Hitchens on Iranian nukes....
The Iranian regime keeps on getting closer to getting nuclear weapons....and nobody is doing anything to stop them...
I encourage you to view the Iranian documents for yourselves: The Times subjected them to considerable expertise before publishing them and is confident of their provenance. I quote here from an excellent summary by the newspaper’s diplomatic correspondent Catherine Philp:
“UD3, when used in a neutron initiator, emits a stream of neutrons that ignite the core of a bomb, either weapons-grade uranium or plutonium. The stream of neutrons is released using high explosives to compress a core of solid UD3, creating fusion.”
But this in turn presents a difficulty for the surreptitious bomb-makers, because the testing of such a trigger could not be explained away as a detonation of a conventional high-explosive weapon. In other words, it would allow monitors to detect the traces of UD3. The whole interest of the newly leaked documents lies precisely in the way in which a further level of cheatin g is therefore so carefully discussed. A smaller scale of test, according to the regime’s scientists, could be attempted using titanium deuteride instead. By this means, a useful flow of neutrons could still be produced but without the incriminating trace elements. The apparent idea, according to one quoted expert, was “to test the match without burning it.”
The chance that this is not a militaristic and messianic design intended to harden the carapace of the dictatorship and help extend its powers of regional blackmail seem ridiculously close to zero. Iran has had numberless offers from the West to help it acquire the faculties of peaceful nuclear energy and reduce its wasteful use of oil and gas. If it would permit the most elementary transparency, it could also be enabled to purchase uranium at far less cost on the open market, as other nations do. But the mullahs prefer to risk isolation and sanctions in order to construct off-the-record sites and to conduct deception operations that would be almost pathetically crude if they were not so self-evidently sinister. (It also disdains to hide its real intentions from its clients and surrogates: At a Hezbollah rally in Beirut last year, I was impressed to see that the brand-new poster of the Party of God is a mushroom cloud; officials from the Iranian Embassy were openly on the podium at this uplifting event.)
How fascinating it is to sit at home and watch while this menace is permitted to reach the point of no return. Almost as gripping, in fact, as following the jaunty itineraries of suicide-murderers as they calmly buy their one-way tickets, in cash, on airplanes bound for our cities. The similarity between these two passive experiences is quite riveting as well: In both instances, we lavish billions of dollars on intelligence agencies that cannot make sense of elementary forensic evidence, that coddle and excuse our enemies and treat us like criminals as we try to travel ourselves, that meanwhile leave us unprotected under open skies, and that run a full-employment bureaucracy from which, it seems, nobody can be, or ever has been fired.