Take heart, Americans. It may be easier to keep Iran from having nuclear weapons than the Israelis are letting on. We’ve heard that Iran is an existential danger so many times we don’t stop to question it, but there’s a fair possibility Iran doesn’t want a bomb that badly.
First of all, as I pointed out before, they know that using a bomb would be suicidal. Ahmadinejad even admitted, “What intelligent person would fight 5,000 American bombs with one bomb?”
Then they’ve been saying since the 1980s they want peaceful nuclear energy. Why, with all that oil? Well, thanks to all those sanctions, oil is their only way to get money. They don’t want to burn it, they want to sell it. This may sound counter-intuitive, but if we allowed freer trade with them, they might not be so desperate to get nuclear energy. And before you fall down screaming, just let me say that no one’s talked about this. Shouldn’t we explore the idea?
Can we believe anything they say? They’ve signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty we asked them to (which Israel has not). The IAEA is still doing inspections, about twice a month, and they say Iran doesn’t have a weaponization program (which involves a lot more than just having the enriched uranium).
The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, has even issued a fatwa against the production or use of atomic weapons, saying it was a sin in Islam because they kill indiscriminately, including women and children.
About this point, if I’m talking to someone they get a canny look on their face. “Ah,” they say smugly, “You haven’t heard of Taqiyya.” Ah, but I have heard of Taqiyya. It was a rather obscure doctrine which said that if a Muslim was in imminent danger of his life, like if he was surrounded by a mob with knives and clubs, he was allowed to lie about his belief to save his life. Taqiyya has a ton of restrictions. It only applies to immediate danger. An Ayatollah cannot use it to go back on a fatwa, it just doesn’t work that way.
If Americans understood more about Muslims’ core beliefs we would realize a fatwa is solemn, it’s sacred, and it’s binding. Sadly though, our media makes money out of promoting lies and hatred. The most lies are probably told about taqiyya by media maggots.
If the head of any Christian Church said that using nuclear weapons was a sin, we’d at least believe he meant it. However, because the Ayatollah Khamenei is a Muslim, Americans don’t want to believe him because – basically – a lot of us don’t respect Muslims.
Is that good for our souls? Is it even good for our security?
Well, aside from being a failure in empathy which diminishes our capacity as humans, it isn’t accurate. If we’re faced with something this important, we need to know how to evaluate what people say, even people we don’t like. Sun Tzu, in “The Art of War,” famously told us to, “Know your enemy.” He didn’t say, “Swallow lies.”
Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney both say Iran is the USA’s greatest threat to our national security, which is way wide of the mark. Lots of outside analysts have pointed out that as security threats go, Iran is a minnow in a field of sharks.
So where’s all the hot air about Iran being an existential danger coming from?
Think power plays. Israel has a history of identifying a country that might rival them in the region, and then provoking them into some minor attack so that Israel can have an excuse to land on them like a ton of bricks. In the process Israel hits the other nation’s military, but they also target manufacturing and infrastructure, so they can cripple the country for a long time. (Think Lebanon. Think Gaza.)
Israel is the one that would like to wipe Iran off the map, not because of any actual threat, but because Iran has been growing in influence and “soft power.”
But the USA has an agenda of its own. Petro-dollars. Right now oil everywhere in the world is traded in US dollars. Iran is the leader in a restless movement to create an international “petro-currency” index in which countries could bypass the US dollar to buy oil. Several other nations who are hungry for more oil, such as India and China, are keen on the idea. Needless to say, Wall Street is about as enthusiastic as a cat in a bathtub.
It’s difficult to look underneath our reasons for believing something, but it might help to know that in the case of Iran, the loudest voices are in the hawks’ nest: AIPAC and MEK (Mujaheddin e-Khalk).
AIPAC (American-Israel Public Affairs Committee) exists to get American politicians to support Israel. They have lots of money and lots of clout. Cross AIPAC and a politician gets labeled “anti-Semitic.”
MEK’s agenda is to get the USA to overthrow Iran’s government and install the MEK. The MEK is a violent, secretive cult which the USA listed as a terrorist group until this year, when a lot of money and lobbying got them off the list, though there’s not much evidence they’ve actually changed. They were allied with Saddam, and have been implicated in numerous terror attacks and assassinations inside Iran. They’re definitely not the ones to deliver democratic elections. Or freedom for women. Or any of the freedoms Americans think Iranians need. Iranians loathe them. Right now ordinary Iranians are favorable to America, but don’t expect that to last if we put in MEK as a puppet government.
As I said in my previous blog, the Pentagon doesn’t want Israel to strike Iran because their analysis is that the USA would get drawn into a regional war which everyone agrees would be “disastrous.”
So why keep beating the war drum? A common lie in Washington is that, “We’ve tried everything and nothing has worked.” Pardon me, but if we put half as much energy into diplomacy as we’ve put into demonizing Iran, we might get someplace.
We say we’ve tried everything, but that’s another whopper. We insist that Iran has to agree to our demands before they start the talks. I’m sorry, but that’s nothing but sham diplomacy – designed to fail, so we can whine, “It didn’t work!”
I know it’s hard to question general opinions. Like I say, all the propaganda says Iran has every reason to want a bomb. But ask yourself: if – IF – they don’t, what DO they want?
We know from their media they’d like a little respect. How about security? Prosperity and stability, normal nation things? Ever since 1979, we’ve bad-mouthed them, slapped them with sanctions, armed Saddam Hussein to go to war with them and currently support terrorist groups inside Iran. (Yeah, us – state sponsors of terrorism. Sad but true.)
Iran never had any bargaining chips, but now they have the nuclear program. The Iranian leadership has offered to cap the enrichment at 20% if the Western world supplies them with nuclear fuel for their reactors. Is it too much to hope that some genius will think of taking them up on their offer? (And don’t presume they’d just swindle us. We have ways of checking.)
Abe Lincoln said, “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” If we come off the Kool-Aid and examine why we’re being fed all this propaganda, and whether we should swallow it, we might be able to bury the hatchet with Iran, eventually. It would help to bury our preconceptions first.