Posted by: Jim | November 14, 2006

The Axis of Ev-entual Allies

The once-terrorist and now President of Iran is rubbing our noses in our inability to do anything about their nuclear proliferation.

About all we can do is shrug it off as an eventual inevitability. Our armed services are currently over-extended in Iraq (today, 150 Iraqi government officials were kidnapped, and all the Sunnis were taken away), our President was hamstrung by last week’s election, and the will of America to prevent Iran’s eventual membership in Club Nuclear is just … not … there. And since we are poised to recruit Iran to help us with our issues in Iraq, it is clear that there will be no serious recriminations handed out to Iran for their nuclear developments. North Korea continues on brazenly doing nuclear tests as well. In spite of harsh U.S. warnings that there would be consequences, there were none. In fact, we turned to China to help us with Korea.

It would seem that Rumsfeld’s “forward leaning” foreign policy left the office long before Rumsfeld did. We over-extended our powers in the one nation that did not matter. While millions of right-wing bloggers labor over the reasons why Iraq might have purchased aluminium tubes, and swear up and down that Iraq had the will to build a nuclear bomb … blah blah blah … Iran and Korea went right ahead and did it in the last three years because our attentions were otherwise occupied.

We are left with no choices but to capitulate. North Korea and Iran are going nuclear and there isn’t much we can do about it.

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Responses

  1. I believe it is a foregone conclusion that atomic knowhow will fall into the hands of evildoers. Back in the 30’s and 40’s the prospect must have seemed so far off that it wasn’t a concern (except for Uncle Albert). This really doesn’t surprise me, but it does concern me that it is happening during my stay here on this planet.

    I don’t think that the U.S. presence in Iraq is even relevant to this post – even if all of our soldiers were back home, nuclear power will proliferate beyond our ability to police it. Sure, every nation which possesses the knowledge to build a bomb would love to maintain sole custodianship of said knowledge, but it just doesn’t work that way. Think of when the gun was invented, possibly the easiest way to kill a single person. It did not take long for that knowledge, or the hardware itself to find its way into the hands of those who would use it for evil. This is the same thing on a grand scale.

    Of course, if nukes end up in the hands of terrorists, just call Jack Bauer. THAT’s the kind of guy we need, not political figureheads who dilly dally more than take action.

  2. …tongue in cheek on the last paragraph of the above post. WordPress did not accept my tags…

  3. “even if all of our soldiers were back home, nuclear power will proliferate beyond our ability to police it.”

    I’ll have to concede on that point. As Ray used to say, “Information wants to be free.”

    So it’s Cold War II.

  4. No, it’s worse than Cold War II. The Soviets may have been a lot of things, but they weren’t religious fanatics bent on destroying us for sexual favors in the afterlife. I’m not saying that Iranians nor Muslims in general have that view, but as a nation, they surely are aligned with groups that do. The concept of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) was sufficient to keep both sides in line, at least to some extent, in the Good Old Days of Cold War I — but how in the world is that going to work against an enemy that is bent on dying for Allah?

    The West has been in the worm-canning business ever since WWII, when it essentially betrayed the Arabs/Persians in a hundred ways and then subsequently became dependent on them for oil, all the while using them as a pawn against the USSR. We propped up dictators in the region and played them against each other while their people suffered — those people eventually turning to religious fanaticism to escape the systemic abuse inflicted on them by the policies of the ‘secular’ West. The 1979 Iran hostage crisis (to cite but one example of the beginning of the end) was our own doing, and we responded to it by making a mortal enemy of one of the largest nations in the Middle East; we should have — and could have — normalized relations with them long ago, but like our ridiculous lobbyist-inspired obsession with Cuba, we chose to act like a ten-year-old bully instead. I’m not saying Ahmadinejhad is a nice guy — he’s an opportunistic ass, just like Bush — but he, like Saddam and Osama and a thousand others, is a product of our failed, absurdly short-sighted policies in the region. We created our own fucking nightmare that had an obvious, inevitable conclusion, and all it needed was for the Bush Administration to open the can.

    Now we’re up to our eyeballs in worms. Nice job, idiots.

    * * *

  5. I now wonder if Reagan’s old “Strategic Defense Initiative” program might not have been a pretty good solution to this problem. In the 80s, it was scoffed as technologically impractical, and criticized by others as granting the wielder of SDI world domination capabilities (because THEIR nukes could pass through SDI).

    They say that SDI was not deployed, but I’ve always wondered.

    Maybe its time has come again?

  6. Ugh. I know this is just wishful thinking, but…
    I’m all for the return of Reza Pahlavi to Iran.

  7. First of all, SDI is a joke. A smokescreen. Always was, likely always will be. And it’s always laughably attributed to Reagan, when all he did was announce a project that had been on the table for decades, shelved because of its cost and impracticality. Reagan was fascinated by the idea, as he was by all sorts of shiny things, so he brought it out in the open and attempted to popularize it. Attributing SDI to Reagan is like saying that the space program was Kennedy’s idea, simply because he made the already-existing space race a priority in his inaugural address.

    Think about it. Typically American fantasy concept; we have this hi-tech ‘protective net’, wherein satellite systems pinpoint a missile launch and activate space and ground-based lasers and anti-missile missiles to shoot the offending weapon out of the sky before it reaches our airspace. Wow! Cool! Never mind that now, 26 years after Reagan’s ‘Star Wars’ speech, we can still barely get a so-called ‘smart weapon’ to hit its target; most of them fail miserably and stated success rates are always vastly overinflated. Hell, we can’t even build a car that gets decent gas mileage.

    Assuming the real threat of the near future is missiles, which it likely ISN’T, let’s envision an SDI scenario (and the only way to know if it works will be to use it for real). OK, so some foreign power — say, North Korea — gets a deathwish and decides it’s time to nuke our asses. They know we have this SDI thingie, but they’re betting that if they throw enough plutonium into the air, some of it will get through. And they would probably be right. So let’s say they launch 300 nuclear warheads and the space lasers are 90% successful. This is a generous estimate. That means that 30 NUCLEAR MISSILES reach their targets in the United States. Each one equivalent to, say, 20 Hiroshimas. Are you getting the picture? Sure we’d retaliate, wiping the bastards out in a New York minute. But so what? There wouldn’t be a whole lot to celebrate about here in the ruins, would there?

    Of course, this whole scenario is unlikely. Why? Because despite all their sabre-rattling and scimitar-waving, most sovereign nations and their leaders are not as a rule suicidal. We will still be the Big Dogs in the nuclear realm for some time, and as I mentioned in my previous comment, MAD is still likely effective against sovereign nations — even ones with crazy dictators like Kim Jong Il. No, the real threat is much smaller; much less grand but no less deadly. When a nuke goes off in the US — and it’s only a matter of time, I’m afraid — it will be in the back of a van rented by some fucked-up terrorist group, who probably got it from Iran or NK or Pakistan or whomever our next policy-created enemy might be.

    And what’s Luke Skywalker gonna do about THAT?

    * * *

  8. Luke Skywalker vs. Jack Bauer. That’s better than Rush vs. Jon Stewart…

    …and I’ll take Bauer and CTU vs. Luke and The Force, with odds, even 😉

  9. All your explaining notwithstanding, I still do not see what was so technically impossible about putting a laser beam on a platform in geosynchronous orbit. And it’s ability to shoot a missle out of the sky is completely within our capabilities. The only thing I’m not sure of is our capabilities with lasers.

    But like you said, the whole thing is moot, because the next nuclear detonation on earth (barring tests) will not come from a missle at all.

  10. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_Defense_Initiative#Controversy_and_criticism


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