There is no guest commentary submitted for this evening so I told Black Flag that I would respond to his comments about Iran as the topic for tonight. This is not going to be a long post, as we have hashed out Iran as best we could in past debates. We have, frustratingly, not agreed on much, as it seemed to me one side of the argument pointed out Iran as a danger, and the other was intent to instead point out the US as a danger. I will address that fact quickly below, and then move on, as re-hashing it will serve no purpose for us here. As for the topic, I know there are many here who are not interested in this topic. Feel free to use this thread throughout the weekend to discuss any topic you like. I will monitor when I can to respond to whatever subjects you bring up. If you would like to peruse the last discussion that we had on this subject in October, you can do so by clicking HERE (will open a new window). So on to the quick discussion topic…
Let me first address that aspect of the discussion from back in October. I am a former soldier. I was just a grunt enlisted NCO, so my knowledge is limited. I was fortunate to be part of some planning and strategy in Washington, but my insight can be limited. D13, as a Colonel, has far more insight into the battle planning, intelligence, and big picture stuff than I do. I can readily admit that. His career was longer (I think I remember him saying 40 years? I only served just under ten years in the military), more distinguished, and he certainly regularly dealt with things at a far higher level than I. Ask me to take down a target house, no problem. As for why that target house was important in the big picture, D13 is your guy. Make sense?
NCO’s make the military run, and I am proud to have been one, but we are well aware of the high level thinking of those we took orders from (except when they were butter bars, as their best move then was to zip it and listen to their NCO’s 😉 ). I volunteered to take a tough job in the Army that many cannot or will not do. I am proud of my service. I served the country I love. I traveled the world and I learned a lot. There are a lot of good memories and bad ones.
After serving, it is sometimes hard for one to admit that some of the things that the US does are not so good. After all, soldiers dedicate their lives to serving the will of the US government. No one likes to think that the things they did could have been done for the wrong reasons. I live under no illusions. I recognize the folly of political games and political agendas. And I despise them, because for every political game, there is a brother of mine that is placing his life on the line to play it. I support the United States military. I will always do so. When you attack the military, you are attacking me and my brothers and sisters. I will not stand for it because it is a cheap shot to do so. Attack the political system all you want. Leave those taking orders alone.
I do not suffer from the inability to look at the United States realistically. I do so quite naturally. I am very aware of our faults when it comes to foreign policy. I am very aware of our CIA exploits abroad and the negative impacts. I am well aware of the interventionist stance we have taken over the last 100 years. I know and understand all the faults of the US. Allow me to make that clear. It is a waste of time to argue with me that the US has been a bad boy. I know. Continuing to point it out as a way to make an argument on another subject is futile, and a waste of time. That applies to this conversation as well. The question at hand is whether Iran has the potential to be a danger to the world or their region of the world. It is not a trial where we are weighing the actions of the US versus Iran and determining who has done the most bad. Remember that as we go forward.
I listed in the article in October the vast array of actions by Iran to extend violence to other countries around the world. One can choose to ignore them or attempt to rationalize them. But the fact remains that while Iran has not sent out her army to attack anyone, she has certainly sown the seeds of violence both in the Middle East and throughout the world. So let’s just admit those acts as evidence and fact. Unless someone can show a shred of proof that Iran has had their hands in the things I listed in that article, they are thus presented as fact.
So the claim that Iran has not initiated violence in 300 years is false. Iran has done so covertly for a long time. Yes, I am aware that the US has done so. I am aware that the US has been very bad. That is not the point. The point is that Iran has sown the seeds of violence. Period. To make a claim that this is simply a reaction to “being surrounded” is folly. They have soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan that are thus far unable to control the fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. Let’s be clear, it Iran felt truly threatened by our presence in those two countries, they would be far more quiet these days. They feel no threat, they simply see an opportunity to use the current situation as a false reason to do the things they do.
The leadership in Iran is unstable at best. Just as I have stated before, they have threatened Israel and others time and again. I don’t want to hear any more nonsense about how Ahmadinejad opens every interview stating that he wants peace. Irrelevant. I would wager that the United States Presidents espouse a hope for peace more than any other country’s leadership by far. It doesn’t mean much coming from them either. Ahmadinejad can say what he likes to the camera. I have seen enough speeches from him with inflammatory rhetoric to know that he is not a stable character. The clerics may, in fact, live the good life in Iran. The politicians in Washington live the good life too, but that hasn’t made them passive and willing to rest on their laurels. I have been accused of polylogism, but using these arguments as grounds to show a peaceful Iran is certainly applying two different standards to similar situations, so I throw that claim back. My using it would have been if I were claiming that the US is a peaceful country, a claim that I did not make.
I do not ignore history. I instead look at all of it. As it was pointed out yesterday, the history of man is very detailed and the results of such are stark reminders. To claim that all governments are evil, and all exist to do evil, means that you cannot later claim that for some reason this government in Iran is different. They are peace loving folk who just want to be friends with all. No sir, the Iranian government is just as evil and corrupt as any other. They are liars and cheats. And they take advantage of their people and look to expand their power base and do all the other things that the US is accused of daily on this site.
JAC made the analogy to a rattlesnake. That was an accurate one. Iran is dangerous. They have the capability to harm their neighbors. They have been doing so covertly for years. To ignore this potential threat is a foolish move. As was stated, you don’t simply assume that rattlesnake won’t bite. You assume it will. Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon. We can argue back and forth all day otherwise, but the fact is that they are doing so. And as D13 pointed out, they will get it, no matter what we or anyone else does to attempt to stop it. What happens from that point forward is anyone’s guess. Some feel they will simply use it as a tool for influence and power. Some feel they will attack Israel. Some feel they will control Pakistan. I don’t know the answer. But they will get a nuke.
Iran is unstable. And they have a bone to pick with Israel. It doesn’t matter whether you think that their issue with Israel is legitimate or not. They have it. That is clear. Many in their country wish to return to the days of Iran being a power player in the world. So they seek to become one again. They have no Xerxes to make them rise to power in that way again. But I imagine a nuke sure makes them someone we have to pay attention to. And that is what they want most of all.
I don’t know if they want to dominate the Middle East. But I know that they have the potential to become a major sore for the entire world. I know that they have the potential to be a very dangerous country. I know that they have the potential to ignite a conflict that could pull everyone into it. That potential is evident. And it is foolish and irresponsible to ignore that potential threat based on rhetoric such as “they haven’t attacked anyone in 300 years.”
History shows us many countries becoming global thorns without having attacked anyone previously. No one thought the US was a threat in the late 1700’s, and they were wrong. The world didn’t believe that Hitler had the potential to wreak the havoc that he did until it was too late. There wasn’t a history of Somali pirates taking ships in International waters at one point. History is filled with threats that were ignored. A Major in Ft. Hood had no history of violently gunning down soldiers.
I have in no way, at any point, advocated the invasion of Iran or an attack on Iran. I am not attempting to make a case to do those things. But to sit back and pretend that they can be ignored as no threat to the region is irresponsible. To do so is to live in a fantasy world. Or worse yet, it is to be so consumed with the idea that America is wrong that we become convinced that anyone who opposes us is right. That simply doesn’t make sense.
I await the rant filled with examples of American evil. I hope somewhere in it there will be a discussion of Iran and whether they are actually a potential threat.