[tweetmeme] In the New York Times, yet another op-ed was written discussing Iran and Nuclear weapons. However, this article approached it from a distinct perspective; that is, the benifits of Iran obtaining “the bomb”.
The author, a defense analyst at the Air Force Research Institute, offers an interesting perspective. Here are the five reasons he gives; and my thoughts of course. I quote the first reason in its entirety as it relates to the following four.
1)Iran’s development of nuclear weapons would give the United States an opportunity to finally defeat violent Sunni-Arab terrorist groups like Al Qaeda. Here’s why: a nuclear Iran is primarily a threat to its neighbors, not the United States. Thus Washington could offer regional security — primarily, a Middle East nuclear umbrella — in exchange for economic, political and social reforms in the autocratic Arab regimes responsible for breeding the discontent that led to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The U.S. already has a de-facto security umbrella in the region; Israel; Saudi; Egypt; Jordan; All these countries submit to U.S. rule-economically and politically. Furthermore, the “autocratic Arab regimes” he is talking about are our allies and were/are funded by the United States. Thus, the “economic, political, and social reforms” wouldn’t take place as that would be contrary to American interests.
2) Given premise one; “becoming the primary provider of regional security in a nuclear Middle East would give the United States a way to break the OPEC cartel.” He goes on to assert that such “monopolistic” policies are illegal in the U.S. and that our new role as regional securer, we would be able to stop these draconian policies.
Not much needs to be said here; except to note his ignorance. The U.S. successfully controls, with minor exceptions, how much oil is produced and at what cost it will be sold. This is done through private corporations and government led intervention. John Perkins notes” [T]he House of Saud would guarantee to keep oil prices within acceptable limits, limits acceptable to us [The U.S.] , and we would guarantee to keep the House of Saud in power. And we have done—all those things have followed since the early 1970s. The policy still holds today.”
3) The author suggests that a nuclear Iran might bring both the Israelis and the Palestinians to the negotiating table because of the shared fear of an actual attack on Israel; inflicting harm on both parties of course.
Open to comments on this one.
4) A nuclear Iran would provide “growth in exports of weapons systems, training and advice to our Middle Eastern allies would not only strengthen our current partnership efforts but give the American defense industry a needed shot in the arm.”
Yes, because this has worked so well in Egypt, Saudi, and Israel. I doubt our trillion-dollar defense industry needs a boost.
5) “United States would be able to stem the flow of dollars to autocratic regimes in the region.”
The understanding- economically or politically- of this author is shameful. The United States is a key supporter of the most autocratic regimes in the region; Saudi; Egypt; Israel, to an extent; and Jordan. It is a failure of logic to assume that a nuclear Iran, and a following U.S. security umbrella, would halt autocratic regimes and their policies.
The only rational statement made by this analyst is that a nuclear Iran would not necessarily lead to a regime willing to use such a weapon. Other than this, his arguments are weak and lacking serious scholarship (hence the NY Times Op-Ed). What is disconcerting is that ignorant analysis and political rhetoric seem to be slipping into centers of “mainstream discourse”. Let us hope cooler heads prevail!