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Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Obama still riding the "Iranian nuclear weapons" war train

President Obama's remarks yesterday about Iranian "nuclear weapons" are worth taking note of. He started in his prepared remarks by referring to "the potential pursuit of a nuclear weapon by Iran." Fair enough, although of course pretty much any country with a nuclear power program or even scientists could "potentially" pursue a nuclear weapon.

But it went downhill from there. In the very next paragraph, we find this:

"We want [Iran] to be a full-fledged member of the international community and be in a position to provide opportunities and prosperity for their people, but that the way to achieve those goals is not through the pursuit of a nuclear weapon."
Aside from the arrogance of thinking that the U.S. and its friends get to say who is and who is not "a full-fledged member of the international community," and aside from the hypocrisy of talking about one's desire for the "prosperity" of a country against whom you are leading the effort for boycotts and sanctions, the implied claim here is that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon. Of course Iran has denied any such intention (and there is no evidence they aren't telling the truth, even from the U.S. intelligence community).

The next paragraph gets worse still:

"We are engaged in a process to reach out to Iran and persuade them that it is not in their interest to pursue a nuclear weapon and that they should change course."
Iran would only need to "change course" on pursuing a nuclear weapon if they were pursuing a nuclear weapon. Obama simply refuses to accept the fact that they are not.

In the Q&A, more of the same, if not worse:

"I firmly believe it is in Iran’s interest not to develop nuclear weapons, because it would trigger a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and be profoundly destabilizing in all sorts of ways. Iran can achieve its interests of security and international respect and prosperity for its people through other means, and I am prepared to make what I believe will be a persuasive argument, that there should be a different course to be taken."
Again, leaving aside the perhaps unintentional irony of standing next to the leader of the only country in the Middle East which actually has nuclear weapons, and discussing the potential "nuclear arms race" and "instability" that might occur if another country got nuclear weapons, the claim that Iran needs to be persuaded to take "a different course" once again clearly puts President Obama in Cheney-land, making completely unsupported and unsupportable claims about the nuclear weapons program of another country.

Ah, you think I'm just reading between the lines and putting words in Obama's mouth, do you? Prepare yourself for the coup de grace:

"We’re not going to create a situation in which talks become an excuse for inaction while Iran proceeds with developing a nuclear -- and deploying a nuclear weapon."
Deploying! Iran is "proceeding" to "develop" and "deploy" nuclear weapons unless we stop them.

No, the countries that needs to be stopped are the U.S. and Israel, with their constant beating of the war drums against yet another country. How many will die or be maimed for life, how many displaced from their homes when this war starts? How many more schools and hospitals will close as we go broke paying for another war?

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