Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Great Power & Great Responsibility

When was the last time you saw or heard Tun Dr Mahathir say anything nice about the American Government? If you did, it must have been a while. Tun Dr M has a curious resentment—hatred, even—against the Americans. I happen to be a keen follower of his blog, and I can hardly remember if he had ever made any positive comment at all about the Americans, though admittedly I might have missed some of his past comments. Not surprisingly, therefore, he is against practically all of America's policies. And if America were not on good terms with any other country, Tun is bound to support that other country somehow.

The United States of America is against Iran's nuclear power program, and in its attempt to force Iran to abort its nuclear power ambition, the US has called for an economic sanction against Iran. At the moment, apparently Iran's nuclear power program has nothing to do with the development of nuclear weapons, but of course things may change in the future.

In his post entitled "TURKEY TO SELL GASOLINE TO IRAN DESPITE SANCTIONS", Tun gave quite an interesting analysis on the situation. But really, if Iran is indeed trying to build nuclear weapons, should we be worried about it? After all there are several countries in the world having nuclear weapons, including America. Yet nobody seems to be unduly alarmed?

As we have seen in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the extent of destruction a nuclear weapon can cause may have serious repercussions for many decades to come, thus affecting several generations. Small countries may be totally wiped off from the face of the earth. Notice that America doesn't really care if Iran has machine guns and tanks, but not nuclear weapons.

We have seen that America has been at war with some countries after WWII. But although it could have used its nuclear weapons, it chose not to. I can just imagine that some of those people calling the shots in America must have been itching to launch a nuclear warhead or two.

The simplest argument is that if America and its allies can build nuclear weapons, then why not Iran? Why should it be any different?

In the movie, Spiderman, Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker, "With great power comes great responsibility."

I think America has proven—so far—that it doesn't abuse its nuclear powers. Although at times I see America as a big bully, at least it doesn't simply launch its nuclear warheads on its enemies. Using its nuclear warheads would be the most efficient way to beat its enemies, and it could also spare the lives of its troops. Yet it did not use its nuclear warheads. In that sense, I can say that America is quite responsible for its great power.

But I am not sure if I can feel the same way about Iran. I am not saying that Iran is building nuclear weapons for the sole purpose of destroying other nations. Maybe if they had nuclear weapons, it's mainly for defensive purposes, not so much for aggression. But I can't count on that. This is a country which is still stoning people to death for the crime of adultery; 99 lashes for women who failed to cover their hair—the kind of law which to me is outrageously outdated by at least a few hundred years. If they had nuclear weapon, I am afraid of what they might do with it.

The people of Iran may be thinking at a different wavelength than the rest of us, and we really don't know what they might do with their nuclear weapons. If we had great power, it may be very tempting to use that power. All we need is to conjure up some excuses to justify it, and I'm sure that is easy to achieve.

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