Monday, November 25, 2013

Remember when Canada supported nuclear disarmament?

The reaction of the Harper government to the nuclear deal with Iran is astounding.

A government that was under suspicion of developing nuclear weapons has agreed not to do so and it has also agreed to greater oversight than what is already required as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Further the deal was made with the US, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia, which is a great deal of diplomatic firepower. 

The Canadian government should be happy about this agreement.  Instead they pretty much came about against it.  Why?  Because they apparently do not trust Iran to live up to it.  That for them is a reason not to support with the agreement.

You know the same concerns were voiced by many about the different SALT agreements in the 1970s and '80s.  The Soviets could not be trusted they said but wiser heads prevailed and agreements to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world were agreed to, enacted and implemented.  The confidence building measures between the two superpowers worked and they probably contributed to the rise of Mr. Gorbachev to the leadership of the Soviet Union instead of someone more reactionary.  In short, those two agreements contributed to the world stepping away from the nuclear brink. 

Of course the agreement with Iran is only a first step and it will probably not lead to a greater thaw in and of itself but it could be a step towards that.  As well, Iran will need to be watched to make certain it lives up to its side of the agreement but you only need to look at their negotiating partners to see that they will have a great deal of difficulty hiding any move to cheat.  Most of those powers are not new at negotiated and enforcing nuclear deals.

This agreement should be greeted with cautious optimism from any country that strives for peace, which should include Canada, as a middle power watching its influence in the world steadily drain away.  Instead we get the stupidity that was demonstrated by Mr. Baird and by extension Mr. Harper on the weekend.


Blogger The Rat said...

Skeptical. That doesn't mean they don't support nuclear disarmament, it mean they remember the last time a Democrat in the white signed a deal to stop nuclear proliferation. In case you don't remember it was Bill Clinton and North Korea. How did that work out?

November 26, 2013 12:24 PM  

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