Trumps Strikes Nuclear Match to Middle East Tensions

Trump saudi arabia nuclear deal

Richard Silverstein

OK.  So you have the Iranians getting nuclear plants, technology, and uranium enrichment expertise from the Russians.  As a result, some fear the Iranians may be using these as components of a nuclear program to develop nuclear weapons.  You have these same people warning that if Iran gets nuclear weapons that the Saudis would be next to follow suit thus commencing an arms race throughout the region.

Knowing all these things, and if you believed that they were likely, would you then offer to sell the Saudis advanced nuclear technology and build nuclear power plants for them?  Trump apparently would.  Keep in mind, that part of this process would involve training the Saudis to enrich uranium to power the reactors, exactly what the Russians have enabled the Iranians to do.  Further, there is little stopping the Saudis, once they can enrich the uranium to the necessary 5% to power reactors, from enriching it to the 90% necessary to create nuclear warheads.

In other words, the Trump administration is promoting nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.  It wants essentially to start the Saudis on the path to becoming a nuclear-capable state in order to counter Iran’s purported rush to become a nuclear power.

We’ve already done this with the Israelis.  Without our support–and the theft by Israeli agents, including Arnon Milchan, of key nuclear technology and materials from our plants–the Israelis themselves could never have developed nuclear weapons (at least not under the expedited timetable which offered them this capability as early as 1967).

What Trump is proposing is not just a terrible idea, it will exponentially increase the possibility of a nuclear war in the Middle East.  We already have a nuclear-armed Israel.  If the Saudis get WMD, then it will force Iran to do the same.  At that point, you will have three nuclear-capable states in the region with another, Pakistan, very close by.  Is this really a desirable development in a region prone to be a powder keg even without the inclusion of WMD in the mix?

We all know that the Trump regime is full of bad ideas.  And it isn’t afraid of pummeling the American people and the world into submission by not only proposing them, but implementing them.  So it comes as no surprise that such a cockamamie idea would be advanced for the Middle East.  My only hope is that there will be some members of Congress who will recognize this for the awful idea it is and put a stop to it.

This post originally appeared as part of a longer post by Richard on his blog Tikun Olam.

7 thoughts on “Trumps Strikes Nuclear Match to Middle East Tensions

  1. As long as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia can provide the US with oil, US presidents will continue to kiss the rings of Saudi Royalty. The Kingdom is already covered, therefore, by the US Nuclear Umbrella. KSA has no need whatsoever for its own nuclear weapons. Perhaps 50 years ago, Israel didn’t feel so sure of its own support from the US, but post-Arab oil embargoes, US support for the Zionist State has been ratcheted up to the point where criticizing Israel, rather than threats to Social Security benefits, has become THE third rail of American politics. Though I certainly don’t admire or support the regime in Tehran–because it presents itself to the world as a Theocracy–I DO recognize that the Iranians are very correct to perceive themselves as under grave threat from The Great Satan and its minions. I don’t blame them in the least for desiring nuclear weapons as a deterrent to aggression. We should bear in mind, of course, that no impartial observer declares that the Iranian regime is, in fact, working on such weapons at this moment.

    Trump’s proclamation that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel was a very deliberate provocation and attempt to stir up more troubles in the Middle East. It is the polar opposite of what an attempt to broker peace in the region would look like. The alliance of far-rightwing politicians in Israel with the Jew-hating (I do believe in telling it like it is, folks) far right of the US Ruling Class will blow up in the faces of the residents of Israel one of these days. “Ye shall reap what ye have sown.”

  2. Trump seems to be trying to stir up enough really dangerous situations all around the world that American citizens will be diverted from the fact that he is destroying our country. His aim seems to be to make the USA into a subsidiary of Trump family enterprises. It’s called a “dictatorship” folks.

    Just to light a match in Europe, with the support of Boom-Boom McCain, Trump has authorized the sale of lethal anti-tank weaponry to the fascist government of the Ukraine. Now we can have a cozy little war going on in Europe to divert attention from the Trump and Republican kleptocracy. -b. traven

  3. Sometimes my head just spins trying to take in and keep up with all the machinations ongoing. The GOP, as represented by Trump & Company these days is doing what they always intended to do. I keep thinking about the attempted coup against FDR by these very same fascist people and their current progeny. We are so distracted by the minutia of who is doing what to whom that the big picture is, once again, buried. The press of course does its job to ensure the public never get the big picture. So today we have the insanity being revved up by an administration that feels no restraint in threatening to blow up and level all sorts of countries in the world. Trump plays divisiveness like it was a game of tiddly winks. He revels in it and loves to broadcast his power to do such evil. But he is not unique. The GOP has been itching for such use of power. Look at the joy for the military and so many in this govt when Bush/Cheney took the reins and created Shock and Awe in Iraq just because they could. They destroyed a country that was stable and successful. They went on to continue destroying Afghanistan and sowed the seeds for further disruption in the mid-east with Obama continued escalating. I think it was 9 wars he ran. And now we have the GOP
    increasing military spending and nuclear investment. Trump would love to see these countries blow each other up so feeding KSA nuclear technology is a no brainer for them–not us who would really like to see some peace in the world and American money going into supporting the needs of the American people.

    • Tanya–Of course, the Biggest Trump Lie of all is that he’s doing what he’s doing PRECISELY to benefit us, the American citizenry. We can only hope, while we wait for this colossal egomaniac to fall into a self-made trap that will see him gone from office early, that there are enough cooler heads in his advisory circle to restrain the launching of nuclear war. I find it quite plausible, BTW, that Trump actually believes that “all Haitians have AIDS.” Is it possible he somehow doesn’t understand that nuclear weapons will kill and maim far beyond Ground Zero, as clouds of radiation circle the globe?!? How’s that for a cheery Holiday thought??

      • Greg–I always keep in mind that he is a white supremacist who really hates people of color, both at home and abroad. He also hates poor and working people. To broadcast the killing of Koreans or Lebanese or Palestinians is central to his agenda. So it doesn’t really matter whether he thinks all Haitians have AIDs or whether it is just part of his own neo-Nazi propaganda. It is clear that his management style is to be crazy, to keep people off kilter around him and create as much division as possible. All of our presidents had similar feelings except maybe Obama. We are a country based on slavery and institutionalize racism and have attacked countries of people of color for centuries, stealing their land and resources and killing off many of them. So Trump is no different. It’s the fact that Trump will say these things so blatantly without any care for how he affects people other than those he considers his base–and he panders to their ignorance and bigrotry. I think that Trump, like Bush, really wants to be dictator of an autocratic State.

  4. This is tangential to the article itself but there’s a question I have that I’ve been unable to find an answer too and am hoping someone here can at least point me in the right direction: Every story in the last decade at least about nuclear weapons proliferation talks about Uranium enrichment but the majority of the actual nuclear weapons in existence use Plutonium. Why is this? I know the design of a “gun” type warhead using highly enriched Uranium is simpler than a Plutonium “implosion” type but the production and purification of Plutonium in large amounts is much easier than separating U235 out of natural Uranium and opens the way to thermonuclear weapons so in terms of horror per dollar it would seem to be attractive.

    • I believe–but I’m certainly not an authority on such matters–the plutonium, in a small amount, is used as the trigger mechanism to the reaction of the main payload.

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