August 26, 2005

"It's for electricity"

"Iran says its atomic program is aimed only at producing electricity and insists it has the right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to build a uranium-development program," reports the AP.

OK, someone explain why a country that sits atop 10% of the entire planet's petroleum reserves needs nuclear power for electricity!

Posted by Rhodey at August 26, 2005 06:47 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Geez, what kind of capitalist are you? Why would they want to reserve all their oil for export and use nuclear power for internal consumption?

Why did George Bush's energy proposals call for more nuclear power plants in the USA? Any chance that another nation can ever have the same motives as ours?

Posted by: Dana Garrett at August 26, 2005 08:53 PM

Do you believe that, Dana? That Iran has the same motives as the US when it comes to nuclear power?
Sincere question.

Posted by: mikem at August 27, 2005 01:04 AM

No, I don't. I believe that the USA has far worse motives than Iran since the USA has & intends to maintain and expand its arsenal of nuclear weapons. Why, Bush even wants to start building low-yield nukes for bunker busters. That way if a conventional bunker buster doesn’t kill the one person targeted, like Saddam, than just nuke the general vicinity to get him. A pity about the “collateral damage.”

I don't believe that Iran ever imagines itself to be a nation with the most nuke weapons in the world and thinks it would be vitally important to have the most to bully other nations in the world as the USA does. Ask yourself this question: in say the last 20 years how many nations have Iran attacked that hasn't attacked it first? Then ask how many has the USA attacked that hasn’t attacked it first?

Iraq = zero

USA = Iraq, Nicaragua, Panama, Grenada, Serbia, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq again. I might be missing some.

So, I don’t think that Iran has the demonstrable history of dangerous and antisocial behavior that the USA posses and for that reason it probably doesn’t have even remotely the same motives for its nuclear program that the USA does which includes massive amounts of nuclear weapons to make its attacks on other nations relatively less risky.

Posted by: Dana Garrett at August 27, 2005 02:00 AM

So you have no issues with theocratic dictatorships, I'll assume. So no snarky comments from you later about 'right wing Christian fundamentalists' and a threat to freedom in America. And taking an entire diplomatic (DIPLOMATIC) post hostage, an unmistakable act of war. And sabre rattling and threats to destroy Israel. What a lovely nation you find so defensible in gaining nuclear weapons when its mullah leaders have already stated their intent towards Israel.
I haven't read many of your comments, but it seems so far to be basic 'America/evil, enemies of America/good'. Would a neo-con like myself find that outline to be accurate?

Posted by: mikem at August 27, 2005 02:19 AM

mike: I won't speak for Dana, but if I were a betting man, I'd bet that Dana does think the US is "worse" than Iran in most respects. He's indicated such above, after all.

But first, Dana needs to get "Iran" and "Iraq" straightened out. (Again, see his previous.)

There are, of course, perfectly reasonable rebuttals to Dana's points, and I think he knows 'em. For instance, the quantity of US nukes as a product of the Cold War (and which has been drastically diminished since, BTW). Also, of course, there's no mention of Cuba's and the USSR's intervention in Nicaragua, and all three's advocacy of fomenting "revolution" throughout Latin America. Oh, and the US did not invade (or attack) Nicaragua anyway -- it merely funded the Contras, which of course isn't any different than said Cuban or Soviet funding, is it?

But mike: keep in mind that the US embassy takeover was a direct reaction to the US's support of the Shah and his deadly SAVAK secret police. I'm certainly not agreeing w/what the Iranians did (and I bet many or even most Iranians wish they had the Shah back compared to what they ended up getting in his place), butfrom their perspective it was a legitimate response, especially since it was the US who harbored the Shah after his ousting.

Back to Iran and nukes: It's quite obvious to logical people that nukes in the hands of Iran means nukes in the hands of Islamic terrorists. And radical Islamists (and many non-radicals) want Israel (and the US) obliterated.

Posted by: Hube at August 27, 2005 09:50 AM

“So you have no issues with theocratic dictatorships, I'll assume.”

I see you are one of those right-wingers who moves the goal posts whenever the previous approach failed. Now it’s “theocratic dictatorships.”

Of course I don’t like “theocratic dictatorships,” but I don’t believe that term necessarily means that they have expansionist ambitions when there is ZERO historical evidence to corroborate it. I repeat, they are strikingly unlike the USA which does have a history of aggressive activity as I pointed out…and that was merely the last 20 years. So if we were to go on the EVIDENCE OF AGRESSION, then Iran’s theocratic dictatorship would likely be more responsible w/ nukes than the democratic USA. Evidence does matter to you, doesn’t it?

