Remembering A.Q. Khan, the Man Who Gave the World Its Nuclear-Proliferation Problems

On October 10, A.Q. Khan died in Islamabad of complications related to a coronavirus infection. More than any single individual, he contributed to the acquisition of advanced nuclear technology by dangerous and unstable nations. Anthony Ruggiero and Andrea Stricker write:

In the early 1970s, Khan, a metallurgical engineer, exploited his employment at a Dutch company . . . to steal restricted gas-centrifuge-design drawings and documents. Khan later returned to Pakistan to lead Islamabad’s illicit procurement efforts to acquire components and materiel for a centrifuge program, taking advantage of weak European and Japanese export controls on nuclear dual-use equipment to achieve his goal. Khan’s efforts allowed him to rise in prominence within the nuclear weapons complex and, later, in Pakistani society.

Khan reportedly led Islamabad’s successful effort to develop atomic bombs fabricated with highly enriched uranium by 1984. Khan also realized that selling Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities to other countries would turn a handsome profit.

The A.Q. Khan nuclear-proliferation network relied on numerous corrupt companies, manufacturers, engineers, and businessmen worldwide. Khan and his agents grew key nodes of the network in Malaysia, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. The black-market ring used offshore manufacturing businesses, shell companies, opaque shipping methods, and illicit banking to facilitate the transactions.

By the time the United States and Europe endeavored to close down the Khan network in 2004, it had sold substantial nuclear equipment and assistance to Iran, Libya, and North Korea, and had reportedly approached others.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Iranian nuclear program, Libya, North Korea, Nuclear proliferation, Pakistan

The Ugly Roots of Ireland’s Anti-Israel Policies

Prime Minister Varadkar’s meretricious messaging concerning the freeing of a kidnapped child is only one example of the Irish government’s perverse reaction to Hamas’s assault on Israel. Varadkar has accused the IDF of pursuing “something approaching revenge” in Gaza, and compared the Israeli war effort to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. His parliament, meanwhile, came close to expelling the Israeli ambassador. Terry Glavin writes:

In a recent interview, . . . the retired Irish diplomat Niall Holohan put it this way: “We feel we have been victimized over the centuries. It’s part of our psyche—underneath it all we side with the underdog.” But there’s something else in the Irish psyche that’s impolite to mention in the comfy Dublin pubs and bistros. . . . Not a few of Ireland’s gallant and celebrated champions of the underdog, its heroes of Irish freedom, were vulgar anti-Semites and Nazi collaborators.

And in recent years, Irish Jews are commonly baited, harassed, and badgered every time there is some eruption in Israel involving Palestinian “resistance.”

The republican pamphleteer Arthur Griffith approved [of anti-Jewish agitation in Limerick in 1904], calling Jews “usurers and parasites.” Griffiths was one of the founders of Sinn Féin, in 1905, and he served as Sinn Féin’s president in 1911.

There was always a deep division in the Irish nationalist movement between Irish republicans who felt an affinity with the Jews owing to a shared history of dispossession and exile, and Catholic extremists who ranted and raved about Jews. Those Catholic shouters are still abroad, apparently unaware that for half a century, Catholic doctrine has established that anti-Semitism is a mortal sin.

Read more at National Post

More about: Anti-Semitism, Gaza War 2023, Ireland