Sunday, April 16, 2006


People of the Book agree that nuking one another is what God would want

Shimon Peres, Israel's elder statesman, who was number two on the victorious Kadima list in last month's parliamentary elections, denounced the hard-line Iranian leader as a representative of Satan, not God. "History," he said, "has known how to ostracise the lunatics and those who brandish swords. Everyone who behaves like that ends the same way." Which is to say, he expects the US to re-run the same mistakes on Iran that it did on Iraq, all over one Iranian demagogue, President Amhadinejab. Because, you know, God would want that. Jerusalem Syndrome has gone worldwide.
The big irony is that Iran's President Whats-his-name is a figurehead. The real power in Iran vests with Ayatollah Khameinei, who has repeatedly gone on record as stating that the use of nuclear weapons violates the Qu'ran.
I don't think Ahmadinejab is a figurehead, PW. Iranian politics is, like our own, infinitely opaque and complicated (if ours are transparent, someone please explain to me why the Democrats are doing what they're doing).
Ahmadinejab represents a tolerated strain of of extremism, but it's tolerated because the power of the mullahs is not absolute.

That means that whatever Khameini thinks is not much of a guarantee. It's not at all impossible that we could face a nuclear standoff with Iran at some future date... even before they develop ballistic missiles. As long as the border remains so poorly patrolled, the smuggling scenario is not out of the question.

But, you know, life is dangerous. It's so dangerous that it's one of a handful of activities guaranteed to end in death.The risks from a conventional war with Russia, probably launched by accident, remain far higher than any terrorist threat.
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