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Bennett Ramberg

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 24, 2000
In making the argument for banning nuclear weapons (Commentary, Nov. 19) John O. Pastore and Peter Zheutlin contend that there would be "great unity of purpose in stopping would-be proliferators and ample conventional military power to enforce the international norms." Current events suggest otherwise. For years the U.S. has pestered the international community to keep the pressure on Iraq. Yet today, Washington is unable to generate international unity of purpose and action to force Iraqi acceptance of international inspectors.
ARTICLES BY DATE
OPINION
September 12, 2013
Re "Obama puts Syria strike push on hold," Sept. 11 President Obama hit the nail on the head in his address to the nation Tuesday evening. By giving the American people logical, articulate answers to questions raised about involvement in Syria, he won my vote for limited military strikes on the Bashar Assad regime if necessary. As a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I am the last person who wants to see another drawn-out conflict involving our military. Yet the precedent must not be set that it is acceptable to use chemical weapons, ever, for any reason.
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OPINION
April 5, 2003
Re "Back Diplomacy With Force to Bar Iran From Nuclear Club," by Bennett Ramberg, Commentary, April 1: America needs to face the fact that we can no longer stop countries we don't like from going nuclear. We can bluster, we can embargo, but eventually we're going to lose. On the other hand, admittance to the nuclear club almost seems to imbue countries with a new sense of maturity. Pakistan and India stand at the brink, much like the U.S. and Russia did many years ago, yet neither pulls the trigger.
OPINION
September 2, 2012
Re "Isolating Iran?," Opinion, Aug. 28 In their critique of Iran sanctions, Najmedin Meshkati and Guive Mirfendereski argue that Libya demonstrates that penalties do not alter behavior. History tells another story. By the early 1990s, sanctions by the United Nations Security Council and from elsewhere froze Libya's global financial assets while cutting access to arms, oil equipment, aircraft maintenance, air travel and diplomatic relations. As the country's increasing isolation hit the economy and generated unrest, government pragmatists called for an end of the country's anti-West agenda.
OPINION
October 21, 2009
Re "Calling on North Korea," Opinion, Oct. 16 Paul Stares argues that resumption of six-party talks will continue to deny Pyongyang recognition as a nuclear-armed state. Practically, this is beside the point. It already has joined the likes of Pakistan, India and Israel, none of which are "formally" recognized as nuclear-armed states. His view that carefully crafted talks can cap North Korean nuclear production ignores that Pyongyang had agreed to a cap and then walked away -- witness the reconstruction of its Yongbyon facility and reports that it continues to develop enrichment capability.
OPINION
September 2, 2012
Re "Isolating Iran?," Opinion, Aug. 28 In their critique of Iran sanctions, Najmedin Meshkati and Guive Mirfendereski argue that Libya demonstrates that penalties do not alter behavior. History tells another story. By the early 1990s, sanctions by the United Nations Security Council and from elsewhere froze Libya's global financial assets while cutting access to arms, oil equipment, aircraft maintenance, air travel and diplomatic relations. As the country's increasing isolation hit the economy and generated unrest, government pragmatists called for an end of the country's anti-West agenda.
OPINION
October 16, 2003
Re "Israel Ups Ante With Subs," editorial, Oct. 14: The Times' contention that Israel's placement of nuclear forces at sea to avoid destruction is an "aggressive step" is curious considering that the strategy -- by assuring a second-strike capability -- will make Jerusalem less nuclear-trigger happy in an acute international crisis. While The Times sympathizes with Tehran's "irritation" over Washington's blind eye toward Israel's nuclear program, it should be more charitable to Jerusalem, considering that the mullahs have called for the extinction of the Jewish state and supported groups bent on that objective.
OPINION
November 24, 2006
Re "Take Ahmadinejad with a grain of salt," Current, Nov. 19 Ray Takeyh must be living in the same fantasy world that Neville Chamberlain was when he returned from Munich in 1938 and told the world that there would be "peace in our time." At what point don't we take a world leader's words at face value? Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that Israel should be "wiped off the map." He's made other inflammatory statements about Israel being a "mistake" that will be corrected.
OPINION
November 29, 2005
After reading your Nov. 27 editorial, "The way forward in Iraq," I have a suggestion: Try to avoid parroting GOP talking points in your comments about Rep. John P. Murtha's proposal. First, don't call it a proposal for "withdrawal." It isn't. Murtha (D-Pa.) has called for "redeployment" in the region. Second, don't call it a proposal for "immediate" departure. It isn't that either. It calls for redeployment "as soon as possible." The distinctions are important -- too important to be blurred by your newspaper.
