My Photo
Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Friday, August 19, 2005

Iran So Far Away, Part 1

Chefjef posts the following. It needs to stand on its own amd ripen a bit, especially if it is to provoke the commentary Chefjef and I would like to see.

Izmud, Hans, Red Leader, et al...wanna take a crack at it? Nolan, wanna roll summa that "enemy lovin" stuff Iran's way? All: Cast no personal aspersions upon the author, please.

I am loath to fisk Chefjef outright (since he is a de facto blog partner), but this piece is tendentious enough to warrant it (and I suspect he deliberately wrote it with that in mind...)

So here's the deal: I will give other correspondents one day to post responses and then I will completely fisk the piece, paragraph-by-paragraph, if not sentence-by-sentence. I'll leave it at that for now.

Monk say: Comment away!



Wendy Sheehan is a granola Lefty, but Bush is a truth-stretching scaredycat. Still, let’s broaden the scope of the “Iraq issue.” I think Iraq is B.S., but there is definitely a larger issue of “Us. vs. Terrorists” that requires direct and prolonged action by the U.S., and I think we are behind the eight-ball in terms of when we got started. You, of course, believe that the Iraq effort is a necessary element in the “Us v. Tangoes” thing. Okay, well regardless of the position one takes on the relevance of Iraq to “U v. T,” the media focus on Iraq is as distracting to the broader issue as the Roman Gladiator games (in the later years) were to the state of the Empire – that is, they sort of purposefully kept folks’ minds off of things.

So what say we get some Monkster analysis and insight on Iran. I’ll give you a starting board. You can post some of it as a sounding board, and perhaps it’ll generate some discussion from other correspondents on the issue (an issue which, I think, us common folks need to prod the establishment in spending more time discussing with the public).

Well, this weekend President Bush made a thinly veiled threat to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities or even invade the country as a last resort. The comment was sparked by Tehran's troubled negotiations with the West over its nuclear program.

It is telling that Bush made the comments on Israeli television, which makes them even more provocative. Israel is, of course, not only Iran's archenemy but is also probably the sole possessor of nuclear weapons in the immediate region.

Bush seems to not only want to rattle his saber at Tehran's hard-liners, he also wants to ensure that he infuriates and publicly embarrasses even moderate Iranians.

If diplomacy fails, "all options are on the table," Bush said. "You know, we've used force in the recent past to secure our country." But it was precisely Bush's use of preemptive force against Iraq that now makes it so difficult to pressure Iran to abandon its worrisome nuclear program.

Neither the security of the Iranians nor of the world is enhanced by any nuclear program that includes weapons capabilities. Iran insists that it only wants peaceful nuclear power, but we cannot assume it is telling the truth. If Tehran refuses to be transparent and open to inspections, the U.N. Security Council can take up the issue of imposing sanctions and start that whole weapons monitoring rigmarole.

Yet as the head of the only nation to have used nuclear weapons on human beings and the one currently devising the next generation of "battlefield" nukes, it would seem that Bush should be a little more careful about trying to seize the moral high ground. This is especially the case because we have accommodated the nuclear programs of three allies (Pakistan, India and Israel).

The timing of Bush's bombast is particularly fortunate. Last week the world the mayor of Nagasaki, at the 60th anniversary of the A-bomb bombing, pointed out our hypocrisy in his comments, saying "[T]o the citizens of the United States of America: we understand your anger and anxiety over the memories of the horror of the 9/11 terrorist attacks…." "Yet, is your security enhanced by your government's policies of maintaining 10,000 nuclear weapons?" While I do think that the answer to that question is “hell yeah,” it doesn’t change the hypocrisy inherent in our position nor the fact that Bush's Iran policy is rife with contradictions and

What, for example, is the point of publicly threatening Iran when doing so immeasurably strengthens the hand of hard-line nationalists and religious fundamentalists in Tehran? These are the people who, for more than a century, have secured much of their appeal by posturing as the “protectors of the Muslim populace against Western imperialism.” And it seems to me that the reality is that we are in a much, much weaker position vis-a-vis Iran than we should be because of our invasion and disastrous occupation of neighboring Iraq.

Iran now holds some high cards: It is closely allied with the most powerful force in post-Hussein Iraq (Shiite religious leaders). Any invasion of Iran might break our already strained military machine. If Iran were to send its fanatical revolutionary guards into Iraq as saboteurs, they could make the current carnage more reminiscent of Vietnam-era losses.

Finally, Iran is one of the world's biggest oil exporters. At a time when oil prices are soaring, much of the rest of the world would be hesitant to back the United States in any adventure that could cut off the flow. (Well, not that there is much of the world left that would support us even if they believed it were the right thing to do; it is fashionable to be an American-contrarion. Hey! I think I invented a new word. How about this: instead of “Euro’s” we can now call them “HAC’s” – Hypocritical American Contrarions.....hmmmm, I’ll have to work on that, especially since “contrarion” isn’t a word.)

What say you Monkster?


<< Home