Jonah, I couldn’t agree more on the Soviets’ “psychological contamination.” I think the Obama response to the North Korean test is a good example of that: The wish for “a world without nuclear weapons” is not merely a pacifist delusion but one that obliquely subscribes to the false equivalence so assiduously promoted during the Cold War.
I wouldn’t lose a moment’s sleep if I read in the paper that New Zealand and Switzerland had decided to become nuclear powers. It’s not the technology (which can’t be un-invented, any more than the rifle or the spear or the sling could). It’s the regime. North Korea and Iran going nuclear is not the same as Norway and St. Lucia going nuclear. It is so depressing to see the president of the United States mired in obsolete Cold War non-proliferation bromides.
Consider two possible responses to the inevitable Iranian nuclearization:
a) The Sunni Arab dictatorships (Saudi Arabia and perhaps Egypt) decide to go nuclear rather than live under Iran as the regional hegemon.
b) The Sunni Arab dictatorships knuckle under the Iranian nuclear umbrella and Teheran becomes the de facto controller of Arab oil supply and much else.
I’m not sure proliferation wouldn’t be the least worst option.
It’s not just embarrassing to hear the so-called “leader of the free world” talking like a 14-year old who’s been up in his room listening to “Imagine” for too long. I fear this presidency has the makings of global tragedy.