I disagree strongly with the arguments advanced by Armstrong Williams (“The countdown to Armageddon” in Boston Banner, Oct. 8, 2009) to justify US support for an Israeli attack on Iran to destroy Iran’s nuclear program. The US should use peaceful means to dissuade Iran from developing nuclear weapons. No nation has a “right” to nuclear weapons. This includes the US, Israel and the other existing nuclear powers. The existing nuclear powers assume that they are justified in possessing (and enhancing) such weapons forever. Why? Nuclear weapons held by any nation threaten the very existence of humanity. The only fair and sensible position is to advocate nuclear disarmament of all nations as soon as possible and certainly over the next decade or two.
However, if Iran does develop nuclear weapons, we will just have to live with this fact, just as we lived with the nuclear capability of the Soviet Union during the cold war. Few rulers were more brutal or more vilified than Joseph Stalin in the late forties and fifties. Yet the US was able to coexist with a Soviet Union led by Stalin and his successors for more than forty years. Ultimately, the US was able to use diplomacy to obtain agreements which reduced the number of nuclear weapons on both sides. The same type of coexistence is possible with the Iranian regime.
There is absolutely no evidence for Mr. Williams’ assertion that a nuclear armed Iran would give a nuclear bomb to Syria, Hezbollah, or any other so-called “terrorist group” or “state supporter” of terrorism. This is just a scare tactic, the same one used to make us fear Saddam Hussein. The result of this absurd logic was a disastrous invasion of Iraq. Yes, we must take the issue of nuclear proliferation seriously. But let us note that the previous Pakistani regime, a so-called ally of the US, was actually responsible for nuclear proliferation but was never punished for its actions.
I hope that our president has learned the folly of preemptive attacks, such as the Iraq war, and will live up to his Nobel Peace Prize by not attacking Iran militarily, directly or indirectly through Israel, if peaceful means do not dissuade Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.