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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Fareed Zakaria, "Why Saudi Arabia can’t get a nuclear weapon": Saudi Arabia Is Too Stupid to Build a Bomb

As the June 30 deadline for a "final" (as in final solution) nuclear deal between the P5+1 and Iran fast approaches, Saudi Arabia is warning that if Iran is allowed to maintain its nuclear infrastructure, it too will pursue a nuclear weapons development program. In response to this threat, Fareed Zakaria writes in his latest Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Why Saudi Arabia can’t get a nuclear weapon":

"Oh, please! Saudi Arabia isn’t going to build a nuclear weapon. Saudi Arabia can’t build a nuclear weapon. Saudi Arabia hasn’t even built a car. (By 2017, after much effort, the country is expected to manufacture its first automobile.)

. . . .

Where would Saudi Arabia train the scientists to work on its secret program? The country’s education system is backward and dysfunctional, having been largely handed over to its puritanical and reactionary religious establishment. The country ranks 73rd in the quality of its math and science education, according to the World Economic Forum — abysmally low for a rich country. Iran, despite 36 years of sanctions and a much lower per capita GDP, fares far better at 44."

Ah yes, the entirety of Saudi Arabia's population is too stupid and lazy to build a bomb. Yeah, right.

Zakaria goes on to say that the Saudis also will not be able to buy a bomb:

"But couldn’t Saudi Arabia simply buy a nuclear bomb? That’s highly unlikely. Any such effort would have to take place secretly, under the threat of sanctions, Western retaliation and interception. Saudi Arabia depends heavily on foreigners and their firms to help with its energy industry, build its infrastructure, buy its oil and sell it goods and services. Were it isolated like Iran or North Korea, its economic system would collapse.

It is often claimed that Pakistan would sell nukes to the Saudis. And it’s true that the Saudis have bailed out Pakistan many times. But the government in Islamabad is well aware that such a deal could make it a pariah and result in sanctions. It is unlikely to risk that, even to please its sugar daddy in Riyadh."

The Saudis could not create their own secret nuclear development program, as did Iran, and bamboozle Obama over the remainder of his second term? The Saudis could not lure experienced Pakistani scientists into the country with lucrative compensation packages? The Saudis could not purchase components of the bomb from North Korea, as did Iran? And the Saudis could not convince China, Russia and much of Europe to turn a blind eye to such a program, as did Iran?

And what if Turkey and Egypt also decide to build their own nuclear weapons arsenal? Are their populations also too stupid? I don't think so.

Zakaria is obviously attempting to boost the Obama administration's lobbying effort in favor of its impending nuclear deal with Iran, which faces a June 30 deadline and Congressional review. Nice try, Fareed.

1 comment:

  1. Wikipedia is Zakaria's nemesis:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_program_of_Saudi_Arabia
    interesting points on Saudi-Pakistan nuclear co-operation.
    and, Japan and South Korea are already on board with MOUs re: domestic nuclear energy in KSA.

    Never a good idea to insult the intelligence, or underestimate the will, of any nation...

    k

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