Jacques Chirac is an Idiot

Chirac said it wouldn’t be very dangerous for Iran to have nuclear weapons, reminding everyone why it is very dangerous for world leaders to say things they didn’t think out. The main question about Iran isn’t whether it’s appropriate for it to have nuclear weapons; it’s whether there’s an urgent issue at stake, and whether war is the right solution.

French President Jacques Chirac has said it would not be very dangerous for Iran to have a nuclear bomb, but later retracted the remark, according to an interview with two U.S. newspapers and a French magazine published on Thursday.

Chirac spoke to reporters from the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune and Le Nouvel Observateur earlier this week, and in initial comments said Tehran would be razed to the ground if Iran launched a nuclear attack against Israel.

I presume Chirac doesn’t want any war involving Iran. In that case, it’s in his interest not to start talking about Iranian nukes as if they’re right around the corner. The most salient feature of the Iran situation is that Iran is years away from a nuclear bomb, which means it’s beneficial to ignore the issue until the two warmongering saber-rattlers, Bush and Ahmadinejad, are out of office.

Whenever someone goes on about the consequences of a nuclear Iran, he plays to the misconception that political calculus from 2007 is at all relevant to it. In 2007, the situation is that Iran has a conservative government with a radical loudmouth who thinks he’s in charge, Israel has a Prime Minister who’s under fire for being a pansy, Iraq is in a civil war situation in which the Iranian-backed Shi’as are winning, and the US has a lame duck President and seven politicians vying to replace him. The only one of the four that has any chance of remaining the same by 2012 is Iraq.

Chirac is trying to fight the last war, i.e. the political battle to prevent the War on Iraq. And he’s failing miserably, because there is no analog of the argument that Saddam had no WMD. Given that all three players – Bush, Ahmadinejad, and Olmert – are extremely unpopular in their respective countries, the best argument is that it’s safe to delay acting on the situation.

Chances are the situation will resolve itself by 2010, with a democratic revolution in Iran. In that case Israel will still complain about Iranian nukes, but nobody will take it seriously. If the situation doesn’t resolve itself, then it will warrant attention, based on parameters from 2010 rather than 2007 (for example, Iran’s either hit or about to hit its oil peak).

17 Responses to Jacques Chirac is an Idiot

  1. SLC says:

    1. Again last night, the talking heads on Scarborough Country have concluded that Iran will be attacked before Bushs’ term in office ends, unless that country capitulates. The consensus is that nothing that Congress can do will stop him.

    2. John King on CNN pointed out why Congress is reluctant to do anything about the proposed attack on Iran. Iran, due to the hostage crisis of 1980 is very unpopular and nobody in Congress wants to be seen as being pro-Iranian.

  2. Alon Levy says:

    Oh my FSM… that guy really is trying to do as much damage as possible, lame duck or not.

  3. Ran Halprin says:

    “Israel will still complain about Iranian nukes”? well duh, even if Iran passes a democratic revolution (not optimistic about it), it can always be reverted (as we’ve seen before), and then we will have a fragile situation for an unlimited time.

  4. SLC says:

    1. On the same Scarborough Country program, Pat Buchanan, of all people, demanded to know why Congress was not holding hearings on the extent of the threat, if any, that Irans’ nuclear program presents to the US. I think that John Kings’ comment answers the question.

    2. Last night, conservative Rethuglican Scarborough angrily denounced Repthuglican senators such as Coryn of Texas for suggesting that critics of the administrations’ policy were aiding and abeting the enemy.

    3. Yesterdays’ hearings by the Senates Armed Services Committee certainly provided some amusement, watching McCain beat up on General Casey. The rats are leaving the sinking ship.

  5. Alon Levy says:

    it can always be reverted (as we’ve seen before)

    And Israel can be overtaken by nationalist zealots. Do you support stripping Israel of its nuclear capability?

  6. SLC says:

    Slightly off topic but Mr. Levyshould be a big supporter of Senator Hegal, considering that the latter is far more critical of the State of Israel then any of the other contestants.

  7. Alon Levy says:

    You beat me to the Clinton story by about one minute…

    And I don’t like Hagel so much because his record on domestic issues is horrible enough that his foreign policy positives don’t warm me up to him. I’m not even talking about small-detail things like Pell grants and the minimum wage; the guy’s anti-choice and not especially good on other civil liberties.

