Friday, May 12, 2006

Connecting the Dots

So Armani-jihad sent an 18 page letter to President Bush which, among other things, schooled Bush on being a good Christian. You know, about all the evil un-Christian things America does in the world, like paying people to strap bombs to their chest and walking in to a crowded restaurant and blowing themselves... wait... wrong religion.

I just read the whole thing. I had only skimmed it before.

After re-reading the passage regarding monotheism, I think Robert Spencer's argument was interesting but ultimately doesn't stand up. I don't believe that it was calling Bush to join Islam. If it did, I was going to say we should watch for an attack targeting President Bush, specifically (not that that couldn't still be the case -- but I wouldn't take this letter as a clue pointing to it.)

Amadinejad's letter was not intended to appeal to President Bush, but rather as a piece of political propaganda aimed at fueling the passions of the American (and world) Left, and also to appeal to America's religious right. Both are intended to put pressure on the Administration to stay its hand, and I believe, to buy more time for Iran to achieve the goals he speaks of from the other side of his mouth. A world without America. A world without Israel. The Twelfth imam. The new Caliphate.

I find particularly ... I hate to use the word "amusing" ... that the leader of one of the most oppressive regimes in the world takes it upon itself to lecture the United States on torture, prisons, and illegal acts of war.

I'd like to ask -- what rules of War does Iran follow? The fact of the matter is, the Iranians do want nukes as a prestige symbol and as a deterrent against attack, and I've got no problem with that for a nation that has a level head and plays nicely with others.

But I don't really think, unless they're really crazy, they would use one -- that is, launch a missile or a plane bearing a nuclear warhead, against another country. This would clearly be suicide. Not that that seems to be a problem for the suicide bomber.

Which brings us to the next point. What Iran does do is avoid all of the mess of having a "legal" war waged against them which they probably know they would surely lose -- by funding covert groups of people not officially associated with the Iranian government -- often not Iranians at all -- to do their bidding. We typically call these people terrorists. And the reason we call them terrorists as opposed to armies or soldiers is that their modus operandi is to attack soft targets -- unprotected civilians -- in the hope of spurring political destabilization. Up until now they've had access to simple conventional explosive devices which on a "good" day (for them) might take out 100 people.

If they could build a small nuclear bomb, it could be smuggled somewhere and kill from hundreds of thousands to millions -- and say "hey, it wasn't us!" And the U.N. would agree. "You can't attack a country for the actions of individuals." And so it could continue. This is what they are counting upon. They want us to adhere to international rules while they bypass them because it gives them an advantage. It is suicide to allow them to play that way.

Anyone with any part of themselves firmly rooted in reality knows that the United States has no desire to perpetrate, and has no stomach for -- the torture or killing of the innocent. In the ideal Hollywood world where innocents are spared by heroism (except one or two just to show you how evil the evil are) and only the evil are punished is fantasy. It is the way we all wish it could be. That's why we make movies about it. It's the only way we will get to see it.

But when I see a banner draped across the side of a missile in a show of military prowess that says "We will crush America under our feet" -- well, as I'm afraid we shall all soon find out, you have to take the gloves off if you want to deal with it. To think that diplomacy can change that attitude -- in the face of what those in power in Iran believe -- to them suddenly singing "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" is fantasy. And I'm afraid it's probably going to take a nuclear detonation in a metropolitan area to get a lot of people to realize that. Even then, there will be those who will say that "we" caused it.

I'll tell you a little about responsibility. I was involved in a minor traffic accident a couple of days ago. It was my fault. I put my foot on the gas without checking to see if my path was clear. My foot, my gas pedal, my car, my fault. Now my wife felt guilty because it happened while I was detouring my normal path to work to drop off something she needed where she works. She blamed herself. It was most definitely NOT her fault. I was driving the car. It was my responsibility to do it safely and in a manner that did not unduly endanger life, health, or property. It is not the fault of anyone who might have cut me off or upset me (not that that happened -- this is now a mind exercise). It was not the fault of anyone who said anything or did anything to me earlier. Maybe I had a bad childhood. Maybe my neighbor hates me because I'm white. Doesn't matter. My fault.

When this bomb is set off, it will be set off by one or more people who, until the moment the button is pushed, have a moral choice. Whoever makes the moral choice to push it -- it is their fault. In this case everyone who planned the detonation and knowingly assisted will be at fault as well. (In my accident, nobody planned anything.)

I obviously don't think it is a crime for a country to own a nuclear weapon. I do think it's a crime for the world to stand back and watch a regime such as the current Iranian regime with all that we know about them to build one because, "hey, all these other countries have them. Why not Iran?"

I just told you why not.

No comments: