Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dear Mr. Ahmedinejad,

by Mort Malkin

Dear Mr. Ahmedinejad,

For years 2002 through 2008 Iran was rightly worried that the US would attack and re-establish a puppet Shah in that nation. Of course, Iran was rich with oil. Since the US — the Great Satan — attacked and occupied Iraq over oil, they surely could attempt the same in Iran. During the B-C administration (Bush-Cheney) it was easy to portray Dick Cheney as Satan. He was easily identified by the perpetual scowl on his face, and sulfurous fumes seemed to emanate from his nostrils. Now in 2009, Cheney wields power only on Fox News. He complains that he could never convince George Bush to bomb Iran.

Hillary Clinton, the present Secretary of State, did vote as a US Senator to designate the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization; she repeats the mantra that a military attack on Iran remains on the table; and she frequently wears red pants suits — but she still is not a convincing Satan.

Yes, you have the example of North Korea developing a few crude nuclear bombs and the US refraining from attacking their country. But, it was less the few nukes than resistance from the South Koreans that blocked any military action. Iran has been fostering friendly relations with its neighbors Iraq and Afghanistan as a bulwark against the hawks in Israel and the US. You, yourself, have met with Presidents Maliki and Karzai a few times, with smiles all around. It is a better strategy.

The father of the Islamic Republic, Grand Ayatollah Khomeini eschewed the development of nuclear weapons as “the work of the Devil.” He didn’t like monkeying around with Allah’s work. He would have no part of converting mass into energy a la e = mc2.

You say Iran is only enriching uranium to 3% for civilian nuclear power plants — nowhere near the 85% necessary for nuclear bombs. But, nuclear power plants will invite disasters, too. Chernobyl and Three Mile Island were just the worst of a few thousand nuclear accidents and close calls that have occurred wherever “developed” nations have split the atom to boil water to drive the turbines to make electricity. Operating nuclear reactors to boil water? Crazy! Then, they’re stuck with the radioactive waste. In the US, no state wants the stuff within its borders. Conservative Nevadans became liberals when Yucca Mountain was tagged to be the burial site of the nuclear waste of all the other states. Iran, which is subject to frequent earthquakes, would be challenged to find a stable geologic site (or an acquiescent community) where leftovers of the nation’s nuclear power plants could be stored for the next few thousand years.

A better solution to any shortage of energy is to look west to the Zagros Mountains whose many peaks are over 10,000 feet. There, there must be enough wind to produce electricity for the entire Near East.

Gadfly will next send a Dear Mr. Obama letter to the White House with a Grand Plan for peace between the US and Iran. The US would offer a guarantee of Iran's security with a non-aggression pact in exchange for Iran carving Ayatollah Khomeini’s words in stone, “Nuclear power is the work of the Devil,” the stele to be installed in the central square in Teheran. Iran would then bury the bit of uranium it has already enriched to 3% — no nuclear reactors for electricity and no dreams of becoming the ninth nation to have the bomb. The US would then build a few refining plants so Iran could make gasoline from its own oil instead of sending Iranian crude to China for refining.

Then, all we’d have to address is the secret facilities in Tabriz, Kashan, and Shiraz where, it is rumored, Iran is developing flying carpet technology.

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