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Why We Should Not Mess With Iran

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I was shocked to find that, according to one poll, 52% of Americans are in favor of bombing Iran if it means preventing it from getting nuclear weapons. You never know how these questions are exactly worded, and sometimes it's meant to herd you into a certain answer. They could ask - "would you refrain from bombing Iran if it meant keeping world peace?" - and you'd get a completely different result.

Mike Huckabee just had the nerve to say we might try talking to Iran, really try, not Bush "try", before we start talking about bombing it. For his troubles he was treated like a pariah in the Republican party, but he doesn't back down. He says Bush has an "arrogant bunker mentality" in world affairs. I'm starting to like this guy.

So aside from the cockamamie, hare-brained idea that pre-emptive war is an answer to anything, let's take a look at other reasons we should not bomb Iran.

- It wouldn't do any good, since everyone knows the loose nukes are in Pakistan. We've just bought into Bush's demonization of Iran so much that we keep forgetting the reality.

- It will put us in mortal danger of terrorist counter-attack, since Iran has promised that it has 40,000 suicide bombers ready to go against us if we attack. They're not laying still for this.

- Because it's wrong. The evangelicals among us insist we are a Christian nation, so why don't we start acting like Christians? Iran has one of the youngest populations in the world, and we'd be slaughtering children. There is no such thing as a "surgical strike," and the generals know it.



-Because even if Iranian President Ahmadinejad is a nut, which he is, he has no power and the Iranian people are not our enemy.

Let's take a quick look at our (dark) history with Iran. Here is a country headed for democracy in 1953 when the oil companies decide they don't like this, and the CIA installs the Shah. The Shah turns out to be one of the worse torturers in history, and they are under his boot, with us supporting the Shah, until 1979 when they overthrow him. They equate that day with our Fourth of July, and they should. We were on the wrong side, and we should just admit it.

Here's the amazing thing: They don't hate us. They understand that what our government did to them is not the American people. Iranians traditionally like Americans and admire our democracy. Ahmadinejad regularly gets booed by the students at Iranian University, where they don't like his anti-Jew talk and his antics. If ever there was a country worth engaging, it's Iran.

I'm way more afraid of the Pakistani military with nukes than I am of Iran. Everyone knows Paki Intel is infiltrated with Al Qaeda. I also don't trust the Russian republics where you still have Cold War hot potatoes laying around. If we bomb Iran it would be messy, and many of us will also die. And after all, Iran is only acting out the lesson which Bush's foreign policy has taught the world: It's not the countries that have nukes that get attacked by us; it's the ones that don't.

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Ralph Lopez majored in Economics and Political Science at Yale University. He writes for Truth Out, Alternet, Consortium News, Op-Ed News, and other Internet media. He reported from Afghanistan in 2009 and produced a short documentary film on the (more...)
 

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