“So no snarky comments from you later about 'right wing Christian fundamentalists' and a threat to freedom in America.”

No problem. Besides, I don’t need them. When I have the entire history of USA wars and military acts of aggression in the 20th century, the preachers are but fluff.


“And taking an entire diplomatic (DIPLOMATIC) post hostage, an unmistakable act of war.”

Let’s see. We invade Afghanistan because it won’t surrender the murderer Osama to us and that’s OK. But when we harbored the murderous Shah (for medical treatment) and wouldn’t return him to Iran for trial and the Iranians took over the embassy, their actions were unjustified and ours were blameless.

It must be fun to make up the applicable moral standards as you go.

“And sabre rattling and threats to destroy Israel.”

Oh, well, Israel does that all the time about Iran. It’s a chicken & the egg problem. But I guess for you it’s perfectly OK when Israel does it. That’s part of the USA patriotic credo, after all.

It’s apparently also OK that Israel has a minimum of 200 nukes and no one is frothing at the mouth about their “program” and how it undeniably destabilizes the region. But ask the relatives of the 20,000 non-combatant Lebanese killed by Israel if there is any reason to think if Israel is too aggressive to have nukes. Here’s what I think: unless and until the USA comes out as forcefully against Israel’s actual nuclear weapons, then it has no standing to grumble about Iran’s nuclear program. But, maybe, you think it is OK for the USA to act hypocritically.

Also, if saber rattling and threats are sufficient provocations for war, then North Korea ought to nuke us right away…that and a few other nations.

“What a lovely nation you find so defensible in gaining nuclear weapons when its mullah leaders have already stated their intent towards Israel.”

I don’t want anyone to have nukes, pal. Don’t put words in my mouth. I’m just pointing out that there is considerable hypocrisy in YOUR position. This is your problem, not mine.

”I haven't read many of your comments, but it seems so far to be basic 'America/evil, enemies of America/good'. Would a neo-con like myself find that outline to be accurate?”

I’m sure you need to think of me in those terms in order not to deal w/ any of my arguments, which you haven’t done at all by your constant tactic of shifting the goal posts each time I reply to you. Here’s the big difference between us: for you truth and justice must accommodate patriotism. For me, patriotism has little value except for telling us who to root for during the Olympics. Truth & justice is all I need. That’s why I can condemn Iran’s rights-denying theocratic government while also condemning the USA’s foreign and nuclear policy w/o a hint of contradiction.

Truth & justice are all people really need. But that position is frightening to some people who don’t have the balls to adopt a perspective that might cause them to condemn their own country for acting in monstrous ways. But after one’s political testes have descended, these matters often become quite easy.

Hube, I'll reply to you later. Must run an errand.

Posted by: Dana Garrett at August 27, 2005 11:20 AM

Dana: Your Israel points would have a lot more merit but for the fact that the entire Arab (or Muslim) middle east wants the country destroyed. Annihilated. Obliterated. That anti-Israel terror groups are constantly supported by the governments of Syria (which controlled Lebanon when those supposed #s of Lebanese civilians were killed), Jordan, Iran, Iraq, S. Arabia and even Egypt, the only Arab middle east state to officially make peace w/Israel.

Gee, y'think if virtually the entire Muslim middle east didn't attack Israel THREE major times w/in 25 yrs. of its founding that Israel would've nabbed Gaza and the West Bank, not to mention the Sinai (which it returned when Egypt made peace w/'em)? I sincerely doubt it. That it would've stockpiled the nukes it has? You really think Israel would sell nuke technology to what -- Jewish extremist groups to blow up Teheran?
ROTFLMAO!

Posted by: Hube at August 27, 2005 12:14 PM

Congrats, Dave, you made me have to go Google ROTFLMAO because I had no idea what that was. Now I know. Must be the longest chat acronym ever!

Posted by: dan at August 27, 2005 03:55 PM

“mike: I won't speak for Dana, but if I were a betting man, I'd bet that Dana does think the US is "worse" than Iran in most respects. He's indicated such above, after all.”

I don’t know why it is always necessary to go through this same song & dance w/ right-wingers whenever someone on the left criticizes US foreign policy for blatant hypocrisy. Always w/ these McCarthy-like loyalty oaths. Geez, give it up people. It’s so last spring.

I think that in most respects the USA is better than Iran. But in terms of a posture of aggressiveness in the world,the (here comes that word again) EVIDENCE indicates the USA is worse. I didn’t create the evidence and I sure as hell don’t like it since, as a US citizen, I bear some responsibility for it. But all I am doing is REPORTING THE EVIDENCE. It’s a practice that I highly recommend. It’s quite liberating.


