April 21, 2014 |
Hamid Aboutalebi looked like the ideal candidate to become Tehran's ambassador to the United Nations. He speaks fluent English and French, has served as ambassador to Italy, Australia, Belgium, and the European Union, and - in an ecumenical twist - got his Ph.D. from a Catholic university. There was only one catch. As a 22-year-old, he occasionally served as an interpreter for the students who took U.S. embassy staff hostage in Tehran in 1979. That ordeal remains so vivid in Washington memory that Congress voted unanimously to deny him a visa.
January 21, 2014
What a leader does Defending President Obama's foreign policy on the grounds that he is following the will of the people ignores many lessons of history ("Public supports Obama's caution," Jan. 14). These lessons tell us that the president must see beyond what most of us want and then lead. For instance, Pearl Harbor finally forced an isolationist public to see that we had to go to war with Hitler. Harry Truman's decision to use nuclear weapons on Japan was primarily a product of simple addition, which told him that many thousands of American lives would be saved, and possibly many Japanese.
September 27, 2013 |
When President Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke at the United Nations on Tuesday, each used a phrase that is key to any nuclear deal. "The age of zero-sum games is over," Rouhani declared. "This is not a zero-sum endeavor," said Obama (referring to prospects for a deal on Syria, but implying the same approach toward the nuclear issue). The phrase zero-sum game , loosely interpreted, means that for me to win, you must lose. There is no middle ground. But getting beyond zero-sum politics requires a minimum level of trust, or an ability to verify what the other side has promised.
September 20, 2013 |
For 50 years, we lived in dread lest the Cold War end in a nuclear holocaust. The Soviet empire may be dead, but not our nuclear fears: What if a terrorist group or rogue nation deploys the bomb? Yet, during that entire time, we haven't stopped to consider an equally grave danger right here at home: the accidental detonation of one of our warheads. "We came close to having nuclear weapons detonate on American soil a few times during the Cold War," said Eric Schlosser, author of Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety (Penguin, $36)
May 23, 2013
Cruise captain ordered to trial ROME - An Italian judge has ordered the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship to stand trial for manslaughter in the vessel's shipwreck off the coast of Tuscany, which killed 32 people. Judge Pietro Molino, at a closed-door hearing Wednesday in the town of Grosseto, agreed to prosecutors' request that Capt. Francesco Schettino of Italy be tried on charges of manslaughter, causing the shipwreck and abandoning the vessel while many of its 4,200 passengers and crew were still aboard.
April 27, 2013
George Bunn, 87, a leading figure in the field of arms control who helped draft and negotiate the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968, limiting the spread of nuclear weapons worldwide, died April 21 at his home in Palo Alto, Calif. He had spinal cancer, said his son Matthew Bunn. In 1945, while serving in the Navy, Mr. Bunn was on a ship bound for Japan when atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought an end to World War II. "He was convinced that the atomic bomb saved his life," his son said Thursday.
April 20, 2013 |
GENEVA - Ahead of a round of global nuclear talks, five major powers Friday labeled North Korea and Iran as "serious challenges" to the world's nuclear security, citing their repeated defiance of U.N. sanctions. Senior diplomats with the U.N. Security Council's five permanent members singled out North Korea's nuclear test in February and Iran's "continued pursuit of certain nuclear activities" as among the biggest threats to the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the world's most important pact on preventing the spread of nuclear arms.
April 13, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - North Korea likely has a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on a ballistic missile, according to a new assessment by the Pentagon's intelligence arm that comes amid growing alarm over Pyongyang's warmongering. The conclusion by the Defense Intelligence Agency said the weapon would have "low reliability," but the disclosure during a congressional hearing Thursday is likely to raise fresh concerns about North Korea's capabilities and intentions. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R., Colo.)
April 12, 2013 |
What to do about Kim Jong-un, the world's greatest showman, who is noisily threatening a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula and preparing to test a missile that could reach Guam? Politicians and pundits are furiously debating the answer, but I've heard no ideas likely to persuade North Korea's twenty-something leader to behave better. That is, until Tuesday, when a prominent South Korean legislator suggested a response that would be bitterly opposed by Washington (and Beijing and Pyongyang)