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[casi] FW: Time Magazine Response-Published in the 23rd Sept, 2002 alongwith original Charles Krauthammer article

Thanks to Dr Neil Arya.

Though the letter is in my name, I must give major credit to John Loretz at
IPPNW for making the soundbite which itself was cut slightly, so the 'logic'
may not be fully apparent to those unfamiliar with the issue.,9171,1101020923-351218-2,00.html

Charles Krauthammer's argument for invading Iraq in "The Terrible Logic of
Nukes" [Essay, Sept. 2] is just that: terrible logic. Iraq wants nuclear
weapons to balance Israel's, which built them to balance Arab conventional
superiority. Pakistan wanted to balance India, which had to balance China,
which had to balance Russia, which had to balance the U.S. and its allies,
which had to balance Russia's presumed European-theater superiority.
Throughout this balancing act, the world has been no more than 30 minutes
away from Armageddon. The only logical way to keep nuclear weapons out of
the hands of madmen is to renounce them ourselves.
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War Waterloo, Ont.

The Terrible Logic of Nukes
Saddam is not crazy to want them. That's the reason he must go
BY CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER,9171,1101020902-344059,00.html

Monday, Sep. 02, 2002
The growing debate on invading Iraq hinges on Saddam Hussein's weapons of
mass destruction. Opponents of invasion discount the existing threat by
arguing that A) he is not crazy enough to use them against us, and B) if he
doesn't use them, what threat are they?

The response to A is we do not know that Saddam is sane enough never to use
them against us, and it is not a proposition that we should wish to test by
giving him yet more time to acquire them. Saddam has acted with supreme
irrationality in the past, from launching a catastrophic war against Iran in
1980 to forfeiting half a dozen opportunities offered to him in 1990 to
extricate himself with advantage from Kuwait. In the annals of tyranny and
on the scale of capricious savagery, he ranks somewhere between Caligula and
Mao. There's not much percentage in counting on the rationality of such

Which brings us to objection B: What use are weapons of mass destruction
anyway? Well, we had a quite extraordinary demonstration of their efficacy
this summer. Just a few weeks ago, India and Pakistan appeared on the verge
of war. It never happened. Not only did the feared war not go nuclear, but
it did not even go conventional. Why? Many reasons, but perhaps the most
important was, paradoxically, the nukes themselves. India made clear that it
would not be the first to use nuclear weapons. Pakistan, however, did not
follow suit. "We ... do not subscribe to a no-first-use doctrine," declared
Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S.

Why? Simply put, because Pakistan is the weaker party. And the weaker party,
if nuclear capable, invariably holds out the threat of nuclear war as a way
to deter conventional attack.

Pakistan was saying to India, You have a much stronger army. You could
probably launch a war and overrun not just Kashmir but much of Pakistan as
well. That is why we built our nuclear arsenal. Of course, we do not want to
use it. But if you overrun us, we just might strike first. Think about it.

India did. The iron law of the nuclear age is this: nuclear weapons are
instruments of madness; their actual use would be a descent into madness,
but the threat to use them is not madness. On the contrary, it is
exceedingly logical.

During the cold war, the U.S. also threatened first use of nuclear weapons.
The Soviets fielded a huge conventional army that could have overrun Western
Europe. The U.S. response was not to match the Soviets with countless tank
divisions but to threaten nuclear retaliation against a conventional attack.

This is known as the doctrine of extended deterrence. It is "extended"
because it was not American nukes deterring Soviet nukes in protection of
the American homeland; it was American nukes extended in their deterrence to
provide an umbrella for Europe against nonnuclear attack.

At home, first use provoked protest from the pacifist left, most
dramatically against President Reagan, who was portrayed as a nuclear
cowboy. This was silly. The doctrine of first use made perfect sense. It
kept the peace. It also demonstrated the peculiar utility of otherwise
unusable nuclear weapons: to deter a conventional attack.

That is precisely why today we cannot allow bad guys like Saddam to get
their hands on nukes: not merely because a crazed Saddam might actually use
them on us but also because a rational Saddam, one not interested in
committing suicide by attacking us out of the blue with nukes, could
nonetheless use them as accessories to aggression.

How? Imagine that Israel had not destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor in
1981. What would have happened when Iraq invaded Kuwait? With a nuclear
arsenal at Saddam's disposal, would the U.S. have attacked? As it was, war
against a nonnuclear Iraq was authorized by the U.S. Senate by a mere five
votes. Had Saddam had nukes in 1991, he would probably today be king of all

We are in a race against time. Were Iraq to acquire a deliverable nuclear
weapon, it would gain a measure of invulnerability. This is not because its
nuclear arsenal could ever match America's but because the threat of just a
few nuclear weapons, delivered by missile or terrorist to, say, New York
City or San Francisco, would allow an aggressor to commit whatever
depredations he fancied, calculating that America would be deterred from
intervening with its otherwise overwhelming conventional power.

Nukes are not weapons of insanity. They have a logic. The U.S. showed it
during the cold war. Pakistan showed it this year. Saddam would like to show
it tomorrow. Which is why time is short. Nukes do not have to explode to be
useful. Their value lies in mere possession. Possession creates an umbrella
of inviolability. And there is nothing more dangerous than an inviolable

>From the Sep. 02, 2002 issue of TIME magazine

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