Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The State of Play in the Bomb-Iran Debate

The State of Play in the Bomb-Iran Debate by Justin Logan at Cato@Liberty.

Mr. Logan is commenting on a debate recently held about whether the US should commit more war crimes by launching an unprovoked attack on Iran. There are two interesting things in this debate. The first of course is that its all based on a false premise. That Iran is developing nuclear weapons. And that they are close enough that we should bomb them about it.

Actually, I'd be a little surprised if Iran wasn't at least thinking about developing nuclear weapons. They've seen what happened to Iraq and North Korea, and the obvious lesson the US is teaching the rest of the world is that they'd better go get nukes to try to deter the US. But, there's been zero proof so far that the Iranians have done anything substantial towards producing nuclear weapons. No inspection of their facilities have ever found any traces of any bomb-grade uranium being made. Uranium for a power plant can't be used to make a bomb, and all the IAEA has ever found is power-reactor-grade uranium.

But there's a second part that really strikes me as incredibly ridiculous. The fool Elliott Abrams makes this argument in his portion of the debate.

we are not talking about the Americans killing civilians, bombing cities, destroying mosques, hospitals, schools. No, no, no – weʹre talking about nuclear facilities which most Iranians know very little about, have not seen, will not see, some quite well hidden.

So they wake up in the morning and find out that the United States if attacking those facilities and, presumably with some good messaging about why weʹre doing it and why we are not against the people of Iran.

Itʹs not clear to me that the reaction letʹs go to war with the Americans, but rather, perhaps, how did we get into this mess? Why did those guys, the very unpopular ayatollahs in a country 70 percent of whose population is under the age of 30, why did those old guys get us into this mess.

The man can't possibly be that ignorant of US-Iranian history over the last 60 years. But, just in case he his, let me try to give him a few hints.

  • In the 1950's, the Iranians overthrew their shah and tried to put into place a western-style democracy. The problem was, these poor deluded Iranian democrats viewed the oil under their country as theirs. Whereas the US and Britain thought of the oil as their own. So, the CIA and British intelligence ran a joint operation to overthrow the Iranian government and put the shah's son in power as the new shah.

  • The Shah ran the country for almost thirty years. One of the things the Shah was well known for was for his vicious secret police which was trained by and worked with the CIA.
  • When Khomeni overthrew the Shah, the US condemned this act. We tried to find ways to make the revolution fail, while at the same time inviting the Shah to come into the United States. This last act sparked the storming of the US embassy and the hostage crisis.
  • The US responded by trying to launch a military operation into Iran to retake the embassy, but it failed when the helicopters didn't react well to sand and flying into each other.
  • Next, the US used Saddam Hussein to launch a horribly nasty war against Iran. For the people involved, this war was as bad as World War I. Except it lasted far longer. It had trench warfare, and human-wave attacks against those trenches. The US and western Europe helped supply Saddam Hussein with poison gas, which he used to try to attack the Iranian trenches. All of this lasted for most of the 1980's.
  • Then came Bush and his axis of evil. And all of the constant threats that the US would bomb Iranian nuclear facilities over the last four years of so.
    verthrow their government and welcome Osama Bin Laden as our liberator.

Hey, the Iranians call the US 'The Great Satan'. Please, there's not a chance in heck of the Iranian people greeting us as liberators.

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