I don't like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He's a dangerous theocrat, and his grasp of subtlety and diplomacy is downright primordial. But damn it, he makes an occasional good point. Like today in Macleans
, where he accuses Western nations of taking a hypocritical line on nuclear weapons. It's pretty hard to order another nation to stop a nuclear weapons program while sitting on a huge pile of nukes yourself. Say, for example, I had a whole bunch of apples. You say:
"Can I have some apples?"
"Alright. I'm going to grow some of my own."
"Sorry, you can't."
"Because I said so."
"But you have a tonne of apples of your own. Why do you get to have apples and I don't?"
"That's not an answer."
"True." [I then punch you in the face]
Of course, apples can't destroy the world, but you get the idea. What we have here is a classic Hobbbesian race to the bottom. If one nation has nukes, everybody wants them. Instead of building domestic arsenals while threatening to bomb anyone who enriches uranium, why not try to eliminate nukes altogether? Oh right. Realpolitik.
Still, these kinds of obvious questions seem particularly important nowadays, since we appear to be teetering on the brink of another arms race
. Awesome. Remember the early nineties when we thought the risk of nuclear annihilation was behind us? Yeah, good times.