• Crazy Magic

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    As
    a boy during the 60's, I remember a local commercial on television
    featuring the owner of a used car dealership named Crazy Eddie.
    Crazy Eddie would jump on top of cars that were driven up in front
    of the camera and shout and scream that he was slashing the prices
    and practically "givin' 'em away because I'm craaaaazy."
    Of course Crazy Eddie wasn't giving anything away, these cars were
    a small representation of his available fleet of automobiles, the
    rest of which were priced normally. Crazy Eddie wasn't crazy, he
    was a shrewd and successful salesman.

    I
    also remember as a boy watching the Roadrunner and Wile E Coyote
    in their comical battle of wits. The coyote was constantly using
    the latest Acme invention or some elaborate scheme to get the Roadrunner,
    who would adroitly out maneuver the coyote's machinations with a
    simple bit of his own cunning. Recently I watched what passes for
    cartoon entertainment today, and the hero used magic spells to win
    battles and solve problems; very uninspiring, no thought or imagination;
    yawn.

    I
    share these two illustrations to explain what I see as a bit of
    crazy magic going on within our country by neo-conservatives (who
    are not new and certainly not conservative
    ). Neocons usually
    explain away the rather complex problems in the Middle East as some
    form of craziness for which they have their own brand of "magic"
    to cure.

    My
    best friend taught me a great problem solving tool called simply
    "Then What" which challenges you to assume the worst scenario
    on top of the worst scenario in sequence and to ask yourself then
    what happens next. Let's play "Then What" in regard to
    the Iranian
    nuclear
    issue.

    To
    play, we must first assume that Iran will potentially obtain a nuclear
    warhead and concurrently, we will go with the most aggressive assumption
    proposed by Israel, that they will have this weapon within a year.
    I believe it is possible for Iran to obtain a nuclear warhead, although
    I believe it will be three years at its former rate of progress,
    or possibly never if Iran continues to allow close scrutiny by the
    IAEA and remains a signatory to the NPT. It is also very interested
    in such weaponry for a number of reasons and Iran currently has
    the cash to pursue nuclear development. Still, to play What Then
    we must assume the worst.

    Next
    we must ask what is the worst thing Iran could possibly do with
    this weapon. Although it is most probable that Iran will use the
    nuclear potential to put itself on a par with Israel and other regional
    nuclear powers, let's look at the worst-case scenario. Let us assume,
    for arguments sake, that Iran is developing the nuclear weapon specifically
    to strike the United States, an insane proposition given our massive
    nuclear arsenal.

    To
    strike America with a nuclear weapon, Iran would have to smuggle
    the weapon into the United States via a shipping container as they
    have no weapons capable of intercontinental ranges. Let us assume
    however that they not only shipped the nuke into the United States,
    they shipped it to where they wanted it successfully and detonated
    it at precisely the moment they wished. Perhaps they would have
    a proxy terrorist group do the actual dirty work.

    The
    result would be a nuclear detonation in our most populous city or
    possibly even the nations capital with casualties possibly in the
    hundreds of thousands or even millions.

    What
    then?

    Nuclear
    weapons
    leave a signature based upon the types and the values
    of the fissionable material used. These values differ enough from
    nation to nation and program to program, making it entirely possible
    to trace the precise country of origin of a nuclear device.

    We
    would very quickly determine exactly who was responsible for the
    nuclear explosion and retaliate in kind. We would, at the least,
    incinerate the entire capitol of the offending nation in a 40 Megaton
    regime change from one of the thousands of nuclear warheads at our
    disposal. The fact that the United States is the world’s premiere
    nuclear superpower is no secret to anyone, nor is our proclivity.
    The fallout from this exchange would not only kill and injure millions
    more, rendering Iran inert and devastated, it might very well start
    World War Three.

    What
    then would be the motive for Iran to attack us with a weapon that,
    although causing us some great harm, would not utterly destroy us
    and only serve to awaken our anger and a massive retaliatory strike?
    I have yet to find a single plausible explanation, indeed all I
    hear from the neo-con corner is that it is because the Iranians
    are crazy with anger and as such, apt to do anything. Possibly that
    they want to attack us to start a globalist Jihad although they
    would of course be incinerated first.

