Thursday, October 27, 2005

Peres calls for Iran to be Expelled from the UN

Talk about the tragic contingency of history.

1. Yes, Iran's leader has some free will, as do we all, and is thus "locally" responsible for saying what he said (wipe Israel off the map).

2. This was almost certainly directed at his own internal constituency/ies, but is still pretty much beyond the pale.

3. These fundy yahoos, one could argue, might not have regained power in youthful Iran had we not invaded Iraq.

4. Thus, in a more attenuated sense, we set the stage for this. Purposely or not, I can't tell. Never assume conspiracy when incompetence will suffice.

5. This statement gives Likudniks here and in Israel all kinds of cover for what they already wanted -- to isolate Iran, refer its nuclear program to the Security Council, keep Israel's nuclear program (neither confirmed nor denied, officially, but well-known) off the table, despite Nobel Laureate el-Baradei's intelligent insistence on a nuclear-free Middle East.

6. Along with the assassination in Lebanon, which is apparently at least the partial work of Syria, the neocons now have a "good" reason to push regime change, by whatever means necessary, in both nations, despite the necessary widening of a war that's already probably unwinnable and which is bankrupting our country.

7. The combination of that war's cost (likely, it seems, to rise), and the clean-up after this record hurricane season -- to be paid for by "envelope-pushing" cuts in anything non-defense-oriented, will only serve to futher starve the beast and privatize everything, while handing China, et al, even more leverage over us -- which can only be countered by increased military dominance, as per the PNAC plan.

[Sigh]

These events are not all controlled by the US, obviously. Syria didn't have to help assassinate that Lebanese official, and Iran didn't have to make such a stupid statement at a crucial time. Others can be as incompetent, stupid, and ideologically blinkered as our current "government" -- even more so.

But it just goes to show how extremism on any side encourages the same on every other side.

Russia has already declared that it will veto any sanctions on Iran. Wilkerson predicted this, and claimed to have seen the already-written speech that UN-hater Bolton will soon give (at the proper time) declaring the Sec. Council incapable of action, at which point, according to Wilkerson, and increasingly likely, the US -- possibly without poodle-UK this time -- will stretch its armed forces yet further (draft, anyone?) and attack Syria and/or Iran. Or will allow Israel to do it for them. Or both.

What, pray tell, is the predictable response by the 1 billion Muslims of the world? Will this make us safer? You do the math.

Meanwhile, with all the irony amoral unconscious Nature can muster, avain flu hangs over us like the sword of Damocles in the short run, and global warming in the long run.

Nice.

6 Thoughts:

Blogger pawlr said...

Iran is clearly not going to be intimidated by threats of military action. And this country is simply not prepared to continue down the primrose path of "spreading democracy" through shock and awe, either militarily or morally.

Threats to Israel's existence is not enough to motivate the U.S. voter to support another war of choice at this point. It takes a monumental act of overcoming cognitive dissonance to claim that invading foreign lands that pose no threat to our shores is "fighting for freedom", and I think the patience of the average U.S. voter has expired with respect to that logic, 9/11 or no 9/11.

The neo-cons can saber-rattle all they want but won't fool anyone. And if Bolton tries to twist arms he might just twist himself out of any power to coerce at all.

Thursday, October 27, 2005 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I hope you're right, Paul, but one more terror attack on US soil, and what will the situation be? I don't actually know.

Thursday, October 27, 2005 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger pawlr said...

Good point. However, I believe (and I think recent events are bearing this out) that if a new attack occurred, Congress is going to demand some real evidence as to who did it before we invade someone else. None of this "Iraqi officials met with Al-Qaeda years ago" crap, or waving beakers full of imaginary anthrax will do the trick. Of course, I wouldn't count on it either and its no reason to be complacent.

Thursday, October 27, 2005 2:48:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

I agree with Paul that the political environment in the USA is now so difficult for the neocons that they couldn't possibly muster the support needed for any further military action.

It strikes me as ironic that because the neocons cried wolf over Iraq, they now will not be listened to if they complain about Iran.

