A Quiet Cancer on the Globe

It gets kind of redundant, doesn’t it? The world bangs a desk over Iran. Iran replies with a zerbert. The news cycle moves on.
Missile tests? Eh. Just inconsequential bluster. Iran’s awfully far away. Really, at worst, we have this:

Iran’s last known missile tests were in May when it fired its longest-range solid-fuel missile, Sajjil-2. Tehran said the two-stage surface-to-surface missile has a range of about 1,200 miles (1,900 kilometers – capable of striking Israel, U.S. Mideast bases and Europe.

Building ties with a dictator who delights in subtly mocking his new friend, the President of the United States? Eh. Unconfirmed. And anyway, nations can interact economically and otherwise without it being a matter of American interest.

HERE’S AN ISSUE that is drawing growing attention in Washington, but is going almost unnoticed in Latin America — allegations that Venezuela is helping Iran develop nuclear weapons, and that Iran’s fundamentalist regime is setting up a foothold in Latin America from which to threaten the United States.
While there has been speculation about Venezuela’s ties to Iran’s nuclear program in the past, it has risen to a new level since a Sept. 8 speech by New York district attorney Robert M. Morgenthau at the Brookings Institute in Washington.

Florida, I’d note, isn’t that much farther from Venezuela than Israel is from Iraq, as the missile flies. Taking on the Great and Little Satans requires a lot of small steps undertaken as quietly as possible over years. And each step, well, it’s hardly anything. Right?

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David
David
11 years ago

It is encouraging that you are paying attention to world events. But since you have already told readers that your head came out of the sand ( or were ever it was) on 9/11/01 politically, it would behoove your modest attempt at Iranian events to delve just a bit deeper. Say the 20th century. Maybe some reading about Shia and Sunni. And maybe an understanding that history did not commence on 9/11.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Since I actually took a course on Middle Eastern government and politic in 1972,taught by an Iranian of Armenian Christian background,and spent a LOT of time dealing with Iranians in my job,I also have a perspective.
Iran has,of late seemed more willing to become bedfellows of convenience with those they eschewed prior to 9/11.
Secondly,Venezuela has a very large population of Arabs,including many Palestinians.Paraguay also,for that matter.
Latin America has many communities that are not Hispanic or Portugese in origin.They just aren’t noticed here in the USA very often.
Some of these communities have become immersed over generations in Hispanic culture.others not so much.
The Nazis found a lot of friendly territory before,during,and after WW2 in Uruguay,argentina(okay,everyone knows about Eichmann),Bolivia,Paraguay(the longtime dictator was General Alfredo STROESSNER),Brazil,and Chile.
The Germans trained and supervised the Boivian army during the Chaco War of 1932-35.paraguay was victorious nevertheless.
Why go into all this?Because too many people think Latin America means Hispanic and little else.
Japanese Peruvians are another example,even providing a president,although he got caught dirty and had to flee to Japan.Full circle I guess.
Iran has a Sunni minority of Arab descent.Iranians are Persians,not Arabs.Kinda like Turks aren’t Arabs either.
Is this what you’re talking about David?

Monique
Editor
11 years ago

“.Iranians are Persians,not Arabs.Kinda like Turks aren’t Arabs either.”
That’s an excellent point often overlooked when Iran and the 1979 revolution is dicussed, Joe.
“Iran has,of late seemed more willing to become bedfellows of convenience with those they eschewed prior to 9/11.”
Joe, do you mean the government? In terms of the people of Iran, watching the unprecedented uprisings and protests, which have become somewhat muted but have not ceased, I would say that a good portion of the Iranian population is now, in fact, turning away from those who sympathize with the 9/11 attackers.

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

When are people going to wake up? This has nothing to do with distance from the US and missiles’ ability to strike the US when fired from their home country. Not even Chavez or President Members Only would be dumb enough to fire a rocket at the US. What they’re building these things for is to sell to the highest bidder. Now imagine al Qaeda with their hands on a fully functional nuclear bomb. It doesn’t need a missile. They know how to get anything they want into the country, then it’s just a matter of detonating it in the time and location of their choice. No missiles needed.
This is why these countries need to be stopped. It has nothing to do with missile distance.

Justin Katz
11 years ago

Well, sure, and Venezuela is certainly a better staging ground for preparing terrorists to work their way into the United States. There’s no reason at all that our enemies couldn’t be preparing for multiple forms of attack.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Of course I meant the government.The Iranian people are not backwards camel herders with some oil that makes them little kings.
They are modern thinking,industrious,not narrowminded,and very interested in obatining the best education.
Who do you think were the most vocal demonstrators at the UN this week?Iranians,not Jews,as you might assume.
Prior to 1979 women and religious were not oppressed in Iran.The Shah had a lot of faults,but misogyny and ethnic hatred weren’t his thing.Minority religions such as Jews,Christians,Zoroastrians,and Bahais weren’t molested.
Jews and Christians are still tolerated to a degree,but the latter two groups had to flee(those that weren’t murdered)when Khomeini took power.
The Zoroastrians in fact practice the original ancient religion of Persia,which reached its pinnacle in the Sassanian Dynasty.They do not seek convicted-Ahura Mazda was their God of Light and was worshipped at fire altars.Ashtaroth was the functional equivalent of Satan,in a broad sense.
The Iranian people have little say in their current situation.An attack that decapitated the Mullahs’ power network and destroyed the Revolutionary Guard would alleviate this very serious world problem.
An attack that killed a lot of innocent Iranians would galvanize resistance because no one wants to be bombed.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Typo above-I meant to say the Zoroastrians don’t seek converts-actually don’t allow any.They are absolutely inoffensive and one has to wonder why the Mullahs wanted them exterminated.The Bahais are considered apostates by the Mullahs.

David
David
11 years ago

Yes, Joe. This is what I am talking about. Every story has another story. We should always assume nothing and be prepared to learn something. You seem to be someone whose experiences have added to your learning. I can disagree with your conclusions but I see I can learn something from you.

OldTimeLefty
11 years ago

Gee folks,
There is only one country that actually used an atomic weapon on another country. Anyone care to guess the name of the country that dropped the big one? … But wait you say, we did it because we wanted to save lives,. But think again, when we did so, did we establish a precedent that says if you have a good reason to drop one, and the reason is justified internally, not internationally, you can go ahead and do it?
Now what I expect in terms of response is something like, “OTL hates the U.S.” I don’t. Most of the contributors to this blog express serious concerns about the direction that they fear this country is taking, but I accept that they have a love for this country. Remember. Just because you wave the flag does not mean that you own it.
One last point, those “warlike” Iranians have no troops off of their own soil.
Have a nice day,
OldTimeLefty

OldTimeLefty
11 years ago

Justin said, “Well, sure, and Venezuela is certainly a better staging ground for preparing terrorists to work their way into the United States. There’s no reason at all that our enemies couldn’t be preparing for multiple forms of attack.”
Yes, it could be true, and it could also be true that the Vatican is near completion of the tunnel under the Atlantic from Rome to Washington which they started when Al Smith ran for office in 1928.
OldTimeLefty

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