Wishing nuclear weapons away 71

SHMUEL ROSNER writes at the ‘contentions’ website of Commentary Magazine: 

WorldPublicOpinion.org polled 21 countries and found that most people favor an international agreement to eliminate all nuclear weapons:

In 20 of the 21 countries large majorities, ranging from 62 to 93 percent, favor such an agreement. The only exception is Pakistan, where a plurality of 46 percent favors the plan while 41 percent are opposed. All nations known to have nuclear weapons were included in the poll, except North Korea where public polling is not available.

Now we know the “world” would like to get rid of nuclear weapons. What’s next? The world opposes disease? The world stands foursquare against natural disasters? Consider the uselessly hypothetical nature of the way the question was framed:

Now I would like you to consider a possible international agreement for eliminating all nuclear weapons. All countries with nuclear weapons would be required to eliminate them according to a timetable. All other countries would be required not to develop them. All countries, including [respondent’s own country], would be monitored to make sure they are following the agreement. Would you favor or oppose such an agreement?

The question doesn’t specify how all countries involved would be monitored. It just assumes successful monitoring as a given. Who wouldn’t be in favor of this fantasy agreement?

But the devil is in the details, and so, too, are specific reasons to oppose specific anti-nuke efforts. With that in mind, here’s are three questions for WorldPublicOpinion.org’s next poll: “Do you think that international monitoring of regimes in Iran and North Korea could guarantee that these countries do not develop nuclear weapons in secret? In your opinion, has international monitoring aimed at preventing nuclear proliferation been a success so far? Would you trust international monitoring to be the guarantor of the safety of your own children?”

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Saturday, December 13, 2008

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