Friday, February 24, 2012


About Iran

There's a debate going on in our country about how to prevent or deter Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.  The debate reminds me of a debate in Voltaire's Candide, in which two Muslim theologians debated for days the question of the source of the quill with which the Prophet wrote the Quran.  Did the Angel Gabriel give the Prophet a quill from his wing or did the Prophet steal the quill surreptitiously?  After three days a spectator asked whether it wouldn't be logical to start by determining whether the quill in fact came from the wing of the Angel.  He was put to death by stoning.

There are two points of view in the debate about Iran and its nuclear weapon program.  One view is expressed by the President and his supporters.  Military force (i.e., "bomb Iran") won't work.  We have to try economic force (i.e., sanctions).  The other view is expressed by many Republicans.  Economic force (sanctions) hasn't worked.  It fact it won't work.  We must bomb Iran's uranium enrichment facilities and take other military means to prevent its nuclear program from proceeding.

Nobody is talking about a third option: do nothing.  The argument in favor of this approach is that the Iranians are almost certainly determined to build their own atomic bomb.  Nothing we can do will stop them.  We must consider a future with Iran having a nuclear capability with two possible conditions: A.  It has been attacked  militarily or economically by the United States;  B.  The United States has not attacked it.  Which Iran would we rather live with, A or B?  I think the obvious answer is B.

I will do what I can to dodge the stones.

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