Posted by: bklunk | February 5, 2007

Give Jack Bauer Ten Minutes with Jacques Chirac and Then See What He Says

youayang09 at Who Cares About International Relations? looks at the Jacques Chirac’s recent statemens about Iran’s apparent pursuit of nukes.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/02/world/europe/02france.html?_r=1&ref=world&oref=slogin

In summary, Mr. Chirac is retracting what he said earliar about Iran’s nuclear intentions by stating that the French will “remained committed to preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power.”

What Mr. Chirac said was that, even if Iran was to have one or two nuclear bombs – which is unsure of if they really do – it was no big threat at all. Who would they bomb? Isreal? What he meant was that, even if they did try to bomb another country, the whole entire region of Tehran would be “razed” before the bomb/missle is 200 meters in the sky.

How I view this was that though Mr. Chirac might have been right with his claim that as soon as Iran uses its nuclear power – not to say that Iran does or does not have nuclear weapons – many of the world powers will react firmly on punishing Iran, this such risk should not be taken. What the problem really is, isn’t nuclear weapons but “nuclear proliferation.” I see this as the bigger concern and thus nations should be more concern with what Iran is trying to make of their increasing uranium rather than debate on wheater or not Iran does have any nuclear weapons at all.  What we certainly do not need is further threats of Iran advancing their technology in nuclear weaponry and assisting terrorist groups in a nuclear war. An extreme arguement but how i see it, America along with many countries, including France, has been doing the right thing in demanding that Iran discontinue it’s nuclear enrichment programs allegedly for the production of electricity.

 To quote the man who urge President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on advancing the study of nuclear fission for military purposes during WWII, Albert Einstein once said:

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

Realists sometimes opine that it would be good for more countries to have nuclear weapons because then everybody would be afraid of stepping on anybody else’s toes, and we would have a tense peace. This may assume that governments could keep nuclear technology and nuclear weapons material under secure lock and key. In the present era of globalization, do you feel confident that would be the case. The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran would probably not make nukes available to Hezbollah, but how effectively could they maintain the security of their nuclear installations?

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Responses

  1. It’s impossible to know exactly what someone is going to do with the resources they create or are provided to them, though it may be possible to make assumptions or conjectures based on a number of factors. Whether Iran would cause harm with the nuclear capabilities or not, we cannot be sure. Just the same, we cannot be certain that the United States will not cause harm. The difference, among other things, is the reputation each has on the world stage relating to this matter. When Iran has been suspicious with their activities and reluctant to comply with UN sanctions, one cannot ignore the fact that a nuclear Iran would be potentially extremely dangerous. Why Chirac made the statement he did in the first place is unknown, but since he retracted it so quickly, we can see that he realized the fullest extent of it only after the fact. I agree that this can damage his credibility since he did not think thoroughly enough before making that statement, but if he is truly committed to keeping Iran from becoming a nuclear power, then he should be doing everything he can to make sure that will not happen.

  2. President Chirac’s statement was bluntly reflective of, in my opinion, how ambivalent much of the world is about a nuclear Iran. While U.S. leadership has been resolute in its opposition to the prospect of a nuclear Iran, other states have not been quite so willing to stand firm. China and Russia, for example, have both opposed harsh U.N. sanctions on the Islamic Republic due to the extensive commercial relationship that each state enjoys with Iran. I believe that their wavering is what permits Iran to disregard provisions of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, of which it is a signatory.

    While the wavering continues, the harsh language of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has intensified. Since his election in 2005, he has repeatedly threatened both Israel and the United States with destruction, and that alone should push the other Security Council members to support sanctions. Yet, it hasn’t done so. Is it because they don’t take Iran seriously, as President Chirac’s initial comments indicate?

    Admittedly, there is something to that beliefe. President Ahmadinejad is, after all, relatively toothless under Iran’s government in matters of foreign policy. One must remember, however, that his vitriolic language regarding Israel and the West wouldn’t continue if it didn’t have some support from the true movers and shakers of Iran: the mullahs on the Guardian Council and the Supreme Leader himself, Ayatollah Khamenei. And that is what most troubles me. This is a nation whose leadership sees an inevitable confrontation with the West as being imminent, and that leadership seems intent on initiating the hostilities.

