Friday, September 23, 2005

How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb

I can't find the article I was looking for- I remember reading it somewhere. I thought it was by Amir Taheri, but I can't find it now. The idea was that the tired old revolutionary government in Iran was supporting terrorism in order to distract the people from their problems by demonised externnal enemies, while the fresh-faced revolutionary guard Ahmadijenad has an ambitious domestic reform agenda and doesn't need to scare up bogeymen and engage in military adventures in places like Lebanon. But the article I found just now doesn't seem to say that at all, so it was probably somebody else.

Maybe Iran with nuclear weapons wouldn't go around with such a chip on its shoulder making rash rhetorical statements. Maybe it wouldn't bother giving Hizbullah teensy little rockets to lob into the Galilee if it knew that if it really, really felt like it it could go the whole hog and blow all of Israel up. Maybe a India-sized nuclear arsenal would settle it down a bit. Just a Pollyannaish thought...

And, another thing that might make Iran settle down and become a more responsible state would be the strain of fighting a proxy war against the Sunni insurgency in its Iraqi client state... I expect it would forget all about exporting Islamic Democracy to the world then! So it's all good, whatever happens...

1 comment:

Marco said...

I don't think I can agree with you there. Iran is not a stable enough country (IMHO) to be considered a static entity in the nuclear sense. It has a habit of trading in fear at all levels, whether through terrorists it supports or through direct military intentions. Ironically, the very nuclear weapons it develops may well blow up its own citizens down the track (just as more people are killed accidentally by weapons bought to protect themselves). Even though they finance terrorist organisations they can't pretend that they won't ever do things against their own long term stability. It all spells fear that can only be tempered by credible US threat of force as a last resort, ideally before the nuclear genie is out of the bottle.