Belmont Club

You first. No? Ok, me first

Having unsuccessfully used sanctions, diplomacy and multiparty talks to get Iran and North Korea to give up their nuclear ambitions, a new tack is being suggested. Showing a good example. UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown offered to cut Britain’s nuclear deterrent in order to persuade rogue states to do the same. The Daily Mail reports:

Britain is ready to cut its nuclear capability if rogue states are prepared to cooperate, Gordon Brown signalled last night. The Prime Minister and other G8 leaders agreed to U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposal for a major summit next spring designed to pave the way to a revised global nuclear treaty. …

The U.S., France and Russia have also made some significant-reductions. This week President-Obama and Russian president-Dmitry Medvedev signed a preliminary agreement to reduce the world’s two biggest nuclear stockpiles by as much as a third. Mr Obama’s proposal brings to an end eight years of U.S. resistance to new arms treaties. …

‘North Korea is attempting to build a nuclear weapon. We have got to show we can deal with this by collective action. What we need is collective action by the nuclear weapons powers to say that we are prepared to reduce our nuclear weapons, but we need assurances also that other countries will not proliferate them.’

What sort of assurances might be sufficient? The problem is that if the West promises to reduce their nuclear arsenals they are actually going to do it. But if Kim Jong Il promises not to sell nuclear technology to certain unsavory persons, what do we have? His word as a North Korean gentleman? Gordon Brown’s offer brings to mind the famous dialogue between the bandido Gold Hat and Dobbs in the Treasure of the Sierra Madre:

Gold Hat: Hola, senor. We are Federales. You know, the mounted police.
Dobbs: If you’re the police, where are your badges?
Gold Hat: Badges? We ain’t got no badges! We don’t need no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!
Dobbs: You’d better not come any closer.
Gold Hat: We aren’t trying to do you any harm. Why don’t you try to be a little more polite? Give us your gun and we’ll leave you in peace.
Dobbs: I need my gun myself.
Gold Hat: Oh, throw that ol’ iron over here. We’ll pick it up and go on our way.
Dobbs: You go on your way without my gun and go quick!
[Dobbs fires a warning shot with his rifle at Gold Hat, piercing a big hole in the top of the bandit’s hat]
Gold Hat: Look here, amigo. You got the wrong idea. We don’t wanna get your gun fer nothin’. We wanna buy it. Look. I have a gold watch with a gold chain, made in your own country. The watch and the chain – they worth at least two hundred pesos – I ‘change it fer yer gun. Y’better take it, thatsa good bizness for you!!
Dobbs: You keep your watch. I’ll keep my gun!

Who would be stupid enough to fall for the “throw that ol’ iron over here” trick? Oh wait …


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