Sunday, June 18, 2006

Pre-emption For Me But Not For Thee 

The Jerusalem Post kindly brings us word of Iran's defense minister pulling the rug out from under the all but the blindest of the Iranian regime's nuclear-apologists:

Iran's defense minister on Thursday vowed that his country would 'use nuclear defense as a potential' if 'threatened by any power.'

Speaking following a meeting with his Syrian counterpart Hassan Ali Turkmani in Teheran on Thursday, Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar emphasized that Iran 'should be ready for confronting all kinds of threats.'
This statement brings up two immediate thoughts for me.

First let's be clear on terms. Deterrence is threatening to nuke in response to your being nuked. But the Iranian defense minister is not outlining a policy of deterence, in which nukes will be used only to counter attacks. He is engaged in saber rattling, promising pre-emptive use of nukes in the event of mere THREATS. Does that matter? Consider how the Cold War would have turned out with such a policy. Consider how many trees would hve to be mulched in order to publish all of the diplomatic world's condemnations were Israel to make such an irresponsible pre-emptive threat -- heck, Israel hasn't even openly threatened deterence and it is branded irresponsible just for allegedly possessing  a "nuclear defense." And consider the full extent of what is already publicly considered a threat by the paranoid Iranian regime:

Israel constitutes a real danger to the region and the Islamic states, head of the Council of Guardians, Ahmad Janati, told worshippers at Friday prayers.

He criticized some countries endeavors to establish relations with Israel saying "Establishing relations with Israel will strengthen it to suppress and blackmail states and peoples of the region." Janati reiterated Iran's right to peaceful use of nuclear energy within the framework of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)decisions, stressing that it will not give up this right and will not surrender to pressure. [...]

He stressed that Israel is constantly hatching conspiracies in the region and the whole world and intends to destroy Islam.
You might accuse me of cherry-picking this paranoid Iranian quote to bolster my own paranoid argument. Let me just say that I went cherry picking with my family last week. While cherry picking does allow one to select the lowest, easiest to reach, ripest cherries, that is only because there are so many other cherries also within easy reach, also ripe and juicy, that it's almost impossible to pick a bad one. Gambling a nuclear containment policy on the ability of the Iranian government not to consider Zionists a threat is like letting Michael Moore guard the donuts in the hope that maybe he doesn't like sprinkles.

The second thing I'd like to know is, what happened to all the "our nuclear technology is only for peaceful use" talk? I thought the regime would keep up that charade until at least a day or so after they'd actually dropped the bomb they weren't developing to begin with. Yet here they are blustering about their "nuclear defense." Is this tantamount to an announcement the bombs are ready to go? Or am I merely misinterpreting the term "nuclear defense"? Is it possible Iran is merely pledging to adminster a lethal dose of peaceful x-ray radiation to any Zionist regime that threatens them, rather than dropping the by-now-cliched Map-Wiper?

I didn't think so either.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: