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The nuclear "comb over"

Fri, Jul 20th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

We've all seen them. You try not to look, but it's inevitable with the worst ones. You know what I'm talking about, the "comb over". Yes, we all have seen the individual who either combs the hair from one side of his head over his entire head or even worse has a couple of hairs that are two miles long that he coils around and around and then plasters them on top of his head.

Vanity? Maybe, we all have a desire to look good and in that desire we can sometimes think somehow we are fooling the rest of the world. The individual's perception is that as long as there's something covering their bald head that it's really not bald. Everyone else just knows they're bald. Now, on a personal level, it is harmless to ignore other people's perceptions as long as you feel you "look good".

However, on the international political level it is extremely dangerous to be blind to other nation's perceptions and not understand that in politics the proverbial "comb over" is considered hypocrisy. Diplomacy on the international level is very sensitive and each action and word are dissected to make sure any "messages" are not missed.

Let me give you an example. Recently, as you all know, the U.S. has been very concerned with Iran's nuclear ambitions. The U.S. is concerned that Iran has refused to abide by international rules and submit themselves to inspections to make sure they aren't really making nuclear bombs.

Legitimate concerns, however it's how the U.S. expresses those concerns that makes us look hypocritical.

Not that long ago President Bush gave a long speech about Iran and how they needed to give up their nuclear ambitions. So far so good. Standing next to him that day was the Prime Minister of the Jewish State of Israel, Ehud Olmert. Of all the world leaders that could stand next to him while he chided Iran, Ehud Olmert was the best "comb over". Every country in the world is aware that Israel possesses nuclear weapons but refuses to do any of the things that President Bush was demanding Iran do. Israel has consistently denied having nuclear weapons. They have refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and ignored well over a hundred U.N. resolutions as well.

Does Israel have nuclear weapons? Of course! In 1986 a former Israeli nuclear technician gave details of the Israeli program to a British newspaper. He subsequently was kidnaped and returned to Israel where he spent 18 years in prison, 11 of them in solitary confinement. In fact he's back in prison today for having violated the ban not to contact any foreign person.

So as President Bush lectures Iran on their nuclear non-compliance, standing next to the biggest violator of international nuclear issues, what do you think Iran and the rest of the world are thinking?

President Bush is either ignorant of international perceptions and their reality or he just doesn't feel the need to care. Unfortunately the rest of the world thinks he's either stupid or a pompous bully. The U.S. has a sad history of being involved with some unsavory characters, Sadam Hussein being one! It's time we just get a haircut!

Kevin Kelleher lives in Houston County.

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