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A ban by Western (and other non-Muslim) countries on permitting Muslims to receive training in nuclear engineering, nuclear physics, and indeed in any field relevant to the making of major weaponry, must and can be instituted. No more A. Q. Khans. And much more vigilant monitoring of every movement, every order for every bit of equipment, from any Muslim country or for that matter group or individual. Monitor, and check, and whenever necessary, disrupt -- just as the Iraqi nuclear project was disrupted, first in 1981 by the Israeli attack on the Osirak reactor, then from 1991 on by the regime of sanctions, and then again in 2003 by the American invasion that ensured, through the seizure of Iraqi scientists and disruption of all chains of supply and funding, that it would be hard, for quite a while, to restart such a program.
Iran is seen by some as a problem that we should let Israel solve, as if only Israel were threatened. But it is not only Israel. It is the entire Western world. Indeed, it is also the world of the sheikdoms, and Saudi Arabia, though they would greet news of any Western attack with pre-fabricated outrage.
Not the least of the problems connected with Iraq is the way in which this gets in the way of everything having to do with proper planning for dealing, from the air (not land) with Iran's nuclear project.
If American troops are still in Iraq in January 2009, , and the Iranian project has not been dealt with, then the Iraq War will have been the greatest fiasco in American history. And it is all so avoidable, so unnecessary.
A reader analogizes Sunni and Shi'a Arabs fighting over money and power -- over who is to rule, and who deserves to rule -- in Iraq, with what he assumes would be Sunni and Shi'a use of nuclear weapons only against each other, and then says this does not concern him.
But such weapons could be used against Infidels, including most obviously Israel. Let's leave aside the moral damage done to the Western world were it to have allowed this to happen -- damage possibly fatal to its civilizational élan and certainly to its ability to live with itself (or at least that is the reaction that should be forthcoming), what would happen to the Western world if all of Israel, all of Jerusalem, the entire place known to Western Christendom as the Holy Land, were to be destroyed by nuclear weapons? This would have no effect? And assuming that the Israelis would retain in the air, and from submarines, and in other ways that one can only speculate about, to retaliate against the entire Muslim world, what would the wholesale destruction of oilfields all over the Middle East mean?
And what makes you think that if such weapons were developed they would somehow remain permanently outside the hands of terrorists, either groups or individuals, who would use them against the Western world, against Western European countries that had chosen to resist, in all kinds of ways, islamization? Or against India, or against the Christians of sub-Saharan Africa?
No, one can regard with equanimity or even grim satisfaction those non-nuclear conflicts between Muslims in Iraq and outside Iraq. But the development or acquisition of such weaponry (nuclear, biological, chemical) by any Muslim state, is a mortal threat to all Infidels and must be, and can be, by those Infidel states prevented.