Regions / Middle East & North Africa

Controlling the Bomb

Nuclear proliferation can at best only be slowed down through a process of sanctions and double standards. The use of force shall serve to make other states believe that if only they had the bomb they would be safe. This way leads to catastrophe. The alternative, non-proliferation by cooperation and consent, cannot succeed as long as the United States is insistent on retaining and improving its nuclear arsenal and allowing its allies to have these weapons.
Even if an all out civil war is avoided now, it may not be as easy to avoid in the future if negotiations over either the formation of a coalition government or the constitutional settlement finally break down.
By blaming promordial hatred for the sectarian violence in Iraq, the Bush administration is ignoring the effects of the war and other decisions made by the United States during the occupation that have fueled the violence.
It is customary early in the New Year to recommend good books to read. And the "Tao Te Ching" should be at the top of President Bush's list. Careening from crisis to crisis with approval ratings drooping, the president should consider the opening lines of chapter 80. "If a country is governed wisely, its inhabitants will be content."
Lost amidst the predictably negative reaction to the victory by Hamas in the Palestinian parliamentary elections is the crucial role that the U.S. government had in bringing the radical Islamist group to power.
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