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Why I Don't Care About Iranian Nuclear Plants

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It may surprise people that I would take a position contrary to the perceived interests of my tribes, my tribes being America, Judaism, and Maleness. After all, American politicians practically fall over trying to outdo one another on toughness toward Iran. And, aren't Jews supposed to support Israel, a country that sees Iran as an existential threat? Plus, men, in general, seem to be the people who promote war.

It bothers me that a person's perceived self-interest so often determines their opinion. Thus, whenever there's a vote to increase the local school budget, the townsfolk can be pretty much counted to vote according to whether they happen to have children in the local school at the time. People whose children have already graduated often vote no; they will tell you that their taxes are already too high and that the school wastes money. People with children in the school, and employees of the school, generally vote yes, wanting to support the school and education in general. It would be nice to think that it is possible to step outside of your personal self-interest and look at a problem a bit more objectively.

As for Iran and nuclear weapons, let's have some of moral clarity:

We shouldn't tell anyone to get rid of their nuclear weapons until we get rid of our own nuclear weapons.

Now, Americans will tell you various things to justify what is obviously a hugely hypocritical position. They will say that Iran can't be trusted, that they are led by a madman, that they broke the nonproliferation treaty.

Let's step outside ourselves as Americans (or supporters of America) and see whom we can't trust with nuclear weapons. The United States is the only country ever to have dropped nuclear weapons on people. In fact, we did it twice. The Unites States also tested nuclear weapons on its own people. We displaced an entire civilization to blow up their island homeland with nuclear bombs. We tested a nuclear bomb near a Japanese fishing boat, killing a crew member. Radioactive fallout from our atomic bomb tests fell on the Marshall Islands, Australia, India and Japan, the U.S. and Europe, and contaminated the Japanese food supply. More recently, the U.S. used depleted uranium missiles in the Gulf War, the war in Bosnia, the bombing of Serbia, and dropped between 1,000 and 2,000 tons of depleted uranium bombs on Iraq in 2003.

So, now the United States, with a nuclear arsenal large enough to destroy the world many times over, is once again threatening to bomb a country (Iran) because they may be developing a nuclear weapon.

Now that we have stepped out of our American skins long enough to look objectively at our own history with nuclear weapons, I'd like you to do something that many people will find unthinkably difficult: Think about things from the point of view of the "other," of Iran. Iran's mortal enemy, Israel, actually has nuclear weapons. While Iran has never invaded its neighbors, Israel has, many times. And, on the other side of the world, the largest nuclear superpower on the planet is complaining that your country might be trying to develop a nuclear bomb. The United States is twisting arms in the U.N. to impose broad economic sanctions on your nation, and the U.S. runs covert operations to destabilize your country. You may even fear that the U.S. is aiming to impose another brutal dictator to run your country, the way they overthrew your government and installed the Shah in 1953. Incidentally, while your country, Iran, has not invaded anyone in the last 2,000 years, the United States has invaded more countries in its brief history than any other nation in the history of humankind.

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I'm an elementary school teacher, an occasional nonviolence trainer, and a person who still listens to the RAMONES. Please come visit my blog & see what crazy output my brain is currently producing.
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