Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Iranian Uranium

When we talk about war, we're really talking about peace.
- George Bush, June, 2002.
But we will continue to talk with our -- with the people concerned about peace and how to secure the peace....
- George Bush, August, 2002.

And just how do you think George Bush will try to "secure the peace"? What George Bush should rightly have said those years ago is that when he is talking about peace, he is really talking about war. But that would have been just too much of a give away, even for this White House. Nonetheless, to the Bush administration, the words are interchangeable as necessary. It is now abundantly obvious, and has been for sometime, that the Bush administration was gunning for an attack on Iraq since the first moments after 9/11. Their rhetoric then is being matched nearly exactly by their rhetoric now: speak of bringing in the allies, tell of how there is a pursuit of diplomacy to the fullest extent while assuring the world -- expecially Iran -- that a "military option" is "on the table," talk up peace, peace, peace and threat, threat, threat. All this takes place during a long flurry of accusations that are not supported by evidence but, nonetheless, drives everyone to the near baseless conclusion that, after so much repitition, the "threat" is real. It is a well-worn pattern.
There is no weapons program. There is nothing that could threaten the U.S. The main fear is that Iran would want to drop a nuclear bomb on Tel Aviv. That is so far beyond possibility as to make the whole scenario ludicrous.
-- William Beeman, Iran Expert,
Professor of Middle East Studies,
Brown University.
Unfortunately for Iran, what is really helping the White House are the unhinged cries and cackles of the very man who should be trying to dissaude the world from the belief that Iran is a threat: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The press conference that saw him defiantly announce that Iran had successfully began to enrich uranium does not help the cause of moderate Iranians, who have grown increasingly distressed by the maniacal yowlings of their country's president. He seems only to enjoy his role in drawing the ire of the world over the nuclear issue. With his demented Holocaust denial schtick and pledges to destroy Israel, his latest announcement now makes him, and by extension, Iran, appear to be exactly the agent of Islamist extremism the White House tells the world it needs to quell, by force if necessary. Though I have never considered Ahmadinejad crazy and always thought that he was simply a politician appealing to his Islamist fundamentalist base in Iran -- just as Bush appeals to his Christian fundamentalist base here in the US -- it doesn't really matter. What matters is that he has promoted this image publicly and the world now thinks he actually is as overcome by zealotry as he appears to be. What matters is that, just as in Bush's case, if you're a poltician willing to enact the extremist agenda of your "base," it doesn't matter at all whether you believe in it or not. The Bush administration couldn't have asked for a better stooge if they had planted one themselves.

I fear that with this latest announcement, and however inadvisable a military airstrike might be, Ahmadinejad may very well have sealed the fate of his country. Ironically, Iran's president may very well have sealed the fate of the United States, so determined is Bush to pursue his military "option." We certainly can't expect the Bush administration to suddenly adopt reasoned compromise; they have probably already made the decision to attack, just as they had with Iraq. Evidence or not of any nuclear weapons program is now irrelevant. The world expects such a program to occur and views it as inevitable. And the crazed president of Iran has done everything he can to promote this opinion.


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