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Mohamed ElBaradei: Call him ‘Cool Hand Nuke’

Whew! Finally thawing out from my weekend Arctic adventures, and what better The Cool One himself: Mohamed El is in the house!place to do it than a coffee house here in ViennaAustria. Hell, these people invented the coffee house! Mmmmm….soaking up the warmth of a good cup of joe spiked with Zirbenz…my favorite Alpine liqueur.  Ahhh…inhaling the heady smoke of a dark bean roast whilst having my shoulders massaged by a sweet little fraulein…oops, where was I? Oh yes! Vienna! What brings the Avenger here, you ask? Well, I had to come down to chill at IAEA headquarters and party with my favorite Austrian Egyptian, Mohamed ElBaradei, who once again finds himself in hot water. Ha! How fitting! Hot water in a coffee house…oh my, sometimes I am too damn good! To the facts:

France ups ante in war of words with Iran over nuke issue

France seeks new set of sanctions on Iran

Europeans Tone Down War Rhetoric in Iran Nuclear Stand-Off

Western talk of Iran war premature “hype”: IAEA head

ElBaradei at center of standoff over Iran’s nuclear program

The man at work in Vienna…So before we get to this Elbaradei cat and why he’s so damn important, let’s browse over the headlines.  In a nutshell, Iran has been developing its nuclear program at a rapid pace. Iran has claimed from the get go that their program is all about nuclear energy production, and no more.  In their defense, Iran is a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT): a treaty which prohibits the spread of nuke weapons, encourages disarmament of states with nuke weapons, and allows for the development of nuke energy.  So far, Iran has been a lawful abider of this treaty, having broken none of its rules.  Sorry! I know a lot of folks don’t want to hear that.  I’m not defending them…it’s just the way it is.

However, the US and ‘the West’ don’t like and don’t trust Iran, so they believe the Iranians are really after development of nuclear weapons. In their defense, they could be right. That Iranian regime is far from anything you would call stable and sensible.  But given the US/the West’s involvement in all the countries surrounding Iran (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan), I can see why they might crave the security blanket that a nuke bomb might provide them.  This is just plaid conjecture of course, but I can understand why they might want one. Can’t you? Hell, if I lived anywhere near the Middle East, I’d want as much ammunition as I could get.  Shit, I’d park a scud missile in my garage….but I digress as usual…

So Iran wants a nuke program, ‘the West’ does not want that to happen, and the issue has been heating up here lately…as if the Middle East needed more heat? The US and the EU have been Sarkozy: bringing the heat by calling for strict sanctions against the country in order to force them to give up the nuke stuff.  And this week’s heat has been coming from quite the unexpected source: the French! Ever since Nick Sarkozy took over as President of France (see: Sarkozy the Shit-Kicker), those guys have seemingly grown some escargot balls of steel overnight. The Frenchies have been insistent that all steps will be taken to ensure that Iran will never have a nuke program…including the possibility of war!

What a bizarre turn of events for the French: they are never the instigators of war….they usually just surrender when the war breaks out. Damn! You know you must be pissing people off if the French want to fight you! Shit! Hitler couldn’t even pull that one off! I just can’t help but think that the US is finding all this terribly amusing: the Frenchies are being more bad-ass than the Bush-ies! How sweet would that be though: the US sending in ‘the boys in berets’ as its first assault wave? Ha! Yep, this situation continues to get hotter and hotter as the weeks pass….but there is a splash of cold water to all of this rhetoric…and that cool water’s name is Mohamed ElBaradei. I refer to him as ‘Cool Hand Nuke’, and he is the real point of today’s blog. 

You’ve got to know this dude, because his opinion, and his voice, will be seriously affecting how shit gets played out on our planet in the coming years. Big time.  So who is he? Mohamed IAEA logoElBaradei is an Egyptian diplomat and Director General of the IAEA….aka the International Atomic Energy Agency, a sub-organization of the UN. And an important one at that.  The IAEA’s basic mission is to promote the peaceful use of nuke technology for energy purposes while simultaneously limiting nuke technology for weapons purposes. They are often referred to as “the UN’s Nuclear Watchdog”. These are the guys who do inspections on facilities the world over to ensure that the IAEA and the NPT’s aims are being met. 

As the head of the IAEA, ElBaradei has the daunting task of compiling all the investigative clues and deciding if a country is breaching the NPT by trying to create nuke weapons. And this is a shitty job. Why? Look at the headlines again from above. Because there is so much political drama between countries, ElBaradei and his crew are constantly harassed from all sides when they make any decision or recommendation. No matter what the IAEA decides, its sure to piss someone off. 

Colin sez:

Want an example? Sure, here’s one you’ll remember: In the lead up to the current US/Iraq War, the US hounded the shit out of the IAEA to declare that Iraq had weapons. The IAEA went into Iraq to inspect, which pissed off the Iraqis. The IAEA couldn’t find enough evidence to support the claim of a nuke program, and ElBaradei made those facts public, which pissed the shit out of the US.  As the story has unfolded after the US invasion, it turns out that ElBaradei was right, which pissed the US even more.  In fact, the US was so pissed that it tried to block ElBaradei from being appointed to his third term in office.  It was hilarious! The US tried to get their buddy Australia to put up a candidate to defeat Mohamed, but he is just to popular and even the Aussies wouldn’t do it! Ha! It’s just like high school man!

Laugh it up! Tomorrow there may be a war!Long story short: know your ElBaradei.  He is a level-headed dude who has been striving for peaceful resolution to world nuke issues for over a decade. He is routinely berated by the US and ‘the West’ who think he is too soft on Middle Eastern countries that they want to invade. He looks for facts, not speculation. He is a quiet, reserved man who doesn’t go to award dinners, doesn’t jet-set, doesn’t hang out with world leaders, and doesn’t play politics.  He is a calm in the storm that is international politics: the mere fact that he pissed off nearly everyone is a good indicator that he is doing something right! As referenced in the story above, he put the smack-down on France for their hot-headed words concerning a strike against Iran by basically saying: France, chill out with ‘the hype.’ Quote: “I ask everyone to hold their horses until we do the process,” Ha! Hold your horses Frenchies!

Don’t mess with Mohamed my friends! This dude won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 (jointly with the IAEA), and he donated his winnings to set up orphanages in Egypt. He is the bomb! Oops…no pun intended.  For all of this, and more, I call him Cool Hand Nuke.  Hell, this dude may end up preventing a damn war or two, so be sure you know who he is, and what he is up to. His opinions Sweet! Plaid ski bunny on the slopes!can make or break a nuke program, a country, or a war effort. Seriously. If ElBaradei decides that Iran is breaching the rules, than one word from him can easily incite an invasion from the West.

As for me…its about time to hit the slopes.  Where are my plaid ski pants?….

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