by Cheryl Rofer
Break out the fainting couch! Iran has lost its nuclear virginity! quick fanning motions toward one’s face
It’s always tempting to find a pithy metaphor, one that will stick in people’s minds, along with the idea is putting across and, well, one’s own name.
Those of us pressing for more attention to nuclear weapons matters are sometimes tempted to, er, go for the bomb. Looks like that’s what Allison is doing here. The trouble is that overwrought metaphors are likely to draw laughter. That doesn’t seem to matter in the world of Very Serious People, though, and Allison is a card-carrying member.
Allison is of a generation that grew up thinking that losing one’s virginity was a bad thing, at least for girls. It was more ambiguous for people of Allison’s sex. But where has he been? Behind those hallowed brick walls at Harvard? No, wait a minute…In the ivory tower? Although I’ve never seen one of those in Cambridge.
Ah, let’s try to break through that rhetorical problem and see if he’s got anything to say.
What exactly does “losing nuclear virginity” mean? Hmmm…a bright red line…no, please! I think it’s uranium enrichment he’s talking about, “what Israelis call ‘the point of no return.’” It’s a bottom line as well as bright red.
Fingers off the keyboard, start again!
First, the long-held American objective to prevent Iran from acquiring the technical know-how to enrich uranium has been overtaken by events.That event seems to have been Iran’s acquiring the technical know-how to enrich uranium. But not to worry!
Second, the predominant focus of U.S. and international policy on Iran's observable nuclear enrichment facility at Natanz is largely misplaced.Ah, that’s good. breathing calming down, take paper bag away from face
But no! wrist flies to forehead!
Further, and third, the source of the highly enriched uranium for Iran's bomb -- if Iran makes and tests a bomb during Obama's first term -- will be a covert enrichment plant that we have not discovered. By definition, we don't know the location or status of secret, undiscovered facilities.It’s the unknown knowns, or the known unknowns, or something, that are out to get us!
Allison has assumed that Iran is hell-bent on getting a nuclear weapon and that, therefore, they must have a secret facility somewhere. I think I recall something like this said about another country long ago, although at least the people who wanted war claimed they had evidence. All Allison has is that bright red…
So what did this op-ed contribute to our knowledge or analysis of Iran’s nuclear program and intentions? Has Allison’s favorite granddaughter started dating?
The Obama administration cannot restore Iran's nuclear innocence. Its challenge is to prevent the birth of the next nuclear-weapons state.Washington Post, please give this man the rest he deserves!
For another take, visit the Armchair Generalist.