I worry about Iran. I really do. And I'm glad at least some of our leaders see it for what it is - a lawless nation. It's a threat to peace. Anyone who pays attention knows that.
Iran, let's never forget, was the only country ever to use nuclear weapons against civilians.
Sure, that happened a long time ago. But they've continued to spend billions of dollars every year to support the only country in that region with a secret nuclear weapons stockpile, a country that commits war crimes and actually tried to spread its atomic arsenal to evil regimes like apartheid South Africa. That record is clear.
We can't make false equivalences about this - as if Iran were just like any other nation that wanted to defend itself. Iran is an aggressive power on a global scale. It has a network of military bases around the world. It backs bloodthirsty authoritarian states and then uses them to torture prisoners for information in a hideous "rendition program." It simply destroys governments it doesn't like, covering its actions with lies and phony excuses to its own citizens. This pattern of destabilizing other countries to break them apart and create puppet governments goes back a century. And the pattern continues to poison our relationship with Iran. How can a country make a deal with a government that constantly shows it wants to topple it? How can peace be possible with such a nation?
The country has never been a responsible player in the region. Who can forget how the Iranians supported Saddam Hussein as he committed atrocities with chemical weapons, only to topple his administration on a ridiculous pretext of hunting for WMDs several years later? Who can forget the civil war and terror that followed as they occupied that country? The torture that went on in Iranian detention facilities? The constant stories of Iranians killing civilians?
Iran is not a country to be trusted. It has a massive campaign of kidnappings and targeted killings. It violates the civil rights of its own people; they've gotten used to constant government surveillance and political elites who repeatedly hide the truth from them about what they are doing in the world. It crushes dissent and imprisons whistleblowers. It's a violent, deeply autocratic country, and no responsible person should want it to have unchecked power.
What makes the country truly scary is its religious ideology. You've no doubt heard of the people there who support hardliners in the Middle East, because they really welcome a bloody, apocalyptic war for their faith. They're fanatics, and they have a great deal of power within the government. But even more disturbing is that the vast majority of ordinary citizens in that country believe in a kind of national "exceptionalism." It's been with them since the founding of their nation - it drove them to take over most of their continent, fighting war after vicious war with the locals and their neighbors. It causes them to believe their values are universal, which gives them a ready-made excuse to prosecute an unceasing, completely borderless war. And with this is a curious ability to rationalize their many betrayals of those values. We're dealing with the kind of country that pretends it has a mission to forcibly liberate the entire world while ignoring the fact that this liberation is really nothing more than blanketing the planet with military complexes and secret prisons. It's the kind of country that has an inexhaustible supply of enemies, but never asks itself why. It's the kind of country that idolizes a man whose only accomplishment was killing 200 people, and a country that responded to this by making a movie entirely about what killing all those people felt like to him.
Do you understand the kind of arrogance and ignorance this would involve? The complete fevered certainty that they are a light unto the world combined with a total contempt for the lives of foreign citizens? How could anyone deal with a nation like that?
The best course of action is to wait for all of this nonsense to create so many enemies for that country, and so many wars, interventions, coups, and counter-coups, that it just collapses under the political and economic strain. Clearly, that's what everyone else has decided as well.
You can't reason with these people. They're hopeless.
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