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Monday, February 06, 2006

Iranian nukes, space shuttles, and the Cold War

An article in some MSM today, I forget which, indicated that many people are shrugging their shoulders and saying that well, the Iranians will get nukes sooner or later. They're counting on the roomier estimates of when, and hoping that something lucky happens by then to change the Iranian leadership or its intentions.

This is a continuation of Cold War thinking. It's a "well, we've lived with nukes this long..." approach. The difference is that it's hard to deter people who think that glorious destruction of self and populace is a good second best to glorious victory, with either outcome highly acceptable to Allah. It also reminds me of the thinking that contributed to both space shuttle disasters. Each time, those dealing with the shuttle got used to seeing certain anomalies. They weren't per spec, they weren't supposed to happen, but they kept happening and the shuttle kept making it home. Rather than blessing their good luck while feverishly trying to solve the problem before next launch, they redefined what was acceptable to include the anomalies -- since, after all, they hadn't caused any problems so far. (I'm oversimplifying, but it's that or never get it written.) (And no readers will explode as a consequence, at least not literally.)


Paul Hager said...

There are certainly people who have been gulled into a false sense of security by the idea - fostered by the NYT - that Iran is 10 years away from a nuke. Most people don't realize how quickly "modern" enrichment technology can scale up to bomb production. Presumably, the Bush administration harbors no such illusions.

Recent events suggest that the timetable for action against Iran I envisioned back in 2003 is materializing. The fact that Iran's nuclear ambitions are becoming a major news story is a necessary prerequisite for military action: in a representative democracy, you need public support. Supposedly the FT of London recently did a poll showing that 57% of Americans supported military action against Iran if diplomacy fails. If accurate, this is very good news.

Paul Hager said...

Update,10 Feb.

According to Rasmussen Reports "... 60% of voters support the President's plans to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. That includes support from 80% of Republicans and 47% of Democrats."