The New York Times ran a piece yesterday reporting that over the past two years, an Israeli nuclear arms complex at Dimona has worked with the United States to develop a malicious computer worm program that “appears to have wiped out roughly a fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges and helped delay, though not destroy, Tehran’s ability to make its first nuclear arms.” Talking about the success makes Israeli spokesmen grin widely and say they intend to do more malicious things to Iran.
It has been estimated that Israel possesses 75-400 nuclear weapons, including thermonuclear weapons in the megaton range. (One megaton is 50-60- times more powerful than the ones that annihilated Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.) Israel will neither confirm nor deny that it has nuclear arms. The United States has no comment about that.
“Though American and Israeli officials refuse to talk publicly about what goes on at Dimona,” the piece states, “the operations there, as well as related efforts in the United States, are among the newest and strongest clues suggesting that the virus was maliciously designed as an American-Israeli project to sabotage the Iranian program,” Even if the Iranian nuclear program is being developed for domestic peaceful purposes, as many believe, the United States and Israel are going to continue their efforts to destroy it.
What does the piece tell us? What does it not tell us? It tells us that it’s not alright with the United States or the Israeli political leadership for Iran to have any nuclear technology.
It tells us that it’s not alright with the political leadership for Iran to deny trying to develop nuclear arms.
It tells us the US wants Iran to say it is trying to develop nuclear arms – even if that is not true.
It tells us we have a political leadership that knows it can get away with deception and dishonesty and secrecy, that absolutely nothing is ever going to make it open and truthful about what it is doing. It is only other countries that have to be open and truthful or else we will do absolutely everything we can to make them and their populations miserable.
It tells us that there’s a huge disconnect between the Middle East dictators and their populations, and that to the US and Israeli political leadership, it’s the dictators that matter, not the populations.
It does not tell us that a recent Arab public opinion poll showed that 80% think the biggest threat in the region is Israel; 77% think the second biggest threat is the United States, and 10% percent identified Iran. While the results on this latter issue varied somewhat from country to country, the trend held across the countries polled. With regard to nuclear weapons, 57% of Arabs polled said Iran having nuclear weapons would be positive. The poll was conducted in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Morocco and Lebanon. It shows the huge gap between how the Arab public feels when compared to the elites.
It does not tell us that, even if the populations of the Arab countries and in the United States are overwhelmingly opposed to US policy, it is the dictators in the Arab countries and the political leadership here who matter. When the political leadership in the US talks about Arabs, it means the Arab dictators, not the population. And when it talks about the American people, it means itself.
It does not tell us that deception and dishonesty and secrecy eat the soul up.