Sunday, April 12, 2009



The talking heads and commentariat are getting hysterical about Iran becoming a nuclear power. From the neolithic Limbaugh and the aptly named Krauthammer to the editorial board of the New York Times, all are worried about what would happen if the crazed Ahmadinejad got hold of a nuke. Well, actually the President of Iran doesn't have control of the armed forces. The top Islamic cleric does. He hasn't necessarily exhibited overt signs of insanity, but maybe he's covering it up.

For a while the CIA thought they had the goods on him when they got secret recordings of him saying "god will guide us when we eradicate all the nonbelievers with atomic fire." But then it turned out they had been given tapes of a conversation an inebriated Christian Zionist leader was having with his dog, spot. Someone had translated it into Farsi as a joke.

Democrats and Republicans, Senators, Representatives, Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe the Plumber, Sarah Palin have all declared that: "Iran can't' be permitted to have nuclear weapons."

Shouldn't someone ask: "why not?"

"We must have a nuclear-free Mideast!" has been one oft repeated refrain. Israel has roughly 300 or 400 nuclear warheads. They've been producing nukes for many decades without any criticism of upsetting the balance of power or wantonly defying anti-proliferation treaties. Rather, no one who is listened to has pointed out Israel's mass production of atomic bombs and it's possible consequences.

In Iran's neighborhood India, Pakistan, Israel, China and Russia all have nukes. What's the problem with Iran having a few? Who is the U.S. to lecture anyone about having too many weapons of any kind? Especially nukes. What is the only country that has ever used nuclear weapons?

The counter argument goes: Only responsible, civil, peaceable powers can have nukes. A good argument. Take Israel and the USA, they haven't invaded anyone lately, well, at least this week.

Kim Jong Il seems awfully weird and he's got nukes. Well, a few anyway and they don't seem to work very well, but he has them. Has he dropped them on any one yet? No. So the USA is the only country that's ever used atomic weapons.

How uncivilized and wacko is the current Iranian regime? They are so far from our Western values that they have yet to invade another country since they took power in 1979. What is with these guys? Don't they have a military/industrial complex like all reputable countries have? Actually, Iran as a country under any kind of government hasn't invaded any other country for more than 200 years. More evidence of their unsuitability to be a nuclear power.

People who like to run governments don't usually do thing that will lead to their obliteration. Whoever lobs a nuke at the US (if they can get it that far) will be obliterated. Period. If Iran lobs a nuke at Israel ditto. Would Israel nuke Iran if they knew that nukes would come back at them?

Look at Pakistan. Could their nukes fall into the hands of radical Sunni fundamentalists? Perhaps. Sunni fundamentalists hate the Shia (which the Iranians are) as infidels. Maybe they would be crazy enough to use nukes against Iran. Unless Iran had a deterrent. If Iran had nukes then maybe the US or Israel can't attack them with impunity. The 50 years of cold war "balance of terror" the "Mutually Assured Destruction" of both the USA and the USSR in a nuclear exchange did keep the peace. There was no winning a nuclear war. And there is still no winning a nuclear war now, especially if the country you want to attack has atomic weapons.

So, I don't see a problem with Iranian nukes. But if Newt Gingrich ever gets one we are all in trouble.

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