Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Stupid reason #255 to get hyper about Iran's nuclear program

Most of the scare-mongering about Iran's nuclear program is laughable. Reason #255, courtesy of a small-town editor in the Midwest who shall not be named in order to protect his ignorant ass (also because I can't remember which newspaper I read it in!), is typical of the breed: absolutely ignorant about Iran's government, Palestine's demographics, the Islamic religion, and simple geography.

Says this editor in his editorial: We cannot allow Iran to have the Bomb because President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran is a madman who would use them against Israel in order to force the Israelis into the sea.

Oh man, oh man, oh man. I cannot even *begin* to count the ways in which this statement is stupid. Okay, so I lie. Let me count a few ways:

  1. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not in control of the Iranian armed forces. Under the Iranian Constitution, the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, commands the Iranian armed forces. The office of President in Iran is mostly ceremonial in nature, as in most nations other than 3rd-world banana republic dictatorships and the United States (hold it, I repeat myself!).
  2. Iran considers itself, as the only Islamic republic in the Middle East, to be the defender of Islam in the Middle East. Approximately 500,000 Israeli Muslims live within the borders of Israel, and approximately 5,000,000 Palestinian Muslims live in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (according to the CIA World Factbook). All of those Muslims would get incinerated or fatally poisoned if Iran nuked Israel. It ain't happenin'. Iran's citizens would rise up and slaughter any politicians in Iran who even hinted of ever killing so many fellow Muslims in cold blood.
  3. Iran's nuclear program is part of a general push to become a regional power, rather than anything dealing with Israel. The Iranians consider themselves Persian (nevermind that the current nation of Iran was created by Safavid Turks who created a nation centered around Tabriz near the current Azerbaijani border then took the rest of Persia from its Mongolian overlords shortly thereafter), and consider themselves to be the heirs of the ancient Persian empire that once ruled the entire Middle East. Not only would incinerating those 5,500,000 Muslims in Palestine infuriate their own people who consider themselves to be the defenders of Islam, but it would infuriate all the people that they're trying to gain influence over also. Not Happening.
  4. Iran has no reason to attack Israel. The Israelis are doing a good enough job of self-destructing all by themselves. There is a *reason* why there have been no Muslim nations attacking Israel since 1973 -- the Muslim nations have decided to take the long view, and wait for what they consider to be a European "crusader state" to self-destruct the way the former crusader states did. The Crusades failed in the end because the European barbarians proved incapable of working with each other, fell to squabbling, and most of them left and went home, the small remainder fell to warring amongst themselves until finally the Mamaluk Egyptians could step in and restore order and end the little crusader state to the hearty applause of the general population, which was tired of those squabbling barbarians running around tearing up the place. The Muslims are waiting for it to happen again, and given the current fragmented state of Israeli politics and the net out-migration of Israeli Jews, it doesn't seem like they have long to wait.
  5. Iran considers the Jews to be "People of the Book" and thus worthy of a protected status. Judaism is an official state religion of Iran. Religiously speaking, killing Jews simply for being Jews (as vs. for warring against them) is against their religion. Since Iran and Israel have never been at war, there is no theological justification for their Supreme Leader to declare war against Israel (note: the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khameni, is the man who has the power to declare war under the Iranian Constitution -- not President Ahmadinejad).
  6. Iran has never threatened to "drive Israelis into the sea". President Ahmadinejad has talked about "destroying the Zionist regime", but when asked, he replies to reporters that what he means is that all Palestinians either currently living within the boundaries of historic Palestine or whose ancestors were born there -- both Jewish and the refugees -- should be citizens of a Palestinian state, rather than the current apartheid scheme, and thus his statement is morally equivalent to saying, during South Africa's apartheid years, that he endorsed "destroying the apartheid regime". Not to mention that Ahmadinejad has no army -- that's Ayatollah Khameni's army, remember?
  7. And finally: The Iranians have not, in the past, been prone to rash or ill-advised or insane actions. I.e., Iran and its leaders have never been "insane" by any reasonable man's definition of the term, and Ayatollah Khameni seems typical of the bunch. Probably the most "insane" action that Iran's ayatollahs have ever taken was the takeover of the U.S. embassy back in 1979, but that was a case of internal Iranian politics trumping common sense -- Ayatollah Khomeini was looking for something to use to solidify support for a religious theocracy rather than a secular democracy as the basis for Iran's new Constitution, and used the whole "Great Satan" sticht to do that. But he had absolutely no problem at all trading with the "Great Satan" for weapons once the Iraqis decided to invade Iran -- as the Israelis have found out, thanks to gift-wrapped U.S. TOW anti-tank missiles (reverse-engineered by the Iranians and mass-produced after Ollie North delivered them to Tehran in exchange for money for the Contras) smashing into their tanks in Lebanon.
There's reasons to be concerned about the Iranian nuclear program. But those reasons have more to do with Iran's drive towards regional hegemony (they still remember that the Safavids held Afghanistan, most of Iraq, and most of the borders of the Caspian Sea as part of Iran at the peak of the Safavid period) and little to do with any threat to Israel (and BTW, why the f*** would I care about Israel anyhow? I'm an AMERICAN, not an ISRAELI! I care about AMERICA, not about ISRAEL!). Iran is not our friend, and thus Iran's interests are not our interests. But then, who is our friend anymore? I mean, who wants to be friends with the overbearing, bullying, egotistical shit-for-brains playground thug? Other than the sad little poodle that is so eager to whine at the feet of the bully in hopes of obtaining tidbits out of the bully's lunch?

-- Badtux the Geopolitical Penguin

(Cross-posted in slightly different form at the other odd bird's place).

Posted by: BadTux / 10/20/2006 11:04:00 PM  


So, are you going to make a run for preznut? I'd vote for you.
# posted by BBC : 21/10/06 2:34 PM  

Badtux the snarky preznit? Yeah, I'd vote for ya, too!

# posted by Mixter : 21/10/06 9:38 PM  

*Gasp* I'm shocked, shocked, by the blatant anti-Semitism. Someone in formal dress is going to be heading for a Polish hidey-hole.
# posted by K. Ron Silkwood : 21/10/06 10:53 PM  

Rule #1 of American politics is that nobody who tells the truth can win an election for dog catcher. That's just a fact of life. Humans want someone to lie to them, and reward such people with their votes. Anybody who tells the truth -- that there's no free lunch, that if you want a certain level of services you need to pay a certain level of taxes, etc. -- simply can't get elected.
# posted by BadTux : 21/10/06 11:28 PM  

*Sigh*, I know that, but was hoping that everyone else had forgotten.
# posted by BBC : 21/10/06 11:36 PM  

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