Friday, May 08, 2009

Israel: We're the only ones allowed nukes in the Middle East

Prime Minister Voldemort of Israel says there will be no talking with the Palestinians until Iran is wiped from the map. At least, that's how it would be translated from the original Hebrew if the AEI was an Iranian organization rather than an Israeli organization and did the translation. In reality, of course, he basically said "we aren't going to talk to the Palestinians until Iran has no nuclear program", i.e., until U.S. bombs turn every piece of industrial infrastructure in Iran into moldering ruins (since that's the only way to stop the Iranian nuclear program -- just as it worked for stopping Iraq's nuclear program in 1992).

Prime Minister Voldemort justifies this by saying Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map, even though there is no such idiom in the Persian language. The reality is that the armed forces in Iran are led by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who in turn serves at the pleasure of a council of senior ayatollahs in Iran, and this corrupt gerontocracy of ayatollahs has one and only one desire -- to be able to continue ruling Iran and enrich themselves from its assets. Maybe thirty years ago when they had fire in their belly they might have considered attacking Israel with their ballistic missiles. But today, their sole purpose for having a military -- or a nuclear program -- is to keep outsiders from invading Iran and toppling them from power, not because they have any desire to invade anybody at all.

The reality is that after the Safavid rule of Persia, Iran has not attacked any other nation. None. Zero. Nada. That's over 300 years since the last time Iran invaded any other nation, and as far as the ayatollahs are concerned, another 300 years would be just fine with them, for the same reason it was fine with their predecessors -- because they have a comfortable life on top, and war would interere with that. Furthermore, Iran in the past has had no problems dealing with Israel. For example, in the early 1980's, Ayatollah Khomenei (the person whose speech was first mis-translated as "wiping Israel off the map") was selling oil to Israel and buying weapons from Israel at the same time he was making those speeches. Maintaining power trumps all, for the corrupt Iranian ayatollahs, and attacking Israel... well. Even if it were possible (which it isn't, there's a couple of countries between Iran and Israel in case you haven't looked at the map of the Middle East lately), Iran has to be under no delusion that a nuclear attack on Israel would turn Iran into radioactive dust. Not exactly conducive to being a corrupt oligarch looting the nation for your own benefit, eh?

The reality is that all this sabre-rattling is for internal Israeli consumption as part of internal Israeli politics of fear, and is about as realistic as Condi Rice's "we must invade Iraq to prevent New York City from being blown up by an Iraqi nuke" rhetoric. I.e., it's just sabre-rattling by Likkud intended to scare people into supporting them, much as the Iraqi nuke nonsense was just lies spread by the Busheviks to scare people into supporting them. In the end, the biggest threat to peace in the Middle East is not in Tehran. You'll need to look a bit west for that.

- Badtux the Geopolitics Penguin

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