An analysis in today's New York Times, characterized as a "diplomatic memo" and entitled, "Sanctions Against Iran Grow Tighter, but What's the Next Step?" by Helene Cooper, shows just how bankrupt the United States' nuclear doctrine is.
The central, abhorrent idea of Cooper's analysis is that, while there is a distinction between possessing nuclear technology and pursuing military power based on nuclear weapons, the only acceptable model for that distinction is Japan, "which has a deep aversion to nuclear weapons dating to the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki." It is outrageous that such a suggestion could be made in a United States newspaper, and even more outrageous that it almost certainly reflects the nuclear doctrine of the United States government.
In other words, the stability of the world hangs on three axioms: (a) one nation -- the United States -- and its allies control the ability to wield nuclear death; (b) other countries have nuclear technology but have already tasted nuclear devastation at the hands of the United States, so they know their place; and (c) everyone else must be prevented from having nuclear technology. How long does anyone imagine the rest of the world is going to put up with that model of stability?
It is in this context that so many of the other suggestions in the article would be laughable, if they were not so disgusting. It is Iran that must "demonstrate that it could be trusted" and it is Iran that must "drop its veil of secrecy." Cooper speaks cavalierly of tactics which, oh, just happen to be war crimes: "What could also shove Iran to the negotiating table are the kind of covert programs that have slowed its development of a nuclear program," such as the assassination of nuclear scientists.
Over and over, Cooper talks in the most naive terms: about how to "calibrate the impact of sanctions" . . . "tightening the noose" . . . officials who have "gamed out" the possibilities . . . choosing between more or less "unpalatable" alternatives . . . . It is terrifying that, when war is in the balance, a publication with the level of readership of the New York Times could engage in such irresponsible talk.
With the New York Times publishing "analysis" like this, is it any wonder that Americans can say things like . . . "It won't be a war. We're just going to drop a few well placed bombs on them" . . . "the object of fighting a war is to 'cause devastation'" . . . "my finger is on the button. Run back to your mud hut or I am going to press it!" . . . "when war is devastating, then people will do everything possible not to get into it!" . . . as some of my high school classmates wrote on Facebook today?