do we even listen to ourselves?
if i were a member of the iranian government, i'd find it very hard to accept anyone's opposition to my enriching uranium while the folks who don't like me very much enrich all they please. i'd kinda feel like i was being asked to play cards against a stacked deck. i'd definitely think my #1 priority ought to be building a bomb asap, since no other option would ever truly even the international playing field for me and my constituents. it's pretty simple electoral math, and i'd expect to be voted out of office if i didn't apply it. (could you imagine trying to get reelected in the us in the 50's and 60's on a platform of abandoning nuclear technology?)
plus, in addition to such simple geopolitical math, there's even a prodigious pile of plausible deniability too--the rest of us are all chicken-littling about the need to phase out fossil fuel, and nuclear power is as carbon neutral as it gets. (just add cooling water...) so, what is it, exactly, that we're hoping to argue here?
i expect the preceding paragraphs have ignited a firestorm of righteous indignation among the readership, including words like "rogue state" and "supports terrorism" and "religious extremists". and then i have to wonder, what's more rogue than fabricating evidence and using the lie to declare war on another sovereign state? and what's more supportive of terrorism than standing by while an ally murders the better part of a thousand foreign civilians, employing banned weapons like using white phosphorous nearby to those civilian targets? and what is more religiously extreme than having a passel of presidential candidates actually raise their hands when asked if they believe the earth to have been created 6000 years ago and that dinosaurs never existed?
it's a classic case of "are so" vs "are not" on the playground, and you know it's an argument that'll never be over, let alone won. worse yet, right now, we're still the bully who is going to keep asking for that lunch money no matter what, and you know, sooner or later, that little guy isn't going to want to hand it over. (it'd be the american way not to hand it over, so why do we doubt it's going to be somebody else's, too?)
so what do i think?
i think the really dangerous miscreants out there are kim jong il and friends. (starving population... global pariah... nothing to lose...) the fact that we aren't helping the chinese to put the serious public screws to them is bizarre to me. what greater threat exists in the world right now???
as for the iranians, i should think the choices are two: either expect 'em to arm up, or expect them to expect us to arm down. either way, there's not much to talk about.