Marines VS Camel Spiders
Protesting nothing at the School of the Americas

Iran and Nuclear Proliferation -- A Civil Discussion -- More or Less

I received an email from someone a while back that I just found in my junk filter. I feel I should answer it. I do not know which comment or which post this gent found my positions on, but I feel certain he understood some of how I feel.

Here is his email:

On 10/17/06 1:22 AM, "Zoroaster Ahuramazdah" (name deleted to protect the innocent) wrote:

Subsunk - or whatever your name is:

It's true that using strictly nuclear energy for domestic purposes is expensive. But tell me this - why is Iran not allowed to have nuclear energy for domestic purposes? The NPT only allows nations to use nuclear energy for dometic use and not to crete nuclear warheads. This is why the US has not signed it. Makes you wonder huh? Of course this should also be said: Iran has not declared war against sovereign nations for centuries. Yes you heard me right - CENTURIES! The whole Iraq - Iran war fiasco that happened throughout the 1980s; yes we both know the history behind that war. If YOU
are unaware of it perhaps you should learn about it before demonizing Iran and being suspicious of them while portraying the United States and Israelis as saints. Maybe Iran is lying about their nuclear ambitions. Personally, I am not sure; but the US is in no place to judge whether or not the Iranians truly are lying. Because we have lied to them - and betrayed them once upon a time. Please know your history of 20th century US - Iran relations before you judge Iran so harshly.

Why is India, Pakistan, Russia and Israel allowed to have nuclear capability and not Iran? Please tell me without a pro - US bias. I would really appreciate it.

I am sure you are all for exterminating the Persians - every single one of them due to US paranoia. Tell me this - what do you believe would be the consequences? Oh no I am not talking from a military perspective - I am talking about an economic and international perspective. We both know the US can kick Iran's ass - no problem. BUT, if we take on Iran we would have to take ALL Iranians on. This will be a very different scenario from attacking most nations in the world - say Iraq. No Iranian will ever feel that the US did them a favor by invading their country - not one! Do you understand? If we invade Iran we would have to take on every man woman and walking child in that country - which number in the millions. ALL Iranians with the same goal - to kick US butt the best way they know how. You are aware of this fact right? That is why US leadership knows that they need to nuke Iran in order
for the US to succeed. Iranian pride runs deep - real deep! Deeper than US pride in being an American I am sure. I mean - would Americans, if it came down to it, arm pre-teens with guns if an occupying force came to the US to "liberate Americans from a regime?" I want you to really think about this
imagined scenario - since you are so pro - United States. How do I know that the Iranians would arm their own children with guns if the US invaded their country? Because Iraninas have demonstrated this before when Iraq invaded their nation throughout the 1980s. Again - I ask you to learn your history of
20th century Iran.

I have decided to save the ironic part for last. Iran is a Democracy. You choose not to believe this as it runs contrry to US interests. However, Iran is a Democracy nonetheless. It was through Democracy - ironic enough I know - that the Shah was overthrown in the early 1950s (1953 to be exact), and through Democracy that Ayatollah Khomeini came into supreme power in Iran. It was also through Democracy that Ahmadinejad came in to power. Perhaps the Iranians want a theocracy for their nation. Did you ever think of this possibility? Again contrary to US interests; but it serves as a chilling reminder that promoting Democracy abroad does not guarantee that people will vote in correlation to US interests. If the US truly is promoting Democracy throughout southwrest Asia - then the US should, morally, accept whatever decisions indigenous people make in regards to their country. Of course, indigenous people in a given nation deciding how their country is to be led is what Democracy means by definition.

I forgive you for your ignorance subsunk - but please know something about a topic before you comment on it several times. Respectfully - thank you.

.................

Ah, a challenge, says I. My response below:

Zoroaster,

Sorry it has taken so long to answer this. I lost it in my junk email filter.

