News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Holding Iran's Feet to the Fire

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Holding Iran's Feet to the Fire

It's all about Iran today and the threat of the IAEA to pass on to the Security Council a recommendation for further debate and perhaps sanctions. I have written about this issue over the last six months, as the storm clouds have gathered. From Israel threatening to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities to the US sabre-rattling, it's reached its crescendo, perhaps, today.

It is important to note, as does the Armchair Generalist, that Iran was the only member of the Axis of Evil that Pres. Bush mentioned in his SOTU speech. Armchair thinks this is a sign of flagging passions on Bush's part to pursue WMDs wherever they appear.

For my part, I see this focus a bit more ominously. I think in picking out Iran, and not N. Korea, for example, the Bush admin. is taking steps to prepare the nation for military operations. ...

CNN actually found an expert who didn't simply mouthe the US/Israel drumbeat on Iran today. On CNN's Live Today, Jim Walsh, affiliated with MIT, said:

WALSH: Well, that's a great question, Daryn. I think Americans should be careful on this subject, because it's a tough one. It's complex. People should not have the idea in their minds that somehow tomorrow Iran is going to whip out a nuclear weapon, or that it has a nuclear weapon.

We're really talking about something that might be a problem in the future, three or five years down the line, or even later. But nevertheless, any country that goes and develops nuclear weapons, I think, and I think most of the international community believes, would be a threat. It means that those weapons, the further spread of those weapons mean they are more likely to be used in a nuclear war.

So it's -- nuclear proliferation has always been a top issue for the American public, and it should be, but I don't think we should overreact to indivual events, either. [my emphasis]
I go back to what I have said all along. Iran is rational on this issue. Ahmedinajad is something of a figure head, and his strident and extremist views are somewhat embarrassing to the real leader behind the scenes, Khameini.

Khameini himself may just let the Fanatical President do his hatchet job simply to play a game of chicken to see how far the west is willing to go in its threats. If they can push the west to an extreme position and then back off at the last minute, Khameini can consolidate his own power within Iran, which does seem somewhat brittle. As some Iranian commentators have noted, many citizens within Iran simply disregard the ruling power structure. By creating an artificial crisis, Khameini can create a situation in which Iranians have to take sides and become energized by a perceived outside threat.

The Bush admin. should simply back off of Iraq. As I have noted in the past, the Army War College realizes that a nuclear Iraq is not the end of the world. A bargaining position for the US, however, must include a call on Israel to curtail its own anti-Iran rhetoric and threats of military action. Indeed, for the Generals at the War College, Israel should come clean about its own nuclear program and cut back on its production of fissile material.

Related Links

My Previous Iran-Related Posts

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