Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Iran Needs Nukes?

So says Hossein Derakhshan (yes, that guy). He didn't always feel that way:

Back in 2004, I had environmental and political worries about nuclear energy. Low safety standards in Iran, evidenced for example in the extremely high incidences of road accidents, would make anyone nervous about the possibility of another Chernobyl occurring in Iran. Politically, I argued that possessing nuclear weapons would embolden the new government of Iran, which was already exhibiting an unimpressive record on democracy and human rights.

But he perceives something more threatening than totalitarian, terrorist-backing Iran:

But the events of the past two years -- most notably with what's happening in Iraq, along with last year's presidential election and other unfortunate events in the region -- has left no doubt in my mind, and in the minds of lots of secular Iranians, that the U.S. is behaving more and more like a reckless imperial force...

Does Hossein even know what an empire is? One of the key elements is tribute paid by the conquered nation to the conquering nation. The situation in Iraq is the reverse: we are paying tribute to them. We are building infrastructure that was destroyed in the war and that never existed in the first place. search of new sources of energy...

So why isn't any Iraqi oil coming over to the US?

Actually, if the US government wanted to go to war for oil, it would find an excuse to liberate western Canada from its Frenchified eastern portion (retribution for harboring all those draft dodgers?) and start going after Alberta's oil sands.

...and new markets to expand to economically.

What evidence does he have of mercantilist aspirations?

Therefore, even if Iran becomes the most peaceful, secular and progressive, yet still independent state on the planet, the U.S. would be unable to tolerate it. The U.S. would seek new excuses to topple Iran's government and install their favorite instead.

The United States has no history whatsoever of toppling peaceful governments, so this is nothing more than sheer bigotry.

He has other reasons, involving Pakistan:

Moreover, a nuclear Pakistan has always been a threat to Iran and a source of instability. Radical Wahabi and anti-Shia groups such as Sepah-e Sahabeh have murdered Iranian citizens or diplomats in the past twenty years. They helped create the Taliban, which almost got into war in Iran in late in late 90s.

Actually, a nuclear Pakistan is my argument for India having a nuclear program. Granted, India went nuclear first. At least India never traded nuclear technology with North Korea.

What is the greater threat to civilization - Pakistan's nuclear advantage over Iran, or a nuclear Iran governed by a totalitarian theocracy that sponsors terror organizations?

Hossein should realize that the US already has ample grounds to declare war on Iran: its support of Hezbollah, its complicity in the Khobar Towers bombing, and its involvement training and supplying guerilla forces in Iraq. Iran is already at war with us; we simply haven't returned the favor yet.

Update: So should we invade tommorow? No. We've got a lot of resources tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. Our current policy should be containment: spy on its nuke program (and all other government and military activities), bomb nuke program facilities when discovered, nab any Iranians coming over into Iraq or Afghanistan, destroy Hezbollah. I can come up with only one way in which the United States can avoid an eventual military solution: overthrow of the mullahcracy.

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