[lit-ideas] Re: Bombing Osirik in 1981

  • From: Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2006 14:55:54 -0700 (PDT)

--- Lawrence Helm <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> You have introduced the idea that the Saddam
> building 4 or 5 Hiroshima-sized
> bombs in 1981 is radically different from Iran
> building 4 or 5
> Hiroshima-sized bombs in 2006.  I fail to see that
> the difference is
> significant.  Saddam wanted to dominate the entire
> Arabian area.  He
> believed in Pan-Arabism and he took steps to expand
> the Ummah by taking over
> Kuwait.  Saudi Arabia was next if we can believe
> what people close to him
> have said. 

*Oh gee, to paraphrase Paul, it's hot, and I was
hoping that I wouldn't have to expound on this at
length. You seem of late to have added to your
whole-sale ideological hostility to Islamism also an
in toto hostility to any form of Arab nationalism or
pan-Arabism. Nassir was also a pan-Arabist but he was
not the evil that Saddam was. To be sure, he wanted to
assert his authority in the region, and that was one
of the reasons he nationalized the Suez, but most
people now think that the British/French/Israeli
attack on him over Suez was wrong a mistake. The point
being that there are nuances within pan-Arabism as
well as within Islamism.

Saddam Hussein was basically a militaristic dictator
who had no other concept of enlarging his power except
through the use of force. Iran is a much more complex
and sophisticated regime that relies on fostering
alliances, diplomacy, political, economic and
cultural/religious influence much more than on the
military means.

 Iran's ambitions are those of Khomeini,
> to spread, to export the
> Khomeini revolution.  Khomeini sought to do it in
> two primary places
> initially: in South Iraq, resulting in the Iraq/Iran
> war and through
> Hezbollah into Lebanon, the effects of which the
> region is experiencing at
> the present time.  He intended to move north into
> the former Islamic states
> of the USSR, but then he died.  

*Khomeini did not attack any other country, and
neither did the other Iranian leaders after him. To
want to spread one's ideology abroad is LEGITIMATE,
Lawrence. Read my lips on my this. The US has been
doing it for many years, and it de-stabilized quite a
number of countries in the process.

Does that intention
> still live?  I suspect
> so.  Which would be more dangerous with nuclear
> weapons, Iraq in 1981 or
> Iran in 2006?  Iran in 2006 hands down; especially
> since Iran is in the
> habit of providing weapons to the most potent
> terrorist organization in the
> world today.

*If you mean the Hizbollah, I don't consider it a
terrorist organization. The Hamas also wouldn't be if
it had the weaponry with which to confront Israel.

> You say the US is not Israel.  I don't see the
> significance of that
> difference.  We could bomb Iran's nuclear facilities
> just as Israel bombed
> Iraq's.  

*Now that's nonsense. Iran's nuclear facilities are
dispersed and there is no way they could be taken out
in one surgical strike. (Especially since you have
already talked about it so much that you can forget
about surprise effect.)
> As to the international situation being different, I
> don't see the
> significance of that either.  Are you saying that
> the world would condemn
> the US if it bombed Iran's nuclear facilities?  Did
> not the world condemn
> Israel in 1981?  I fail to see that there would be
> much difference.
> Nevertheless it was the right thing for Israel to do
> in 1981 and it would
> be, if we weren't trying out diplomacy, the right
> thing to do in 2006.  

*I understand your impatience with 'diplomacy' when
you could just start bombing or smashing something and
see what will come out. However, there would be grave
consequences: political, economic and security

> As to Mike's thinking the situation in Iraq is worse
> now than if Saddam
> remained in power, that is quite a lot to swallow. 
> It is admittedly a
> gamble to attempt to foster a democratic state in
> the Middle East.  They
> have never had one there before, if you don't count
> Turkey, and
> Middle-Easterners don't because Turkey is a secular
> state.   But the gamble
> was worth taking.  We, the US, had nothing to lose.

*Well, that's quite an honest statement. You have
attained your crusader's objective of removing Saddam
Hussein, and whether that really made the life any
better for the ordinary Iraqis is of little
consequence to you.


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