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Lay Off Iran

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Lay-Off Iran

In the United States, no one questions our right to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.  At the same time, everyone agrees that a nuclear Iran does not present a direct threat to the United States. With all our budgetary problems and mounting debts, it is incomprehensible that we are even threatening war. We seem to have assigned ourselves a role that should be of little or no interest to us. Why is this our problem anyway?

Iran has been a great empire long before the United States came into being.  It ruled the Middle East at the time when the Indians were roaming the American plains painting their bodies and carrying bows and arrows. Iran was a major civilization before the Europeans ever had what could be called toilets. For us, or for any country in fact, to presume to tell Iran what it should or should not have represents the height of arrogance and ignorance. Any attack on Iran, apart from the thousands of people that would be killed, will surely accelerate America's demise and its economic decline.

While small and belligerent countries like North Korea and Israel already possess nuclear weapons, we are determined not to let Iran have them even though Iran is a large country and it does not have a history of belligerence or war. Israel is the only country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons and its belligerence is well known. If it is peace we are interested in, perhaps, we should concentrate on removing Israel's nuclear stockpile and create a nuclear-free Middle East. This would remove Iran's primary motivation to have nuclear weapons in the first place.

Let us look at the other side of the equation. If Iran builds a nuclear weapon, it would contribute to regional stability. That would serve the interests of the United States better. In such a case, Israel and Iran will understand that the use of these weapons will bring about their "mutually assured destruction'. That term should easily remind the Americans of the standoff with the Soviet Union in the 1980's.

It is Israel, not Iran that poses a nuclear threat to the Middle East. If Iran goes nuclear, it would provide parity to Israel as Pakistan's nuclear abilities balanced India's. It is instructive to note that in 1991, the historical rivals India and Pakistan signed a treaty agreeing not to target each other's nuclear facilities. Since then, even in the face of high tensions and risky provocations, the two countries have kept the peace. Leading thinkers in the United States such as Brzezinski, Keller, and Slavin are advancing similar arguments.

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Economic sanctions, no matter how severe, are not going to dissuade a self-respecting and historic Iran, from doing what is in its national interest. The economic difficulties being imposed on Iran are only hurting ordinary Iranians, not their government. The sanctions will have little or no effect on Iran's policies. It only proves that the United States and the West do not care about the Iranians; they care only about Israel. In addition, the sanctions are having a negative effect on energy prices and oil company profits here in the United States. The support of the Arab "kingdoms' for our stance against Iran is motivated by their need for American support. The attempts to exploit the Moslem Shiite/Sunni differences to force a regime change in Iran are only illusionary.

Our history with Iran also needs re-examination. At discussed briefly in the movie "Argo', we engineered a coup in Iran and replaced their democratically elected government with a despot of our choosing in order to get at their oil. The Iranian people soon replaced our hand-selected Shah with a religious nationalistic regime that we could not live with. Our relations with Iran never recovered.

Needless to say, we did not stop India, Pakistan, Russia, China, North Korea or even lowly Israel, from acquiring nuclear weapons. It is not as if we stand on principle and oppose the development of nuclear weapons by everyone. We even signed an agreement with the Israelis to look the other way when their nuclear capabilities are questioned.

How can Israel, a small country of about seven million people, threaten Iran, a country of 80 million plus people with which it shares no common borders? Francis Perrin, the head of the French Atomic Agency in the 1950s and 1960s, when France was helping Israel develop a nuclear weapon against the wishes of the US, once observed that the Israeli bomb was really "aimed against the Americans". Not because Israel wanted to attack the US, but because it realized that once Israel possessed the only nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, the US would rarely risk standing in its way, however much its policies ran counter to US interests. And that is precisely what has come to pass.

On a historical note, instead of being antagonistic, Israel should be grateful to Iran. Iran has had a great and positive effect on the history of the Jews. Isn't the Iranian king Cyrus the Great the one who allowed the Jews to go back to Palestine after they were thrown out? Isn't he the one that allowed them to rebuild their famed Temple in Jerusalem? In fact King Cyrus is the only non-Jew designated as Messiah in the canon of the Jewish bible: the Tanakh where he is referred to referred to as "the anointed of the Lord".

Americans should realize that unjustified and unjustifiable wars are the major reasons behind the setting sun of the United States. Let us remember that we are a nation of laws based on respect for human rights and non-interference in the business of others. So please, leave the Iranians alone.

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Retired Pharmacologist with two masters and a Ph.D.

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We should really concentrate on putting out house ... by Sam Amer on Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 6:40:26 AM