Monday, August 17, 2009

Israeli Ambassador to U.S.: Iran cannot be deterred because they're aren't secular like Mao and Stalin.

The new Israeli Ambassador to the United States here argues that Iran will not be deterred by fear of nuclear annihilation because they, unlike Russia and China, are not secular. Get that? They are so religious that they probably wouldn't mind a nuclear holocaust on their soil. That, according to his logic, is why they can't be trusted with the bomb.

And are we to believe that Israel is secular? If not, then doesn't his own logic mean that it's not safe for Israel to be a nuclear power?


Here's the entire thing. Zakaria does well to push Oren by asking:

FAREED ZAKARIA: If you don’t believe you can deter a country, why did you build 250 nuclear weapons yourself?

MICHAEL OREN: Israel’s position is that Israel will not be the first country to introduce nuclear weaponry in the Middle East. We stand by that position.

FZ: Wait, let me be clear. Are you denying that Israel has nuclear weapons?

MO: I’m saying that Israel will not be the first country to introduce nuclear weaponry into the Middle East.

FZ: When you say “introduce,” you mean use.

MO: I mean introduce.

FZ: “Introduce” means actually have them.

MO: To “introduce.”

FZ: All right, so… But the common sense understanding of that word is that Israel does not have nuclear weapons.

MO: The idea is that Israel will not be the first to introduce, deploy nuclear weaponry in the Middle East.
Israel has been using this tactic for years, saying that she will not introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East, which is nonsensical, as we all know that she has already done so.

So, Zakaria does very well to badger this confession from Oren: when Israel says she will not "introduce" nuclear weapons in the Middle East, she is actually saying that she won't be the first to "deploy" nuclear weapons in the Middle East.

But why should we believe that non-secular Israel will behave as well as Oren implies, when he has already told us that the reason Iran can't be trusted is that they aren't secular?

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