Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sneaky Feats

The Iranian government certainly seems to be shoving it in the world's face with the admission of a second nuclear research facility in that nation. Maybe they thought they could get away without it being discovered. And to a nation that fears attack from two of the world's strongest military forces, nuclear weapons make sense. That's why the US, Israel, Russia, China, etc all maintain their nuclear arsenals.

Of course, Iran cannot claim self-defense for its nuclear program. That whole affair is ostensibly for peaceful, energy purposes. So the discovery of the second facility is an awkward turn in this international saga. It comes just as the United States government was demonstrating a willingness to engage Iran face to face. Maybe there are factions within Iran that are as equally fanatic about the US as there are Americans wigged out about Iran.

Personally, I don't think Iran should have ANY nuclear facilities at all. I don't want to see nuclear power as a future source of energy and I certainly don't want to see any more nuclear weapons introduced into the world. I'm not discriminating against Iran--I mean, NO ONE should be developing either form of nuclear technology. The strongest argument for eliminating Iran's nuclear aspirations is for all other nations to forgo their own.

Since my perfect world is still some years off, what's a frightened nation to do when surrounded by stronger, hostile powers? The best bet is to make the cost of an attack sufficiently prohibitive that no one, sane or otherwise will even contemplate that action. Makes sense to me. What also makes sense would be for the besieged country to ask why the weapons are pointed its way. Last week a speaker asked an audience to walk in another's shoes for a day. I think that would be a fine lesson for all nations.

It's a lesson that neither Iran nor the US is likely to learn. Both are nations frightened of the world they live in. Both lay claim to a mythic past that creates an expectation of regional hegemony in the present. Not much room for understanding and reconciliation in that space.

Still, the talks have not yet been canceled. I don't expect much from them but engagement at a table is far better than engagement sighted down the barrel of a rifle.



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