More nuclear power = less nuclear weapons? Only if you're as mad as a hatter.
Ever since Alice had slipped down the Rabbit Hole, the news had
beengetting curiouser and curiouser. She found herself at avery
large table where the March Hare, a dormouse, a hippopotamus,
andthe Mad Hatter were having tea.
The Hatter was telling a story about how George W. TweedleDum
had justgot back from a trip to India, where he was promising to
give awayshiny new nuclear technology. At the same time, TweedleDee
hadbeen getting very red-faced at the United Nations about
someshiny new nuclear technology in Iran that he wanted taken away.
He broke off his story to wave an empty teapot at Alice.
"Would you like less tea, my dear?"
"Don't you mean more
tea?" asked Alice politely.
"No no no no. We don't have any "more tea" we only have
"lesstea." And it's very rude to ask for what we don't have. Now,
would youlike some more Peaceful Nuclear Technology and Less
Nuclear Weapons togo with that?"
"Umm, yes please" said Alice, thinking this must be the correct
answer and not wanting to upset the Hatter again.
"There you go again, asking for what we can't possibly give
you!" cried the Hatter, springing to his feet.
"How about some safe, clean nuclear power instead?" offered the
"That sounds quite nice, I suppose," said Alice with some
"Wrong answer! No such thing!" the Hatter shouted with glee,
politely adding "One lump or two?"
Alice was quite put out. "Isn't it rude to offer something you
don'thave?" asked Alice. "And even ruder to offer something that
doesn'texist? What kind of a tea party is this?"
"Why this is an IAEA Board of Governors meeting, my dear, and
we'rehaving an NP Tea Party!" said the March Hare, glancing
nervously at avery large watch which was chiming the hour by
"An NP Tea Party? What's that?"
"It's all very simple," said the Hatter as he handed out slices
of cakeand then went around smacking everyone's hand when they
started eatingit, "the NPT is a treaty in which the parties that
have nuclear weaponsagree to get rid of their nuclear weapons in
exchange for the partiesthat don't have nuclear weapons promising
not to get nuclear weapons.As part of the incentive for not getting
nuclear weapons they'rerewarded with the means to make nuclear
weapons. Slice of Cake?"
Alice eyed the yellow cake suspiciously. She heard a distant
voice shouting "Off with their heads!"
"Now, at the moment we're discussing the case of Iran, which has
signedthe treaty and promised not to build nuclear weapons and so
has beenrewarded with the means to make nuclear weapons. But there
are some people
at this party who think that they're actually using thosemeans
to make nuclear weapons as a
means to make nuclear weapons
"Which they've said they don't want..." said Alice.
"Oh yes, but as you of all people should know, my dear, saying
what wemean isn't always the same as meaning what we say. Saying
thatthey aren't making nuclear weapons is just what you'd expect
them to doif they were making nuclear weapons. Proof enough."
The Hatter took a slice of cake and pushed it into the face of
the Hippo, whoalready had his mouth full. "You shouldn't eat so
much cake," he sputtered.
George W. TweedleDum suddenly appeared. "Personically, I'd like
to see lessnuclear weapons in the world. Which is why I'm building
"THAT's the spirit!" cried the Hatter.
"But I don't understand!" cried Alice. "If you can use
nuclearpower technology to make nuclear weapons, and you want to
get rid ofthe nuclear weapons, shouldn't you stop handing out the
George W. TweedleDum patted Alice on the head. "You are anabsurd
little creature, aren't you? Hatter, why don't you explanify
"The TREATY thing, yes yes, mustn't forget that!" cried the
Hatter ashe absent-mindedly dipped the dormouse in his tea.
"Now yousee on the one hand, Iran has signed the Non-treaty on
WeaponsProliferation, and the Treaty on the Proliferation of
Non-weaponsNuclear, and the Proliferation of Treaties on the
Proliferation ofWeapons, Non..."
"Which are all the same thing," said the dormouse, yawning.
"So if THEY try to get nuclear weapons, that's quite illegal and
wemust send them to the Queen of Hearts' Security Council for
"India, on the other hand," said the Hatter holding up a second
handand dropping the teapot on the dormouse's head, "has never
signed thetreaty, so their nuclear weapons are perfectly OK and
they should berewarded with more nuclear technology."
"Pakistan, on the third hand," and oddly the Hatter actually
produce athird hand at this point, " has never signed the treaty,
but we're notso sure about them, so we're NOT going to reward them
with more nucleartechnology."
George W. TweedleDum smiled broadly. "The lessonification here
isnever, never sign a treaty. That's my motto. Lot of bother. I
promiseto keep my nuclear weapons and everybody else has to get rid
of theirsunless I say they can keep them. That's my kind of Treaty.
I believe inmaintaining high standards. I believe in maintaining
"You said that twice." said the Hatter.
"He has to say it twice," said the dormouse. "It's a double
The Hatter now declared it was time for a vote. "Now, who
thinkswe should send Iran to the Queen of Hearts? ("Off with their
heads!came the cry from the garden next door again...) Everyone
looked at theHippo. The hippo started to raise his foot, and
everyone in theparty started to raise their hands. Or paws. Then
the hippo puthis foot down, and everyone in the party did the same.
Then George W.TweedleDum took a large hatpin and quietly stuck it
into the ratherlarge backside of the Hippo, who jumped into the air
with his footraised, and everyone in the party followed suit."
"There then, it's settled, off to the Queen of Hearts with
them!" sang the Hatter.
"Is that what you call democracy?" asked Alice curiously.
"Well it looks like democracy, but in reality the Hippo decides,
andthe Hippo just does what TweedleDum tells him to do" said the
"Oh. I see," said Alice. "I suppose then it's not really a
democracy at all, is it?"
"Well it's just a very different kind of democracy, my dear.
Some people call it a Hippocracy. Cake?"