Imperative to Stop the Spread of Nuclear Weapons Now

[Washington Institute for Near East Policy] Henry Kissinger - [During the Cold War], nuclear weapons were held by countries that had more or less comparable analogies of risks. Nuclear weapons are now spreading into the hands of countries in which suicide bombing is considered a strategy and in which the judgment of the value of human life has a different dimension and is geared toward what happens in the next life and not in this life. Also, it is moving toward societies that cannot safeguard nuclear weapons as the more advanced countries could. For these reasons, to stop the spread of nuclear weapons now is an absolute imperative. I think that the present course - where three European countries, in effect, backed by the United States, are conducting negotiations with marginal proposals followed by marginal sanctions - really plays into the hands of the people who are proliferating. Jihad extremism is often presented as exclusively or primarily as related to Israel. That is not correct. I think, in many ways, they use Israel as a rallying point for a much more fundamental concern, which is to spread the notion of a universal Islamic empire. In the medium term, a successful jihad will threaten India as much as it threatens Israel, because the 160 million Muslims who live in India cannot be unaffected by a wave that is spreading through the Islamic world. The central problem that we now face is Islamic extremism, for which the only real solution is to arrest it and to demonstrate its incapacity to achieve its objectives. Otherwise, the momentum is going to become stronger and stronger. Iran is not a strong country. Iran is a country with a reasonably strong ideology and a long history. Our relations with the shah showed that America can live with a strong Iran that is a major player in the region, provided it conducts itself as a nation and not as a cause. We must not let ourselves get mesmerized by the rhetoric. The majority of the countries in the region are on our side, and the extremists really do not have a strategy for achieving their objective.

2008-10-13 01:00:00

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