    I
    remember neo-cons giving Saddam Hussein these same attributes. Neocons
    claimed that Saddam was so crazy, he would blindly attack the United
    States without regard to the fact that he would be retaliated against
    with such blinding and decisive force that he and his entire Baath
    party would be vaporized. Don't get me wrong, I think Saddam was
    a brutal thug for whom shooting is too good, but he was anything
    but a fool. Crazy like a fox maybe, but not crazy on the level of
    a lunatic that throws himself into the fire.

    Equally
    puzzling is the neo-con solution to Iran obtaining nuclear weapons,
    which reminds me of modern day cartoon characters who solve everything
    with magic. Instead of magic, however, the solution to all problems
    according to neo-cons is to use massive and overwhelming firepower,
    to wage war with little regard for the consequences or cost. For
    neocons, war is something they have little or no personal experience
    with. Given their glaring absence from any battlefield including
    the one currently in Iraq, it is no wonder they are all too eager
    to use war as a first option?

    There
    is another scenario though, one that is a bit more believable but
    in order to believe this you have to acknowledge the possibility
    that there may be neo-cons whose traitorous tendencies have them
    putting Israel's interests ahead of those of the United States.

    In
    this scenario Iran builds a nuclear warhead and mounts it on one
    of it's Shahab-3
    rockets currently under development and possibly ready for use in
    the near future thanks to Iran being flush with oil profits, an
    unforeseen byproduct of the interruption in Iraqi crude brought
    on by our recent invasion. These missiles are believed to have Chinese-supplied
    or Chinese-influenced telemetry (guidance equipment) thanks to the
    Clinton/Loral
    treason-in-exchange-for-campaign-contributions
    deal.

    The
    Shahab-3 rocket is capable of striking Israel, which means that
    Iran would soon be on par with Israel and able to challenge Israel
    locally and apply political pressure. While I certainly wish Israel
    no harm and hope that it can maintain good diplomatic relations
    with Iran, it would certainly put Israel in a bit of a predicament.
    For instance, Iran would be able to exert pressure on Israel to
    do such heinous things as give the Palestinians fair and equitable
    treatment.

    Of
    course Iran would have to deal with the fact that not only does
    Israel contain a rather impressive nuclear arsenal; Israel also
    has a number of top-notch methods for delivery such as the Jericho
    II missile and Popeye Turbo missiles, as well as a superb military,
    and a government with a proven track record of mobilizing quickly
    and decisively in the face of threats. While Iran would have the
    ability to strike Israel, it would also realize that such a maneuver
    would bring about a quick, decisive and overwhelming response from
    Israel that would no doubt destroy Iran utterly.

    While
    I certainly don't welcome the idea of a nuclear-equipped Iran, I
    hardly think that an invasion or attack should be our first option,
    despite obvious approval and manipulation on the matter by Israel.
    The word diplomacy comes to mind, especially as one who has seen
    the face of war, a face that is as ugly as it is costly in both
    blood and treasure. Given that Iran is three times as populous as
    Iraq and that things are not going exactly swimmingly in Iraq, perhaps
    diplomacy would be in the best interest of the United States.

    But
    then that's because I have such an obvious bias, a bias that says
    we Americans ought to act in our own best interest, not contrary
    to it, and that at all times we must ensure that our foreign policy
    is restrained by the dictates and direction found in the United
    States Constitution.

    I
    believe our leadership should exploit the avenue of diplomacy, that
    is should support and even reinforce the efforts of the International
    Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). To date the IAEA has been very successful
    not only in locating and identifying all facets of Iran’s nuclear
    program, it has also extracted an agreement to continue it's voluntary
    suspension of its enrichment and processing activities. Given the
    current success of the IAEA which is relatively costless in terms
    of blood and treasure, does it not make good sense to use diplomacy
    instead of warfare?

    November
    29, 2004

    Al Lorentz [send him mail]
    is former state chairman of the Constitution Party of Texas and
    is a reservist who recently served with the US Army in Iraq.

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