Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Remember, you read it here first . . .

Well, I doubt that's true, but at least you might have read it here a few days ago. The 9/11 Commission, having submitted its half-assed report, decided to stay in business as the 9/11 Public Discourse Project, and maybe they've reconstituted their anatomy.

Chair Thomas Kean told a news conference that the administration hasn't done diddly about what president Chimpy and his opponent John Kerry agreed was the biggest national security concern -- nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists. The administration has neglected the problem of proliferation -- yes yes, they've rattled the saber at Iran and they keep yacking about North Korea, but this goes much deeper. The administration has undermined the non-proliferation treaty by refusing to pursue disarmament, and of course all those Russian nukes are still there under uncertain conditions of security.

When I wrote about this last week, it didn't seem to stir up much interest. So here's the short version:

a) It is highly unlikely that any non-state actors currently possess a nuclear explosive device, in spite of what you might read on NewsMax.
b) It could happen in the future. A tactical-size nuclear weapon exploded at 16th and H street, NW, Washington DC, would wipe out the White House and Executive Office Buildings, the Treasury Department headquarters, the OAS headquarters and PAHO, several consulates, George Washington University, the southern Dupont Circle neighborhood and Farragut Square, quite possibly start a firestorm that would devour much of Georgetown, and a lot of other stuff I don't have time to mention. But the way to get serious about this is to restore the international credibility of the U.S. and work with Russia and the other nuclear powers on disarmament, non-proliferation, and security of nuclear materials.

Oh yeah -- that includes Israel which we need to stop pretending doesn't have 100 nuclear weapons. There is no reason for Iran to stop pursuing nuclear capability if Israel won't agree to disarm. Just sayin'.

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