Wednesday, March 30, 2005

This Wretched Earth

The present news media do not suffer from any lack of weird opinions, incoherently expressed. But two recent op-ed pieces by Mirza Aslam Beg, former chief of the Pakistan Army, up the ante considerably. He begins by forthrightly stating his credentials:

Early last year when Abdul Qadeer Khan was targeted for alleged nuclear proliferation, I was also implicated and remained under the world media's focus.
The world media's focus included a chinwag with the good folks at NBC, who managed to coax a few soundbites out of this thoughtful and reticent man:
During an NBC TV network interview, I was asked the question whether I would like my future generations to live in this part of the world, which is threatened by nuclear holocaust. I said: Yes, certainly, I would like my future generations to live in South Asia where I see no threat of nuclear war, because perfect nuclear deterrence holds between India and Pakistan. But certainly I would not like my future generations to live in the neighborhood of "nuclear capable Israel."
"Perfect" is not a word I'd use to describe the situation between India and Pakistan, but to each his own. Mr. Beg and I do agree, though, that the rest of the world is somewhat less than idyllic:
The nuclear non-proliferation dying its natural death at the hands of those who are the exponents of the nuclear non-proliferation regime. How the new balance of terror will be maintained from Mediterranean to Pacific is a task for those who, having themselves violated the nuclear proliferation regime, are now responsible for maintaining global nuclear peace. The world now has to wait and see how objectives of the utopian nuclear non-proliferation regime are achieved.
Indeed. Fortunately, as we all know, there can be no shadow without sunshine. Beg suggests that if globalization is allowed to work its magic,
The "enlightened proliferators" together, with the "innocent," and the "rogue proliferators," would democratize the global nuclear non-proliferation order. This may be the only hope for all living beings inhabiting this wretched earth.
Accordingly, one of Mr. Beg's hopeful solutions for this wretched earth is for Pakistan and India to outsource their nuclear arsenals to Iran:
With regard to Iran, Pakistan and India must not wait for the holocaust to occur. They should rather attempt to pre-empt such a happening. The best way would be the outsourcing of nuclear strikes to Iran as the US and Nato have done. The strategy therefore must also include Iran as it would ensure stability in the Gulf region, the West and South Asia.
I'm no expert on these matters, but this really doesn't sound like a scenario that would "ensure stability." On the contrary, it sounds downright apocalyptic.

Elsewhere, Arms Control Wonk, from whom I got this link, critiques NATO's nuclear "sharing" arrangement, which is what gave Mr. Beg his bright idea.

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