Wednesday, May 03, 2006


It seems one of the most important, and ominous, of stories in the news is imminent Iranian nuclear apocalypse. But do not despair. Either we are doomed or there’s hope, and as I think I’ll lean on the side of optimism, there is hope. Here’s the situation: we have a lunatic president and so do they, though Iran’s premier seems more overtly psychotic. So I’ll take Bush over Ahmadinejad.

By last year’s International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) estimate, we are — at most — ten years away from having to deal with Iran possessing a nuclear weapon. So we have time, and hopefully those years will not be wasted accelerating toward catastrophe.

Israel is very worried, and there is a lot of reason for that. Iran is essentially a terror state with the outright intention of wiping out the Jewish State. Our Vice President has suggested to Don Imus that Israel just might choose to do something about it, wink-wink.

Recently, renegade journalist Seymour Hersh culled from anonymous government sources that the military option is not only “on the table,” as Bush puts it, but is being actively planned — namely, to take out the subterranean uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, perhaps with a tactical nuclear weapon.

“There is a growing conviction among members of the United States military, and in the international community,” Hersh writes, “that President Bush’s ultimate goal in the nuclear confrontation with Iran is regime change.”

“One of the military’s initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this winter,” Hersh adds, “calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon … against underground nuclear sites.”

Let me repeat that. In order to tell the world that nuclear proliferation must be stopped, we might possibly bomb a nuclear reactor with a nuclear weapon. It is surely telling of these strange times when it becomes absurd to point out the hypocrisy of the above scenario.

An April 30 ‘news analysis’ piece from the New York Times speculates that the cat-and-mouse game between Iran and the U.S. “resembles cold-war deception and brinkmanship,” a psychological war of will that holds serious implications of global terror and a crippling energy crisis — the Times does not go so far as this, but cites Iran’s threat “to cut off oil” and its status as a terrorist state.

Whether there are any practical, constructive solutions to agonize over the next decade, before it is too late, I cannot say.

I’ve been hearing about an economic sanctions regime on Iran, which has been said to be helping Ahmadinejad by fueling his virulent rhetoric, at the least. Why would Iran need nuclear energy, anyway? is a question I’ve been hearing often. After all, it is sitting on the second (or third, not sure which) largest reserve of petroleum on the planet.

University of Michigan history professor Juan Cole reported on April 29 that a recent IAEA report “found no smoking gun” and, in fact, “can be read to say that there is no evidence that Iran is doing anything illegal.” (The report can be read here.)

Folks, I have no answers — as usual. I only hope that the level heads will prevail, and the world is spared yet more violence and terror. Hope is an essential thing to keep these days, the way things are shaping up.

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