So there’s a bunch of guys in a lunatic asylum. One night (stormy, of course) there’s a power outage, and the lunatics murder their guards, steal their weapons, and (in some cases) eat their flesh. The next several days are harrowing, as they find themselves running up and down the halls trying not to get killed by each other. Finally, one of the inmates is sufficiently charismatic to call together a meeting without anybody getting shot.
“This is insane,” he says. “Running around with all these weapons, soon we’ll be lucky if there’s anybody left. We’re all going to have to disarm.”
“You first,” mutter the others distrustfully.
“Now, I know that some of us are going to be hesitant about dropping our weapons when everybody else still has one,” he continues, “So I’ve devised a plan. It’s simple: you’ll all give your weapons to me, and if anybody tries to shoot anybody else, I’ll shoot them first.”
“But how do we know that you won’t take advantage of being the only one armed?”
“Because I’m trustworthy,” he responds, with a wounded expression. “Besides, the other folks in here are CRAZY!”
Nobody’s surprised that I’m a Second Amendment supporter, right? Whatever the risks of private gun ownership, disarming your populace is pretty much step one of establishing their dependency on you.
So Iran’s refused to back off on their uranium-enrichment program, and the UN’s imposed sanctions on them, setting up a chain of events that will almost certainly lead to another war. President Ahmadinejad (try saying that ten times fast) warns that any nations “seeking to impose sanctions against Iran will suffer a greater damage themselves.”
Let’s get the obvious statement out of the way, that nobody has the warm fuzzies about a gang of undersexed theocrats like the Iranian government getting their hands on something as delightfully phallic as a nuclear warhead. That said, as long as any one government has access to WMD’s, every other government would be crazy for not trying to develop them. It’s the only credible defense in a post-nuclear age. In fact, as the technology improves, they’re only going to continue to become easier for developing nations to obtain and conceal. Trying to fight that process — to turn the technology backwards — isn’t just crazy, it’s rapidly becoming impossible. We’re fighting the most basic biological imperative of our species, to build, to construct, to grow.
Unfortunately, it’s not like the alternative is any less crazy. The last several decades taught us the madness of nuclear proliferation. Now, it seems, we must learn the madness of nuclear disarmament. It’s a true Gordian Knot, and one that, sadly, may take a stroke as brutal as Alexander’s to sever.