Friday, October 28, 2016

Graphic of the Day - How Dare They

Many of my idiot Conservative (and conservative with a lower-case "c") friends and acquaintances (as opposed to my idiot Liberal and liberal friends and acquaintances) have been and continue to be thoroughly convinced that the perennial paper tiger Iran poses an existentialist threat to the United States and Israel, especially as it pertains to nuclear weapons.There are so many factual and analytical problems with this myth that I'm not sure where to begin. I'm also not sure that I should even bother to address them all here.

However, it is worth mentioning that Iran is a poor and backward country many decades of development behind her neighbors to the south across the Persian Gulf. Sanctions and corruption and mismanagement and ineptitude have taken and continue to take their toll on the nation. When sanctions were upon Iran they had nothing to lose by not cooperating with the U.N. and the West. By lifting sanctions, now the U.N. and the West have leverage over Iran as Iran now has something it values greatly that can be taken away from it. Obama's deal with Iran was actually a great idea and long overdue.

Iran's nuclear program is driven by and designed for the same sort of adversarial scenario as Pakistan's: concern about a strong neighbor dominated by a different ethnic group which speaks a different language and follows a different religion or sect of the same religion, to wit, Pakistan's India concerns and resultant nuclear program compares with Iran's Saudi Arabia concerns and resultant nuclear program. An Iranian nuke would be built for Saudi Arabia, not the U.S. or Israel. The anti-U.S./anti-Israel diatribes by the Iranian government and theocracy are for internal political consumption but are not reflective of Iranian nuclear machinations. Iran is not interested in committing nuclear suicide.

That being said, Iran makes for a great excuse and opportunity for political posturing by Conservatives and conservatives in the U.S. when in fact Iran is a paper tiger that needs to be watched but not worried about. Such distractions divert our attention away from nuclear rival Russia which does pose an existentialist threat to the U.S.

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