The history of humankind could be summarized cynically as a constant war with some intervals called peace.

The advances in technology and science have overwhelmed the ancestral teachings of philosophy. Socrates’ “Know thyself “; Confucius’ wise quotes or Jesus’ “turn the other cheek” remain to be fulfilled. The Roman’s motto IF YOU WANT PEACE PREPARE FOR WAR is better applied than LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF. The mind continues its domain over the heart.

We entered with firm steps into the Third Millennium applying the same “solutions” used by Homo erectus with stones and ox jaws to solve disputes and impose dominance. The big difference is that since 1945 the possibility exists that humankind could become extinct by its own hand.

Enormous interests move the geopolitics of the planet. The convenient allies of yesterday are today’s enemies. Alliances that only a few years ago were acceptable due to the Cold War are now unnecessary and even punishable.

No one could deny the evil that moves Saddam Hussein’s actions. This is nothing new. His criminal record goes back more than 30 years. But it was evil also that allowed and promoted his rise to power. Seems like it was okay to look the other way meanwhile Saddam slaughtered the Kurds with arms of mass destruction. At that moment Iraq was at war with Iran and the Ayatollah Khomeini, the enemy of the U.S. Germany, France, the U.S.. , England and many Asian nations supplied Saddam with the necessary ingredients to build the weapons that are now the REASON for a possible war against the Iraqi regime.

How can we argue that to avoid the POSSIBILITY that Saddam builds a nuclear weapon, the United States is willing to use tactical nuclear weapons? Will it be possible to avoid in the future that India or Pakistan might launch among themselves a “preventive” nuclear attack? The same could happen with China against Taiwan or Israel against an Arab nation. We are opening the most terrific Pandora’ s box.

Can Condolezza Rice, National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Collin Powell assure the world that the radiation of those “tactical” weapons will not cross over the borders to Iraq’s neighbors? Are the smart bombs intelligent enough to distinguish between military targets and civilian populations? Or are we going to continue piling collateral damage?

The United Nations and its inspectors in Iraq, with all their human frailties are a better option that starting a fuse that could unleash our worst nightmare.
*Rubén Arvizu is Director for Latin America of Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.