Friday, April 14, 2006

This is Reasonable and Rational?

Little Green Footballs has a couple of interesting posts of late. The first
"The Zionist regime is an injustice and by its very nature a permanent threat," firebrand President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the gathering of regime officials, visiting Palestinian militant leaders and foreign sympathizers.

"Whether you like it or not, the Zionist regime is on the road to being eliminated," said Ahmadinejad, whose regime does not recognize Israel and who drew international condemnation last year when he said Israel should be "wiped off the map." ...

"If there is serious doubt over the Holocaust, there is no doubt over the catastrophe and Holocaust being faced by the Palestinians," said the president, who had previously dismissed as a "myth" the killing of an estimated six million Jews by the Nazis and their allies during World War II.

"I tell the governments who support Zionism to ... let the migrants (Jews) return to their countries of origin. If you think you owe them something, give them some of your land," he said.
Source: Little Green Footballs - Ahmadinejad: Israel Will Soon Be Eliminated by One Storm Quoting from the Jerusalem Post

A day or two earlier LGF picks up the following:
So far, the neoconservatives have done a good job of re-running their Iraq playbook and framing discussion on Iran, by laying out these premises:
1. Iran is close to getting nukes.
2. Iran's President is crazy and irrational and committed to wiping Israel off the map. He can't be reasoned with.
3. Bush is trying real super hard to get the UN to do something about it, but if they won't...
If we are to have any hope of preventing a senseless war with Iran, we cannot accept this frame. If all of the above points are reported as fact and accepted by Americans across the ideological spectrum, anti-war arguments will be seen as knee-jerk, immature and reckless, and not get a fair hearing. In turn, Democrats in Congress will get steamrolled again.
How can we reframe the discussion? Our arguments should flow from the following framework:
1. Iran presently has a strong, rational incentive to get nukes. ...
2. Iran has acted rationally and can be reasoned with. ...
3. There is plenty of time to negotiate. ...
Source: Little Green Footballs - Mild and Woolly

The first point 1 about Iran close to getting nukes is up in the air. I have seen estimates all over the map on this. I agree with the second point 1, Iran does have a rational argument to get nukes, but when you get down to it rational does not mean good. Just because Hitler had rational reasons to get nuclear weapons doesn't mean it would have been a good thing for Nazi Germany to have nuclear weapsons.

Now onto point 2 in both sets. Anyone who sees the rhetoric coming out of Iran is silly to assume Iran can be reasoned with here. Sure, provided you give Iran everything they want Iran is going to be reasonable.

The UN is not going to do anymore about Iran than they are about Dafur. We can coax and cajole all we want but all they will ever to do is to pass resolutions and say "Okay, this is your last chance". Again, this is of course fine with Iran. Iran will be all too happy to talk.

Of course if you believe Israel should be wiped off of the map then the second set of talking points is for you.