Wednesday, June 07, 2006

MAD, and Comparing Iran & the USSR

I see that a couple of my fellow Wisconsin bloggers seem to be coming to terms with a nuclear armed Iran, something that I cannot yet do. As I watch people begin to accept the likelihood of Iran acquiring nukes, I see MAD (mutually assured destruction) trotted out frequently as part of the rationale. Is it really possible to compare the nuclear situation with the USSR to the potential nuclear situation with Iran, though? MAD worked during the Cold War because, despite our occasional doubts, there was a reasonable certainty that the Soviets were not wild about becoming crispy critters should they use their arsenal themselves. Can we say that about Iran?

Prior to Ahmadinejad becoming President, I might have been willing to believe that the mullahs were too comfortable with their privileged lives to so foolishly risk them, but with him at the helm I'm no longer sure of that. He is a fanatic, and I think that was nicely shown as fact when he claimed that he was bathed in a light and had a halo during a speech at the UN. He is the type who I can easily see living his life solely as a path to his place in paradise, and a nuclear detonation in say, Israel or New York City would accomplish that nicely for him. We are dealing with a government that does not have the earthly concerns the Soviet government did. We are dealing with a government that places Allah and the after life above those things, and that makes MAD a question mark, not a certainty. It very well could end up that those in the Iranian government like being alive so much that MAD does become reality. Betting on that is a very risky wager, though.

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