Jan. 13th, 2012

jackscarab: (FAIL)
I guess it's about time I say words about Iran, for the education of my friends who wisely do not pollute their lives with geopolitics.

Several of Iran's nuclear-related scientists and engineers have been killed in five attacks over the past year. The more recent one, a copy of an earlier attack, was something out of a summer action movie: two men on motorcycles sped up to the victim's car as it idled in traffic, attached a magnetic bomb to its door, and sped away. Possibly with a spreading fireball chasing them horizontally.

Iran has blamed Israel, of course. But to understand Iran's nuclear development in the first place, you must understand something else.

The U.S. -- which, to Iran, sits opposite Israel at the world's largest equal sign, and for good reason -- has stated categorically that we will never allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. And, once upon a time, our previous president called them part of the "Axis of Evil."

Now just for a moment imagine that Iran is anthropomorphized and you are it. One member of your mutually unrelated Axis has been brought to generational ruin with perhaps a hundred thousand dead. Another member has gone completely untouched. If your goal is to continue to exist, which it is, you will have noticed that the destroyed country did not have nuclear weapons, whereas the intact one did. Your humorless, ambitious, theocratic nation-brain takes but an instant to come to a conclusion: "Nukes = Alive."

This, in spite of the above-mentioned statement by the most powerful military in the history of Man.

So Iran is now in a position where building a nuclear weapon is, simultaneously, the best way to prevent destruction and the best way to guarantee it.

Now let's all put on our Cynicism Caps and do some geopolitical consideration.

You are a small country sitting on the planet's most concentrated reserves of Religion. Your goal is to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon. You are afraid -- with good cause -- that if they get one, you will die. You believe that nothing short of their destruction will prevent them from eventually building a nuclear missile. Your problem is, their destruction will only be assured after they build that nuke. There's enough of a window for you to still die. What are you to do?

That's simple. Destroy your enemy as early in their weapon-development as possible.

But you're a small country. To launch a war of aggression would not only be so ironic as to form a historical singularity over your head, it would probably end with you being a parking lot. Luckily for you, your strongest ally on Earth also has the strongest military in the history of Man. If only there was some way you could provoke your enemy into non-nuclear war action, some way to ensure that your ally would flatten your enemy after you endured the first enemy blows...

Well, killing some of the scientists your enemy might use for its weapon would do that. It would do that very well indeed, says a former CIA officer with just over two decades of experience operating in the region. Is he right? Who the hell knows?

And that's where we are right now.

Somebody, somewhere, is provoking Iran into attacking Israel, thereby provoking the U.S. into attacking Iran, thereby throwing the U.S. into a third wealth-hemorrhaging land war in Asia.

Osama bin Laden wasn't carrying a rebreather in his death linens, was he?

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