“But first, Dana needs to get "Iran" and "Iraq" straightened out. (Again, see his previous.)”

Some dispensation should be given to old guys writing while they are sleepy. 

“There are, of course, perfectly reasonable rebuttals to Dana's points, and I think he knows 'em. For instance, the quantity of US nukes as a product of the Cold War (and which has been drastically diminished since, BTW).”

Yes, it is comforting to know that we only have about 5,000 nukes now…still more than enough to kill the planet. How silly of me to think that a nation that has 5,000 nukes and has plans to build more (something I discussed above that none of you have wisely addressed) has the moral position to complain about a nation that merely has a program that only MIGHT produce nukes…a nation (the USA) who claims it wants to de-nuke the region but always leaves its buddy (Israel) out of that equation.

“Also, of course, there's no mention of Cuba's and the USSR's intervention in Nicaragua, and all three's advocacy of fomenting "revolution" throughout Latin America.”

When the Sandinistas took over in NIC, their trade was at exactly the same level w/ the USSR and Cuba as it was under the previous regime that had the USA’s blessing. It was only after the USA began its war of direct and proxy aggression against NIC that they NIC government turned to the only governments that had the wherewithal to trade w/ NIC w/o risking reprisal from the USA. On this matter, I’ll tell you quite frankly and call this seditious if you wish, but it is the truth: I believe the USSR and Cuba provided a HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION to NIC given the terrorist war the USA was perpetrating against NIC at the time.

As to that “revolution” you forgot to mention (you righties always omit this) that it included MULTIPARTY ELECTIONS like the Sandinistas had in 1984, elections that international observers (including critics of the govt) said were fair and above aboard. The problem was that the USA tends only recognize elections whose outcomes it prefers.

“Oh, and the US did not invade (or attack) Nicaragua anyway -- it merely funded the Contras, which of course isn't any different than said Cuban or Soviet funding, is it?”

Well, that is just WRONG as matter of fact, indisputable public fact. The USA bombed parts of NIC and MINED THEIR HARBORS in an attempt to starve them into submission. THAT IS DIRECT MILITARY ACTION. The USA lost a case in the World Court about it. No one disputes this and all international law recognizes that mining a nation’s harbors is an act of war. If it wasn’t for the humanitarian intervention of the USSR and Cuba, NIC would have starved.

On another matter: the USA didn’t even have the courtesy of informing the NIC government that it had mined its harbors after the fact. NIC discovered it when ships began to explode, causing the loss of life. It reminds me of a terrorist who leaves a bomb in a building and doesn’t call to warn people to leave on the hope of murdering innocent people. But I realize that such analogies only apply to other nations & groups, not the USA.

“But mike: keep in mind that the US embassy takeover was a direct reaction to the US's support of the Shah and his deadly SAVAK secret police. I'm certainly not agreeing w/what the Iranians did (and I bet many or even most Iranians wish they had the Shah back compared to what they ended up getting in his place), but from their perspective it was a legitimate response, especially since it was the US who harbored the Shah after his ousting.”

I’m certain the Iranian people would love to have a just government of their choosing and not the false dilemma posed by your “I bet many or even most Iranians wish they had the Shah back compared to what they ended up getting in his place.”

“Back to Iran and nukes: It's quite obvious to logical people that nukes in the hands of Iran means nukes in the hands of Islamic terrorists. And radical Islamists (and many non-radicals) want Israel (and the US) obliterated.”

Do you really think that Iran would give nukes to a radical group to set off in Israel? They would be the immediate and obvious suspects. It would undoubtedly result in a full retaliatory nuclear response from Israel and the USA.

Here’s a thought: on the assumption that Iran does want nukes (and I am not yet convinced that they do for reasons not yet mentioned), isn’t it just possible that they want nukes for the same reasons we’ve claimed we want them: as deterrence from aggression? You know, like the USA & Israeli aggression amply illustrated in the Middle East? Perhaps Iran has taken notice of how the USA has never attacked a nuclear power and treats w/ kit gloves nations it officially despises but acquires nukes like N Korea. Or isn’t conceivable that other nations (besides the USA & its friends of course) could ever possibly have a legitimate interest in deterring aggression from its potential enemies?

Posted by: Dana Garrett at August 27, 2005 06:54 PM

“Dana: Your Israel points would have a lot more merit but for the fact that the entire Arab (or Muslim) middle east wants the country destroyed. Annihilated. Obliterated.”

