Reason #2,432,129 Not To Bomb IranBy
The Iranians are gearing up for a big Presidential election, too. In Summer of 2009, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will likely stand for re-election. The Iranian parliament, no friend to the bellicose President, has elected one of his most vocal opponents, Ali Larijani, to be their Speaker. In case you’re not aware, it’s not the President who holds the foreign policy reigns in Iran. That role goes to the Supreme Leader, held since 1989 by Ali Khamanei. However, the President is in charge of a lot, and Ahmadinejad is evidently taking the rap for a 25% rise in inflation.
Ali Larijani ran for President against Ahmadinejad in 2005. Ali’s no Boy Scout, being a well-connected censor and assassin among other things, but he appears to have a very different stance on nuclear development than does Mahmoud.
AFP: “[Larijani] typifies an increasingly prominent group in Iranian politics who remain rigidly loyal to the principles of the 1979 Islamic revolution but are distinctly lukewarm over the presidency of the ultra-conservative Ahmadinejad.
The divisions between the two were laid bare in October when Larijani resigned his post as top nuclear negotiator amid speculation that he was ready to take a slightly more pragmatic line in the standoff with the West.
Larijani also indicated his parliament would be closely supervising the work of Ahmadinejad’s government, which has been criticised by reformists and conservatives alike for controversial economic policies.”
Why does any of this matter to you? Well there are a lot of pants-wetters on the right who think that Iran is going to kill your mothers and rape your daughters. Rumors of an impending U.S. attack on Iran have been circling the internet since 2005, and those who rattle their sabers the loudest say that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon that they might use against Israel even though Israel could turn Iran into a sheet of glass in response. There’s no evidence that Iran has any nukes, mind you, nor any that they are working to build them. In fact, the world’s leading experts on the matter say there’s no evidence Iran pursued nukes after 2004:
LA Times, May 27, 2008: “A report released Monday by the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog organization presents the clearest indication yet that Iran was working on a nuclear weapon through 2003. But there is no evidence that the weapons program continued after 2004, it says, echoing a U.S. intelligence assessment in December.”
The U.S. Intelligence sector and the U.N. watchdog agree that the Iranians aren’t working on nuclear weapons, but that doesn’t stop warfans like Thunder Pig from saying that we must attack the Iranians to make some of them quit thinking about it.
Warmongers are warmongers. You can tell them that attacking a middle eastern nation on the basis of WMD that don’t exist is a really bad idea, but their sources at the counter-jihad message boards and the Free Republic will disagree.
Should Larijani succeed Ahmadinejad as Iranian President, it looks like Iranian citizens will have to endure quite a lot more of the 1979 Revolution. However, the old fogies are a waning minority in this demographically young nation:
Iranian Median age:
total: 25.8 years
male: 25.6 years
female: 26 years (2007 est.)
Compare that to ours:
American Median age:
total: 36.7 years
male: 35.4 years
female: 38.1 years (2008 est.)
Young people who don’t have nukes are in the crosshairs of Bush’s dead-enders who haven’t yet seen a bad idea they didn’t like, especially when it comes to needlessly bombing an Islamic nation. I can think of a lot of ways to encourage the young Iranians to continue pushing towards a reformation. Bombing them needlessly is not among those ways.