02 February 2012

Can You Blame Iran?

For wanting nukes:

Another example is the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline. The U.S. pressured India into withdrawing its participation in the Iran-Pakistan-India natural gas pipeline. Pakistan was pressured too but refused. Iran has already completed its portion. Instead, the U.S. supports an alternative liquified gas pipeline by an alternative consortium from Tajikistan through Afghanistan. The latter is not close to reality. It requires a political stability in Afghanistan that does not exist.

It is going to be increasingly difficult to argue that the United States do not deserve to be attacked by Iran when the United States pulls stunts like this.  It’s one thing if Iran attacks the US out of the blue, but it’s altogether different if, prior to an attack, the US has spent years dictating trade and economic policy to Iran, particularly when that policy is detrimental to Iran.

Resentment doesn’t build up in a vacuum, and some of it is rightly deserved.  In this case, the US will deserve some sort of attack if it continues to provoke Iran and undermine Iran’s sovereignty. And, since the US is a democracy, the vast majority of citizens will deserve the consequences of their actions since they will be, by definition, complicit in the US government’s decision to provoke Iran.


  1. When I sit down and try to nut things out objectively, I can't understand what beef the U.S. has with Iran. I mean, how does Iran directly threat U.S security? I can understand that should Iran develop the capability to manufacture nuclear weapons they could then be given to terrorists to attack the U.S.; fair enough. But why then doesn't the U.S. put the same amount of heat on Pakistan? It is a known possessor of nuclear weapons and has large elements in its military which are proven supporters of the Taliban. The risk from Iran is theoretical whilst the risk from Pakistan is real.

    Furthermore, the Iranians, whilst they do hate the U.S., are not insane, unlike the Nork's. So why the heat on Iran?

  2. S.P., I assume you are not being intentionally naive. If you are, you are very good at it. To put this delicately, let's just say the motivating factor in the U.S. heat on Iran is a people whose name rhymes with NEWS. Anyone who notices their influence over U.S. media and gov't policy, is, however, a BAD BAD person, so I would not encourage you to think about them too much, except insofar as you think of them as victims of all the people they keep attacking.

  3. There are at least three reasons for our long-standing policy towards Iran and its nuclear ambitions.

    First, Iran believes the Persian Gulf is part of its zone of influence and domination, and a nuclear weapon would allow Iran to dominate the region at least for a while. This is important because about 40% of the world's oil comes from the Persian Gulf, and the control of this oil by a hostile power is a very serious strategic problem.

    Your might recall that one of the chief strategic goals of Germany in WWII was control of Middle Eastern oil, and they mounted a two-pronged attack through North Africa and the Caucasus to achieve that goal.

    Second, Israel is an ally of the US, and Iran has threatened destruction of Israel. We control the world through a system of alliances, and defense of allies is one of the costs of our dominance.

    Third, a nuclear Iran would destroy the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The immediate result would be a nuclear Saudi Arabia. They have already publicly stated they would go nuclear, and it is believed that they have options on a few Paki bomb.

    The next inline would probably be Turkey, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Ukraine, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Japan, South Korean, Taiwan, Indonesia and so on. Anyone who has the needed cash.

    The possession of nuclear weapons by many of these countries is harmless; it merely contributes to deterrence and stabilizes relationships.

    However, the Sunni/Shia and oil/no oil divides among the Muslims and the Israeli/Muslim divide all but guarantees a short-lived war in the Middle East. Such a war would shut down Persian Gulf oil exports for some time, likely causing another Great Depression.

    Those are the reasons adduced for our policy as far back as Franklin Roosevelt. Whether they are convincing to you is something you must decide, but they have convinced every President and Congress for 67 years.

  4. @SP- Justin is right. The influence that Jews have over the US gov't is pretty broad. Couple this with Zionism, which is pretty common in the US, and you have a recipe for a foreign policy that targets non-Israel Middle East nations. Also, Iran serves as a convenient propaganda target.

    @sykes.1- So, war for oil is a viable goal? And being allied with Israel has benefited us how? And will having more nuclear weapons actually lead to war?

    Just out of curiosity, do you find the reasons for the United States' policy towards Iran to be convincing?

  5. Dear Simon,

    Not fully.

    But, I do think the Ayatollahs per se are a threat to the US. Whether or not the threat would ever be realized is somewhat dubious. A nuclear strike on the US would almost certainly result in nuclear bombardment of Iran, and I don't think the Ayatollahs are that crazy.

    I don't fear the Iranian people. If a democratic Iran had nukes, I wouldn't worry.

    I do think yours and Justin's concerns about Jewish control of US policy is overblown. Obama and most of his aides (and most of the Democrat party) are virulent anti-semites. They would not respond to a nuclear attack on Israel. In fact, I'm not convinced Obama would respond to a nuclear attack on the US from any source, including Russia.

  6. @sykes.1- I'm not as conspiratorially-minded as Justin (I don't worry much about Jews; I worry about Evangelical Zionists). However, the current Republican primary has been drumming up war against Iran, pretty much at the behest of some Jews, as well as Zionists, and this is beginning to influence the Obama administration. It may not be direct, but it certainly exists.

  7. Obama and most of his aides (and most of the Democrat party) are virulent anti-semites

    Rahm Emmanuel is a virulent antisemite? Didn't some major publication just run an article on Obama as the first Jewish president? Most of the Democratic party is virulently antisemitic? Why do Jews vote 78% Democrat then?

    The assertion that Obama is an antisemite strains credulity.

    1. Israel is not an ally. Almost no one in the defense industry sees Israel as an ally since they've shot at us, stolen from us, and continue to steal from us.

    Your other reasons are more compelling.

  8. @PRCalDude- I think what you're seeing is term conflation. One need not be an anti-semite to not support Israel militarily. While the two stances are confused on occasion, they should not be.