Your statement is nothing but pure bunk. In the1980s the Arab League offered Israel full diplomatic recognition if it withdrew to its 1968 borders and that proposal followed a 1976 UN Security Council resolution setting out the same terms, a resolution that had the support of the Arab states in the UN and even the PLO, but was opposed by Israel & the USA. Actually, these terms have been offered many times and they have always been rebuffed by Israel and the USA.

Look, neither you nor I invent the facts, but you should at least have the intellectual integrity to report them accurately.

“That anti-Israel terror groups are constantly supported by the governments of Syria (which controlled Lebanon when those supposed #s of Lebanese civilians were killed), Jordan, Iran, Iraq, S. Arabia and even Egypt, the only Arab middle east state to officially make peace w/Israel.”

These are terror groups because the US State Dept has declared them so? Should we talk about terror groups supported by the USA…like the Contras and the forces that became AQ just to mention two? You don’t want to have that conversation. Maybe these Muslim groups are “Freedom Fighters.” Now I am laughing at you.

As I have already indicated, peace for Israel has been offered by the Arab states in the region for nearly 30 years. It is Israel that rejects peace largely because of its real estate ambitions.

“Gee, y'think if virtually the entire Muslim middle east didn't attack Israel THREE major times w/in 25 yrs. of its founding that Israel would've nabbed Gaza and the West Bank, not to mention the Sinai (which it returned when Egypt made peace w/'em)? I sincerely doubt it.”

You were wise to frame that in terms of “attack” and not “provocations to attack.” Otherwise Israel isn’t looking very good.

It gave back the Sinai. Whoppee tickle! It never ceases to amaze me how many right-wingers continuously praise the USA & its allies for doing precisely the very things it is SUPPOSED to do. No where in international law has it been recognized that a nation is allowed to keep territory it gained through conquest, which is precisely why we correctly told the Soviets to leave Afghanistan. The real question is why Israel didn’t return the Sinai sooner in accordance w/ international law.

Your praise for Israel here is the moral equivalent of a person who goes around praising people for not robbing banks. It’s simply hysterical.

“That it would've stockpiled the nukes it has?”

Yes, I do think that, because they did. You see once again you are simply WRONG ON THE FACTS. The Israelis made its first request for heavy water in the mid 1950s to the USA, which correctly refused the request. It then got it from Norway and Britain—all w/I in the 1950s. In the 1960s they got help from the French (they might have even tested Israel’s weapons for them).

Besides, Israel invaded Egypt (not visa versa) in the 1956 Suez War at the encouragement of Britain & France. You’d better not deny it because that would mean you disagree w/ the USA’s position on that war (which opposed it). You don’t want to be unpatriotic, do you?

“You really think Israel would sell nuke technology to what -- Jewish extremist groups to blow up Teheran? ROTFLMAO!”

Well, since you & the other gnomes here haven’t proved that Iran would sell nukes to terrorist groups, your point is question-begging and, quite frankly, bizarre. The “ROTFLMAO!” is evidence of the fact.

Guys, any chance we can strive for more factual accuracy in the discussions? It takes considerable time to provide the facts much less discuss how to interpret them.

Posted by: Dana Garrett at August 27, 2005 08:18 PM

Dana: You'd do well to omit all the hyperbole ("Always w/ these McCarthy-like loyalty oaths. Geez, give it up people. It’s so last spring") especially when it's YOU who deals in moral relativism and fact hedging.

Is "REPORTING THE EVIDENCE" (oooh -- all caps -- quite intimidating!) akin to that of Costa Rican death squads and mass killings Mr. Garrett?? You lost QUITE a bit of credibility with that utterly fatuous and inane statement, and you offered not one retraction or apology. Some "evidence." Some "facts." When you can't even admit how blatantly erroneous you are, why should we believe you elsewhere w/o back-up? It's certainly your right not to do so, but don't come off (as you usually try to do) as some home-grown intellectual superior w/you caustic retorts.

1. Oh, we're in the planning stages of building a new type of nuke, all the while dwindling outdated ones. Funny how you don't realize THAT. The USA wisely doesn't hassle Israel about its [clandestine] program simply b/c it will not use them offensively. Your hilarious moral relativism regarding Israel borders on anti-Semitism, which, I don't minding pulling out being that you're so awfully quick to utilize the race card when people bring up uncomfortable facts about racial politics. SINCE the states surrounding Israel neither recognize its existence, do not show it on maps in school books or elsewhere, decry everything as a "Zionist plot" ... hmm, let's see -- a THINKING person might realize that these countries might not want that Jewish state to exist! Oh, did I mention the all-out wars in '48, '67 and '73? Silly me!! Which brings me to ...