  8. SLC says:

    Re Levy

    Mr. Levy is very disappointing. Here I thought that being critical of Israel was his most important criteria.

  9. Ran Halprin says:

    Israel has always been a democracy. Iran was a democracy for a short time, and it failed. Quite a difference. Also, Israel never called for the destruction of another country, Iran does. This is the most scary part… Imagine u r a gun salesman, and two people come to u. One says “Damn, I hate my neighbor Jack! He is such an annoying man! I wish he was dead! I want to kill him! I asked all my friends who have rifles to kill him, but none of them did! let me have that rifle!” and the other bought a rifle from you 60 years ago and never used it, and now asks to replace it with a new rifle. Would you give them both the same verdict?

  10. Alon Levy says:

    Iran’s democracy didn’t fail; the CIA overthrew it. The government of Iran in the early 1950s was hardly different from this of Israel, but since Iran had oil and Israel didn’t, the CIA turned Iran into a fascist dictatorship while letting Israel maintain socialist policies.

    Israel has never called for the destruction of another country, but neither has Iran. Ahmadinejad isn’t Iran; he’s Iran’s incredibly unpopular spokesman. Its leader is Khamenei, and its population is in some ways more reliably democratic than this of the USA, where Dominionists don’t realize just how nasty theocracy can be.

  11. Ran Halprin says:

    I’m not sure these conspiracy theories hold water… Especially since many Americans were killed when the democracy fell. I also don’t see how a fascist dictatorship is good for business…

    Re. Ahmed, I don’t think Iranian people really have a say on what the country does, kind of a common trade in fascist dictatorships. I tend to believe the regime only uses the Israel card to keep their power, but I won’t bet millions of lives on it, so I’d rather prevent the nuclear weapons beforehand.

  12. Ran Halprin says:

    Re. Iran’s “unpopular spokesman”, seems like Khamenei is not much better:

    And a democracy in which religious leaders can veto any candidate for elections, as well as relieve them of duty at any moment, is not really a democracy… It’s just a dictatorship theocracy with different puppets on top.

    But this is all not to the point – point is, a country driven by religion, with no outside threats, whose leaders call for destruction of another country, are acquiring nuclear weapons. Any way you look at it, it sounds like trouble.

  13. Alon Levy says:

    It’s not a conspiracy theory. Pro-Americans who defend American actions in the Cold War admit Iran as one of the few cases in which the CIA did something verifiably bad.

    If you think fascist dictatorships aren’t good for business, you just aren’t thinking about it enough. Mossadegh nationalized Iranian oil. The Shah let Western companies do whatever they wanted.

    Of course, the people don’t exactly have a say in government matters in Iran. But Ahmadinejad is a democratically elected official, albeit a powerless one. He won mostly because the liberals boycotted the election because of their frustration with the slow pace of reform under Khatami. Since then, the liberals have seen that Khatami isn’t the worst thing that could happen to Iran, and the moderates have jumped ship. Unless Israel or the US does something stupid like attack Iran, Ahmadinejad will be replaced by a liberal in the next election; that liberal’s inevitable failure to turn Iran into a modern democracy will trigger the same chain of events as Poland’s inability to reform into a modern democracy fast enough in 1989.

  14. Ran Halprin says:

    I wish I could believe your predictions, but since there HAS NEVER existed a stable Arab Muslim democracy, I think I’ll take it with a salt shaker or two.

    With no relation what-so-ever to leader X or Y – If Iran wouldn’t have threatened other countries openly, and had they any enemies, there would be a “maybe they just need it for self defense”, and there could be a debate on the subject. But when they openly threatens another country, it is obvious they should not be allowed to achieve nuclear capabilities, and if killing a 100,000 Iranians will safeguard the lives of a few hundred million who will probably die in a nuclear war, I’ll put my liberal views aside and say to napalm the bitches.

  15. Alon Levy says:

    A hundred years ago, there was no stable Catholic democracy, either (no, France doesn’t count; it’s less Catholic than Turkey is Muslim).

  16. Ran Halprin says:

    Again, totally different – it was a natural transition that occurred in many Catholic countries successfully, one after the other. In the Arab Muslim world it was attempted only once in Iran and FAILED miserably.

    I’m not saying it’s impossible, but you are easily willing to bet MY life on it, and I don’t think you should allow yourself to do that. If you really trust Iran, go there and talk with them in person. I’m sure they won’t harm you.

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