Thursday, November 16, 2006

Iranian "Chutzpah"

From the "you just can't make this up file":

"Iran, whose president has vowed to wipe Israel off the map, complained to the United Nations on Wednesday that the Jewish state was repeatedly threatening to bomb it. The threats were "matters of extreme gravity" and the U.N. Security Council should condemn them and demand that Israel "cease and desist immediately from the threat of the use of force against members of the United Nations," Iranian U.N. Ambassador Javad Zarif said." To be fair, although Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has threatened to "wipe Israel off the map," a statement Iranian officials have argued was not a threat.

Am I crazy are or they? Or both? The reality of this unreality is that news from mainstream sources reads more and more like bits for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart or The Onion. To come up with a foreign policy strategy with hostile nations you have to know their intentions and capabilities. With North Korea we have a good idea of their capabilities now but we don't truly know what their intentions are because they are, well, insane. It's hard to negotiate with an insane person and so misunderstandings can occur. That's o.k. if you're trying to get out of talking to the guy in the street who thinks you're the voices in his head. But what if it's with a sovereign nation that has nuclear weapons? A misunderstanding can lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths. With Iran we don't know their capabilities and we don't know their intentions. This is how wars start. Now I'm not against war, in the words of Col. Flagg from M*A*S*H, "If it wasn't for war you wouldn't know what peace was." But the bottom line is what do you do with Iran?

I wouldn't be against setting their nuclear weapons program back by years through military force but with 140,000 of troops in Iraq, Iran would likely strike at them as payback and a wider war in the Middle East would likely be triggered. On the other hand, if you do nothing but talk to Iran (which we aren't doing) then prepare yourself for a nuclear Iran. When that happens the situation will be worse then trying to stop them. Once they go nuclear they'll never go back.

So the lesson for the day is: Iran is insane and trying to stop them from going nuclear is a bad option but letting them go nuclear is worse.


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