  3. I agree with your opinion on this subject. That we are approaching this situation all wrong. Like you said, we should be more concern about the advances of nuclear weapons rather than deciding if Iran has possessions of any nuclear weapons.

  4. We got caught up in Iraq under the false assumption that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, only to discover that he never did. I think we should be more interested productive solutions to the Iran problem rather than destabilizing yet another mid east state with trade sanctions, invasion or other methods that the United States uses to destroy potential threats.
    John Dewey

  5. After viewing the recent film, Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West, it is evident that Islamo-fascists such as those in Iran are intent on destruction of the West, including Israel and America. I believe that Chirac truly does recognize the danger of Iran enriching uranium for the use of nuclear weapons. He has shown his concern this past December, as France, U.S., Britain, and Germany called for sanctions of Iraq for its refusal to stop enriching uranium.
    However, the NY Times article stated that “French diplomats said privately that they were concerned that he [Chirac] could make unilateral diplomatic overtures to Tehran in an effort to strengthen his legacy.” As President Clinton demonstrated in 2000, lame duck presidents often pursue foreign policies that are often unpopular within their government or country. Hence, it is my concern that America may lose a strong ally in opposing Iran development of nuclear weapons if Chirac pursues his own foreign interest or continues to make offhand comments in his final three months in office.
    It seems that national, rather than self-interest should dominate foreign policy making, but this is often not the case. However, countries such as the U.S. Britain, and Germany should make the effort to continue to react firmly towards Iran and remain committed to the stance that Iran should be transparent about their possession or intent to develop nuclear weapons with the enrichment of uranium.

  6. I want to start out saying that the previous rhetoric of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of wiping Israel off the face of the Earth, his conference on denying the Holocaust, and other unscrupulous actions has led me personally to believe that Ahmadinejad’s pursuit of nuclear energy is most likely for weaponry. It is my opinion that Iran sees that there is no dominant force in the Middle East region and would like to ascend to that role, and eventually with the mass consumption of oil by the United States, China, and India petroleum will eventually run out. What’s the next step? Naturally, nuclear energy. So who ever has it in the region is in quite an advantageous position.

    Yet I feel that the present actions of the United States and the words of Mr. Chirac are not prudent and slightly arrogant. Like or not, Iran (as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) has every right to develop civil use of nuclear energy. Without solid proof of nuclear weapons (we all now what has happened in neighboring country without solid intelligence on such things), it is wrong to put sanctions on Iran. It might be in Iran’s national interest to develop civil nuclear energy. Oil is not going to last forever. The punishment put on Iran is an example how the world views the Western world as arrogant and oppressors. In the case of the United States (I don’t know about Europe), polls have recently shown a surge in the dislike for US people and government. This is dangerous because it causes the loss of the greatest power the US has in the world system second to its military. It’s soft power. It’s ability to influence. This can be seen in places in Iraq where the lack of power isn’t the military but the US ability to convince others that its position is right and noble.

    Although I have been critical, and I see myself as a liberalist, I still believe that we all live in a realist world. Chirac is right that if Iran would use a nuclear weapon that it would be obilerated by weapons from Europe, US, and let’s not be naive, Israel. But that’s probably a good thing [massive retaliation] because it the only deterence that we as a world can feel safe will convince Ahmadinejad to not use nuclear weaponry. Yet I will finish by saying that the world should be alert to the threat that Iran supplies groups like Hezbollah because deterence in the form of massive retaliation does not work because the terrorist groups are based on an ideal and not a nation. You can drop a bomb on a nation but not on an ideal.

  7. I suspect that Mr. Chirac’s first (retracted) comment may have been intended, consciously or unconsciously, to wake up the more responsible elements of the US government.

