The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Communist Dictatorship China Reaffirms It Will Never Do a Nuclear First Strike, Unlike US

Who are the bad guys, again?

Retired People’s Liberation Army Major General Xu Guangyu said in the newspaper commentary that China wanted a minimal nuclear deterrent and would avoid any arms race. “China resolutely adheres to a defensive nuclear strategy, and has always adhered to a policy that it will never be the first to use nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances,” wrote Xu

Meanwhile, the US…

The Barack Obama administration’s declaration in its Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) that it is reserving the right to use nuclear weapons against Iran represents a new element in a strategy of persuading Tehran that an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites is a serious possibility if Iran does not bow to the demand that it cease uranium enrichment.

Although administration officials have carefully refrained from drawing any direct connection between the new nuclear option and the Israeli threat, the NPR broadens the range of contingencies in which nuclear weapons might play a role so as to include an Iranian military response to an Israeli attack.

A war involving Iran that begins with an Israeli attack is the only plausible scenario that would fit the category of contingencies in the document.

The NPR describes the role of U.S. nuclear weapons in those contingencies as a “deterrent”. A strategy of exploiting the Israeli threat to attack Iran would seek to deter an Iranian response to such an attack and thus make it more plausible.

In other words, if Israel attacks Iran, the US says it might nuke Iran if Iran strikes back after an Israeli attacks.

Say what?  Oh, I see “You’re going to let my friend Israel beat the shit out of you, or I’m going to pull the trigger of this gun I have pointed at your head.  Because you’re a bad country, and Israel and the US are the good guys.”

Gee, the idea of those crazy Iranians getting nukes seems so much scarier than the US having them, doesn’t it?

Meanwhile, in other news, the US locks up more of its own people than China, despite having a population which is one quarter of China’s.

A force for peace, and the home of the free, indeed.


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  1. b.

    China might torture execute more of its citizens in relative and maybe absolute terms, but at least they have the common decency not to lecture other countries about human rights and the rule of law. Better yet, if one reviews the body count relating to non-citizens, China’s record as an occupation force, while by no means acceptable, pales in comparison to US accomplishments since the end of WW2.

    So does any sane observer of US hypocrisy – pale, that is.

  2. Lex

    I’ve gotten a great deal of bitter satisfaction from the NPR. It can be played up any way one wants, but the actual text is clear that Iranian loopholes were purposefully inserted into the review.

    Obama’s declared intent for nuclear abolition is pure bullshit. He’s not serious about it now and never was. Were he…and were he the multidimensional chess player that his fans cast him to be…he’d be hammering away at Reagan’s dream. It would give him political cover and provide the knock off benefit of forcing the GOP to either agree with him or back away from St. Ronnie.

    The further we get into this administration, the more it disgusts me.

  3. David H.

    Ahh, the Nuclear Peace Laureate. Are we looking back fondly now at the W administration? I feel like we’re living in a really bad dream. I guess we can look forward to President Rick Perry. At least the Republicans are more or less what you see is what you get.

  4. Are we looking back fondly now at the W administration?

    No, no we’re not. Unless you can honestly make the case that if we had had just a few more years of W, something better would have emerged, we’re not.

  5. b.

    > Unless you can honestly make the case that if we had had just a few more years of W, something better would have emerged

    If you subscribe to the school of “must get worse to get better”, I could see such a case. If one term of Bush made an honest Bush election possible, two terms of Bush allowed the election of The Changeling, who knows what a third term could have wrought? Bernie Sanders?

    On a purely practical level, for people outside the US, in the long run, a more speedily comprehensive bankruptcy of the US would remove most of the threat, and nukes and delivery systems do so cost money – there is a shelf half-live involved.

    So the real question is, better for whom?

  6. I think a more supported trend is the fact that what we expect from Democratic presidents moves rightward with every Republican election. ALSO it was at the *end* of the Clinton era that I think the American left was strongest, not at the beginning.

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