« Cap & Trade is Dead | Main | The Dirty Politics of the Race Card »

Thursday, September 17, 2009



A couple of thoughts. First, I'm not sure the Russians viewed this as a threat to their strategic offensive weapons. The over the Artic trajectory is not engageable by these systems from sites in Poland and the Czech Republic. Second, mobile ballistic missile defenses systems are in place now. These systems had not been proven at the time the land sites were proposed. Third, sovereign nations retain some control on the employment of weapons from their soil. Even during the initial days of the war in Afghanistan the British exercised more control than you would expect on missions originating from their islands in the Indian Ocean. So that brings me to your comment that Iran is a threat to the United States. I don't know where to start. They are a threat to our interests in the Mideast as we are to their interests. But a threat to the continental United States--I need to be convinced and a passing comment doesn't make the grade.


Thank you for your insight. It’s nice to hear from a new voice. Iran has been very frank in its hatred of America. It has, for instance, referred to our country as “The Great Satan. While hatred alone does not equal a threat, it can become one when it is accompanied by action. I believe that Iran has both the capability to harm Americans and the will to do so. Here are some reasons why I believe what I do:

The IAEA has reported that Iran has worked on a nuclear warhead, and, indeed, according to The Guardian, The United States, the UK, Germany and France all believe that Iran has worked on developing such a warhead. They only disagree on how long it will take for the country to complete its work and if it intends to complete it. The US thought development ended in 2003, the UK disagreed. It looks to me now like Obama believes such work has not stopped.

Iran, of course, claims that it is merely seeking peaceful nuclear power. There are a couple of problems with this. One is that Iran is not honest. Consider its insistence that its elections were legitimate and not fraudulent or its warm welcome of the terrorists it claimed it had no ties to. To be sure, these things do not mean that the country lies about everything. But one clue that they are lying in this case is the fact that Iran doesn’t have any plants that can make use of the materials it is working with. According to Reuters:

Iran has repeatedly said it is enriching uranium only to generate electricity, not for fissile bomb material, although it has no nuclear power plants to use low-level enriched uranium.

But even if we supposed Iran was honest and it had no nuclear ambitions, I think it still poses a threat to the safety of America and its allies. Iranian recently celebrated the anniversary of the date students captured workers at its US Embassy. They claim that the United States is Iran’s number one enemy. Iran sponsors anti-American terrorist organizations. The country is currently holding American students hostage.

Finally, Iran itself has admitted that it will strike us overseas if we do not do what it wants. Consider this 2006 article from The Times Online. The following is an excerpt:

IRAN has formed battalions of suicide bombers to strike at British and American targets if the nation’s nuclear sites are attacked. According to Iranian officials, 40,000 trained suicide bombers are ready for action.

That seems pretty threatening to me.


I don't doubt that Iran considers the US there #1 enemy. While you mention the taking of hostages both current and past you overlooked the US role in putting the Shah in power and engaging a passenger airliner killing almost 300 Iranians. There is good reason for belligerence on both sides. It is easy to equate development or possession of a nuclear bomb as an immediate threat but it doesn't quite work that way--you need to have a means to deliver it--not a trivial endeavor. I have yet to see any analysis that would indicate they are even developing a transcontinental capability. The realty is there nuclear program is more a matter of standing amongst the nations of the world than a clear and present danger to the US.


GeneK: I do not think that our interests at home and our interests abroad are completely separate. Suppose Iran didn't attack us directly, but instead, launched a warhead at Israel. Israel is our ally. We would be compelled to defend her. It is not unthinkable that, if we defended Israel, Russia or China would defend Iran. Therefore, I think that we need to be very careful.

The comments to this entry are closed.