The Existential Threat to the Entire World

By Jeffrey Goldberg

Jim Fallows, writer of that smash hit from the '70s, "You're So Vain, You Probably Think the Threat of Nuclear Obliteration is About You," pushes back on Daniel Gordis's argument that Israel faces a uniquely dire situation should Iran gain possession of nuclear weapons:

(T)his is not a new, hypothetical, and Israeli-specific problem but a decades-old and very real problem already confronting most of humanity -- notwithstanding all the special vulnerabilities of Israel's situation. There is literally nothing that can assure any of us that we will not be killed tomorrow, by the millions, in an accidental or irrational nuclear exchange. As long as the weapons exist, the possibility remains. Deterrence and "confidence-building" have been the only ways to manage it. And (b) that a benefit of discussing the "existential" threat to Israel's "sense of security" might be new attention to the comparable but broader threat to humanity as a whole.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/10/the-existential-threat-to-the-entire-world/64178/