    Iran has just reiterated that it wants nuclear power only for civilian use. However, its weaving and dodging with the IAEA and other factors suggest that its desires may go further; my own suspicion is that Iran would like to be in a position to have nuclear weapons just a short distance from full assembly. Or, somewhat less, an ambiguous nuclear bluff such as Israel’s was for a while.

    But the question is how secure Iran’s nuclear weapons would be if they had them. I have worked with nuclear weapons scientists in three countries, and the overwhelming sentiment I have found among them is that these weapons must never be used. To that end, they have tried to maximize the security of those weapons. Different countries have taken different approaches to that security, and some are better than others.

    Making nuclear weapons available to terrorists is generally a bad idea; the country that produced them loses control of them, and the weapons might even be used against that country.

    [I hope it’s okay for outsiders to comment; I have the sense that this blog belongs to an International Relations class.]

  8. There is no doubt that approaching this situation is heading toward the wrong way. It clearly tells us that there should be a strong emphasis in making new improvements of increasing the innovations of technologies, advancing nuclear weapons, rather than deciding whether or not Iran has any possessions of any sort of nuclear weapons.

  9. I am loving the Jack Bauer posts! I think I might have some insight about how Jack Bauer would go about changing Jacques Chirac’s mind…considerably. What you are about to read is meant to be funny, unrealistic, and somewhat sadistic; it is even more humorous if you consider that my 46-year old mother sent this to me…she LOVES Jack Bauer!

    Killing Jack Bauer doesn’t make him dead. It just makes him angry.

    If you wake up in the morning, it’s because Jack Bauer spared your life.

    Superman wears Jack Bauer pajamas.

    1.6 billion Chinese are angry with Jack Bauer. Sounds like a fair fight.

    Let’s get one thing straight: the only reason you are conscious right now is because Jack Bauer does not feel like carrying you.

    When life gave Jack Bauer lemons, he used them to kill terrorists. Jack
    Bauer hates lemonade.

    Jack Bauer doesn’t miss. If he didn’t hit you it’s because he was shooting at another terrorist twelve miles away.

    Jack Bauer’s favorite color is severe terror alert red. His second favorite color is violet, but just because it sounds like violent.

    When you open a can of whoop-ass, Jack Bauer jumps out.

    When Google can’t find something, it asks Jack Bauer for help.

    In 96 hours, Jack Bauer has killed 93 people and saved the world 4 times. What have you done with your life?

    If Jack and a terrorist were locked in a room together, Jack would make a bomb out of the terrorist and blast out.

    Jack Bauer literally died for his country, and lived to tell abo

  10. I am loving the Jack Bauer posts! I think I might have some insight about how Jack Bauer would go about changing Jacques Chirac’s mind…considerably. What you are about to read is meant to be funny, unrealistic, and somewhat sadistic; it is even more humorous if you consider that my 46-year old mother sent this to me…she LOVES Jack Bauer!

    Killing Jack Bauer doesn’t make him dead. It just makes him angry.

    If you wake up in the morning, it’s because Jack Bauer spared your life.

    Superman wears Jack Bauer pajamas.

    1.6 billion Chinese are angry with Jack Bauer. Sounds like a fair fight.

    Let’s get one thing straight: the only reason you are conscious right now is because Jack Bauer does not feel like carrying you.

    When life gave Jack Bauer lemons, he used them to kill terrorists. Jack
    Bauer hates lemonade.

    Jack Bauer doesn’t miss. If he didn’t hit you it’s because he was shooting at another terrorist twelve miles away.

    Jack Bauer’s favorite color is severe terror alert red. His second favorite color is violet, but just because it sounds like violent.

    When you open a can of whoop-ass, Jack Bauer jumps out.

    When Google can’t find something, it asks Jack Bauer for help.

    In 96 hours, Jack Bauer has killed 93 people and saved the world 4 times. What have you done with your life?

    If Jack and a terrorist were locked in a room together, Jack would make a bomb out of the terrorist and blast out.

    Jack Bauer literally died for his country, and lived to tell about it.


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