Originally Published: October 19, 2012 9:59 p.m.
William Weiss urges Pres. Obama and Gov. Romney to "support the use of force" against Iran ("Candidates need to take stand on Iran," Sept. 30, 2012).
Since Gov. Romney already supports a military solution, Weiss is really asking President Obama to capitulate to Israeli insistence to attack Iran. Weiss wants Obama to jump on the runaway train toward war because "Iran is a threat to the entire region, not just to Israel." But Weiss' enthusiasm to let Israel push the United States into another war is rash and lacks historical perspective.
The demonization of Iran mirrors the suspicions and fears of reckless behavior when both Russia and China were building a nuclear bomb. When Pakistan built its bomb in response to India's nuclear weapon, Shiva did not destroy the world. If Iran joins the Nuclear Club, will tension between Iran and Israel be any more of a threat to the Middle East than it already is? Or will nuclear parity become the new normal as it did with Russia, China, India and Pakistan?
The way to reduce tensions in the Middle East is not another war, but for nations with nuclear weapons to get rid of them. In Israel's case, first it has to admit it has a nuclear arsenal and then sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), as Iran already has done. The heart of the NPT is that signatory nations will agree not to build nuclear bombs IF the nuclear-armed states will dismantle theirs. So far the nuclear states can only agree the world must abolish nuclear weapons.
If we really want to avoid an endless repetition of disarmament wars - using or threatening to use military force against any country we suspect of building a nuclear bomb - nations with nuclear weapons (including Israel) must seriously and with a sense of moral and mortal urgency find a way to dismantle their hideous weapons of mass genocide. Public outrage that this has not already been done would help.
Mr. Weiss urges our leaders down a dead-end road to war. I want a leader to lead the world with words and actions down the road less traveled, toward nuclear abolition.