Thursday, May 24, 2007

Once They Go Up, Who Cares Where They Come Down?

Bravo to Henryk M. Broder on his Spiegel article about German indifference about Iran's effort to get a nuclear bomb.

An excerpt:

Udo Steinbach, director of the German Institute of Middle East Studies in Hamburg, recently described a rather different scenario. In an interview with an online magazine he said Europe should not feel threatened by Iran. "Europe," he said, "would certainly be the last target Iran would think of if it did in fact pursue aggressive intentions."

"Iran as a nuclear power," he continued, would only be a threat to "its neighbors, such as a secular Turkey and, of course, Israel."

The blithe sangfroid with which Steinbach describes the possible target coordinates of Iranian nuclear bombs is only surpassed by his naiveté concerning the consequences of such action. He seems to think that nuclear fallout, in a worst-case scenario, will make a wide berth around him and his institute. This mindset could also explain Germany's general apparent lack of concern over Iran's nuclear ambitions. Meanwhile, the planting of genetically manipulated corn triggers hysterical reactions.

Added note: For those who didn't recognize the headline, it refers to the song "Wernher von Braun" by satirist Tom Lehrer:

Don't say that he's hypocritical,
Say rather that he's apolitical."
Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
That's not my department," says Wernher von Braun.

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