Iran - a young punk with a gun ?

Some say: All this focus on Iran's potential bomb is counter-productive if it results in a US bombing campaign

I say:
All this focus on Iran's potential bomb is productive if it slows or prevents the development of nuclear weapons by any "immature" government. One option would be a limited focussed bombing campaign. On the other hand, sanctions will result in prolonged negative impact on the people of Iran and extended exacerbation of anti-western feeling.

Some say: Improving the political maturity of Iran (i.e. its government). This would turn moderate, pro-Western Iranians, who are many, old and young, into nationalists supporting a bad government they didn't particularly like in the first place

I say:
Bombing would result in a short term extreme reaction (more than the mohammed cartoons !), BUT (as shown in 1981 Operation Babylon, it could remove the threat for an indeterminate time and loosen North Korea's intransigence. Hopefully, the US military is preparing the options regardless of whether they will be exercised.
I believe that moderate Muslims are as silenced in most "Muslim" states as the intelligentsia were in Nazi Germany. Just look at their treatment in free societies of Western Europe and even Australia. If they exist in significant numbers geographically concentraed, they are certainly mute or intimidated. I don't believe that moderate Muslims exist in sufficient numbers in Iran (and believe that by failing to intervene earlier in Iraq, we allowed a generation of moderates to be murdered)

Some say: I believe that settled political situations and peace ultimately come from internal evolution
I say:
The hoary old concept of "culture" determines whether a society is "mature" in its response to any given situation. As culture is remade each generation, and generations are continua, it is hard to control. Currently, the west is allowing rampant capitalism to overrun national cultures, legitimately earning the contempt of Muslim nations.
Countries that have reverted to defining themselves by a first millennium interpretation of a religion, will take "generations" to develop a mature culture.
Attaturk took decades to remake Turkey, and his achievements in secularising and moderating it are even now being challenged as brutal (remember the Armenians !).

Some say:
We must take the RISK of trusting Iran, because it's worth more than its present government. At a time when Pakistan has the bomb, you cannot argue that Iran cannot have it. Iran cannot be seen as a rogue state, given its long history and its human and cultural potential.

I say:
Fine to wait for internal evolution IF you accept the risks.... Imagine... Ahmadinejad believes in hastening the return of Allah and explodes a (primitive?) nuclear weapon to Israel (by suicide mission, plane or missile). Israel responds with "exemplary" force by eliminating Tehran ..... Arabs states mobilise to eliminate Israel in retaliation .... West has to choose sides ..... Ahhhhhh Bin Laden's dream !
I think a plebiscite in the "west" would not accept these risks. Thus, UN and US etc are trying to get Iran and North Korea to stop. ("C'mon Kid, just put down the gun. I don't wanna have to shoot you"). Pakistan and Israel are examples of how powerless we are when the kid does get the gun. That doesn't lead us to say "Oh, well. All the kids better have them".

Some say: "Wooing" Middle Eastern and particularly Iranian youth would not be difficult. That is the road to take, I feel, but it means speaking to people. The US government attitude is the very contrary, at the moment, because it wants to accelerate history, and not through dialogue! It is heading for the opposite results.

I say:
Youth is impressed by power. Youth is programmed to search for a cultural "imprint" that will guide their adulthood. Moderation is the least attractive path. The best way to harness the youth of Iran is to redirect their immoderation towards another enemy - possibly the elders that have oppressed and betrayed them (a la the 1979 revolution all over again ?!); possibly towards environmental degradation and developmental corruption of their land in the name of military power and international oil influence etc. etc;
We will get their support when they believe their elders have led them militarily, economically, socially and religiously into a destructive dead end.
The best we can do is to ensure they feel the "logical consequences" of their behaviour. History tells us again and again that appeasement is an invitation; and that the "people " often get no say.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment or Send a Message

You can use this form to send a message OR make a comment as your contribution is NOT published automatically, but sent to Stephen for

You can select "anonymous" from the drop down menu below if you do not have a google account.