Let's answer your points if I can. I do not have exact figures at my fingertips, but I am pretty sure the figures I am going to give you are reasonably accurate. I will assume you are in Iran or associated with them nationally in my answer. I will also assume you are Muslim for the sake of this argument. If this is not so, take it for what it is worth:

1. The United States position is not that Iran cannot have nuclear reactors. It is that Iran is using methods which are forbidden under the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty (which Iran AND the US HAVE both signed). Additionally, there is no normal civilian use applicable for plutonium without already having uranium reactors. Plutonium is only useful for nuclear weapons and thus enrichment of plutonium is prima facie evidence of a nuclear weapons program.

2. Now, in the United States, uranium is enriched for fuel for civilian nuclear reactors to approximately 7 or 8% U-235. This is so that highly enriched uranium cannot be produced in the US for any reason other than weapons production or military reactors (such as in submarines). Other countries use some range of enrichment around this value, but none uses much over 10% U-235. If your country was using your centrifuges to make nuclear fuel for civilian purposes, then you would never need to enrich past 8-10% to make nuclear fuel for the size reactor you are building. However, in your country's waste streams and on some of the equipment you have installed, the inspectors have found enrichment as high as 35%. There is only one use for uranium enrichment that high, and it is a weapons program.

3. Regarding plutonium use. It is true that you can use plutonium in reactors to make electric power. France does this. They only way to make plutonium, however, is to put U-238 fuel into the same reactors operating the U-235 to activate the U-238 into plutonium Pu-239. You can then use the plutonium to continue to breed more plutonium in reactors. This is why they are called breeder reactors. If you already have the U-235 sufficient to make fuel for your reactor, why do you need to make plutonium? There is only one reason and that is a weapons program.

4. Americans do not complain that Iran wants to have nuclear power. We complain that you refuse to buy the fuel from your Russian suppliers as it is offered, and comply with the NPT, and you make it yourself in a fashion which shows that you are actually making bomb material. This is forbidden under the NPT which your country signed. When you lie to us, we will no longer trust you. When you kidnap our embassy employees, beat them, and hold them hostage for over 440 days, we will no longer trust you. When you send special bombs and bomb making material to Iraq for terrorists to blow up Americans AND your Iraqi neighbors, we will no longer trust you and we will hate you, just as you hate us for standing in your way. (You cannot deny that your country is doing this because your spies have been caught and have admitted as much on Iraqi TV. This is known.) So we do not say you can't have nuclear power. We say you can't have it in a manner which shows and allows you to make nuclear bombs.

5. Why is it OK for Israel, Pakistan, India, China and Russia to have nuclear weapons? Because they designed and invented them many years ago. The Russians and Chinese stole the knowledge and technology over 50 yrs ago. Israel invented their bombs without outside help. India and Pakistan likely stole or illegally gained the technology. We never knew about that until it was done. Then we asked them to sign the treaty. They did so. Your country is stealing it now. We know about it. It is our duty to uphold the treaty. And your duty as well. No special help was given to them by America or the law abiding states of the NPT and the world. States which gave the older nuclear states illegal help include Russia and China. Russia, Pakistan and China have illegally given your country help. That doesn't make cheating right or legal.

6. You said, "Iran has not declared war against sovereign nations for centuries. Yes you heard me right - CENTURIES!" What do you call seizing our embassy in 1979 if not an act of war? That is specifically and deliberately engaging in illegal activity justified by warfare amongst all the civilized countries of the world. How would Iran react if we seized your embassy and imprisoned your personnel for 444 days just because you shout Death to America? In 1987, Iran mined the Straits of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf, clearly an act of war. Your navy was caught red handed doing so. Your gunboats and oil platforms served as bases for seizing oil tankers and fired on our tankers and our warships. You haven't declared war? Know your history, bub! You've attacked us 3 times and we still haven't attacked you except in self defense.

