campaign to enhance the security of such material. Protecting nuclear facilities. Securing powerful radioactive sources. Training law enforcement officials. Monitoring border crossings. In four years, we have completed perhaps 50 per cent of the work. But this is not fast enough, because we are in a race against time.

Second, tighten control over the operations for producing the nuclear material that could be used in weapons. Under the current system, any country has the right to master these operations for civilian uses. But in doing so, it also masters the most difficult steps in making a nuclear bomb.

To overcome this, I am hoping that we can make these operations multinational – so that no one country can have exclusive control over any such operation. My plan is to begin by setting up a reserve fuel bank, under IAEA control, so that every country will be assured that it will get the fuel needed for its bona fide peaceful nuclear activities. This assurance of supply will remove the incentive – and the justification – for each country to develop its own fuel cycle. We should then be able to agree on a moratorium on new national facilities, and to begin work on multinational arrangements for enrichment, fuel production, waste disposal and reprocessing.

We must also strengthen the verification system. IAEA inspections are the heart and soul of the nuclear non-proliferation regime. To be effective, it is essential that we are provided with the necessary authority, information, advanced technology, and resources. And our inspections must be backed by the UN Security Council, to be called on in cases of non-compliance.

Third, accelerate disarmament efforts. We still have eight or nine countries who possess nuclear weapons. We still have
27,000 warheads in existence. I believe this is 27,000 too many.

A good start would be if the nuclear-weapon states reduced the strategic role given to these weapons. More than 15 years after the end of the Cold War, it is incomprehensible to many that the major nuclear-weapon states operate with their arsenals on hair-trigger alert – such that, in the case of a possible launch of a nuclear attack, their leaders could have only 30 minutes to decide whether to retaliate, risking the devastation of entire nations in a matter of minutes.

These are three concrete steps that, I believe, can readily be taken. Protect the material and strengthen verification. Control the fuel cycle. Accelerate disarmament efforts.

I thought at first that only the CPP would have the psychosis to Heil the North Korean nuclear blast but here also is a Letter to the Editor of PDI from Manuel F. Almario, former editor of the Graphic, which makes the argument that North Korea has a right to own nuclear weapons because it has the right to self defense. Of course, every man and every nation has a primordial right to self defense. If someone tries to kill Maning Almario, he would be morally justified to use deadly force to defend his life. However, if he had been accusing someone of intending to kill him or do him harm for the better half of the last century, and then he explodes 2 million pounds of dynamite (that's what one kiloton of TNT is!) as a warning that he CAN defend yourself, that would seem to be the version of the Principle of Self-Defense as interpreted by the CPP and the Axis of Evil Hair-Do's. It would not be valid self-defense for me to booby trap my home with automatic machine guns or biochem germ warfare sprays just in case some homicidal maniac decides to barge in at night, EVEN IF I do have the right to self-defense.

In its Sunday Editorial, PDI comes to terms with its own past positions on nuclear weapons by dispelling certain Bad Hair Myths, (which they have at times spun themselves). Here they blame Bush for North Korea, but absolve Bill Clinton! However, they don't say the same crazy things as the CPP and Manuel Almario. But see if you can spot the points of paradox and irony in the editorial's conclusion and recommendations:

PDI: "The North Korean nuclear test severely reduces the international community’s choices. China, Pyongyang’s lone ally, must overcome its reluctance to put pressure on North Korea; the United States must reconsider its decision to forego one-on-one talks; Japan and South Korea must exercise the utmost self-restraint in responding to the nuclear crisis. And the Philippines? We must work closely with our Asean allies to serve the ends of both containment and engagement."

Whatever happened to strident demands for multilateralism? I mean, which is it, folks? Work with the much-vaunted "international community" or go one-on-one with the Weird One? When the US and UK finally dealt with Saddam Hussein in the face of footdragging by "allies" France and Germany, it was accused of unilateralism. Now she should "reconsider" one-on-one talks. In my opinion, North Korea and Kim Jong Il are clearly China's chickens come home to roost. What can Filipinos do? Maybe Jimmy Flor Cruz (CNN) and Chito Sta. Romana (ABC-TV), who both now work for the Big American Media in Beijing, can tell those communist mandarins they better do more than "get over their reluctance to put pressure on North Korea" and EARN their place in that much vaunted international community.

RONALD REAGAN's term "the Evil Empire" as applied to the Soviet Union was the liberal butt of jokes, as he himself often was. Then he went to Berlin and uttered the phrase, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" For some reason, the Soviet Union soon imploded. Reagan was right all along though now all is safely forgotten. Including the derision.

GEORGE W. BUSH's term "the Axis of Evil" has come in for much of the same derision and pseudosmart snickering from much the same folks, who are so politically correct that it makes them nervous to even hear someone of stature in the world actually call a spade a spade! History has not yet rendered a final decision on his designation of Iraq, Iran and North Korea as members of this Axis. Many like it that a Vietnam-like quagmire in Iraq is being portrayed by even British and American Generals. The same folks think Ahmadinejad is a feisty underdog of a Persian cat who has a right to own nuclear weapons since the people who want nonproliferation already have them by the tens of thousands of warheads, including Israel. I wonder if they would also give out machine guns to depressed teenagers desperately seeking attention.

