Hans Blix thinks that perhaps the rationale for Iran’s nuclear enrichment program “could be simply to demonstrate the capability for enrichment.” But even if the mullahs are building nuclear weapons there’s a bright side:
Nuclear arms in Iran would neutralize the threat of the Israeli nuclear weapons. I do not see that as a disaster; these weapons should not have been developed in the first place.
So in the formulation of Mr. Disarmament, mullahs with nukes will keep the region safe from Israeli aggression.
What to make of the new brazenness of Israel’s more ridiculous critics? Yes, it may be better to get these sentiments out in the open so that reasonable people don’t have to wade through bad-faith arguments or sly insinuations before dismissing untenable positions. But collectively, the Blixes and Freemans have a normalizing effect on ignorance and paranoia. Chas Freeman went down in flames, but not before Dennis Blair defended him and not before Fareed Zakaria grinned and nodded as his guest, Freeman, talked about America’s “Likud lobby.”
Blix is still seen as an intellectual hero on the Left, an even-tempered internationalist whose sage advice on Iraq went tragically unheeded. (Never mind that he got mostly everything wrong: Saddam would never have agreed to full weapons inspections, regardless of what he actually had, and member of Jacques Chirac’s government have since admitted that France was un-persuadable on the Saddam issue.) To have him legitimatize the notion of a bullying nuclear Jewish state can hardly lead to a more enlightened understanding of the Middle East.
Exposing bigots and sophists is only beneficial if they are consequentially derided. In the political climate of today’s West it’s hard not to see these unchallenged allegations as a net loss for the forces of reason.