7. You said, "The whole Iraq - Iran war fiasco that happened throughout the 1980s; yes we both know the history behind that war. If YOU are unaware of it perhaps you should learn about it before demonizing Iran and being suspicious of them while portraying the United States and Israelis as saints." I served in the Navy during that time. I know very well what happened in that war. I know many things concerning what Saddam did to Iran and what Iran did to Saddam and how Iran dragged the whole world into the conflict by attacking innocent shipping which was loading oil at either of your terminals. America took no sides in that war other than to give intelligence and spare parts to either side. Mistakes have been made by Iran and America. They always will be made when one state refuses to talk to another state because we are Evil and you are saints. Just as you say Israel is Evil. Just as your people every day say in public that America (and therefore Americans -- we live here, you know) are the Great Satan and therefore evil. I'm funny that way. You say you hate me, I'm not likely to like you. Go figure. (By the way, the photos above claim Don Rumsfeld gave Iraq chemical and biological weapons. This is false. The chemical weapons came from Germany and France and Russia, the biological weapons were obtained from the US in an agricultural research program from US universities, not the US government. The US government provided Iraq intelligence on Iranian capabilities and satellite imagery, not guns, weapons or WMD).

8. As for the history of Iran - US relations, I could care less about what my country did to help factions in your country gain power over 40 years ago (you probably weren't even alive then, so why are you so sure it was a bad thing). Your country did many of the same things to help themselves in that time achieve advantage over America and over your enemies. You blaming us for Mossadegh and the Shah is like us blaming you for the embassy and mining our ships and firing on our Navy. Color me unsympathetic. If you must hate me over something done over 40 yrs ago, then it is you who have the problem. I don't give two shits about Iran except that your government has every day called for my Death, in public, in your official newspapers. I don't need your oil. I don't need your people, language, literature, or music. I read your country's official words. I disagree with what you think you know. And until you offer to be nice to me, I'll never give a damn about you, your country, or anybody in it who dies because you hate us and we won't sell you our food and our VCRs. Buy it somewhere else and take care of yourselves if you hate us so much.

9. You said, "I am sure you are all for exterminating the Persians - every single one of them due to US paranoia." NO. I am for exterminating anyone who insists that their religion or their national pride or paranoia demands they kill 4 million Americans because we don't believe in God the same way you do, or we want our women to wear bikinis, go to school, have jobs, make their own decisions instead of only doing what their husband says, and make money on their own if they want to. Your country's mullahs demand obedience and mistreat your entire population. You incite hatred against everyone else, but never against your own people for the atrocities they commit in the name of God. That is bad form in the civilized world. Since Persia used to be so enlightened, you should know that. It is not America who beats your children, breaking their arms under cars when they date someone Dad doesn't like. It is not America who hangs 16 yr old girls for blasphemy. It is not America who stones women for adultery. It is not America who allows women to be beaten just because their old man had a bad hair day. It is not America who imprisons and beats and kills foreigners for taking photos of things they aren't supposed to see. It is Iran and Islam. And I am for killing anyone who tries to force that mentality upon me, my family, or my country.

10. You claim there would be catastrophe if America went to war with Iran. Maybe so. You say we would have to fight every Iranian in the country. Maybe so. But my dentist is Iranian. He insists your countrymen yearn to be free of the tyranny of your government. He wishes every day for the deaths of your mullahs so his parents can go home again. And I tell you that my country has no need to invade your country. If a nuclear weapon blows up in my country, we will know where it came from -- Iran. And with the deaths of hundreds of thousands to millions of Americans, I can assure you we will not care how many Iranians die in the retribution. There will be such an uproar that failure to exterminate every living thing in your country will only anger the remaining Americans so much that they will insist on complete annihilation to make sure it can never happen again. Do not overestimate our good will and underestimate our desire to continue living. For if it comes down to Iran or America, I assure you America will do everything in its power to survive. Ask the Japanese if that is not true.

11. Regarding the economic impact of war with Iran. Who cares? If war breaks out, every country in the world will feel the same pressures over oil and all will suffer. Do you doubt that America will find other sources of oil closer to home? We don't buy Iranian oil anyway. We buy Venezuelan, Canadian, and Mexican oil. So Iran's goes away. It just means everybody's price goes up the same. We can take it. Can your country take being dead? And America can put a man on the moon. You think we can't learn to drill sideways 50 miles to reach the oil if we must?

