Bruce Larkin’s Blog


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Name: Bruce Larkin
Location: Co. Cork, Ireland

I’m Professor Emeritus of Politics at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where I’ve taught since 1965. Fall 2007 courses: “War”and “Security, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation.” I’m also Convenor of the Global Collaborative on Denuclearization Design. For more, see résumé at


Friday, July 28, 2006


The following exchange between a reporter and GW Bush took place during today’s [28 July 2006] “press availability”:

Q “Thank you. Mr. President, and Prime Minister Blair, can I ask you both tonight what your messages are for the governments of Iran and Syria, given that you say this is the crisis of the 21st century?”

PRESIDENT BUSH: “Want me to start? My message is, give up your nuclear weapon and your nuclear weapon ambitions. That’s my message to Syria -- I mean, to Iran. And my message to Syria is, become an active participant in the neighborhood for peace.” [1]

The White House asserts that Iran intends to build nuclear weapons, but it has never asserted that Iran has a nuclear weapon. This is a White House transcript, not a Doonesbury strip. Will the White House issue a clarification? Or will it trust that prospects are better if the public imagines that Teheran has a nuclear weapon, or nuclear weapons? Or will it simply observe that everyone knows that Bush doesn’t talk straight so no one will pay any attention to it? But people have to wonder: does Bush think straight? Has he been led to believe that there is a possibility that Iran has a nuclear weapon? Has he been told about some Israelis’ having insisted that once Iranian specialists solved key problems in learning how to build a nuclear weapon the game was already lost? [Please look at my discussion of those Israeli assertions earlier on this blog: ISRAEL PUSHES WHITE HOUSE TO CONFRONT IRAN, 14 January 2006.]

[Note 1]:


Thursday, July 27, 2006


The deaths of four UNIFIL observers in southern Lebanon a few hours ago pose the question whether the deaths were ‘deliberate’ or merely ‘reckless’. Did Israel murder the United Nations observers, or were their deaths merely the result of Israeli recklessness?

An Irish former UNIFIL participant, Tom Clonan, was interviewed on the RTE radio program Morning Ireland today. He is familiar with the Observation Post which was attacked, and his account of the Observation Post and of Israeli practices seems to me to offer more for an understanding of this episode than I’ve seen in the press.

Dr. Clonan is Security Analyst of The Irish Times. His views, similar to those in the RTE interview, are published today in The Irish Times, “Israel Agenda May Be to Drive Out the UN.”:

[Article available by fee or institutional subscription, e.g. on LexisNexis.]

Another Irish view on the Lebanon affair, but written before the UN observers’ deaths, is that of Michael D. Higgins, president of the Irish Labour Party and its foreign affairs spokesman:  “The End of International Law?”. [1]

[Note 1]: A modified version was published in The Irish Times, 27 July 2006, under the title “Is This the Beginning of the End of International Law?: The European Union has handed the Midle East to the militarists.”

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