...all in this together

Last weeks turmoil in Pakistan has simmered down a bit (barely), but reading an op-ed in the NYT's this morning, boiling down the black-and-white choice for Iran to bombing or being bombed, doesn't really bring out the holiday spirit.

Senator Kerry might be going to visit Iran, which would be the first diplomatic trip there in about 30 years. Last year, Iran backed out of meeting with he chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Rep. Howard Berman, so its unclear, even if Kerry committed to the visit, whether the political situation inside Iran would allow it to fruition.

Here's what the op-ed declares:

Since peaceful carrots and sticks cannot work, and an invasion would be foolhardy, the United States faces a stark choice: military air strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities or acquiescence to Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons.A military strike into Iran would be the most foolish foreign policy decision since George Bush chose to invade Iraq. If you want a reason to be thankful that McCain is not President, there it is for ya. There is an educated and worldly populace inside Iran that will eventually democratize the country.

The world, including the US and Israel, is going to have to get used to the reality that Iran will have/has nuclear weapons. It's not a great diplomatic reality to deal with, but the alternative is just a hideous path of war, and a insurmountable blow to any sort of allied relations with Iran in the near decades.

Then there's the whole ongoing escalation between India and Pakistan with their nuclear capability/dispute/whatever over there.

What a world.

In better news, the Peace Corps is headed back to Sierra Leone (I was a volunteer there in the early '90's).

Happy Holidays to everyone.

Tags: Iran (all tags)



Re: ...all in this together

I was stunned by that op-ed when I saw it earlier. There are few good options on Iran but bombing them is a singularly bad one.

That regime is in crisis. The protests are not going away. To a degree, it might be better to let it play out. Perhaps Iran will solve itself.

Good to hear about the Peace Corps returning to Sierra Leone.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-24 07:53AM | 0 recs
Re: ...all in this together

You are making a lot of assumptions Jerome:

1. Iran will not use Nukes on itself.

2. Iran can be trusted to keep its nukes to itself.

3.  Iran will not eventually be cornered and use said nukes on neighbors...the idea being that if they can't have what they want, they will destroy what they can while going down.

Iran and North Korea are particularly BAD places to have accessable nukes.  And while China has a degree of control over N. Korea, Iran answers to no one.

Pakistan is another troubling nuke holder but they seem to understand the danger of playing with them, for right now.  I am not well versed enough in their culture to know how "suicidal" they may become if cornered.

Israel's Nukes bother me a lot too as that country is a bit too passionate for the control of Nukes, but the US, and to some degree Europe, seems to have kept them calm enough for all these years.

This is not as simple as just letting them work it out themselves over time.  Doing so may actually be the worst option.  But a military strike is a BAD, BAD idea.  I gotta trust the Administration on this as there are too many moving parts for me to figure it all out.

But Iran getting Nukes is a REALLY, REALLY bad thing.  Better to offer them the most advanced solar tech for energy production if they will give up on nukes in all forms.

by Hammer1001 2009-12-24 08:20AM | 0 recs
Re: ...all in this together

Pakistan is the country that gave Iran and North Korea nuclear weapons tech. That violates your 2. pt.

Much of Irans desire for a nuke are quite simple:

a) They've always wanted one, dating back to the Shah, this is not a new policy, thus making it harder to reverse course.

b) Pakistan, a neighbor has nukes. Iran has some military tension with Pakistan and their is the whole "pride" thing. Sort of how Britian and France developed nukes even though they were covered by the US umbrella.

c) Iran is alone, without allies, and thus strategically vulnerable. Lesson learned from the Iraq Invasion let's say.

Those are powerful motives.

by vecky 2009-12-24 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: ...all in this together

Actually, the point of no.2 was that Iran might sell off nukes (not just the tech) to others for $$$ or to make a political point.  Like Somalia, for instance.

I understand Iran's motives.  I am saying that it would be very dangerous to allow them to build nukes.  More dangerous than many other places, for exactly the reasons you describe.  Iran has a desperate leadership in place...on no over watching, influential neighbor like China is to N. Korea.  I honestly cannot tell you what they would NOT be willing to do if they had them available.  I could see "The Faithfull" setting off a nuke and destroying Tehran just to spite the world.  There are shades of the Govt. of Iran that are disturbingly like Nazi Germany...and many that are not, so it is a hard call.

by Hammer1001 2009-12-24 12:10PM | 0 recs
Re: ...all in this together

All the martyrdom in Shia Islam aside, I doubt Iran has a suicide wish. Be it as it may they know their country as a 3000 year history - one rivaled by a very select group on nations - Greece/Rome/China... they're not going to let it all end because of some theological or political disagreement.

Proliferation of nuke tech is a real fear tho. If Iran develops nukes a lot of other ME countries (Saudi, Egypt, Syria) will want to follow suit.

by vecky 2009-12-27 01:08AM | 0 recs
Why dont you write a diary about your peace corp


It would be in the spirit of the season (hopefully).

by Ravi Verma 2009-12-24 08:25AM | 0 recs
Re: ...all in this together

And my greetings to you.

If the US ever foolishly bombed Iran, it could only happen through orders from Jerusalem. That may sound cynical, but the very idea that Iran is a danger to the region with or without nuclear wepons is a ruse developed by Israeli propaganda. Except for Iraq, Israel is the only country that has attacked its neighbors without even thinking of using its nuclear weapons. Why should Iran? What conceivable good would that do for Iran?

A nuclear attack on Iran means the end of the Obama administration, pure and simple. And if Obama does not put his foot down soon, the Israel Lobby be damned, Israel may end his administration for him.

by MainStreet 2009-12-24 08:57AM | 0 recs
Re: ...all in this together

If the US ever foolishly bombed Iran, it could only happen through orders from Jerusalem.

I'm sure you didn't mean this like it sounded, but it's a little problematic.  You know, there are people who believe the invasion of Iraq was so irrational that it could only be explained by orders from Jerusalem... but those people are kinda nuts.  I'm sure you don't want to sound kinda nuts.

by Steve M 2009-12-24 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: ...all in this together

I don't think he means "orders" literally as much as persuasion and pressure brought to bear.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-24 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: ...all in this together

" What makes Indian nuclear capability different from Pakistan's nuclear capability "

1) Terrorism

2) Proliferation

3) Military not civilian control.

by vecky 2009-12-24 09:48AM | 0 recs
Re: ...all in this together

Pakistan's nuclear capability is in civilian control. It was just shifted from the President to the PM. Am not sure what you are pointing out...

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-24 09:51AM | 0 recs
Re: ...all in this together

That is a myth propagated by our administration so we don't panic. Every thing in Pakistan is controlled by ISI and the Mullahs. When ever they decide to use them they would just use them.

Could you tell me who was in charge of Nukes when AQ Khan was selling the components and the technology to the highest bidders?

Do you also believe when Obama says we are safer because we are fighting Taliban in Afghanistan?

by Joshuagen 2009-12-24 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: ...all in this together

Wasn't the Pakistani Min. od Def. just denied the right to leave the country.  Sounds plenty spooky over there for me, considering nukes and radicals are involved...

by Hammer1001 2009-12-24 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: ...all in this together

Yes I read about that. But I'm going to wait and see if it is just window dressing or an actual change. Considering Pakistans military has always had control over their entire nuke development (including proliferation) since the 70's, even when there were civilian governments in power, I'm more than a little skeptical.

I do welcome the signs though.

by vecky 2009-12-27 01:12AM | 0 recs


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