Monday, 25 May 2009


All the big boys have lined up to condemn North Korea for its nuclear test, but when will the world ever learn that the worst way to deal with a rogue state is to isolate it and threaten it? That just enables the delinquent rulers to tell the people what danger they are in and to strengthen their grip. The way to encourage "regime change" is to remove the threats and lower the tension.

I am not sure that Iran should really be called a rogue state. It's electoral system is not much less democratic than that of Great Britain, and if it has a nuclear weapons programme it is surely defensive and not offensive. Iran has not invaded a neighbour for centuries, and the ancient Persian empires were more devolved and multi-cultural than most European ones.

Israel, which has invaded its neighbours at least six times in 61 years, has never been put under pressure for its nuclear weaponry. Indeed it has never admitted to possessing it. Mordechai Vanunu, who alerted the world to the scale of the problem in 1986, was kidnapped, spent 18 years in prison, mostly in solitary confinement, and is now not allowed to emigrate from Israel. If the world can't condemn Israel it should not condemn anyone.

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