Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sadly, nukes do make you safe

I've got an awful lot of time for Kate Hudson, chairwoman of CND and an implacable opponent not just of the aggression against Iraq, but of NATO's equally unlawful and immoral aggression against Yugoslavia too.
But I do feel that Kate is mistaken when she claims in today's Morning Star: "North Korea has the mistaken idea that having nuclear weapons will increase its security. This is wrong. Nuclear weapons do not make a country safer."
Sadly, they do. Not a single country that possesses nuclear weapons has ever been attacked in a conventional military manner. It doesn't mean that the country is safe from all attacks- as 9-11 showed- but it does mean that no other country is going to launch a full scale military invasion or rain bombs down on your cities.
If Yugoslavia had possessed nuclear weapons, NATO would not have launched hostilities in 1999. If Iraq had had nuclear weapons, it too would not have been attacked. We can call Kim Jung-il many things. But he understands well the lessons of deterrence.

UPDATE: That avid reader of this blog, Stephen Pollard, argues that the above argument is wrong and that the Hezbollah missiles fired at Israel this summer are evidence that nuclear weapons do not prevent states from attack. http://www.stephenpollard.net/002964.html
Wow, I guess he must be right. The attack on Israel was really massive wasn't it- all of 44 civilians killed and some structural damage in Haifa and Tyre. And of course, it was entirely unprovoked. If Stephen really does believe that nuclear weapons don't make a state secure, then why does he support Israel having them? Perhaps he could let us know in his next Times Thunderer....

8 comments:

kenny said...

israel has suffered attacks. 1967 through 1973 and of course recently from hezbollah.

Neil Clark said...

With respect, Kenny, I don't think Israel is a good example. Their nculear programme has always been shrouded in mystery and the key point is that whatever capabiltiy they might have had in 1973 (most agree that it had no nuclear capability in 1967)-its opponents did not know of its nuclear programme- therefore it had no deterrent effect. I've already addressed the Hezbollah point in my update to the posting.

The Exile said...

Yeah, the problem is that Neil was making a general point that no nuclear power has suffered a major attack. The UK was attacked by Argentina in 1982 and 20 years earlier, France was fighting the Algerian War of Independence...

OK, so Neil made his point badly, but the point is still valid.

Pollard obviously got the point, but wanted to get a dig of his own in. This begs the question: is working for the Oxford tutorial College worse than being one of Murdock's arse-licking scabs and helping to keep several thousand printers out of work?

Two can play that game...

Paul said...

and helping to keep several thousand printers out of work?

So, we should ditch computers and go back to manual typesetting?

P.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

I think the vicious attack on Israel by the Hezbollah terrorists backed by Syria and Iran was major.

Anybody who doesn't understand that is either an Arab lackie or lacking in Middle East knowledge.

Thank God Israel has the ultimate deterrent.

Peter Nolan said...

"implacable opponent not just of the aggression against Iraq" - and PROponent of Iranian nuclear weapons, shortly coming to a major city near you...

The Exile said...

Paul,

Nope, what we should do is have a country where change comes about by negotiation. If the management filth want to do something they should have to pay through the eyes and nose to do it.

Peter Nolan said...

Neil, apart from the mid east, you forget the Soviet attack on China in the late 'sixties, after they had a nuclear weapon, which is probably the best example. Also, the attack by North Korea and then China on the US in the first Korean war. Or by North Vietnam against France and then the US.