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Double talk over nukes

Keeping Secret

After eight months of silence, it’s time to start it all over again. Iran’s nuclear program is once more under pressure from leading powers and we are, yet again, among the countries being rather hypocritical.

In Kazakhstan, six world powers are meeting to discuss the state of Iran’s nuclear program. The goal: try to convince the country to halt progress and reduce its program. Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States, and Germany are expected to meet strong opposition, as Iran will be holding elections in June.

Looking to avoid signs of weakness before reelections, Iran will probably stick with its argument of simply enriching their uranium stocks for energy-related purposes.

With this latest meeting experiencing resistance before it even begins, it looks like things are stuck once more. It has been over 60 years since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the conversation about nuclear weapons has barely begun.

At this point in time, it seems unlikely that any country will actually launch a nuclear weapon. Once one bomb is sent, retaliation is expected and we all know the horrific consequences that could follow. The term ‘Nuclear Winter’ comes to mind and suddenly, things get real serious, real fast.

It seems clear that launching nuclear weapons is not a sane choice, and never will be. I suppose that’s why the idea of Iran and North Korea with a set of atomic bombs at their disposal is so terrifying: no one is quite sure how calm and rational their leaders are. Ahmadinejad is a character, as is Kim Jong-un.

When I say characters, I mean that I’d prefer they didn’t have a bee-bee gun at their disposal, much less an atom bomb.

The thing about the nuclear situation is that the super-powers are in no position to impose sanctions. The only way to encourage other countries is to set an example.

Yet the United States still retains a nuclear arsenal: 2150 operational nuclear warheads was the last official account from Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Russia comes in second with under 2000 weapons.

It’s understandable, yet infuriating, that the debate really comes down to the problem that no single country should have nuclear weapons, but no one is willing to give them up first. Someday a leader will take the plunge and relinquish their dangerous little stash; I don’t expect this in my lifetime. Can you even imagine the United States without a bomb bigger than everyone else’s? I sure can’t.

We’ve crafted a universal image of ourselves based upon might rather than consideration and money rather than amity. Especially in the United States, we seem to wallow in a sea of hypocrisy. Regarding the goings-on around the world, we chastise frequently, yet find ourselves above our own high expectations.

Looking to the situation with Iran, our position is understandable, but perhaps unwarranted with regard to our own policies. It may well be time to truly assess our own policies before asking others to change.

Despite the election season, I expect that the negotiations with Iran would not progress while the countries in charge hold their own arsenals behind their backs. We may be a ‘super-power’, but we are a country who has nuclear weapons, no matter the reason. After all, progress begets progress and we are in a position to change.

Ashley Yarus is a freshman studying Chemical Engineering. Her ability to doodle anchors has increased exponentially within the last week. She is feeling slightly crushed now that magical snow no longer covers the campus.

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