Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Nuclear Iran and the Multi-Polar World

Nuclear Iran and the Multi-Polar World

By Mark Radulich on August 23, 2010, at 8:42PM

nuclear iran

What is worth going to nuclear war over? That used to be a question that only the US and the Soviet Union had to answer. They were the lone superpowers with nuclear weapons in what was once a bi-polar world in the wake of World War II. However, 65 years have passed and in that time the world has become a much different place. Despite "winning" the Cold War, the US has found itself not the undisputed leader of a single pole world but rather one of many poles in the new multi-polar world. Between those on the left that wanted equally shared power throughout the world with no one nation leading the pack and those on the right that wanted unfettered free trade and globalization, both have gotten their wish. The United States as a superpower, both militarily and financially is an artifact of the 20th Century. We are now part of a one-world-nation, whether we like it or not.

And clearly we as a country are not ready for the repercussions of global singularity. Since the 2008 economic correction I've seen countless promises of a return to pre-meltdown financial status and manufacturing superiority. I've seen the average American cry out for a solution to "fix" the economy. Countless entertainers on the radio clamor for, "tax cuts to stimulate the economy" while the current presidential administration leverages the country to the hilt in order to "create jobs" for the working class. There's this ever-fleeting degree of hope that somehow America will return to the boom years of the 1950's and we'll resume our role as the financial leader of the modern world. That's the rub right there; the world has changed considerably since the end of World War II. The very nature of free trade, global markets, interconnected economies and nuclear proliferation means we are not alone in the world any longer. At best, we're a large state in a global country and our neighbors are China, India, Russia, Brazil and the European Union
It is this interconnectedness that makes the recent news about Iran firing up its Bushehr Nuclear Plant so poignant. The Iranians have tried to get the Bushehr facility built and running since 1974 when they first contracted with the German company Siemens. The plant was only partially built when it was bombed by Iraq during the their war in the 80's. They've had deals with Spain and Argentina as well as a host of other countries but all of those deals were cancelled due to U.S. pressure. Eventually Russia stepped into the picture to finish building the plant but that was in 1995. In addition to this project taking an almost prohibitively long time to finish, Iran has also had to contend with years of sanctions as well as threats by the Israeli's that Iranian nuclear power plants would be bombed if they ever became operational. Lastly, for years the U.S. policy has been that it is in the best interest of the world to prevent Iran from acquiring any and all nuclear equipment, technologies, and know-how, including those necessary for the peaceful use of nuclear energy in an effort to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons. But despite the tough talk of the Bush years and the soft diplomacy of the Obama administration, on August 21, 2010 Iran began the process of firing up the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant.

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