Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I'm worried about how both John McCain and Hillary Clinton have become increasingly cavalier towards the possibility of war with Iran. Last year we saw McCain singing "bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran," and two weeks ago, Clinton made a threat to totally obliterate Iran.

Former military intelligence analyst William M. Arkin comments why the Iran consensus grows more dangerous:

As I've noted, the three candidates share a consensus, backed by the national security community, that Iran is the new strategic threat. It is radical, anti-American, anti-Israel, terrorist-supporting, nuclear-armed and provocative.

But just because this is the consensus view does not mean it is right. The danger, regardless of who is the next president, is that officials have already begun military preparations, and shaping public opinion, to build momentum for the inevitable.

Arkin goes on to explain how in 1990, Bush the elder never made any explicit threats of nuclear retaliation toward Saddam Hussein. The policy was one of "calculated ambiguity":

So some kind of grave threat had to be transmitted to the Iraqis clearly -- but without provoking Saddam, while also soothing an alarmed public and international community. The administration found diplomatic communications channels (including the Japanese government) to quietly pass on to Saddam the gravity of their concern in an attempt to make the Iraqi dictator think that every U.S. military option remained open. At the same time, prominent articles appeared in the news media attempting to carefully explain U.S. government thinking on the impracticality or inadvisability of using nuclear weapons.

Iraq never did use chemical weapons, and it did believe that America could strike with nuclear weapons if it did. But as Baker says in his memoir, "The Politics of Diplomacy," the president privately decided in December that U.S. forces would not retaliate with nuclear weapons even if the Iraqis used chemical munitions. "There was obviously no reason to inform the Iraqis of this," Baker says.

I think McCain and Clinton have abandoned the politics of diplomacy in favor of get tough posturing. When they threaten Iran, they are threatening the entire planet with World War III. Who are they going to bomb? Just Iran's military? No, they will obliterate innocent civilians because nuclear weapons do not discriminate.

Know your enemy, so here is a link with an accurate description of modern Iran. It is not quite the backward, fanatical, tyrannical outpost the politicians would like us to believe. Iran has not invaded a country since the late 18th century. Iran held spontaneous candlelight vigils in sympathy with Americans after Sept. 11. In Iran, over half of university students are now women. And, oddly enough, lots of Iranians like Americans. If anything, I hope those links obliterate some prejudices.

1 comment:

Trung said...

bravo! what a great entry you posted! keep up the great work!