As for Iran's nuclear ambitions, who could blame them. Their security would clearly be improved if they had the bomb. The US would never invade a country that had nukes and they would certainly have nothing to fear from anyone else. It's worth noting that if everyone got the bomb that war would probably decline. Once the costs of war become too great for a nation to support, war will decline. I doubt for example that India and Pakistan will go nuclear over the lands they dispute, no matter how attractive they are.

As for Iranian leaders calling for the destruction of Israel, it's worth noting that they simply never believed that the country had the right to exist in the first place. While we might disagree with that notion, there is a very strong argument on the other side that Israel was the last gasp of European imperialism in the Middle East and that the Islamic world now freed shouldn't have to accept such and arrogant exercise of Western muscle. Of course the fact is that we let Israel get the bomb to prevent just such an occurance, so it would seem rather self-serving for us to say no to Iran.

What the Islamic world has to realize is that might does make right and that for the time being, they can't do a bloody thing about Israel. Besides, it's really not that much land. The prudent thing to do would be to put a price tag on Israel and ask the world community to pay for it. I have no doubt that if it came to that, the rich nations would be more than happy to match the price. Heck, what could be more expensive then our current policies?

Thursday, October 27, 2005 9:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The mere existence of nuclear weapons is a huge danger; India and Pakistan nearly had a nuclear war over the Kashmir (on top of 4 conventional wars) in 1998, if William Langeweische and others can be believed.

Arming the entire world to the nuclear teeth is not a reasonable plan for world peace. Accident alone, even if everyone decides to love each other -- and according to McNamara, we "lucked out" in 1962 -- is a huge problem.

I'd also urge the abolition of nuclear energy, too, as we still have no place to put the spent fuel rods, and at least some of the reactors can create bomb materials. Not to mention that nuclear plants make nice targets for asymmetrical warfare.

Nuclear weaponry is actually far cheaper than maintaining a conventional force, which is one incentive to make them. Deterrence of established nuclear powers is another. National pride is yet another.

Finally, we didn't let Israel get the bomb. I'm surprised someone with your predispositions wouldn't know this -- Israeli agents stole nuclear secrets from us, and we were none too pleased. In any event, they have a nice store of nuclear weapons.

What is self-serving is for us to maintain and even try to improve our nuclear force while tramping around the world playing anti-nuke cop, and exempting all current players, Israel included, from criticism along with ourselves. We've killed the NPT the ABM...it's appalling.

Yes, everyone's figured out very quickly that we will be deterred by nuclear arsenals -- or even a plausible bluff of same, which seems to be what Saddam pulled on us, according to Wilkerson. That is one of the most damaging sequelae of the pointless Iraq war.

I rank nuclear weaponry, however it may be used, and for whatever purpose -- or for none at all, accidentally -- as one of the top threats to the species, not a panacea for our ills.

Friday, October 28, 2005 9:03:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Also, Paul, I never posited that threats to Israel's existence was going to be the reason -- a nuclear program in Iran will be the "reason" given, as it was in Iraq.

Sure, I hope that the US public won't be so easily manipulated this time, but I don't think the neocons care that much about what the public thinks. How, exactly, to stop them?

Demo, of course, is absolutely sure of all possible outcomes. History and human interactions are well-known to be as easily predictable as a high-school physics-lab experiment. The EU and US (and Russia, China, Japan -- who else?) will pay the Arab world (or is it the Muslim world?) for Israel? You have "no doubt" of that?

I bring this up with no reference to its relationship to Israel -- if you had written "Kashmir" or "Northern Ireland" or even "Wyoming," I'd say the same thing. You will, of course, ignore this, as is your wont, but your style of thinking and writing is what I'm getting at. You are always 100% certain in your predictions and beliefs.

That's at best endearingly silly and at worst ideological blindness, with all the dangers that entails. Again, just to increase the chance you don't miss it, I am NOT talking about I/P here. I'm critiquing your style of thinking and writing.

Take or leave it.

Friday, October 28, 2005 9:22:00 AM  

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