Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Building the Arab Bomb

Building the Arab Bomb

Now that the Muslim world has become convinced that the U.S. will withdraw from Iraq, the Sunni Arab world is preparing for dealing with a nuclear armed Shia Iran. This should have been self evident, but our political and chattering classes are absolutely clueless when it comes to the rest of the world. They think that anyone who does not know English is an idiot, and is unprepared to undertake their own defense. In their racist worldview the Arabs are children, utterly unable to pursue their own interests without American interference.

Of course, this is not the case. If the Persians are capable of operating a nuclear program, then the Arabs are as well. Now, I am not sure if either of them is. But it is clear that the Pakistanis are able to at least expolde a single nuclear test. So why not the Arabs?

It is easy to understand the dynamic at work. The Sunni are used to weilding power in Arab lands, and have seen the Shia as a mostly Persian phenomenon. The Shia Arabs in their midst are seen as mere heretics among them, and more "modern" Arab states have been pretty tolerant about them. Now that the U.S. has interfered with the natural order of things, and created a powerful Shia Arab state in Iran, and then seen, with American withdrawal looming, an Arab/Persian Shiite axis rising in the East. The American interference has had much to do with this axis forming, but, if America does in fact withdraw, expect Washington to take a "Who, us?" position, disclaiming any and all responsibility for helping to creat this morass. But that is exactly what happened.

For more detail on this story, check out this week's Front Page article on this subject, with more links and background.