The political scientist John Mueller, the Woody Hayes Chair of National Security Studies at the Ohio State University, has written "Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism from Hiroshima to Al-Qaeda," and his thesis is that the world's magical thinking and alarmism about nuclear energy and nuclear weapons has significantly distorted policy making and threatens to leave the United States more vulnerable to more pressing threats. Mueller's opinions are not shared by most of his colleagues, but they are taken seriously -- he's not a provocateur. I asked Mueller this morning to put the news about Iran in the context of his theories. How much of a threat is Iran's proliferation? How much of a threat is the West's obsession with Iran's proliferation?
"No one has been killed by nuclear weapons in recent memory and lots of people have been killed by our obsession with proliferation, especially in Iraq," he says.