A nuclear energy program?
King Abdullah has told Haaretz newspaper that Jordan is considering starting a peaceful nuclear energy program (thanks Batir). Obviously, this is causing quite a stir. Why would little old Jordan want to play with the big boys?
I have previously written a three part argument for the establishment of a nuclear energy program in Jordan (Parts I, II and III), so my feelings are clear. I am interested in the reactions to this. Most notable is the sneering sarcasm by Arab bloggers such as Nadeem and Issandr. These guys are no friends of Jordan, and so their negative attitude is not so surprising.
The US does not seem to object to the idea.
Now, I fully expect that such an ambition should be subject of lively debate. I just find the objections of our “Arab brethren” quite disturbing (although not really surprising). Issandr has this rambling diatribe:
The boy-king says Jordan has to even though it probably can’t afford to, because of those nasty Iranians and their Shia crescent. Which is probably a lot of bull— if Jordan gets a nuclear power station, it’s because men with little black briefcases will have toured Arab capitals trying to sell multi-billion dollar plants with the backing of their governments. If Jordan goes though with, you can bet its power station will be mostly funded by the US taxpayer thanks to the Bush administration pandering to the nuclear energy lobby.I read the transcript and there is no linkage between the proposed program and Iran or the Shia crescent. Moreover, if the US decides to give us one for free (highly unlikely), well, they will do us more good that the likes of Issandr ever will.
As for Nadeem, he has this to offer:
Personally – I think that Jordan has been kissing American and Israeli ass for far too long to be denied the opportunity to develop (or be punished for creating) a national nuclear energy program. Seriously, how would it look to the Arab masses if even Jordan and Egypt’s sell-out governments are treated like Iran when it comes to such matters? Doing so would only create (or help solidify) the impression that whether Arab states cooperate with Zio-American imperialism or not, they'll still always be side-swiped by American-Israeli relations.So, there should be benefits for maintaining good relationships with the west and Israel. I’m glad he sees that. Remind me again what Saddam (or Iraq) gained by pissing off the US.