Saturday, April 20, 2013

Only Muslim Nukes Scare Us

M J Rosenberg points out in the Huffington Post that:

The Obama administration, Congress and the media are finally showing some concern about the threats that have been emanating from North Korea since the beginning of the year. The Pentagon is moving anadvanced anti-missile system to Guam just in case North Korea's threats turn out to be more substantial than the administration clearly thinks they are.

That follows the announcement that the North Korean military has been cleared to wage an attack on the U.S. using ''smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear'' weapons. On Tuesday, Pyongyang said that it is restarting operation of its uranium-enrichment program at Yongbyon for use in expanding its nuclear weapons arsenal. In March, it declared that it will no longer abide by the 1953 armistice that halted the Korean War. And in February, it conducted its third nuclear weapons test.
All this is very worrisome given that North Korea has as many as 10 nuclear warheads.
But the Obama administration's response is cool, calm and collected. Such calm may be commendable but it is also curious when compared to its strident reaction to the possibility that Iran, which does not have nuclear weapons, might be approaching the point where it could start developing them. That is if it chooses to, which, even Israel concedes, it hasn't.
Nonetheless, the president has made clear that if Iran gets too close to developing a bomb, we may have no choice but to go to war. In fact, he has said that over and over again. The infinitely more real North Korean threat doesn't rattle official Washington nearly as much, even though the United States has nearly 30,000 men and women in uniform still stationed in South Korea.
... in the 30 years since the Iranian revolution the government has not behaved apocalyptically but pragmatically. [Especially, I might add, when compared to North Korea.]
... the Israeli government and its lobby that has generated the hysteria in this country about Iran. Simply put, if it wasn't for Israel and its lobby, the United States would no more consider bombing Iran's reactors than North Korea's. Nor would President Obama be ruling out containment, a policy that we utilized with the Soviet Union and which prevented war for 40 years.
Because there is no lobby dedicated to fear-mongering about North Korea, our policy makers are able to approach the problems it poses rationally, without considering the impact on campaign donors. 
Instead, our Iran policy is primarily about domestic politics, domestic but driven by Netanyahu's worldview, most notably his belief that you can't negotiate with the likes of Shiite Iran.
Our Iran policy is nothing but an extreme case of Islamophobia. It's time to get over it.

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