The mainstream media’s coverage of Iran continues to suck. Joe Klein of TIME magazine just posted a short piece that mentioned “the discovery of the nuclear reactor at Qom, a secret facility that seems to have been built for research into weaponization. The Russians were as surprised by this as everyone else was.”
The nuclear facility he’s referring to is not a reactor; it’s a uranium enrichment plant. Perhaps Klein doesn’t understand the difference. Not everybody was surprised by the plants existence. We have known about its existence for years. The Iranians reveled its existence, months before it was required to under the Non-Proliferaton treaty, and it has given the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) full access to inspect it, and the IAEA says there is “nothing to be worried about.” IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei calls the site “a hole in a mountain.”
A story making the rounds of the echo chamber says that Iran’s disclosure of the Qom facility “raises questions about the existence of other such facilities.” What a crock of poppycock. We’d know if there were other sites like the one at Qom the same way we know about the one at Qom. Our spy satellites are rather good at picking up those sorts of things.
President Obama says “we are running out of time” for Iran to agree to the dope deal where they give Russia most of their uranium and Russia gives it to France. Obama and the rest of his witless security team need to take a time out. They intend to sit on the decision of whether or not to re-re-escalate the war in Afghanistan for December. Iran’s decision on what to do about their nuclear energy program is every bit as important to them as our decision about Afghanistan is, arguably even more important. We can probably afford to make a few more mistakes in Afghanistan and still remain the world’s sole superpower. A nuclear energy program is Iran’s only future. If they blow things now by giving up their right to refine their own uranium, they’re a bowl full of Shemps. It only makes sense for them to take their time figuring out their next step.
One hears that Iran is unstable, that its government and institutions are fractioned. One can also make that assessment of the United States. Our right-left, red-blue national debate has become so derisive as to be the laughingstock of the rest of the planet. America has become two countries. It’s as if we never fought the Civil War. Maps of red and blue states look nearly identical to pre-Civil War maps of slave states and territories and free states and territories. (That tells you something about the Rush Limbaugh/FOX News crowd, doesn’t it?)
We’ve heard a lot about how Iran’s latest election was stolen by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad though we really know nothing about that election. We know for sure that our puppet in Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, stole two elections in matter of months, and we’re calling him a “legitimate” head of state. Who does Karzai think he is, George W. Bush? The upstart!
Ahmadinejad has said a lot of unfortunate things, probably for consumption in Iran and in the Muslim world, mostly about Israel, most of which has been misinterpreted and misquoted. But he’s hardly a Hitler, and he’s not the real power in Iran anyway. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is. (Khamenei has also had Agmadinijad’s president job, so he knows how power works in Iran.)
Iran has good reason to mistrust the west, especially American and Israel. We’ve been threatening to attack them for a long time. It’s little wonder that they built an enrichment facility in cave to protect it from being bombed, though that probably did them little good. We’re developing a new bunker buster bomb, a non-nuclear, 30,000-pound, precision-guided kahuna that contains more than ten times the explosive power or our present bunker busters, and our present bunker busters can bust the living daylights out of bunkers.
Iran wisely refuses to give up its “inalienable right” to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, and it would be insane to give up its prerogative to refine uranium. Iran’s desire to have a nuclear energy industry reflects a desire on its part to emerge as a regional economic power. We need to get used to the idea that emerging nations want to, uh, emerge, and start partnering with them.
Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program. Our intelligence agencies, despite pressure from the neoconservative cabal, have certified as much, as has the International Atomic Energy Agency. There is serious question as to whether it ever had a nuclear weapons program at all.
Iran is doubtless keep a card up its sleeve, or is at least pretending to be, but none of the accusations made against it—from nuclear weapons ambitions to arming militants in Iraq and Afghanistan—have ever been backed up with genuine evidence.
Yes, we need to hold the Iranians’ feet to the fire, and we need to make them prove they’re not working toward building nuclear weapons, but we don’t need to rant and rave about them.