"The reformers want the bomb"

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Finally, the national security question of the age sees the light of day.

Nuclear proliferation, primarily Iran's pursuit of nukes and Israel's reaction to that but also what happens in Pakistan, is pretty much the whole strategic ballgame at this point.

BTW, there's a typo in the grafs on the Mujahedeen Khalq. It should read pressure on Iran, not Iraq.

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  1. Anyway, I think the point Jeff is highlighting is that a lot of people, friends and enemies, want nukes. In the case of Iran, the clerics don’t like us but neither the clerics nor reformers are jazzed about the weapons held by others in the neighborhood.

    BTW, this is the second time I’ve heard this. Both seem to be quoting the Defense Dept neocons who meet with Iranian opposition groups.

  2. R C Dean,
    Have you taken it upon yourself to mop up any spillover from AntiWar.com?

    What I’m saying is an armed society is a polite society. Makes no difference the caliber of the weapon.

  3. While the acquisition of nukes (by anyone) is unfortunate from the American perspective, it is not a ‘bad thing’ per se, nor is it an illegitimate aspiration… and certainly if I were an Iranian leader, in between nuclear Israel and nuclear Pakistan, I think I would do just about anything to get them, regardless of the consequences. (And just think how much more amenable the Pakis would be to sharing Afghanistan if they caught in a nuclear nutcracker with Iran and India… in a bad neighbourhood, having the bomb can be the difference between dictating and being dictated to.)

  4. Not to mention that the only proven way to the keep the US at bay is to wave a nuke in its face – no doubt the Iranian leaders, of all stripes, have observed the differing fates of their fellows in the Axis of Evil and drawn the obvious conclusion…

  5. And just think how much more amenable the Pakis would be to sharing Afghanistan if they caught in a nuclear nutcracker with Iran and India

    Yes, by all means let’s make the dangerous Islamist radicals with the nuclear weapons feel *more* threatened. That’s just the ticket.

    Not to mention that the only proven way to the keep the US at bay is to wave a nuke in its face

    But the neither the United States nor the world at large will be a safer place with the United States “kept at bay”, because you only need to keep the United States “at bay” if you’re doing things like, for example, invading your neighbors, or committing genocide, or launching terrorist attacks at U.S. targets. The notion that we’re a global menace that needs to be restrained is a delusion, and you don’t need nuclear weapons to fight a delusion.

    So while it’s certainly understandable that the various dictators and radical groups in the world would want to acquire nuclear weapons, it isn’t an “understanding” we should feel obligated to respect.

  6. This is an old story that no one wants to hear. The Shah wanted the bomb more than anyone. In essence, the Iranians have, since around 1970, been pursuing in various ways, control over the fuel cycle. In the words of one Iranian diplomat, “whether or not to build a bomb should be a political decision for Iran, not a technical decision.”

    In the mid-70’s the Shah made a deal that would make this possible. He financed a French gaseous-diffusion plant with the understanding that Iran would be given access to a percentage of the enriched uranium. The French took the money but refused to deliver the uranium after the Revolution. The Revolution and the Iraq war distracted the Iranians for a while, but now they are picking up their strategy where they left off.

    So I’m not of the school that they specifically plan to build a bomb or have plans for it, but there’s no question that for over thirty years, under all governments, the Iranians have been trying to build a “complete” nuclear industry that is capable of making a bomb, rather like Japan or Germany.

  7. Wars on poverty, drugs, terrorism, WMD’s all involve violence and totally unintended by-products.

    The secret is to unpucker the ol’ anus.
    Meditation, warm milk, yoga might be helpful.

  8. When Reagan offered to share Star Wars with the Soviets, he should have gone one step further and offered a nuke or two to anybody that wanted them.

    Then we could have focused on alleviating grievances rather than killing folks.

  9. Translation of “we could have focused on alleviating grievances rather than killing folks”:

    If our enemies all had nuclear bombs, then we would have no military options and no real choice but to submit to their demands.

  10. I prefer the use of “legitimate” with “grievances”. There are certainly plenty delusion- based grievances out there we can and should do nothing about.

    Translation of “we could have focused on alleviating grievances rather than killing folks”:

    Our government does not miraculously become knowledgable, compentent and respectful of the values we SAY we hold as Americans once it steps beyond the borders of the United States. When we are lazy and apothetic about keeping it in check others RIGHTLY get pissed off at it and, sometimes, us. If did our duty as citizens of an interventionist democracy, we would have fewer enemies to worry about.

  11. Hate to remind you but it’s time for you meds, Ruthless.

  12. What’s ironic here is that in the 1970s Israel almost sold Iran some nuclear-capable missiles (indeed, it was rumored that would be more than simply capable of holding nuclear warheads).

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