And The Show Goes On

Apparently the faux pas Olmert made Monday just isn’t going away.

Despite attempts by the Israeli government to diss the whole issue, people just aren’t letting the thing drop. Reports are surfacing that the Finns are getting in the act.

Seppo Kääriäinen, the Finnish defence minister, was quoted as saying by German daily Berliner Zeitung on Wednesday that Ehud Olmert, the prime minister of Israel, should explain his hint in a German television interview that the country possessed nuclear weapons.

“I think that Mr Olmert should clarify slightly what exactly this information really means,” Mr Kääriäinen told the paper.

Mr Kääriäinen also hoped that international crisis management could continue uninterrupted in Lebanon and added that the EU would watch closely what reactions Israel’s reported admission of nuclear capability would cause in the region.

For those who don’t pay attention, Finland has the EU Presidency this year. (The countries take turns in the EU – who needs this democracy voting crap!)

Anyway, Washington Post has picked up the story and posted it online and this may appear at my favorite Arms Control blog in the near future.

It’s gotten so bad that the Jerusalem Post is already looking at the long term problems.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s apparent inclusion of Israel in the nuclear club and confirmation that the country has nuclear weapons could prove disastrous to Israel’s strategic standing, senior defense officials said Tuesday.

According to the officials – responsible for planning Israel’s long-term defense strategy – Olmert’s comment could eventually lead to renewed pressure to open up the country’s nuclear installations to international inspections. Egypt has repeatedly called for International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections of the Dimona nuclear facility as well as Israel’s signature on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Apparently the decades old policy of ‘nuclear ambiguity’ is finally over with more and more people putting pressure on Israel. Even the Israelis don’t really seem to be denying the existence of weapons but rather denying having claimed to have weapons. Then deny the denial (or something).

Next up – George W. Bush will decide on a new Iraq policy – insurgent ambiguity. You simply don’t accept the fact that there is any problem in Iraq. You don’t actually deny it, you simply don’t admit to having a problem. It would be back to staying the Rumsfeld course. Just wait. Then comes the Freudian slip and we have the whole mess in America.

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