No Nukes Are Good Nukes
Michael T. Klare wants to support the agreement between the US government and the Iranian state [“For the Iran Nuke Deal,” May 4]. I am against Iran having nuclear bombs or nuclear-energy plants, because I am against any government having nuclear bombs or nuclear-energy plants. But who is the United States—armed to the eyebrows with nuclear weaponry and allied with the only nuclear state in the region—to tell Iran what to do? Suppose the Iranians demanded that the US dismantle its nuclear bombs, close down its nuclear-energy plants, withdraw from its approximately 135 overseas military bases, and cut off all aid to Israel? Suppose they then organized an international boycott of US trade, especially of petroleum, to enforce their demands. Would not US politicians and pundits cry bloody murder, denouncing this as an act of aggression against US sovereignty?
It is shameful that the US debate should be limited to the “bomb Iran” crowd and the “bully Iran” crowd. The Nation should have a broader view.
the bronx, ny
Michael T. Klare Replies
I agree with Wayne Price that the universal elimination of nuclear weapons should be our ultimate goal. The pact with Iran is not about the United States telling Iran what to do, but rather ensuring that it abides by its legal obligation, as a signatory of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, to refrain from the manufacture of nuclear weapons. If that can be accomplished in a peaceful manner, we all benefit.
Michael T. Klare
In Defense of Incivility
Thank you for Joan W. Scott’s article “The New Thought Police” [May 4]. It raises important but very subtle and tricky issues. On the one hand, I think it is incumbent upon all of us in academe to do our best not to be jerks through the kind of gratuitous incivility that helps to stereotype academicians as entitled, socially challenged brats. On the other hand, our dialogue does not have to be devoid of human emotion and passion. Honest disagreements sometimes go through stages of incivility—with harsh, even angry words exchanged—on the path toward healthier engagement.