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November 20, 2004

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» Iranian Problems from Moon of Alabama
Iran produces only 1.77 MWh of urgently needed electricity per year per inhabitant. The US produces 12,400 MWh per year per inhabitant. To increase its electricity production Iran prepares to use its resource of natural uranium and to establish an [Read More]

» Odd rhetorical constructions from The Glittering Eye
I have tremendous admiration for Abu Aardvark and his blog is a daily (or near-daily) read for me. But sometimes rhetorical constructs are so strained that they just call out for criticism. Here's something from the Aardvark's most recent post:... [Read More]

» Tar-zhay Special from SenshiNeko
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» Anti Israeli College Professors Being Repressed? from fredschoeneman.com
Matthew Yglesias thinks that anti-israeli, pro-Arab college professors are being repressed, and are afraid to say what the really think from fear of legal action: MEMRI's goal seems to be getting academic institutions to strongly discourage their emplo... [Read More]

Comments

John

You should read this guys blog speaking of Iran. http://www.matthewgood.org/web/mblog/index.php

Andrew Reeves

Okay, first off, I know the point is snark, and I do get it. That said, I'm just a tad bit uncomfortable with people who believe that God wants them to kill Americans posessing nuclear weapons.

MAD isn't an effective deterrent against people who believe that when Americans die in the holy fire of the atom, the retaliation will transport them directly to paradise.

the aardvark

"The Glittering Eye", in a trackback, suggests that this is a silly rhetorical construction because the Iranian problem is only about nukes. Yes, but....

...remember Iraq? Remember how there was the nukes argument and the "liberate the Iraqi people" argument? And remember how when the nuke argument was falling apart, and then fell apart, the war advocates smoothly shifted over to "it was always about the liberation"?

For the Iran hawks, it's not just about the nukes, it's about the regime. And we're going to be hearing a lot about it. So while I agree that nuclear proliferation is a big issue, and maybe the Iran issue should be just about that, but the Iran problem is just about nukes FOR THE IRAN HAWKS. The arguments they've made over the last decade, and now, suggest otherwise.

And the Iraq experience suggests that we'd better take that seriously, and not be fooled into thinking that this is really only a debate about nuclear proliferation.

Nur al-Cubicle

A French geostrategist by the name of Frederic Encel sees Iran's nukes as the Great Game between Bear and Eagle:

"In 2002 trade, energy, diplomatic and military ties between Moscow and Teheran reached an alarming level in the eyes of Washington for three reasons: the closeness in Russo-Iranian energy cooperation focused around the enormous petroleum and natural gas reserves of the Caspian Sea denies the Americans the position of omnipotent arbitor in this highly sought-after region; the Moscow-Teheran axis with its support of Armenia in its quarrel with Turkic-speaking Azerbaijan worries Ankara, and last, Israel not only exhorts its ally America to intervene to stop Iran in its race to acquire nuclear weapons, but threatens to do so itself. Washington's reasons for including Iran in the "Axis of Evil" have little to do with spiritual or mystical reasons but everything to do with geopolitical aims...."

Encel believes that it is actually Russia which the US is aiming to concretely discourage. It wants Russia to detach itself from Teheran and has been offering a number of carrots. Nevertheless Russia remains unimpressed because its cooperation with Teheran is extremely profitable.

We see talks coming up in January between Bush and Putin. I don't know if Bush is offering carrot or stick but Bush if going to attack Iran then he msut be sure of the Russian reaction. Given Putin's statement this week of making the US missible shield obsolete, he will have no luck at the conference and will likely back off further provocations and content himself with the deal reached between Teheran and the European Union.

It is doubtful that Bush is capable of effecting the colonial tutelage of Iraq which he desires. The situation there is weakening the US and will likely terminate in a pullout.


Barry

Andrew, then you must support banning born-again Christians from nuclear weapons access in the US? After all, people who believe that Armeggadon is a Good Thing shouldn't be allowed access to tools to bring it about.

Dave Schuler

And the Iraq experience suggests that we'd better take that seriously, and not be fooled into thinking that this is really only a debate about nuclear proliferation.

There is a difference though, esteemed Aardvark. Regime change had been the policy of the United States government since 1998. Remember Public Law 105–338? That's not the case for Iran.

I'm not a neocon. I didn't support the invasion of Iraq. And I treasure every one of your posts. But this one is a mis-fire. The counter-factual it relies on is too serious.

the aardvark

Dave - I'm always willing to admit a misfire, but I'm confused about what you're saying here. Is the mistake that the Iraqi regime change had legal justification but Iranian doesn't? Would that really matter?

Or is the mistake the setting aside the nuclear weapons?

Not trying to be difficult, I just don't get which direction your criticizing me from!

Oh wait, now I see - you're the "Glittering Eye"! I missed that - sorry. So it's the nuclear question. Yes, that's a serious issue which I'm sure I'll be talking about plenty in good time, but I just don't agree that the brewing "Iran crisis" is "really" all about the nukes. Regime questions really are central to it, I think, and I expect this is going to be a major line of debate in coming months.

sheerahkahn

What I see is that Iran gaming in Iraq by supporting both the Sunni insurrection and the Shia in the south will actually hand George W. Bush the pretext for war he's been wishing he had for Iraq.
Not that Mullahs in Iran don't have it coming, and in spades, but it's just we, the US, don't have the capability to deliver the international slapdown that is required. And what I mean by that is that like Iraq we will win the battles, it's just a matter of whether we're capable of winning the war that has me concerned.
I personally think Iran should be left to Iranians, but I fear that Bush, being G-d's "chosen one," will sieze the pretext for war.

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