Noam Chomsky's latest article (at In These Times) tackles the pretexts of the Bush administration's aggressive foreign policy, the role of NATO, and Obama's foreign policy. In the following passage, Chomsky summarises the controversies surrounding newly discarded plans for anti-missile systems in Europe and the hypocrisy of the U.S. stance on nuclear weapons.
A few weeks ago the Obama administration announced a readjustment of U.S. anti-missile systems in Eastern Europe. That led to a great deal of commentary and debate, which, as in the past, skilfully evaded the central issue.Those systems are advertised as defense against an Iranian attack. But that cannot be the motive. The chance of Iran launching a missile attack, nuclear or not, is about at the level of an asteroid hitting the Earth — unless, of course, the ruling clerics have a fanatic death wish and want to see Iran instantly incinerated.The purpose of the U.S. interception systems, if they ever work, is to prevent any retaliation to a U.S. or Israeli attack on Iran — that is, to eliminate any Iranian deterrent. In this regard, antimissile systems are a first-strike weapon, and that is understood on all sides. But that seems to be a fact best left in the shadows. [...]The present nuclear stand-off with Iran summons the Cold War’s horrors—and hypocrisies.The outcry over Iran overlooks the Obama administration’s assurance that the Indo-U.S. nuclear agreement is exempt from the just-passed U.N. resolution on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which India greeted by announcing that it can now build nuclear weapons with the same destructive power as those in the arsenals of the world’s major nuclear powers, with yields up to 200 kilotons.And, over the objections of the United States and Europe, the International Atomic Energy Agency called on Israel to join the NPT and open its nuclear facilities for inspection. Israel announced it would not cooperate.