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February 01, 2006



I offer a counterargument:

If military strikes targeted the unpopular leadership, rather than the nuclear sites, what then?

The "Islamic Republic of Iran" is more accurately "The Theocratic Empire of Persia". I suspect the outpouring of patriotism amongst the Persians would be to create new governing structures.

The ethnic minorities of the Persian Empire occupy the periphery of Iran, including the oil-rich areas of the Persian Gulf.

I counterargue that the thugs, er, duly-elected leadership of Iran understand the following:

The value of nuclear weapons programs is to

1. Link the popular desire for nuclear energy with the unpopularity of a repressive regime, thereby protecting the latter.

2. Provide a decoy for American attention, inluding intel gathering, planning, and targeting, thereby reducing the direct risks to the regime.

3. Provide a surge of support for the regime if the nuclear weapons facilities are attacked.

4. The most effective decoy is therefore a real nuclear weapons program.



Aboslutely, hence my point about the lesson for the mullahs.


I'm not claiming any deep insight on these matters, by the way, I just don't think the Mullahs are actually suicidal, whatever they may want us to believe.

Posse Incitatus

It was also counterintuitive for Saddam Hussein to act like he had vast stocks of WMD and harass inspectors when apparently there was nothing to find.

If he had moved all WMD out of the country in 2002 (as one of his generals alleges) he could have gotten a clean bill from the inspectors, had sanctions lifted, and then continued his research without outside interference.


Your point is well argued but it just seems conterintuitive to me. We use to have a saying: Many atom bombs make you a power, few makes you a target. It seems even worse if you just lead people to think you have or are developing a bomb and actually aren't, witness Iraq and WMD. Surely that lesson hasn't been lost on the Mullahs.


PS I know that NK seems to go against this theory but our problem there isn't atom bombs but rather the proximity of the ROK capital to the DMZ, within artillery range. This has prevented preemptive action.

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