Do unto others before they can do unto you

I’m finding the rhetoric about Iran very alarming. Obviously, I haven’t been in the secret security briefings, but calling Iran our most dangerous enemy seems somewhat unprovoked. And the fact that Bush is getting us all prepared for an “I told you so” when we invade and start breaking things is exceedingly unpleasant to me. Killing thousands of foreigners so that our kids can sleep better at night is not security. It’s unprovoked playground bullying.

I’ve also been very uncomfortable with the Bush administration’s position on nuclear energy. In his State Of The Union, he said that we need to actively pursue alternate energy sources, and reduce our reliance on oil. Most sensible thing he’s said in recent memory. And yet, since he made that remark, we’ve heard nothing about how nuclear energy is evil – well, at least, if non-Americans are using it.

Yeah, these two thoughts are related. It seems to me that our evidence of Iran’s evilness is that they are exploring alternate energy sources. Any sensible nation would be exploring alternate energy sources, if the USA wasn’t threatening them with anihilation for doing so.

Our position on nuclear energy has long baffled me. First of all, we assume that only Americans are smart enough to come up with the necessary knowledge to generate nuclear energy, even though every physics text book since 1950 contains the necessary information. And, just in case you’re keeping score, “Enrico Fermi” is an Italian name. Next, we assume that it’s OK for us to generate nuclear energy, and a few of our close buddies, but if anyone else tries, obviously they have only global destruction in mind.

Just maybe, if we didn’t spend all of our time alienating everyone, we could actually cooperate on this nuclear issue, and, together, the great minds of the world (Yes, George, there are great minds outside of Texas.) could actually solve the dilemmas surrounding nuclear energy, and we could have a sustainable energy source for the next few generations.

I mean, sure, suspicion and paranoia have their place, but great advances in science, and diplomacy, tend to happen when people cooperate, not when they yell insults at one another from across the playground. Saying that diplomacy must be pursued before we nuke ’em, while at the same time calling them dangerous thugs, doesn’t seem like a viable negotiaion strategy. Does he think that only Americans watch CNN?

Iran is a sovreign nation. Just like us. We asked them, rather rudely I might add, not to pursue nuclear energy. They said, well, we’d really rather go ahead with this, and it’s our right to do so, thanks. This seems to be our evidence that they are the “biggest challenge for America.” As with the whole WMD fiasco, I’d kinda like to see a shade more evidence than that.