The loveable Fidel Castro was in the news again this past weekend. He was essentially warning the world that we could be on the verge of World War III and pleaded to President Obama not to continue posturing against Iran. It’s hard to believe that I am actually somewhat in agreement with this Communist dictator!
Let’s look at the real issues though. Iran seems bad. It has an oppressive President who doesn’t really know how to keep his mouth shut during interviews with the press. Many have accused him in general of rattling sabers in an attempt to bully the world and some claim Iran would attack its neighbors in order to take control of the region if we allowed it. They are even conveniently part of the ridiculously named Axis of Evil. But when one examines the Iranian people themselves, we discover a highly westernized culture with advanced technologies and moderate views. Given the chance, it is highly likely that the younger generations would initiate a revolution against the religious and despotic government heads and instill a new, more moderate government.
Israel, meanwhile, continues to make statements regarding their “right” to preemptively strike Iran should they pursue nuclear technology. The United States, being the obedient lapdog that it is, follows suit by adding Iran to the aforementioned club of evilness and threatening whatever force needed to stop the Iranian’s nuclear goals. Who is it that is doing the saber rattling?
Israel already has a track record of attacking nuclear sites when it seems to think itself threatened. The Iraqi nuclear facility Osirak in 1981 followed by the Syrian facility in 2007; two of only three attacks on nuclear facilities in world history. In Israel’s defense, the nation in its entirety could be wiped out with two or three well-placed nukes, but the question is one of likelihood. Israel is already a nuclear power, how likely is it for one of its neighbors to drop some nukes on them and not expect retaliation? In my mind, Iran is one of the least likely countries to initiate an attack on Israel.
The United States itself has a dismal record of refraining from war. Just the past two examples would be cause to make me nervous if I were an Iranian. A bunch of lunatics miraculously fly planes into various targets and we go on a killing spree. First was Afghanistan, the alleged home of Osama bin Laden (who, by the way, assisted the U.S. and Afghanistan repel Russia during the 80’s and was a Saudi national). Afghanistan was never the “home base” for any terrorist cell. Of the 19 official 9/11 hijackers, 12 were from Saudi Arabia, zero from Afghanistan. This would be like Russia invading Mexico because they were attacked by terrorists from Brazil. Regardless, Americans would be uneasy.
This was followed by the invasion of Iraq. Even though Saddam used to be our go-to boy in the Middle East after we botched our relations with Iran, he was a bad dude – he gassed his own people with the chemical weapons we gave him (was I supposed to say that?) – and we can all agree that he needed to get ousted. (This does not mean the U.S. should have done the ousting but that is for another conversation.) However, the Iranians are rightly nervous due to our invasion of Iraq. This situation would be similar to Russia invading Canada. How would the American people NOT be nervous about that situation?
Ultimately, it must be recognized that nuclear power – not to be confused with nuclear arms capability – is the sovereign right of every nation. The continual denial by nations such as the U.S. and Israel for other countries to increase their standards of living through the means of nuclear power is unwarranted and bigoted. The so-called Axis of Evil club needs to be repudiated and true diplomatic negotiations established. In the wise words of Thomas Jefferson, “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none.”