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The Iranian Nuclear Dilemma and America’s Response

MostMostSafeSqaureWith so much presumably at stake, Americans appear to be a little bewildered by what is going on within Iran, and how America is handling this issue. The country lacks a consensus on how to respond, and also what to respond to but the America also seems to be pretty united in the fact that most agree this is very scary and likely nothing good will come of it.

Upon entering office Team Obama promised an engagement philosophy with Iran in sharp contrast to the Bush Administration. Obama even traveled to Egypt to give what at the time was a globally heralded ground breaking speech about the new paradigm in American diplomacy and America’s great respect for the Muslim faith. The perception was this speech would serve as an opening for both the Israel/Palestinian issue and also as an entrée to a meaningful dialogue with our long stated enemy Iran.

And we waited. And we waited some more. Meanwhile Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continued to hurl invectives both towards America and the Israelis so nothing changed there. Then Iran had an election, and again nothing changed there, except of course for those minor “street protests” that led to murder and systematic rapes of Iranians protesting what was likely a stolen election – so much for democracy. America’s position at the time was this was a problem for the Iranians to settle so we did nothing other than follow the story on Twitter (at the time you might even recall the State Department boldly asked Twitter to delay a long announced upgrade to its system in order to allow the Twitter coverage to continue to follow). And we continued to wait.

Last week there was the annual United Nations gathering, along with a meeting of the G20. Lots of global political maneuvering, pomp, circumstance and veiled diplomacy.

The details of last week have been heavily reported everywhere, but here are the key highlights:

On Wednesday (9/23) the Iranians made a quiet announcement that they in fact had another nuclear facility tucked away in a bunker under a mountain.

Thursday (9/24) the big announcement from the leaders of US, France and Britain – notably absent were both Russian and China, although Medvedev of Russia did make a strongly worded statement after the fact. Nothing at the time from China.

Subset of big announcement, America and her allies come out saying that they’ve known about this newly announced Iranian nuclear facility for some time, have been monitoring the facility, and it is likely the only reason the Iranians came forward was because they became aware (likely by the Russians) that West had been monitoring this facility for some time.

Fast forward to right now: China is still China, Russia is still Russia, and apparently America is still America. Iran will continue to say whatever they think will allow them to continue to be Iran.

Amazingly, the globe is confronted with a nation in Iran that is very unstable to the point of having widespread rioting in their own streets only months ago, a nation led by a group that advocates destruction, mayhem and discord, a nation that is clearly very invested in seeing America and the West fail no matter what the cost, and a nation very interested in pushing dialogue to the brink, and what does America do – rather than support the people and the ideals of democracy we “reward” Iran by agreeing to sit down for six party multi-national talks that have now resulted in America conducting direct talks with Iran. Additionally the results of these talks is that all parties agree there need to be more talks, thereby handing the Iranians even more time to further pursue a goal that most people in the world agree is where the Iranians are heading – the possession of a nuclear military device.

Okay, so let’s hope that the Obama administration is correct and ultimately things work out. But it seems like the global conversation has now shifted to not “If” but rather “When” and that of course leads to “Who” or is “Who Else.” There are rumblings that Saudi’s feel they too need a plant – we’ll likely see a plant in Iraq pop up over the next ten years as a sort of barter for allowing us to stay/counter balance to the Iranians, and then Turkey at which point Europe will actually begin to get really nervous. Of course all these programs will be dedicated to civilian use, except for the Saudi plan which only be placed there to defend against Iran.

South America is another place to look as Brazil is already heading there, and Venezuela seems to be heading there as well, especially as they consider America’s current response to Iran.

Let’s not forget that Europe has the ability to build out there arsenal as well, and likely they will along with some sort of a “shield” which of course will encourage the Russians to counter with a military strategy of their own.

Fortunately these plants all require money to be built so at least a few businesses plan to benefit (adjust your investment portfolio accordingly as the next decade offers up some great opportunities)!

The irony of course is that oil is driving so much of this conversation as petro-dollars are largely the source of income to fund these programs, and naturally as the world develops these nuclear programs our reliance on traditional fossil fuels will likely abate, thereby destabilizing these same nations as their access to fresh capital will diminish – and as these nations become further destabilized due to a lack of capital the possibility of destabilization only grows, particularly as a new nuclear currency begins to be further developed where nations that might be lacking in traditional natural resources might profit by exporting nuclear technology (N. Korea and Pakistan leap to mind).

The bigger irony is that seemingly despite the “Cold War” ending, the paradigms and lessons learned from MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) seem to have been thrown out the window and instead replaced by always popular MIBTY (Mine Is Bigger Than Yours).

There are no easy answers and we’ll see where this continued dialogue takes us, but there is a very disconcerting feeling that maybe America is stumbling through a conversation with a party that only has one goal in mind, while America actually thinks there is an actual dialogue taking place.

Then again maybe Iran really does have no intention of developing a nuclear weapons program.

Posted on Thursday, October 1st, 2009 Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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