2009 10 01 archive

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Purple Elephants

Let’s face it, the guy to the left is either a brilliant actor or is actually batshit insane. Lucky for the rest of the world, the people tugging on his strings aren’t quite as brash and reactionary to openly call for the eradication of entire countries. There was a time when I believed, mostly out of spite for the Bush administration, that Iran’s nuclear program was in fact purely for peaceful purposes. Once I pulled my head out of my red liberal ass though, reasons why Iran would not be working on “the bomb” became pretty fucking slim. That being said, I really don’t think we have much to worry about in that department.

Lets first start with the Ayatollahs at the top. Anyone who knows anything realized they are the true power holders in Iran. And if their relatively violent repression of supporters Mir Hussein Mousavi, a moderate reformist, this past summer are any indication they very much value their power and will do most anything to protect it from any threat, real or imaginary. Ahmadinejad can run around on camera and wave his dick in the face of the US and Israel, but really that’s all they’re going to let him do. Anything much more would be taking too much of a risk. Certainly if an Iranian nuclear weapon was used against Israel–directly by Iran or through a proxy like Hezbollah–it would mean the almost immediate end of the Islamic Republic, no question. While in this case the Ayatollahs would probably maintain some power over an insurgency or something like that, they would certainly have a lot less power and a lot less wealth than they do now.

So why then would Iran want a nuclear weapon if they’re not going to use it? While we’re at it, why does the United States still hang onto its nuclear weapons when we’re (probably) never going to use any of them? The UK? France? Russia? Simple, it’s a power broker. So few countries have nuclear weapons, it’s like an elite little club. And for some odd reason, the nations with weaponized nuclear capabilities tend to be taken more seriously on the world stage. How else is a middle-eastern Islamic theocracy fronted by a lunatic going to be heard in a world dominated by Judeo-Christian leaders backing American and European interests?

Even if you have a real problem with Iran having nuclear weapons, what are you going to do about it? Sanctions are a joke, we’ve been yelling at them since 1979 to no avail, and we demonize them daily in the media while all they do is reciprocate the civilian re-education with daily “Death To America” chants. Even nuclear non-proliferation treaties are a waste of time; India unabashedly violated every nonproliferation law on the books to develop their weapons program and they’re now one of America’s closest allies. Really the only thing you could do to stop the Iranian nuclear program at this point is bomb their facilities, which the US isn’t going to do. Enter Israel. They did it to Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program in the 1990’s, but then again Saddam, not having paranoid hyperconservatives to keep his insanity in check, was a much more credible threat than Ahmadinejad is. Considering Israel can be just as crazy as their neighbors though, who knows what will happen on that front.

Nobody can say for certain that Iran is or isn’t developing a nuclear weapon and nobody can say for certain that they will or will not use one provided they are developing one. International relations is an educated guessing game; you look at the facts and draw what seems to be the logical conclusion. Then again, sometimes your logical conclusion couldn’t be more wrong. Political scientists in the 1980s would have laughed in your face if you told them the Soviet Union would be no more by 1991 and it wouldn’t require a NATO invasion. But for the most part if you think enough about these things you can predict the future fairly accurately. Accurate enough to sleep easy at night, anyway. That being said, keeping the ruse of outrage at and unacceptability of an Iranian nuclear program is an important part of the game. It is in fact that game that makes us able to predict how things will go. The world we live in may be madness, but Sparta isn’t all its cracked up to be either.