2. You were wise to frame that in terms of “attack” and not “provocations to attack.” Otherwise Israel isn’t looking very good.

Offer some proof, please. What "provocations" did Israel offer that the entire Muslim world tried to annihilate it, um, three times? This oughta be good.

Israel was supposed to give back what it gained after being attacked (3 times, again)? Israel gaining that territory was in its DEFENSE you dope, not conquest. And, it didn't annex the territory into Israel proper, it occupied the areas -- hey! -- much like the US occupied Japan and Germany after WW II! Who'da thunk it? And the Soviet-Afghanistan analogy? HAH! You can do a LOT better than that (I think). Did Afghanistan INVADE the USSR? Doh! It was the other way around. Nice try, though. No, actually it was pretty lame.

3. Israel seeking out nuke tech in the 50s in no way undermines my position. See if you can figure it out. If not, you're not nearly as bright as you all-too obviously think.

4. Hey -- what "provocation" did Naser give Israel in order for them to take up the US's offer to attack in the Suez War? What's good for the goose, after all.... (see the circle you've enveloped yourself in? Again, probably not....)

5. When the simply overwhelming evidence of Iran supporting radical Islamist groups begins to match that of Israel supporting Jewish extremist groups, then I'd hold off on using terms like "bizarre," Dana. Until then, that label just addresses too many of your claims.

6. I want to see EVIDENCE of the Arab League offer and especially the 1976 UN resolution which you claim the Arab states and PLO supported. And especially the "full diplomatic recognition" part. Until I see such, this statement remains out there w/your BIZARRE assertions about Costa Rica. Period.

Posted by: Hube at August 28, 2005 11:01 AM

Your "facts" about Nicaragua leave a lot to be desired, too. Surprise.

The USSR and Cuba only offering "humanitarian" assistance is the typical leftist mantra. It's good you slipped the "I believe" in there, 'cause at least here it offers you an out. I have several book and journal references that prove the complete opposite. Oh, that and Nicaragua assisting the FMLN in neighboring El Salvador. Gee.

They're on floppy and my new PC doesn't have a floppy drive. I'll be happy to throw the disc into my school comp. and get 'em if you wish. And included in that is a direct contradiction to the radical-left belief that the Contras were "just" made up of Somoza ex-National Guardsmen. In fact, the VAST majority were disillusioned SANDINISTAS. Don't you think if the FSLN went back on [many of] their stated revolutionary goals that those who helped them achieve victory have a "right" to protest -- and fight? Do they or don't they? Oh, but without US support? Oh, but the FSLN is entitled to Cuban and Soviet support....? *Yawn*

Yes, the FSLN did win the '84 election. And then lost in '90. (I know, I know -- that was the US's fault.) I certainly give them credit for abiding by that result.

Looks like I was incorrect about the "no direct attack" in Nic. on the US's part. I had forgotten about the harbor mining. But of course, assisting in weapons running to neighboring countries' rebels isn't exactly according to int'l law either now, is it? Note that this isn't an attempt to vindicate the US for the harbor actions; it is pointing out, however, your attempt to rationalize Nicaraguan, Cuban and Soviet actions all the while denigrating US supported actions. This is no way different from you chastising rightist attempts to rationalize US actions, right? C'mon, admit it -- you can do it!

Look, Dana, I personally have little problem criticizing my own country's actions in the past, especially in Latin America. Chile. Guatemala. Dominican Republic. And so on. But I also look at the context of these actions. In Nicaragua's case, the FSLN inner circle, once in power, no longer felt the need to suppress their true Marxist-Leninist intentions, and this pissed off a lot of folks (Nicaraguans) who believed in them and helped them. Thus the Contras were born. I certainly don't condone everything the Contras did etc., but the FACT is that the FSLN brought it upon themselves -- the Contra War, that is. Hell, even Fidel Castro himself told Daniel Ortega "not to shut out the United States," essentially admitting that was a huge mistake he himself had made. If you want to argue that the US should not have helped the Contras, fine. Then others can legitimately argue that the USSR and Cuba should not have helped the FSLN. But if you then argue that that is OK b/c the FSLN was the "legitimate" gov. of Nicaragua, then you need to go back even further and say that then the US had every right to support Somoza against the FSLN, and then destroy the FSLN at any cost -- since Somoza was the "legitimate" government until '79! But ... the US didn't do that (destroy the FSLN, that is).

Posted by: Hube at August 28, 2005 11:36 AM

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