12. You said, "I mean - would Americans, if it came down to it, arm pre-teens with guns if an occupying force came to the US to "liberate Americans from a regime?" I want you to really think about this imagined scenario - since you are so pro - United States. How do I know that the Iranians would arm their own children with guns if the US invaded their country? Because Iranians have demonstrated this before when Iraq invaded their nation throughout the 1980s. Again - I ask you to learn your history of 20th century Iran." And you are proud of sending 8, 10 and 12 yr olds to die while your older men stay home? Maybe you should learn your history. Americans as young as 12 fought for their independence long ago. We have never needed to use boys that young since. But don't for one second believe that we can't. We have always found enough young Men to handle the job. And when pushed, you think we won't kill you without regret. You never played Cowboys and Indians did you? America is a compassionate and giving country. Why must your country push us to choose between our lives and your deaths? It is that simple.

13. You said, "I have decided to save the ironic part for last. Iran is a Democracy. You choose not to believe this as it runs contrry to US interests. However, Iran is a Democracy nonetheless. It was through Democracy - ironic enough I know - that the Shah was overthrown in the early 1950s (1953 to be exact), and through Democracy that Ayatollah Khomeini came into supreme power in Iran. It was also through Democracy that Ahmadinejad came in to power. Perhaps the Iranians want a theocracy for their nation. Did you ever think of this possibility? Again contrary to US interests; but it serves as a chilling reminder that promoting Democracy abroad does not guarantee that people will vote in correlation to US interests. If the US truly is promoting Democracy throughout southwrest Asia - then the US should, morally, accept whatever decisions indigenous people make in regards to their country. Of course, indigenous people in a given nation deciding how their country is to be led is what Democracy means by definition." Do you see America invading because I'mANutJob got elected? NO. Do you see us invading because your mullahs control you, your press, and your stupid oil supplies? NO. Do we have to like who you picked? NO. Neither do you! The Shah of Iran was overthrown in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini. I lived through this period. I remember it well. Prime Minister Mossadegh was overthrown in 1953. This was before I (or you likely) were born. He was anti American and the US supported his enemies but did not invade Iran. The Iranian people overthrew Mossadegh. The US did no more than provide the same support your country and your religion provide to Hezbollah, terrorists in Iraq, al Qaeda (harboring members in Iran instead of turning them over for trial), terrorists in Afghanistan, and terrorists in Palestine which you find so acceptable today. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black and then stewing about it for over 50 yrs. I agree that Iran is supposed to be a democracy. However, when only the candidates that the ultimate power of the mullahs allow to be on the ballots are voted on, it is a democracy more like Communism than freedom. There were elections in Soviet Russia also. But only the Communists could get on the ballots. In Iran only hard line Islamists can get on the ballots. Some democracy. Some free choice. In my country,
the people that I agree with were recently thrown out of office -- peacefully. They were voted out and their opposition voted in. They obeyed the laws peacefully. I can‚t say the same about your country. Many of your citizens can't or don't vote because they have no choice who to vote for. The only candidates all believe the same thing. When your democracy can deliver true freedom of choice, come back and lecture me over what is right and what is wrong.

14. Finally, I don't want your countrymen hurt. I want them to live in peace. But as long as you shout Death to America and insist that I follow your ways or die, you are going to be my enemy. This may not be the way everyone in Iran or the Muslim world feels. But it is the only voice heard in the world today. If you can't fix your Islamic problems or curb your own leaders and their Nazi ambitions, don't make us do so. You won't like the elephant response. Too many natives will get squashed between the elephants' toes. And I'll forgive you for supporting them when you do something about it.

15. It is your choice. Leave us alone in Peace. Or die like a rat.

Subsunk


Now I suppose this subject would make a good project. Discuss amongst yourselves in the comments. I'm sure I'm wrong somewhere. I'm sure there are many rash generalizations against Zoroaster in there. They are unintentional, but necessary to discuss my side of the equation. Mrs. Subsunk says I'm wrong every day. She's usually right, of course. I married up. You folks let me know what you think.

Subsunk out.

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