Iran gets the bomb! Um, so what?
OK, Iran gets the bomb? Then what? Iran blows up New York? They have no real means to get a bomb to New York…and we would turn Iran into a parking lot if they did. Iran blows up Israel? Well, it would take more than one bomb to blow up Israel…but same result…the USA turns Iran into a parking lot. OK, they give a bomb to terrorists. Ignoring the fact that no country has ever given away a nuclear bomb to anyone, let alone a criminal gang (would you give the ultimate weapon to a criminal gang?) and the terrorists somehow manage to use it in New York or Israel without getting caught (another pretty iffy scenario)…within hours nuclear experts analyzing the fallout and characteristics of the explosion conclude it was of Iranian origin…and Iran gets turned into a parking lot. Assuming of course that we don’t just turn Iran into a parking lot on general principles the second a nuclear attack is launched on Israel or the USA.
So, maybe the USA doesn’t want Iran to get the bomb because we are concerned about Iran and don’t want Iran to get turned into a parking lot? Is Bush’s stated desire to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons really an example of compassionate conservatism? I dunno. A million dead in Iraq and no regrets…it’s pretty hard to see Bush as being concerned about the people of the Middle East. Joking aside, I am finding it hard to joke about anything these days. The idea that Iran is run by a bunch of “crazies” who will “of course” use the bomb if they get it…is ludicrous. First of all Iran has a reasonably functional democratic government, it isn’t a model democracy by any means but it’s a lot more stable and democratic than many, including some key US allies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. And anyone who has read Ahmadinejad’s speeches knows he isn’t a raving madman or a potential Hitler. (Heck, he has a blog.) We should be trying to befriend Iran and integrate them into the international community, not isolate and demonize them.
In fact a good case can be made that Iran getting the bomb would be a stabilizing influence in the region. The Iranians would be less worried about being attacked by the USA, so the general level of sabre rattling would go down. The USA would be more inclined to negotiate its differences with Iran instead of relying on threats and sanctions. It would end the whole quixotic US effort to stop Iran from developing nuclear technology. I say quixotic because the rest of the world is only paying lip service to it, the sanctions the UN just passed were so watered down as to be almost meaningless.
I don’t think Bush has really grasped that the world is just going to humour him until he is safely out of office. Does one mess with a lion that had its paw in a trap? No, one goes about your business at a safe distance and hope the lion bleeds to death. And the US in Iraq and Afghanistan is definitely a trapped and bleeding lion, helpless as long as no one gets too close because we are afraid of the pain that pulling out of the trap would cause us. Of course some of us said “Don’t step in that damn trap!” in the first place, but I digress. And million’s of Americans as well who don’t grasp how trapped we really are either. Sigh. Anyhow, I’ve milked this analogy for more than it’s worth.
My point is that Iran getting the bomb is not the end of the world, it’s not like they are going to have first strike capability anytime soon, if ever. It’s possible that it might even lead to more international efforts to get back on the nuclear disarmament track, though I think that is unlikely. The nuclear club will continue to grow slowly, and again, this might be a good thing. Countries with nuclear weapons are more likely to sit down and talk to work out their differences. This Neverland we live in where the nuclear powers run the show is slowly coming to an end.
Could I be wrong? Yes. A nuclear armed Iran could make things worse, but I think in the greater scheme of things a nuclear armed Iran is a minor threat. I’m having trouble blogging lately because I think the world situation on so many fronts is coming to a head, maybe very abruptly. In the US especially we have lived in a fool’s paradise since the end of World War Two, a life of cheap gas and cheap goods where the price for our profligacy was dumped onto the third world, the environment, and our grandchildren. I think is some ways this explains American’s horror at the idea of our enemies getting the bomb, we have been “the” superpower for all of most American’s lives, and a world where the US is one among many is frightening.
It scares me.
(The above image, “Neverland,” is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit and my use of it here does not in any way interfere with the copyright holder’s commercial use of the image, arguably the opposite. Credit: iblard.com/INOUE Naohisa/ART SPACE Co.,Ltd..