December 21, 2006

GETTING DESPERATE THERE, MAHMOUD?:

Ahmadinejad: Iran now nuclear power (Yaakov Lappin, 12/20/06, Ynet)

Iran is now a "nuclear power," its President, Mahmoud Ahamdinejad, delcared Wednesday, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency . During a speech delivered in the Western Iranian province of Javanroud, Ahmadinejad said: " The Islamic Republic of Iran is now a nuclear power, thanks to the hard work of the Iranian people and authorities."

The announcement of Iran as a "nuclear power" is bound to significantly escalate tensions between the West and Iran, and marks a dramatic stage in the Islamic Republic's nuclear campaign. [...]

In a clear rejection of all diplomatic attempts to prevent Iran from going nuclear, Ahmadinejad added in his speech that "the Iranian nation will continue in its nuclear path powerfully and will celebrate a nuclear victory soon."


Ahmadinejad: Israel, US will vanish (12/20/06, Ynet)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched another attack of Israel and it's allies the United States and Britain in a speech Wednesday morning.

The Iranian news agency reported that, during his speech in western Iran, the Iranian president said that the US, Britain and Israel are doomed to disappear.

"The aggressive forces will vanish, while the Iranian people will survive – since all who chose God will survive and those who distance themselves from God vanish like Pharaoh," said Ahmadinejad in his speech.


Anytime someone talks like this we ought to take it seriously, but doesn't this kind of attention-seeking outburst, following the recent election results, seem at least a tad similar to the kind of hilarity we've been seeing from the Democrats for years on end?

Posted by Matt Murphy at December 21, 2006 3:04 PM
Comments

Yeah, hilarity. They won this time remember.

Posted by: erp at December 21, 2006 3:48 PM

Rumors are that Iran attempted to assassinate Bush in Amman a few weeks ago, but Jordan stopped it.

As I've commented before, Iran probably obtained nukes from North Korea years ago. This announcement just means they've got a sufficient number that they feel safe from foreign intervention, and Ahmadinejad at least thinks it's time to start intimidating.

Posted by: pj at December 21, 2006 4:12 PM

Okay, NOW can we nuke them? They keep wanting us to nuke them. Can we do it this time? Please? I don't want to see how they ask us to nuke them next time...

Posted by: Just John at December 21, 2006 5:03 PM

pj:

Neocon hysteria. The notion they have nukes is nearly as silly as a Sunni monarchy downplaying breaking up a Shi'ite assassination plot.

Posted by: oj at December 21, 2006 5:43 PM

erp:

Yeah, they're a party with no ideas and a leadership deficit but they suddenly have the gavel -- it's hilarious. I even wrote as much to a friend prior to the election. I'd get Dish Network if C-Span suddenly flopped and they put this on one of the pay-per-view channels.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at December 21, 2006 7:18 PM

OJ:

Not that I think this current announcement is anything but a "Look at me!" gambit, but I don't get why you're so sure they aren't developing nukes when everyone else believes they are. Hinging one's opinion on the fact that Israel hasn't taken them out yet seems like a big gamble to lose.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at December 21, 2006 7:19 PM

oj - The notion they don't have nukes is extraordinarily naive. North Korea has had nukes to sell, and Iran the money to buy, for years. North Korean nuclear technicians have been all over Iran ever since 9/11 caused Pakistan to withdraw their technicians, helping Iran advance its nuclear program. If they're selling technology, why wouldn't they sell the bombs?

Posted by: pj at December 21, 2006 7:33 PM

You're right "they" have no ideas and a leadership deficit, but that's not how they'll be sold and it seems the public is buying what the media is selling these days.

Posted by: erp at December 21, 2006 8:04 PM

erp:

We'd never, ever -- and I mean ever -- have Republican Congresses if that were the case.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at December 21, 2006 8:52 PM

Pish-posh. The pubic hates the media.

Posted by: oj at December 21, 2006 9:45 PM

The North Koreans do not have nuclear weapons. There is no evidence that they do. If they are "helping" Iran, it is just another NK scam.

As for killing the President, I don't think they are stupid. Killing him would be an extraordinary stupid act. They would have to figure that President Cheney would react in a most unpleasant way. Which he would.

Posted by: Bob at December 21, 2006 9:53 PM

I yield to no one in my dismay at OJ's 'flightiness' on trusting Iran, but it takes more than an announcement like this to be a member of the club. Whatever happened to the nuclear fan dance of last summer? If they held a dervish dance around a warhead, it would be more impressive.

Israel built their nuclear program out of absolute necessity, and stole the fuel to start it from us. Iran has at least as much capability now as they did then, plus willing patrons and helpers. There is no doubt that they want a full-scale nuclear program, and there is no doubt that they are moving towards one. The only issue is timing.

Posted by: ratbert at December 21, 2006 11:46 PM

No, the only issue is whether they could defend it. They can't.

Posted by: oj at December 22, 2006 8:25 AM

Because they don't have them to sell, nor the systems to deliver them, nor a customer.

Posted by: oj at December 22, 2006 9:15 AM

You seem to embrace the lassitude of Bill Clinton, exposed in his statement "Can we kill them tomorrow?"

Sure, we could kill anyone today, tomorrow, and even next week. But doing it later may cost a city in Israel, Europe, or even here. And it will cost millions of useless deaths over there, if we respond in kind (which will be difficult to resist, especially for President McCain or President Hillary). The Germans were 'killed' by 1945, but at a terrible cost. And the Cold War wasted almost two generations.

Islamic heresy, backed by state power, is going to have to be at least faced squarely, because the chances of it crumbling from within are too low for us to depend on. We may not have to wage war on Iran, but we have to pour acid on the foundations. At this point, we aren't even doing that.

If you want to wait until they detonate a test weapon, fine. Because after that, we might have to use real ones on all their 'facilities'.

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 22, 2006 9:17 AM

If folks are goinbg to depend on us then they have to accept that their initial casualties expendable to us. The deaths that get us to respond are useful by definition.

Posted by: oj at December 22, 2006 11:37 AM

Aha, a pseudo-isolationist!

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 22, 2006 1:26 PM

We aren't isolationist, just reactionary.

Posted by: oj at December 22, 2006 1:43 PM

And people have to be wilfully ignorant to not know that our reaction is invariant: "Stomp them flat so they won't bother us ever again."

Posted by: ray at December 23, 2006 9:07 AM
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