Monday, May 26, 2008

I don't have a problem with a nuclear Iran

I remember in '98 with an aquaintance about Pakistan and India now both having nuclear weapons. The gist of his position was that it was perfectly fine for the United States and Europe to have nuclear weapons but for some unknown reason the idea of India and Pakistan having them would initiate a crisis beyond belief. After a little bit of questioning it became clear that his reasoning was that Indians and Pakistanis weren't smart enough or advanced enough to have nuclear weapons without using them against each other and starting World War III. When I hear about Iran's supposed nuclear weapons program, which after having been denied by the IAEA for months has now been miraculously confirmed, I think back to that exchange. Ahmadinejad knows that attacking Israel would lead to Iran's population being murdered. The point, I think, is to have some parity in the middle east, where Israel is allowed to have scores of nuclear weapons but no one else is. Israel is armed to the teeth and can invade countries without having any consequences because of U.S. support. A nuclear Iran might make Israel think a little before declaring war on Lebanon or Syria, and that's what both the U.S. and Israel do not want.

My opinion is that Kim Jong Il is probably more unstable and unpredictable than Ahmadinejad, who although far right and a little crazy was actually a political figure who was at least elected in a quasi-open election. Kim Jong Il straight out inherited the title of dictator from his father, and has his birthday celebrated as a national holiday. Yet South Korea hasn't been destroyed even though the North has nuclear weapons. Instead, as some people have pointed out, the fact that North Korea has nuclear weapons may be a reason why the United States hasn't directed more aggression towards them, since as everyone says the North could reduce Seoul to cinders in a mater of....half an hour? Something very close to that considering how close Seoul is to the DMZ.

The problem isn't Ahmadinejad, the problem with relation to a nuclear Iran is the challenge to de facto U.S. dominance in the region. Both directly and through Israel.

They say that a nuclear Iran would make Israel hostage, but aren't Lebanon, Syria, and Iran being held hostage right now to Israel's military power, to their nuclear weapons and to their ability to attack wherever they want without consequences?

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