Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Oh, Boy! Fresh Terror from Iran?

We've Been Here Before

Maj. T.J. King Kong after deploying the H-bomb.  Dr. Strangelove (image source)
Updated "Demotivational" Poster. Dr. Strangelove (image source)

There's barely been time for commercials between the  right wing pundits and politicians almost constant chorus of terror about the Iranian bomb.  Of course, the wing nuts have had a long fascination with the unilateral fear concept of the Cold War, and they have, predictably, "retuned to the well" at every opportunity since then  -- even for a weird, arcane collection of too subtle, too gaseous types of opportunities which turned out to be too complicated for "sale on the street."

The latest opportunity comes from elevating Iran's penchant for H-Bomb building to the "burning question of the day."  The heart throbbing, breathless panic rhetoric is now, officially, bombasting air waves which looked like they couldn't hold any more such ridiculous flatulence even a few days ago. Dutiful hill billies and high school drop outs among the Republican base are gobbling down the horror like day old corn dogs.

It's clear that the political strategy experts in all those back rooms would very, very, very much prefer not to continue the public discussion of trans vaginal ultra sounds, the Keystone XL pipeline or even the sky rocketing gasoline prices that their sponsors -- oil futures speculators -- have demanded for their scheme to wreak revenge on the President.

Now, it is the job of every concerned American to settle into that Lazy Boy, glance thoughtfully at the kids playing in the living room and think about the wife, the mortgage and the prospects of ever getting a raise at work while adding an exceptionally pungent nightmare fantasy about the home town being vaporized in a flash of light.  The nightmare should include a night time scene with a few terrifyingly sketchy characters in turbans hoisting a half ton Iranian H-Bomb into the back of a U-Haul a few blocks away.

Oh yeah.

With that going on, how could any voter have time to size up all the bills that the House Republican have pumped into their "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs" plans?  Actually, since there are no such bills, the Lazy Boy guy will have plenty of time to double down on the looming, shudder, Iranian H-Bomb threat.

The fear mongers have been "hard at it."  Not only will the Iranians immediately launch an all out attack on Israel, they must also be absolutely "dead set" on nuking the American army in Afghanistan, their old enemy, Iraq, probably Turkey and, of course, most of Southern Europe.  And that would just be the official side of the nightmare.  The Ayatollah and his henchmen would be turning both suitcase nukes and "make a dirty bomb at home" kits over to every terrorist with a pay phone close enough to place an order.

It will be a hopeless, terrifying, unstoppable, Biblical scale, planetary destruction festival, gleefully executed by crazed theocrats who don't even believe in the "one true God."  And, according to the frenzied GOPCon doom sayers, they'll come right here to River City the second that the smoke clears -- looking for white women to turn into Muslim sex slaves.

Got it?

Happily, all this nonsense won't actually have much effect on the election.  The little clutch of folks who will vote based on this premise will vote pretty much the same way they would have voted anyway.

What Can Be Done?

The real questions may be somewhat more limited.  Still reeling from the estimated $3 Tn price tag of the Bush Oil Wars, the US is not anxious at all to try a land war with Iran.  We cannot afford one.  And, that country has five times the population of Iraq, plenty of money for guns and a massive population of unemployed young people.

We could have asked Sadam about what war with Iran was like.

Further, it may have been less than "entirely wise" for the President to declare that a nuclear Iran "wasn't going to happen," and that "containment" wasn't going to happen, either. This may be an instance when the crazies from the "other side" actually goaded him into making a mistake.

However, two important political assets still remain squarely in Obama's camp.  Both have to do with a very public debate in a dysfunctional Congress where the Republicans have an overly firm and overly eager grip on the "stop" button.

First, Obama can go to Congress and ask for a formal Declaration of War with the Islamic Republic.

If the GOP screechers are really the "big men" they say they are, and if they really are ready to put American blood behind their cheezy, chest beating politics, they should have to explain why they're all talk but no blood and treasure to the American people.  MeanMesa can assure you that the American people will be watching and listening -- even through the fog of a controlled media.

Republicans don't like Declarations of War because these automatically draw in the existing war profiteering laws of the Truman era.  This "cuts their take."

Second, Obama can ask Congress for a "full deterrent" law.  Under such legislation, if a single American citizen is ever killed by a nuclear weapon anywhere, it will be exactly the same as a nuclear attack on this country.

1952 "Ivy Mike" H-Bomb Test (image source)

Since the days of the "Ivy Mike" H-Bomb tests at Eniwetok Atoll, nuclear maintenance technology has advanced remarkably.  These days, not only is there an exhaustive file of the location, ownership and responsibility of nuclear materials around the world [This was one of Senator Obama's key projects in the Senate.], the technology has also been developed to track the residue of any such explosion right back to its source.

The "deterrent law" would not differentiate between the various possible journeys such material might have taken from its refinery to its target.  It might have been stolen.  It might have been surreptitiously handed over to terrorists.  It might have been sold on the black market.  It wouldn't matter.  It had to have been made somewhere, and if you made it, you are responsible for its detonation -- by anyone, anywhere, any time.

If you are a country such as Iran [or Pakistan, or North Korea, etc.], you would begin to be much more careful about exactly where your bombs or bomb material wound up -- regardless of how it wound up there.  The "full  deterrent law," coupled with the dozens of treaties for defense against nuclear attack [products of the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty] already in place should do the trick.

Making the Republican war mongers vote for or against such a law would handle the domestic side of the politics.  This isn't one which can be dodged with another  Sunday School sermon about birth control pills.

Read More

MeanMesa has followed the Iranian issue for several years.  Here are links to a few of those posts.

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