Thursday, September 02, 2004

IHT: Seoul says scientists enriched uranium

*Snigger* I think the CCP must be reallyt regretting their sale of Nuclear technology to Pakistan now. Yet another not entirely friendly neighbour has nukes capable of hitting Shanghai and Beijing. See? That's what happens when you don't play by the rules. It's all well and fine when you're a pariah, but when you're on of the stautus quo...

I don't ever think it's possible to state the dangers of nuclear weapons. The Johnny come lately of WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction), after biological and chemical warfare, nevertheless poses by far the greatest risk in terms of the ability to wipe out all life as we know it on Earth something like a number of times over. On the bright side, we know that at least that number has come down from double to single digits.

As such, I will applaud every effort made with regards to the restriction of either nuclear testing or nuclear proliferation in general. However, the realist in me has to acknowledge two every ugly truths. One, that such efforts are doomed to failure. Two, banning all forms of nuclear weapons in nigh impossible.

On the first part, states have shown a general unwillingness to stay by the status quo. With the actions of India and Pakistan, and later North Korea, any nation is a proven nuclear capability is safe. Conventional war against a nuclear armed nation, whilst not suicidal, is nevertheless very very damaging. Coupled with its destructive capability, nations who don' t have them either want them for offensive or even defensive capabilities as S Korea seems to have done so. The preservation of the status quo might demand, as part of the arms race, an acquisition of nuclear deterant force. Granted, such a shield is not much of a shield at all when it comes to unconventional threats. But, when your nasty neighbour across the borders has them and considering the absolutely dismal state of TMD's today, I think many nations feel more secure hanging their Sword of Damascus over their neighbour's head.

On the second issue, the genie is out of the bottle. And this genie is one that no one wants or is any more capable of putting it back than our government is ever going to stop launching defamation suits or Mahathir making racist comments. Asides aside (punny huh?), the reason that this is so is premised on two things. Nuclear power is clean and cheap if you don't screw around with the safeguards and two, even I as a faux art student knows how to make a nuclear bomb, um, how nuclear bombs work I mean (BBC has a wonderful section on it). So those NGOs and protesters fighting for an end to nuclear power should grow up and start doing something useful like campaigning for the mere $200 million (it's super cheap by the standards of public policy) need to bring access to clean water and sanitation to the 1.2 billion who DON'T have it! Cheap shots at the greens aside, I think Bush was on the right track when he tore up the anti-ballistic missle treaty to focus on TMD research. I mean sure, it's inaccurate, but compared to the alternative i.e. zilch, it's a million times more accurate...=) On the flip side however, why is the US researching low yield 'clean nukes'? Talk about stuff coming back to bite you on your behind...


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