Henry Kissinger at Davos 1/24/2013 on Nuclear War With Iran

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Henry Kissinger at Davos 1/24/2013 on Nuclear War With Iran

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Reading Liberally Editorial Notes:

The reason why this BBC News Item is posted in this section rather than Reference Materials, is because it contains the latest salvo in the apparent war between two former U.S. Secretaries of State (Dr. Henry Kissinger and Colin Powell) and because Colin Powell's "smug guarantee of the sanity of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei" is posted in this section.

When Colin Powell made his "smug guarantee" he must have known that he was contradicting a position that Dr. Kissinger had set forth in a Washington Post OpEd last fall. So is it any surprise that Dr. Kissinger, without referring to Colin Powell's "smug guarantee," slapped it down immediately from Davos???

In considering the relative merits of their positions, Dr. Kissinger's credentials are impressive = (1) as a Harvard Professor in the 1950's and 1960's, he authored all of the important textbooks on Nuclear Diplomacy on which were based the Cold War Doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction which successfully contained the Soviet Union until its demise, (2) he served as the President's National Security Adviser 1969-1975 and U.S. Secretary of State 1973-1977, (3) as Secretary of State, he was the Author of our famous "Opening to China," (4) among his many awards was the Nobel Peace Prize, (5) for the last 36 years he has, in addition to heading his own consulting firm, served on numerous Presidential Commissions and corporate boards, and remains the most-consulted and most-respected authority, East or West, on international relations.

BBC News – 1/24/2013
Davos 2013: Kissinger says Iran nuclear crisis close

A nuclear war in the Middle East would be a "turning point in human history," says Mr Kissinger

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has warned that a crisis involving a nuclear Iran is in the "foreseeable future".

The Nobel Peace laureate, 89, was speaking about prospects in the Middle East at the World Economic Forum.

He said nuclear proliferation in the region triggered by an armed Iran would increase the chances of an atomic war - "a turning point in human history".

He also urged the US and Russia to co-operate in resolving Syria's conflict.

"There has emerged in the region, the current and most urgent issue of nuclear proliferation. For 15 years, the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) have declared that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable, but it has been approaching," he said.

"In a few years, people will have to come to a determination of how to react, or the consequences of non-reaction.

"I believe this point will be reached in a very foreseeable future," he added.
'Nuclear war'

In his assessment of the stand-off between Iran and Western powers over its nuclear programme - which Tehran argues is for peaceful and civilian purposes - Mr Kissinger called for "serious" negotiations on both sides to look for solutions.

"Unilateral intervention by Israel would be a desperate last resort, but the Iranians have to understand that if they keep using the negotiations to gain time to complete a nuclear programme then the situation will become extremely dangerous."

The consequences of Tehran's programme, he said, would be that other countries in the region would also want nuclear arms.

"The danger is that we could be reaching a point where nuclear weapons would become almost conventional, and there will be the possibility of a nuclear conflict at some point... that would be a turning point in human history," he said.

"If Iran acts as a nation and not as a revolutionary cause, there is no reason for America or other permanent members of the UNSC to be in conflict with it, nor any countries in the region. On that basis I would hope that a negotiated solution would be found in a measurable time."

Meanwhile, Mr Kissinger advocated a US-Russia understanding over the conflict in Syria, while opposing military intervention.

"The Syrian problem would best be dealt internationally by Russia and America not making it a contest of national interests," he said.

"I would hope that the undertaking of the US foreign policy will not be be characterised by the divisions that we see in [its] domestic policy."

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