Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Uh-Oh

From BBC News:

Iran has removed international seals from a nuclear facility and will begin research there in the coming hours.

The move ends a two-year suspension of research, and could result in Tehran being referred to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions....

...Western countries fear Iran's nuclear programme could be used to make atomic bombs, but Tehran denies such a goal.

It says the project is for the peaceful production of energy only.


So, here's the thing, as I see it. Of course we're right to be immediately suspicious and concerned. Nuclear power of any sort is dangerous, and Iran is not our friend.


But, Nuclear power is also one of the future's viable energy sources. I distrust it, myself, even simply "the peaceful production of energy." But we use it, and we're probably not giving it up anytime soon.

So, since Iran's signed the Non-Proliferation treaty, and has stated a peaceful intent, what exactly do we do about this? So many people have expressed frustration with UN sanctions, though they appear to work fairly well, and our impatience with UN weapons inspectors (despite their having been shown to be absolutely correct about the lack of WMD's in Iraq) that I can't see America's government simply allowing the UN to impose its sanctions and sit back to see what happens.

On the other hand, there are practical and ethical reasons to do just that, at least until some more information can be gathered. Our military is stretched thin as it is, and any sort of intervention in Iran could prove disastrous to the continuing struggle for stability in Iraq. There's also the issue of whether the world should get itself involved in a preemptory fashion. If Iran really is researching energy alternatives, shouldn't they be able to? As "enlightened," Western countries, shouldn't we encourage growth as long as that growth does not pose a grave threat to our safety and security?

I don't know enough about Iran or this situation to necessarily answer those questions. But all signs have pointed toward a desire to continue and expand the "War on Terror," and this seems like the perfect sort of activity to start the wardrumming.

Thoughts?

13 Comments:

At 1:24 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

It should probably come as no surprise that I am deeply concerned about Iran, and while not "wardrumming" per se, do not think that the consideration of offensive action should be ruled out against the terror masters of Tehran.

While we may or not be "enlightened," (as you seem intent on continually putting that word in quotes, when referring to the United States, or the "West," loosely defined), Iran (or their current rulers) is considerably unenlightened. Quotes or no quotes.

Let's say we ignore the fact that all Western music has been, once again, banned from Iranian radio, as inherently antagonistic to the Islamic State. And let's say we also ignore that the President of Iran has now taken the formal position that the Holocaust was merely a hoax, and that a member UN Nation should be wiped off the map (statements reasonably considered "wardrumming," of sorts).

Then let's also ignore the fact that Iran's purported reason for researching nuclear technology is for energy creation, while Iran currently resides over one the most wealthy natural gas and oil reserves in the world. And if we are so generous as to ignore the fact that Iran turned down an offer from Russia and Europe to research nuclear technology while still limiting Iran's nuclear weapons capability to protect its "sovereignty."

Maybe we can also try to ignore the fact that Iran has continued to research missile technology to enable it to dispense weapons to Southern Europe.

If in our "enlightenment" we ignore all of the above, and then ignore the fact that Iran is the creator and current financier of the largest terrorist organization in the world, Hezbollah, an organization that intentionally murdered 200 United States Marines in the 1980's ... then what do we do?

I don't know. Russia and China will never agree to impose sanctions (as far as I know). I guess our only option is to continue ignoring all of the above, lest it appear that we are wardrumming. That would be bad.

 
At 3:01 PM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

I say we ready the orbital weapons platforms and nuke them. At least they might be some kind of threat outside their own country.

 
At 4:44 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

I thought I'd made it pretty clear in my post that I was simply posing two questions, which I think should be rightly considered.

"Of course we're right to be immediately suspicious and concerned. Nuclear power of any sort is dangerous, and Iran is not our friend."

I mean that. Iran actually scares me, whereas Iraq never did.

"But, Nuclear power is also one of the future's viable energy sources. I distrust it, myself, even simply "the peaceful production of energy." But we use it, and we're probably not giving it up anytime soon."

I mean that too. Iran's a dangerous country, but if they're going to follow the laws we've agreed to, then they have the right to manufacture power under that law. No?

I spend more time talking about that fact, because it's by far the less tenable position from a perspective of safety considerations. But it's not, I don't think, an inherently fallacious one.

So, your remarks about my post aside, I tend to agree with you. I'm just doing what I always try to do: see all sides.

Cap - Don't we have a Death Star yet? Isn't there a Death Star up there, somewhere?

 
At 5:15 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Death Star?

"Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force." -Darth Vader

 
At 5:16 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

But bottom line - Iran freaks me out. I've got a bad feeling about those guys. And I pray that I'm wrong about what I think they'd do with nuclear weapons.

 
At 6:57 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

And let me just continue my filibuster, so to speak:

While I understand the merit in "see[ing] all sides," I would just caution against equivocating about those regimes and activities that are so clearly and undeniably threatening and hateful.

It's the bain of the openminded to be vigilant against moral equivocation.

 
At 7:52 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

I appreciate that, but where did I do that here? :)

 
At 8:45 AM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

To answer your question (this setting aside my sillines oeuvre for a moment):

"If Iran really is researching energy alternatives, shouldn't they be able to?"

Sure, but how do we ensure that that's all they're doing?

"As "enlightened," Western countries, shouldn't we encourage growth as long as that growth does not pose a grave threat to our safety and security?"

Of course, but see my above question. Will they let us "monitor" them in some fashion and should we have the right to?

 
At 9:13 AM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

I'll get to that in a second, but no mention of the Darth Vader quote? I figured that the Conservative quoting the Father of the Dark Side of the Force would be too juicy to let go....

 
At 10:50 AM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

Okay but you asked for it.

"Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid."

 
At 2:18 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

"But I was going to Tashi Station to pick up some power converters!"

Cap, I'm with you. The questions you ask are the ones I don't have answers for. I don't know how to be sure about it, but I don't want to jump the gun again, either.

I doubt they'd let the US monitor them. Especially right now. And I don't think a lot of Americans have much faith in the UN at the moment.

So, whaddya do?

 
At 9:00 AM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

Well in the words of the Special Forces, "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out."

Okay maybe not, but I don't know. I don't trust my three year old with knives or "real" scissors because I can't trust that he won't try and use them on his sisters. As "enlightened" as we may not be, Iran is less "enlightened".

You don't let certain people have guns and these are mighty big bullets they're stockpiling (maybe it's a bad analogy but it's what I have). The UN or the US or someone with the power and "authority" needs to keep an eye on this and if they say no then we need to apply force as distasteful as that might be.

 
At 11:09 AM, Blogger codemorse said...

I don't disagree. But if they've gone in on the non-proliferation treaty with us, and that treaty says it's okay to do this, then how do we handle it?

For all my cracks about the U.S.'s problems, I think we live in the greatest country in the world. The thought of some nutjob with a nuclear weapon destroying it makes me both very nervous and very aggressive.

I suppose all I'm trying to do here is point out that we have an existent agreement that allows for this (from what I understand). So, despite my fear, I ask what sort of measures other than stepping in to ban them from doing this, could we take to insure safety?

 

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