I don’t think anyone is comfortable with the idea of nuclear proliferation, especially when it has to do with perceived enemies. Is Iran an enemy to the United States? Perhaps in some sort of loose, philosophical sense. Iran has not made any attempt to attack the United States despite our continued presence in the Persian Gulf. Perhaps the government has sponsored anti-American terrorists, and Iran does not show up on the list of American well-wishers.
Yes, Iran has explicitly stated the desire to see Israel, the “rotting corpse,” of the Middle East, wiped off the map. I guess in a way they’re our enemy, if we estimate our ties to Israel to be that strong. And yes, they threaten to shut down the Strait of Hormuz and threaten to attack us if we try to stop them.
Do any of you really buy all of that?
If there’s one thing we should have learned from crazy world leaders like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, it’s is that they’re full of a lot of hot air and not much else. One would think that after years of dealing with psychotic idiots like Kim Jong Il that these little dictators actually fear America quite a bit. How do we know this? Well, for starters, these countries usually make really serious threats and never, ever follow through. When was the last time North Korea nuked someone? When was the last time Iran shut down the Strait of Hormuz?
You have to think about all of this strategically from the perspective of the leadership. They make these huge threats because they know that everyone in the world will hear their voice. When Kim Jong Il threatened to nuke neighboring countries, everyone listened. When Ahmadinejad threatened to attack our ships in the gulf, and said that Israel should be annihilated, everyone listened. That’s what they want: they want you to listen and to be afraid.
That’s the only logical explanation for all the ridiculous threats that I can conjure up. Much of Iran’s economy relies on oil exports, and although Iran has threatened to cut off its largest consumers, any intelligent person would know how disastrous that would be for the country as a whole. It would be like if Honda threatened to stop selling cars to 90% of its clientele and hoping to still stay afloat financially.
And when was the last time Iran cut anyone off? In fact, Europe has largely supported an oil embargo on Iran. Woops, I guess Ahmadinejad didn’t really calculate that into his equation. And magically, facing an embargo off of the country’s top money-making commodity, Iran seems poised to be more flexible in dealing with the issue of its nuclear program.
So why should we not fear Iran having a nuclear program? Because we know that in this day and age, every nation knows that using nuclear weapons as a first-strike offensive spells certain doom for the aggressor. If Iran develops a nuclear weapon, that bomb will never see the light of day, except maybe in some public show of force, pride, or whatever. Why didn’t North Korea ever nuke anyone? Because they knew that if they did, the entire planet would unite against them and crush them into dust. Even their ally, China, would abandon them in that scenario.
“But Ahmadinejad and his thugs are crazy!” And Kim Jong Il and his thugs weren’t? Ahmadinejad actually seems like an intelligent leader, whereas Kim was busy making music videos. No, if Iran obtains nukes, they will not use them. Ever. My guess is that they all prefer living to being dead. Iran is fully aware of our military capability, and they know that it would be stupid to provoke the U.S. into all-out war.
So don’t buy into the fear mongering. Don’t get mad at Ron Paul when he says that Iran is not a real threat. They’ve never been a threat to the United States. Militarily, Israel is a bigger threat to Iran than Iran is to Israel. Who would come to Iran’s aid should Israel invade? Israel has nukes. Wouldn’t you be a little nervous if your avowed enemy had nukes and you didn’t? Or are we just going to ignore 50 years of Cold War history?