Monday, November 12, 2007

Anti-Nuclear Activist Supports Iran's Nuclear Gambit

You can't make this stuff up. You have anti-nuclear activists openly stating that they have no problem with Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, and blindly ignore the consequences of such an event.
It may well be that Tehran does ultimately aspire to produce not just nuclear electricity, but also a few nuclear weapons to deter the aggression that others keep threatening to launch. But no one claims that it is doing so now. Indeed, the day before Khalilzad and Casey spoke, IAEA head Mohammed ElBaradei told CNN: “Have we seen Iran having the nuclear material that can readily be used into a weapon? No. Have we seen an active weaponization program? No.”

So, contrary to Casey’s declaration, the U.S. government is hardly conceding that “any country” meeting his stated criteria is acting in a manner “perfectly acceptable to us.” The Bush administration, instead, subjectively and unilaterally, is assessing the “record, rhetoric, policies and connections” of both Egypt and Iran, and pronouncing, in our wisdom, that the one may proceed down the nuclear road while the other may not.

No other possible conclusion can be drawn, since Iran, in pursuing, so far at least, merely a nuclear “capability,” is in fact in accord with its obligations under the NPT.

They’re fully within their rights to go that way.
For starters, Iran doesn't just seek nuclear weapons as a deterrent. It seeks to fulfill its leadership's religious visions. They repeatedly call for the destruction of Israel and the United States. Those are not the hallmarks of a stable and responsible leadership. They engage in terrorism and provocative acts that could otherwise be construed as acts of war (providing arms, equipment, and personnel for fighting against the US in Iraq or Hizbullah against the Israelis in Lebanon to name but two examples).

Once Iran goes nuclear, which is likely in 2009 (or sooner, depending on how many thousands more centrifuge cascades come online), the doomsday clock will hit 0. They wont bother with a celebration or announcement.

The announcement will be a mushroom cloud over one of their enemy's cities or countries.

It might be Tel Aviv.

Or it could be Baghdad. Saudi Arabia. Bahrain. UAE. Kuwait. Amman. Cairo. A major European city. Or even a city in the US.

What makes Iran so dangerous is that they're playing with a different set of rules. MAD depended on two countries who were rational and played by the same rules. That's the rules that defined the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union. Both realized that if one launched, the other would launch their weapons and both would be annihilated. It made sense to not launch, even preemptively because the overwhelming destruction wrought by the remaining weapons would destroy both countries (and most of the rest of the world). Both countries' leaders determined that ways of reducing friction that would lead to a nuclear confrontation were preferable and survival of both nations was paramount. The weapons would remain, but steps were taken to dial back confrontations. Sure, there were proxy conflicts, but even those were held in check because of the specter of nuclear exchanges.

MAD doesn't apply when one nation thinks it rational to blow everyone up to satisfy an ideological position - the religious visions of their leadership. To the Iranians, it would be completely rational to nuke enemy cities, even if it meant the complete and utter destruction of Iran because they'd be fulfilling their religious obligations.

Diplomats continue to make this mistake in thinking that the Iranians have the same goals as we do. This isn't North Korea's L'il Kim, who is using nukes as a means of extortion to continue rule. His gameplan is to continue his cozy life while everything goes to heck in his country.

Ahmadinejad and the mad mullahs have a different sort of future in mind.

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