OPINION
January 19, 2003
Re "Accept Nuclear Reality on the Korean Peninsula," Commentary, Jan. 16: Bennett Ramberg acknowledges that North Korea will probably try to sell nuclear weapons to willing buyers, just as it presently sells missiles and allegedly drugs. Ramberg states that the cornerstone of any agreement would be for the U.S. to have the right and duty to intercept any shipments of illicit nuclear weapons. Considering that nuclear weapons can be placed in suitcases or in diplomatic pouches, this interdiction would be problematic.
OPINION
October 21, 2009
Re "Calling on North Korea," Opinion, Oct. 16 Paul Stares argues that resumption of six-party talks will continue to deny Pyongyang recognition as a nuclear-armed state. Practically, this is beside the point. It already has joined the likes of Pakistan, India and Israel, none of which are "formally" recognized as nuclear-armed states. His view that carefully crafted talks can cap North Korean nuclear production ignores that Pyongyang had agreed to a cap and then walked away -- witness the reconstruction of its Yongbyon facility and reports that it continues to develop enrichment capability.
OPINION
November 24, 2006
Re "Take Ahmadinejad with a grain of salt," Current, Nov. 19 Ray Takeyh must be living in the same fantasy world that Neville Chamberlain was when he returned from Munich in 1938 and told the world that there would be "peace in our time." At what point don't we take a world leader's words at face value? Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that Israel should be "wiped off the map." He's made other inflammatory statements about Israel being a "mistake" that will be corrected.
OPINION
November 29, 2005
After reading your Nov. 27 editorial, "The way forward in Iraq," I have a suggestion: Try to avoid parroting GOP talking points in your comments about Rep. John P. Murtha's proposal. First, don't call it a proposal for "withdrawal." It isn't. Murtha (D-Pa.) has called for "redeployment" in the region. Second, don't call it a proposal for "immediate" departure. It isn't that either. It calls for redeployment "as soon as possible." The distinctions are important -- too important to be blurred by your newspaper.
OPINION
October 16, 2003
Re "Israel Ups Ante With Subs," editorial, Oct. 14: The Times' contention that Israel's placement of nuclear forces at sea to avoid destruction is an "aggressive step" is curious considering that the strategy -- by assuring a second-strike capability -- will make Jerusalem less nuclear-trigger happy in an acute international crisis. While The Times sympathizes with Tehran's "irritation" over Washington's blind eye toward Israel's nuclear program, it should be more charitable to Jerusalem, considering that the mullahs have called for the extinction of the Jewish state and supported groups bent on that objective.
OPINION
April 5, 2003
Re "Back Diplomacy With Force to Bar Iran From Nuclear Club," by Bennett Ramberg, Commentary, April 1: America needs to face the fact that we can no longer stop countries we don't like from going nuclear. We can bluster, we can embargo, but eventually we're going to lose. On the other hand, admittance to the nuclear club almost seems to imbue countries with a new sense of maturity. Pakistan and India stand at the brink, much like the U.S. and Russia did many years ago, yet neither pulls the trigger.
OPINION
January 19, 2003
Re "Accept Nuclear Reality on the Korean Peninsula," Commentary, Jan. 16: Bennett Ramberg acknowledges that North Korea will probably try to sell nuclear weapons to willing buyers, just as it presently sells missiles and allegedly drugs. Ramberg states that the cornerstone of any agreement would be for the U.S. to have the right and duty to intercept any shipments of illicit nuclear weapons. Considering that nuclear weapons can be placed in suitcases or in diplomatic pouches, this interdiction would be problematic.
OPINION
September 12, 2013
Re "Obama puts Syria strike push on hold," Sept. 11 President Obama hit the nail on the head in his address to the nation Tuesday evening. By giving the American people logical, articulate answers to questions raised about involvement in Syria, he won my vote for limited military strikes on the Bashar Assad regime if necessary. As a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I am the last person who wants to see another drawn-out conflict involving our military. Yet the precedent must not be set that it is acceptable to use chemical weapons, ever, for any reason.
OPINION
September 4, 2002
Matthew Bunn's timely call for the elimination of highly enriched uranium from research reactors (Commentary, Aug. 29) also should draw attention to another risk posed by these facilities: their vulnerability to terrorist sabotage. The 352 research reactors around the world do not have the security measures that protect nuclear power plants. Although research reactor cores and spent fuel inventories are relatively small, the location of many near population centers makes them attractive targets that could pose significant radiological hazards.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 24, 2000
In making the argument for banning nuclear weapons (Commentary, Nov. 19) John O. Pastore and Peter Zheutlin contend that there would be "great unity of purpose in stopping would-be proliferators and ample conventional military power to enforce the international norms." Current events suggest otherwise. For years the U.S. has pestered the international community to keep the pressure on Iraq. Yet today, Washington is unable to generate international unity of purpose and action to force Iraqi acceptance of international inspectors.
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