What if You Threw a Nice Nuclear Summit and No One Came?

Posted on April 11, 2010


I guess the word on the street is that you can’t have too many nuclear summits.  The spring global social season will feature two such affairs this week.  One will be hosted by our own President, Barak Obama; the other by Iran’s Prime Minister,

Hoping to add to his collection of signed agreements for 2010, Obama’s summit will be a step toward ratification of  the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The Washington venue will  focus on securing nuclear materials and combating atomic smuggling – certainly a diversion from securing illegal drug cartels and combating drug smuggling on our southern border. The best outcome will be avoiding international embarrassment. [Indiaserver.com]

While the President will look forward to greeting nearly 50 leaders this week, among the missing will be Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who has canceled for unknown reasons, a headache being the best guess. [NPR]  The President cannot be surprised after the rude treatment of Mr. Netanyahu during his recent visit. It’s just as well.  The Israeli Prime Minister would rather spend a quiet week doing some preliminary targeting of sites in Iran rather than attend talks about control of nuclear materials.  Herein is a critical teachable moment for our President : if he cannot control Mr. Netanyahu, he cannot hope to achieve nuclear non-proliferation.

Well, since there are more than 50 world leaders left with whom to discuss control of nuclear materials, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has proffered invitations to Obama’s “B” list to attend a Nuclear Summit this next Saturday at his palace.  With the proximity in time of these two “parties,” one can imagine that some lucky leader will be able to finesse attendance at both on either side of the globe!  Unlike the Obama endgame of control of weaponry and materials, Tehran has boasted it is out after eliminating nuclear weapons altogether. Imagine, a world in which the US and Iran would only play polo. [voa]

While the White House puts attendance at nearly 50 leaders for their Monday – Tuesday event; Iran has let it be known that 60 leaders will be attending theirs Saturday – Sunday.  Advantage Iran.

The Washington guest list is solid “A:”  The leaders of Russia, China, France, Germany, India and Pakistan to name some principals.  With rumors rife that Sarkozy of France, fresh from a visit here just weeks ago, has muttered something about Obama being nuts, it may be that he, too, will have to enter and exit via the same kitchen door reserved for the Dalai Lama. He picked up on the essential Obama in the time it takes to walk across the street when many in the US have taken a year to accomplish this. He is quoted as having said that he was “appalled” at Obama’s “vision” of what the World should be under his “guidance” and “amazed” at the American Presidents unwillingness to listen to either “reason” or “logic”. [EU Times] HT to sodahead. This assessment was made following a meeting at which the two discussed the issue of integrating Muslims into western societies.

A list of attendees at the Iranian summit, Nuclear Energy for All, Nuclear Weapon for None, is not only difficult to find but also in flux. China has not yet determined their attendance; India will be sending its ambassador to Iran.  Advantage United States.

With all of the preparations and posturing, with all of the media coverage, citizens of the world live in quiet hope that the proliferation of  non-proliferation summits has peaked and that time and money can be redirected to more obtainable goals such as a Mars landing.

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