But I notice the fine art of insulting GWB's intelligence and spelling skills have markedly toned down since The Dear Leader, Kim Jong Il of North Korea, (he with the most EVIL of Hair-dooz), exploded about a thousand ton's worth of enriched Uranium in a package as small as suitcase and perhaps destined for that retail nuclear blackmarket that Mohammed El Baradei and IAEA spend many sleepless nights over (bless their souls!).


Marcus Aurelius said...


Some good observations.

The thing is the Norks are only an overt threat to South Korea and the Chinese (in they don't want to deal with a flood starving Norko refugees).

However, NORKOs only foreign currency comes from counterfeiting, illicit narcotics, and weapon smuggling.

No, the weapons tested (I have not seen anything it was a positive test, but all tests are moments of learning) are not intended for self-defensive purposes, that is the job of the million man army and the tens of thousands of artillery pieces pointed at Seoul. Those weapons are for sale.

Wretchard sometime ago discussed the possibility the Saudis too have nuclear weapons. He made a good case for it and after the Pakistani test I made similar comments of some of my friends.

Still haven't had a chance to meet up with Butch.


john marzan said...

GEORGE W. BUSH's term "the Axis of Evil" has come in for much of the same derision and pseudosmart snickering from much the same folks, who are so politically correct that it makes them nervous to even hear someone of stature in the world actually call a spade a spade!

yes, bush was just stating the obvious re the "axis of evil" comment.

john marzan said...

But I notice the fine art of insulting GWB's intelligence and spelling skills have markedly toned down since The Dear Leader, Kim Jong Il of North Korea, (he with the most EVIL of Hair-dooz), exploded about a thousand ton's worth of enriched Uranium in a package as small as suitcase and perhaps destined for that retail nuclear blackmarket that Mohammed El Baradei and IAEA spend many sleepless nights over (bless their souls!).

nah, david letterman still does it like every other day on his show. Here's some examples.

and the focus of jon stewart's attacks isn't on "bush is dumb", but on the failures and mistakes in iraq. and i guess it's somewhat effective in driving bush's popularity and support for the war down.

manuelbuencamino said...


Kim's problems will go away when he enlists in Bush's war on terror. He will become a non-Nato ally just like that dictator Musharaaf who, as we all know, has a few bombs of his own.

It's not who you are, it's whose side you are on. That's why I find all this anti-Kim rhetoric by Bush and other nuclear weapons owners a bit too sanctimonious for my taste.

Israel is allowed to own nuclear weapons right? They are not even being asked to sign up with the nuclear treaties or any of those other WMD treaties.

WMDs are not neutral weapons. They do not become bad or good depending on who possesses them. WMDs are bad, period.They are what should be called weapons of mass collateral damage and, as such, possession should be outlawed because their use is a crime against humanity, victor's justice notwithstanding.

I'm aware of the argument that the genie is out of the bottle and evil men can't be prevented from building weapons of mass destruction so we, the good people, have to build more of them to protect us from the evil ones.

I don't buy that argument because it is self serving. Who's bad and who's good when every state in the world acts out of its percieved national interest and that very same national interest is dictated by intranational vested interests?

I bet if you were to poll the entire world, you will get an overwheliming majority asking for disarmament. It's leaders who think they know better who oppose disarmament for everyone.

So the real question is not how to limit WMDs to our friends but how to eliminate them altogether. Any debate short of total disarmament just leads to the perpetration of the status quo and the uncomfortable, illogical, and morally untenable situation of a dictator like Musharaaf being treated as one of our own.

So nuclear weapons, WMDs are bad. No one should own them. That's the bottom line and that's what we should be focusing on. Not on who is allowed to own them.

Rizalist said...

I'm glad to note that you have firmed up your position AGAINST all nations having the right to own nuclear weapons to one where NO nation should have nuclear weapons. I agree with that!

But in some ways our dilemma has become much worse because of AQ Khan, who has essentially made CONTAINMENT an impossible goal, by spilling the nuclear milk all over blackmarket south asia, what you call the genie being out of the bottle.

But follow that thought right on through to the unavoidable conclusion that el baradei came to also last year: it's too late to sequester the guards or keep the genie within the bottle of the Nuclear States, such that their destroying every single weapon they own themselves would not in fact bring the genie back. The people who now know the Secret of the Magic Lamp of Nuclear Power cannot now be deterred by even such a stupendous moral example.

"We are in a race against time!" El Baradei says, because "they" will use the secret, and are trying very hard to do so right now.

The Mind that has turned Iraq into Sheol in order to prove a point about itself is capable of doing so.

Do you think he is wrong?

