It was a cold night In a New York City’s Riverside Park last January year when my friends and I were discussing the worst possible things that could happen at that given moment. Among the possibilities was witnessing Chinese storm troopers parachuting onto w86th street, seeing a German submarine surfacing on the Hudson, but one thing that was off limits was the detonation of a nuclear warhead because that is the only real wining answer to the question we were asking. The fact is the worst thing that ever happened to this planet was the invention of atomic weapons. At any moment one nuke can destroy the ground beneath your feet while simultaneously destroying a cities capacity to sustain life for generations.
Right now there are 9 nations that yield the might to wipe out a city with the push of a button, with a 10th currently jockeying for a spot on the list. In the recent foreign policy debate between Governor Romney and President Obama this 10th country, Iran, was the hot topic. Mentioned over 31 times, there was no clear difference between Romney and Obama’s stance on a nuclear Iran, it simply cannot be allowed.
I understand the need for a world with strict rules on nuclear proliferation but I don’t understand this automatic hostility toward a nation looking to generate a new source of energy. The history of American Iranian relations is so tainted with hostility and the current policy is just an extension of that history. It’s almost like the topic of Iran comes up and our politicians and leaders just whip out the same play book that Eisenhower used. This world has changed so much, the Middle East especially, and yet the United States only looks to extract gasoline with no other real motives. These American intentions, these historical hostilities, are so rooted that Romeny criticized Obama for trying to open up talks with the nation rather then resorting to military intervention as the first option.
When I look at US Iranian relations in the media there is nothing good to say about Iran, there is no opposing view point of a country struggling to assert itself on a global stage. There are logical reasons behind wanting nuclear energy; it would create less dependance on finite resources, subsequently it would free up those very same finite resources for more national revenue. It’s just a step to a healthier future for Iran but that is never mentioned.
I’m not saying that a nuclear Iran isn’t dangerous, I am just saying that the US is being far to close minded about Iran’s intentions. The current policy shared by both candidates is surely driven by the history of US Israeli relations. The place of Israel in American politics is interesting to say the least. Its one that puts our nation at odds with the whole of the Middle East. The New York Times had this to say about the Prime Minster of Israel, “Mr. Netanyahu had succeeded in grabbing the attention of the United States with his aggressive stance against Iran and had managed to turn the Iranian nuclear issue into a major issue in the U.S. presidential campaign.” Israel for America is an ally in a hostile region, that is why we venerate the nation and deem it the future hope of democracy in the middle east. The treatment of these 2 nations (Iran and Israel) in our countries daily discourse is so obviously biased that in our election the candidate who is seen as anti Israel and pro Iran will most certainly lose points with the electorate. There is no room for a dissenting voice. The most interesting part about all of this is that Israel is one of those 9 nations that has Nuclear weapons, yet no one thinks of them as belligerent or war hungry.
Israel’s stance in the debate over a Nuclear Iran is very hostile and understandably so. I understand how dangerous supreme leader Khamenei and president Ahmadinejad would be with their continues discourse on wiping out the state of Israel. That’s why I understand their hostile stance. Prime Minister Netanyahu has said that if Iran doesn’t suspend its nuclear enrichment policy by Spring of 2013 (source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/26/world/middleeast/iran-said-to-complete-nuclear-enrichment-plant.html) there will be preemptive military action. I understand how Israel is just trying to assure themselves of safety. But what I don’t understand why its automatically assumed that Iran are trying to obtain nuclear weapons and destroy the world. Furthermore I don’t understand how America can get so roped up in this so quickly.
Supporting an ally in a volatile region is important, but supporting an attack on a nation for trying to create an alternate source of energy is just irresponsible. If Israel was to attack Iran, the United States would undoubted be on Israel’s side, as both canidates stated in the debates. But that’s such an ambiguous thing to say, the only way Israel could attack Iran’s main nuclear base Fordo would be with the help of America. Israel does not have the technology to conduct a preemptive strike, Fordo is in a mountain and only America has the ‘massive ordinance perpetrator missile.’ So according to our candidates, America would not only side behind Israel in this sort of attack but they would also be the driving force behind it too.
Again all we are seeing here is just a continuation of same policy towards Iran, unwarranted aggression. Both the candidates have pledged their allegiance to an Israel ready to start a war over a speculative nuclear enrichment program, because if they didn’t they could kiss the election good bye. The topic of a nuclear Iran just highlights the ignorance of the American electorate. We Americans just assume a nation trying to develop nuclear energy is actually trying to develop a bomb so they can attack our soil and destroy the world. We saw it in Iraq and we are seeing it again, the fear of a nation with nukes is driving us to war again. I guess the fear of a nation with nukes, a nation who we cannot trust, a nation that might just destroy the world with that kind of power, is the driving force behind US foreign policy. But there is only one nation that really has enough war heads to destroy the world. And guess who that is?
I honestly feel like the reason we are so paranoid of other nations with nukes is because we suffer from the syndrome of ‘cheaters guilt.’ You know how it goes husband cheats on wife, betrays her trust, then he starts getting all paranoid that she is cheating on him. He doesn’t want to feel that betrayal. Same thing applies to America’s relationship to Iran, we have hurt them in the past and now we are irrationally paranoid that they are going to do the same to us.
History of US and Iran’s foreign relationship