Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

A brief digression about the Iran deal

Okay, I'm not exactly an expert on everything but I have followed the Middle East very closely for more than 25 years. Now that Barbara Mikulski has endorsed the agreement with Iran, it will happen -- Congress has no path to block it. But I'll let you in on a little secret -- they were never serious about blocking it in the first place. The entire "debate," as it is presented in the corporate media and indeed, by politicians moving their lips, is a shadow play. It isn't about anything they say it is about.

Somehow I got on the e-mail list of the Zionist Organization of America. These people are batshit crazy, which is to say they are in a permanent Vulcan mind-meld with Bibi Netanyahu. They continually bombard my in-box with panic over the existential threat to Israel which supposedly the Iranians have promised to eradicate and Obama just wants to give them the means to do so. So here's the first correction: some Iranian political leaders, notably the former powerless president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have made statements to the effect the state of Israel should not exist. This does not mean that the population of Israel should be annihilated, it means that the political entity should be replaced by a secular state. However, even if you think that the Iranian leadership would wish, for some reason, to attack Israel with a nuclear weapon . . .

Israel possesses from 100 to 200 nuclear weapons -- I'm betting on 200 -- and the means to deliver them by missile and bomber. Were the Iranians to smuggle a primitive nuclear weapon into Tel Aviv (obviously Jerusalem and anywhere near it, along with any location that could affect Gaza or the West Bank are completely immune no matter what you think about Iranian intentions) and detonate it, the Iranian nation and Persian culture would very shortly cease to exist. Every city, every shrine, every military installation, every ayatollah, would be vaporized. The only Farsi speakers left in the world would be expatriates. Full stop.

So, Bibi and the ZOA are not in fact worried about that. They also know perfectly well that without a deal, Iran will go ahead and make a nuclear weapon, probably within a year or two. So what is this really all about?

They do not want Iran to rejoin the community of nations. They want the sanctions regime to remain in place, forever. They would not accept any deal, of any kind, no matter it meant for the Iranian nuclear program, if it allowed Iran to freely sell its oil on the international market and participate in the international financial system. You may think this is a legitimate goal, but it is also unachievable because Russia, China and probably most of Europe would not go along with it, and the U.S., by itself, cannot impose meaningful sanctions on Iran.

Except for a few deluded wingnuts, the Republican congressional leadership knows this. Were they to succeed in stopping the deal, the sanctions regime would fall apart, Iran would make a nuclear weapon, and oh yeah, the dollar would no longer be viable as an international reserve currency because it could not be used to purchase Iranian oil. That would probably not make the Republicans or the ZOA look very good.

That is all.

1 comment:

Blake said...

In the 1940's the Jews desperately needed a Homeland - not 70 years later. Yes Israel should thrive as a secular state and change the flag. I am against all theocracies or appearances thereof