What if El Baradei is right, that the focus is no longer on the Cold War battle between East and West or even between North and South (which he truly cares about), but between nuclear nihilists and the rest of humanity, including almost all Muslims like him?

I must say I was struck by how plainly he stated the relationship between rogue STATES and the terrorist groups. And between the peaceful and military applications of nuclear power.

Finally there is the impossibility of annihilating the Nuclear Genie, which is really our knowledge of and ability to weaponize the Secret of the Stars. We have no moral, technological or even cultural methods for the destruction of pure knowledge. We would have to forget and unlearn that Energy equals the mass times the square of the speed of light! Effective disarmament is futile for the foreseeable future, because there would always be the threat to rearm. Man will have to evolve SPIRITUALLY for such a thing to even become possible.

manuelbuencamino said...


We're on the same page. I used the example of musharaaf because it leads to an us and them situation which does not resolve the problem which Baradei described as nuclear nihikists bersus the rest of humanity. A costume change is all it takes, if we are to judge by musharaaf's standards.

My background makes me a bit hesitant when I see words like spiritual evolution or moral regeneration and all that. I wish there were some other way to describe the evolution we are looking for so that we don't sound like some goody-goody moralists and what-not. Anyway, the world would be better served by great minds if they focused on the problem instead of giving excuses for it.

Marcus Aurelius said...

When we debate gun control in the states we often note it isn't the gun but who is owning or using the gun that makes the difference.

I own multiple guns as does my father and brother. I haven't had so much as a moving violation in years.

Same with nuclear weapons. I trust Israel is not going to up & sell their bombs to Osama Bin Laden, or just one day decide Iran is an illgetimate govt and launch missiles against Qom or (heaven protect the home of the syrah grape) Shiraz. Can we say the same for North Korea or Iran?

Yeah, it would be nice to have world without them, but reality is what it is.

Rizalist said...

Hi Marcus Aurelius,
How are the Badgers coping with JocJoc Bolante? Looks like he's lost every
Court battle, even the one in Kenosha. hehe. Btw thanks for the comment. I think there is a lot that can be learned from "gun control" analogy.

floyd said...

The CPP-NPA is playing on dangerous grounds as expected of their skewed logic of hailing North Korea after its nuclear missile test.

the point here is simple.

they have proven more dangerous to their people than the people outside of their territories that even their allies disdain them after such brazen display of arrogance.

an interesting conversation took place one time when i talked about them i said to a friend of mine:

"North Korea is stupid for doing that..."
she said "Why? is America the only sanctioned country to test their nukes?"
with a sound of bitterness she followed
"It is good that they are testing their missiles so there will be a balance of power"
after which i followed "Yes it is after their first missile testing that flew over Japan and landed in a God forsaken part of the ocean?!"
"I didnt know about that" she said with an air of disbelief.
"Yes they did..." I said

the next conversation was with another friend of mine i told him about the story and he laughed out loud:

"Thats why they (North Korea or NK) should not do those missile testing because they are the ones who should not look like the ones they are fighting against" said my friend.

In all these it made me think at what point does power or use of force justifiable in taunting your adversary?

Let us consider these:

1. NK wants to scare off all other countries specially the US.
2. NK wants to send a strong message to all their supporters and enemies or critics alike that they have the propensity to destroy their countries in the most brutal way possible.
3. They are alarming South Korea so it will send them more aid or remove the US bases in the boarders so they can occupy South Korea or rather (though really questionable) free SK from the US imperialists.

All of the above still doesnt make sense to me all of which are what i consider pure acts of arrogance no different from the US. But then assuming that they really have to fight and they still think that they are in the state of war and the only message they could bring is to rattle and show off a message or irreverence to the US and its allies. We can only give assurance that even when their means are justifiable other terrorists would follow suit and God Knows when they will strike (maybe using North Koreas' Missiles)

There is a dilemma here; when NK provokes the US they dont realize that they are provoking the world and the UN. When NK goes against world opinion it challenges all moralists to do the same against the first ones who went against it which was the US when it entered Iraq. And so now we see how violence begets violence.

After this i dont see any reason why the US will be mum about it. Surely by now they are devising ways and tactics to either disarm or attack NK. and it will only take a single aim for NK at their neighbor SK to hold them hostages ergo more bloodshed.

So whats the best solution for such?
Whats the next step for the US?
What will the UN do?

either the UN will not do anything about it or the US will just kill the hell out of them...

now this is where that stupid CPP-NPA comes in.
when they supported NK for doing such notwithstanding the logical errors it posted
they have become an organization that in itself denied world opinion and doesnt deserve a seat in the place of free men.

they have made themselves supporters of anarchists that fights fire with fire without proposing any solution to the problem.

they have become cohorts of NK and reflects the same monstrosity NK is capable of.

it becomes short of saying from them "Just give us some nukes and we'll blow to smitherens all of them who dont believe us"

it is through this that they again fail to think for themselves and for other people.

it is through this that the thinking community will never respect them anymore...