Thursday, November 20, 2008
Iran reportedly now has enough enriched uranium to manufacture it's first nuclear bomb.
That estimate comes from nuclear experts who've been extrapolating data from the latest IAEA report. Given the feckless nature of the IAEA and the fact that they're not alowed to see everything, Iran is likely much further along than that. Considering the missiles they've tested, which can hit Europe as well as Israel, the hour is much later than we think.
Assuming Iran gets nukes, how likely are they to use them? Can't we live with a nuclear Iran the way we lived with a nuclear Soviet Union?
Don't bet on it.
`Living with it' would be akin to learning to live with a live rattler in the house...except Iran would be more dangerous. For one thing, there's the distinct possibility- I'd say it's almost a certainty - that Iran would provide nukes down line, to the terrorist groups it sponsors and is closely allied with for use against the West. Such attacks could be very hard to trace back to Iran an dby then it might be too late anyway. And if the fingerprints were the least bit uncertain, would a President Obama and a Democrat Congress have the will to rspond appropriately in the face of massive political opposition and street theater from their constituency on the Angry Left?
Even worse, in some ways, is the idea that Iran might not use the bomb...but instead would use it as a threat to coerce `respect' from the West, and use their nuclear might to blackmail OPEC to pump up the price of oil and gas and beef up its leadership of the Islamist bloc while fomenting conventional terrorism and Iran-based Islamist takeovers.
What lots of people who think a simple diplomatic solution is possible don't consider is that Iran may actually be seeking a confrontation with the West as a 'divine mission'. Notice I said Iran, not Ahmadinejad...important to remember that he's merely a hired hand of the Supreme Council of Guardians and Khameini.
To fully understand what we’re dealing with here, we need to throw out the notion that we’re dealing with a Western mindset, and examine Iran’s theological and psychological makeup.
All streams of Islam believe in a divine saviour, known as the Mahdi, who will appear at the End of Days. Several Islamic demagogues have raised vast armies and taken territory by utilizing this belief through history.
Iran's dominant Shia "Twelver" sect believes this will be Mohammed ibn Hasan, regarded as the 12th Imam, or righteous descendant of the Prophet Mohammad.
He is said to have gone into "seclusion" in the ninth century, at the age of five. His return will be preceded by chaos, war and bloodshed. After a cataclysmic battle with evil and darkness, the Mahdi will lead the world to an era of universal Dar Islam..domination of the world by Islam and Sharia law, batta bang, batta bing.
Are Ahmadinejad, Khameini and the Supreme council now pushing for a clash with the West because they feel safe in the belief of the imminent return of the Hidden Imam?
And are they trying to speed up things in the hope of hastening his reappearance?
Here's something to consider from Iran and Ahmadinejad's recent history.
During the Iran-Iraq War, the Ayatollah Khomeini imported 500,000 small plastic keys from Taiwan. After Iraq invaded Iran in September 1980 and the Iranians initially suffered military reverses, Khomeini recruited Iranian children, some as young as twelve years old, and packed them off to the front. There, they marched across minefields toward the enemy lines in human waves, clearing a path with their bodies. Every one of them had one of those Taiwanese keys hung around his neck…and the children were told that these were their Keys to open Paradise.
These children who ran to their deaths in suicide attacks were part of the Basiji, a mass movement created by Khomeini after the Revolution in 1979 and put on the front lines after the war began. The Basij Mostazafan--or "mobilization of the oppressed"--was a volunteer militia, most of whose members hadn't even turned 18 yet. They went by the thousands, willing martyrs for Khomeini and the regime.
Today the slaughter of the Basiji is a source of Iranian legend and national pride...believe it or not. Since the end of the Iraq war in 1988, the Basiji have vastly increased both in numbers and influence, as a cadre of loyal heroes of the Islamic Republic. They’ve been used mostly as religious police to enforce Sharia in Iran, and as Allah's own storm troopers against dissidents.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s president, served as a Basij instructor during the Iran-Iraq War, and is now the poster boy for the movement. That black and white scarf Ahmadinejad wears ins't a Palestinian kefiyah, but a basiji scarf. Recruited from the more conservative and impoverished parts of the population (the exact social class Hitler used for the SA), the Basiji swear absolute loyalty to the Supreme Leader Ali Khameini, Khomeini's successor. During Ahmadinejad's run for the presidency in 2005, the millions of Basiji all over Iran got solidly behind Ahmadinejad in every Iranian town, neighborhood, and mosque and pushed his presidency. He was their guy..and the regime's.
Re-examine that little bit of information for a second…the man who trained children to blow themselves up for Allah at the Mullah’s behest is now the country’s president.
Turn it over in your mind.
The inmates have definitely taken over the Persian asylum. And this suicide/martyr complex is deeply engraved in the Iranian/Shia psyche.
After all, why be afraid when the Hidden Imam is on his way?
Something else to consider is Iran’s perception of how America and the West has reacted to any confrontation or provocation.
In 1979, the Iranians got away with something no other country has ever done, even in wartime. They seized a US embassy and held our diplomats hostage for over a year...and the Carter Administration did nothing about it.
This perception has been reinforced since then by our retreats from Beirut after a Hezbollah suicide attack, our failure to deal decisively with Saddam after defeating him in the first Gulf War and continuing through our retreat from Somalia...not to mention our `nuanced' and indecisive response to having 3,000 of our fellow citizens slaughtered while a significant portion of the adherants of the Religion of peace celebrated it as one happy victory for the Great Jihad. And why wouldn't the mullahs feel that way? Until very recently our leaders couldn't even bring themselves to call the enemy by its right name.
Iran sees us a power in retreat…eager to recoil after any forceful response by the Islamic world. And Iran considers itself the rightful standard bearer of a resurgent Caliphate Islam.
Diplomacy only works when you are dealing with people that perceive they have something to lose.
Sanctions and multilateral diplomacy has been and will remain a waste of time. Aside from the fact that Russia, China and certain members of the EU are unlikely to abide by them, the black market is alive and well, especially when you have oil and gas to sell.
So where's that leave us?
The key to solving this little dilemma is to remember that we're not only dealing with Iran's nukes. We are dealing with Iran as the leader of jihad and the Islamist movement - which is exactly how Iran sees itself.
President Bush touched on this when he compared `Militant Islam' with the communist menace of the Cold War. Except that the mullahs and their pals have a very different mindset in some ways. The communists actually cared about staying alive.
Are we prepared to be half as ruthless and thorough as the mullahs are towards us to preserve our lives and freedom?
So far, we haven't. Fascinating it is that President Bush was in such a lather to get us into Iraq, where the nukes weren't, and has been so reluctant to deal with the real threat in Iran. It will go down as perhaps the greatest failure of his presidency, in an administration absolutely chock full of failed policy.
Unless something drastic happens, or the Israelis do the job of taking out Iran's nukes themselves, we will pay in blood and treasure for that failure.
Posted by Freedom Fighter at 5:11 PM