Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Iran, or how I learned to stop worrying

Over at Glenn Greenwald's blog, some warmongering fools think a US preemptive strike on Iran (using nuclear weapons) to destroy its nuclear program would be better than letting Iran get the bomb in 5 to 10 years.

This is completely foolhardy for several reasons.

First, a group of scientists has created a flash video which explains how a nuclear bunker buster used against an Iranian nuclear site would cause a fallout cloud that would kill millions of people and reach all the way to India.

Second, the United States has nuclear primacy, and no one else in the world has a credible deterrent now. We would basically be in uncharted political and psychological waters if the world's hyperpower starts incinerating people without provocation. I don't know what would happen next and neither do you.

Third, we already have a belligerent foreign policy; the United States was lied right into a war by the most powerful person in the world, a war which has since been revealed to be devoid of justification, completely incompetent, and incredibly violent. Adding a nuclear weapon to that mix is not going to make a new war, the selling of which has been ramping up hourly, come out out any better.

Fourth, unprovoked first strikes are among the most profoundly immoral foreign policy choices available. It is like killing someone if they look at you cockeyed, the dark secret lurking in the heart of Rex Banner.

Still, like blogger Billmon says, it's hard to understand why this war propaganda effort, which is so like the last one for Iraq, has not turned on BS detectors all across the country. It is so easy to imagine the country being spun by our President into another nightmare, so easy to feel helpless against the PR machine. So tell a friend about the fallout video. It made me feel a little better.

[Edited to add: I forgot to add the insane contradiction at the heart of this idea, so here it is. Fifth, the whole point of this campaign would be to prevent Iran from taking their bomb (next decade) and blowing it up in downtown Tel Aviv. Goes the logic, to stop one bomb from being used, we have to use another bomb. But by this policy it should be clear that we are not opposed to bombs going off, overmuch; it's just that if any bombs do go off, they're going to be ours. Melted people for thee, not for me.

I hope that everyone agrees with me that this is a very shaky moral position for us to take before Iran even gets a bomb, much less shows serious intentions of using it. Friends don't let friends shoot each other in the face (unless you happen to be friends with the vice president). The real reason people want to use bunker busters on the Iranians is that they think the Iranians are not our friends, and never will be. I hope that we can do better than that hatred.]

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