I Know 1981 Was a Long Time Ago – God of the Machine
Aug 032002

If Iraq doesn’t yet have nuclear weapons, don’t we owe Menachem Begin and the Israelis some thanks for bombing their enriched uranium reactor — purchased for oil from the French, God bless ’em — in 1981, and setting back their acquisition program at least five years? This is some of the thanks the Israelis got at the time (from Newsweek, 6.22.81):

But beyond Israel there were angry charges that Begin had resorted to the attack to assure his own re-election later this month and that Israel, a country that has refused to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, had gone too far by attacking a country that had signed. Begins action offered an ominous precedent for the superpowers — and for wrangling smaller nations in pursuit of the bomb. There is an enormous — and dangerous — arrogance, said Sen. Mark Hatfield of Oregon, a Republican moderate who called Israels attack one of the most provocative, ill-timed and internationally illegal actions taken in that nations history.

Well, jeez, since Iraq signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and all…

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