October 18, 2005

Lileks on Mohamed ElBaradei

James Lileks has an excellent column in which he explores legacy of Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and latest Nobel Prize recipient:
Which brings us to its latest recipient: ol' see-no-evil Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. This is like giving the surgeon general the Nobel for medicine after bird flu depopulates North America. Let's look at ElBaradei's highlight reel:

Completely whiffed the Libyan nuke program. Failed to notice that Iran had a secret nuclear program going for a fifth of a century. (You can hardly blame the U.N. types — it was secret, after all. I mean, it's not like you can barge in and say, "What's all this, then?") The IAEA also didn't have a clue about A.Q. Khan, the wannabe Bond villain who ran a nuclear Wal-Mart for rogue states. ElBaradei would have been better off sending Mr. Magoo to ferret out Khan's network; at least Magoo would have tripped over something.

As is the case with any stopped-clock technocrat, ElBaradei got one thing right: Iraq was not on the cusp of exploding a nuclear device. You remember the war-justifying lies of the president: We must "attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs" because an Iraq untrammeled by sanctions "would be free to retain and begin to rebuild its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs in months, not years." Lies! Lies!

Well, ahem: Those were spoken to the nation by President Clinton in 1998, describing his justified, if unsuccessful, attempt at regime change. Clinton was correct — unless you think Saddam unbound would have called up ElBaradei and begged for forgiveness. Bless me for I have sinned. It has been six months since my last inspection.

Incidentally, some are worried that Chavez might want to buy nukes from Brazil, if it starts making them again. Surely that's just crazed right-wing nonsense — but if true, fear not! The Nobel prize-winner will be all over that like yellow on yellowcake. It is yellow, isn't it? That's not just a name? In any case, better you should worry about free markets causing tsunamis. Thus endeth the sermon. Go, and sin no more.
My thoughts exactly.
| |

<< Home