Well now that Michael Roston’s called me out, I feel the need to say something about “this”:http://www.washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20050123-100613-7697r.htm _Washington Times_ editorial about Egypt.
In short, it’s bad for many of the same reasons as “this other right-wing article”:http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/index.php?id=365 about Egypt’s alleged nuclear weapons program.
The _Washington Times_ does acknowledge that the “IAEA is investigating the matter”:http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2005_01-02/Egypt_Taiwan.asp. But rather than, you know, waiting for the results, the _Times_ carries on with a bunch of alarmist silliness. For example, it talks about a bunch of Egyptian weapons activities that don’t exactly point to a bomb-in-a-basement program (e.g. their ballistic missile programs).
Additionally, the piece mentions that:
bq. Egypt has been quite open in defending the right of Arab nations to develop weapons of mass destruction in order to counteract Israel’s presumed nuclear deterrent (an odd formulation indeed, given the fact that the Arabs have been the ones starting the wars). At a 1989 Chemical Weapons Conference in Paris, for example, Egypt said these weapons were necessary to counterbalance Israeli nukes. In October 1998, President Hosni Mubarak said that Egypt reserved the right to acquire nuclear weapons.
This, of course, ignores several pesky facts:
1. Chemical weapons are not nuclear weapons.
2. Israel “likely has a chemical weapons program”:http://www.puaf.umd.edu/CISSM/Scholars/Cohen.pdf, in addition to its nuclear weapons.
3. The Mubarak quote, though not sourced, is likely taken out of context from an interview the president did with Al-Hayat. I don’t have the full interview, but a 5 October 1998 AFP article quotes Mubarak saying:
bq. Currently we are not thinking of entering the nuclear club because we don’t want war … When the time comes and we need nuclear weapons, we will not hesitate. But I say if we need it because it is the last thing on our mind.
[_Late Update_: Here is the “full text of the interview”:http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/Mubarak.pdf, becuase I do have such sweet skills. _ACW_]
The _Times_ also ignores the fact that Mubarak made several “anti-nuclear weapons statements”:http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/egypt/index98.html just in that very same year.
Obviously, Egypt’s nuclear activities should be investigated. But right wing opinion writers need to get sweeter skills.