Granted that almost all of Obama's exciting innovative "change we can believe in" turns out to have been exhumed direct from the sclerotic Seventies to stagger around like a rotting zombie in polyester bell-bottoms from some straight-to-video sequel, there's still something almost touchingly quaint in the notion of an international summit on nuclear "nonproliferation" in the 21st century. Five years ago, when there was still a chance the world might prevent a nuclear Iran rather than pretending to "contain" it, I remember the bewildered look from a "nonproliferation expert" on a panel I was on after I suggested non-proliferation was a laughably obsolescent frame for this discussion. You could just about enforce nonproliferation back in the Cold War when the only official nuclear powers were the Big Five at the U.N. Security Council and the entry level for the nuclear club was extremely expensive and technologically sophisticated. Now it's not. If Pakistan and North Korea can be nuclear powers, who can't? North Korea's population is starving. Its GDP per capita is lower than Ghana, lower than Zimbabwe, lower than Mongolia. Which is to say its GDP is all but undetectable.Nuclear Armageddon We Can Believe In--rather catchy, don't you think?
Yes it's a nuclear power.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Disco Dead Duck
Barney Frank--he of the up-to-the-minute Clark Gable pop-cult reference--seems to think it's 1942. Barack Obama--he of the Hopeychangey Kumbaya Ice-Yer-Nukes Conference--seems to think its...1972? Mark Steyn observes: