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Is Iran Really a Threat to the United States?

It seems like every day we hear from another politician saying that “we are ready to attack Iran if necessary”, or from another pundit full of hot air telling us why we should invade Iran right now.    The presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, has said that he would support “something of a surgical-strike nature, to something of a ‘decapitate the regime’ nature to eliminate the military threat of Iran altogether.”   President Obama has said:   “Every option is on the table.”   All of these conversations typically go along the lines of emphasizing how Iran poses a serious and immediate threat to the United States.

As was the case in the conversations leading up to the 2003 Iraq war, there is much heat, and not a whole lot of light.   If you care about facts, I urge you to read Glenn Greenwald’s ironically titled “The growing Iranian military behemoth.”    Here are some of the highlights:

*Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (yup, the Iranians have their idiots just like we do), just announced that he wants to increase Iran’s military budget by 127%.   That does sounds scary to more than double their budget.   Well, even if Iran doubles their military budget (not very likely, given Iran’s economic troubles), that would put the Iranian military budget at less than 4% of the military budget of the United States of America.    

 

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Here is a graph to help make that point. 

 

 

Iranian politicans talk tough, but they have actually proven themselves to be masterful negotiators behind the scenes.     Would you want to enter war against a country if you had 4% of the military budget of your opponent?   And if the last two countries your enemy had attacked had ended up as devastated as Iraq and Afghanistan?  

*We have heard massively contradictory statements about nuclear energy, nuclear ambitions and nuclear bombs in Iran.   We have heard that Iran may be moving towards nuclear bombs in a few years (3-5 years).     Let us pause and recall that it is the United States that is the largest producer of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons on the face of the planet.   And recall that the United States is the only country—so far, and God-willing, ever—to have dropped not one but two nuclear weapons on another population.   And that our “democratic ally in the region” Israel, which is doing more warmongering than anyone else to drive this mad slide towards a war on Iran, is already in possession of over 200 nuclear warheads.    Let us reiterate:  Israel is not suspected of developing nuclear bombs in 3-5 years.   The worst kept secret in the Middle East is that Israel is already in possession of such means of apocalyptic destruction, with the means of deploying them.    

*Lastly, take a good long look at the map of the Middle East.     If you were Iran, how would the Middle East look to you?     Iran is surrounded by nations that have large United States bases.      Iraq has American bases.  Turkey has American bases.    Pakistan has American bases.   Afghanistan has American bases.    Saudi Arabia has American bases.   Kuwait has American military bases.    Qatar has American military bases.    Uzbekistan has American military bases.    And as for Israel, well, let’s just say that this is the one item that Republicans and Democrats agree on:  that the United States stands “lockstep” with supposedly our closest ally.  With allies like this that are leading the world community to grow in resentment towards us day by day, who needs an enemy?

{image_1}

 

In short, Iran is surrounded
by a sea of American military bases.

 


Iran faces an American military force that dwarfs its own.   Lastly, the United States possesses a whole series of military resources that no other country on the planet has access to.     

And why exactly are we sliding to a war with Iran?     
Why are we so hell-bent on persuading ourselves that it is Iran that poses a threat to us?    

 

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Our economy is broke, our political system is gridlocked, we have tens of millions of people without adequate healthcare, our housing system is in shambles, our educational institutions are bankrupt, and we want to start another costly pointless war to kill our youths for yet another unnecessary “war of choice.”


Next time someone tells you that Iran poses a threat to us, tell them to check their facts.   Hot air is good for balloons, not so good for sound policy.   And not so good for living in a peaceful world.

 

Tags: aipac, attack, iran, israel, nuclear, obama, romney, war

Comments

  1. Spoken like a true Islamist apologist.

    Yes, 4% of the US’s military budget.  Exactly what % of the US military budget does it take to initiate a war in the middle east against already concerned and fearful Muslim neighbors that would result in chaos and disrupt the region’s oil supply and bring the West to its knees?

    Yes, Israel has nukes.  Yet in the decades they have possessed them not once, NOT ONCE, did they threaten their neighbors with extinction openly, rabidly, and with supreme council approval. Iran has done just that.  When surrounded by 2 billion or so hostile Muslims it’s best for a nation of 2.5 million Jews to have and not need than need and not have.  Hardly Iran’s scenario.

    Yes, the US used nukes to end a war of aggression against it, and the nations of the Pacific.  It wasn’t premptive.  It wasn’t unprovoked, It wasn’t a “first strike” by a hotile nation that operates on the fringe of civilized behavior, nor was it to push Japan into extinction. It was a measured response to avert an invasion of japan which experts say would have resulted in more loss of life (on both sides) than those bombs caused. 

    So much for the concept of moderate Muslims and words of reason. Someday I hope to hear from just one of you who has intellectual honesty and the courage to deal with reason.

  2. PS: Of course, I understand that a 40 to 1 ratio of Muslims in the region to Jews in Israel is a tad too close for comfort for Islamaphiles, given the history of the region.

  3. Hi Bart.  Well, it seems like the use of “hot air” is not limited to certain pundits. 

    The point of this article was about whether Iran poses a threat to the United States of America.  You have mostly discussed the threat that Iran allegedly poses to Israel.  Now while pro-Israeli lobby groups are annually rated as among the most powerful in DC, as far as I know Israel is not yet officially a part of the United States.   

    Second, sir, check your facts.   
    You claim that Israel has never, never, ever “threatened its neighbors with extinction.”    Yet again, you have your facts wrong.  Remember the 1948 expulsion of half of the indigenous population of Palestine.  Remember the 2006 war in Lebanon, and the more recent operations in Gaza.  There are too many grieving mothers in Lebanon and Gaza that tell a different story from the fanciful imagination of Israel you present.  To refresh your memory, here is a map of Israeli bombings in Lebanon (including hospitals, schools, urban residential areas, Shi’I and Sunni areas, Christian villages, etc.)    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8a/Locations_bombed_Aug13_no_fact_box.jpg    and here is the one evidence of Israeli usage of White Phosphorous on Gaza:  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/91/White_phosphorus-Gaza-2009.jpg

    I have no interest in making a paragon of virtue out of the Iranian regime, of Hezbollah, or Hamas.  My own commitment is to the innate sanctity of all human life, Israeli and Palestinian, Iranian and Iraqi, American and Afghani.    And that is why I have, and will continue to, speak out against warmongers.   

    If dropping not one but two nuclear bombs on urban populations is your idea of a “measured response”, I shudder to think what you consider an inappropriate response. 

    I for one will continue to reach out to all those who hold all human life as sacred.  Peace.

     

  4. To Bart: and I quote “Yes, Israel has nukes.  Yet in the decades they have possessed them not once, NOT ONCE, did they threaten their neighbors with extinction openly, rabidly, and with supreme council approval. ” It has not, that’s true but check what other military attacks it had perpetrated.
    Please check this link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/june/7/newsid_3014000/3014623.stm and find out the real score.
    And a country that has been created by usurping other nation’s land will have to put up with living under constant threat. It’s the price it has to pay for usurpation.  If the US is so concerned about Israel, why doesn’t it allot one its states for their beloved Jews to establish their sovereignty?

  5. Thanks for the link, neciemerry. But as far as reality is concerned, Israel is the United State’s 51st state.

  6. Uh..lets see if I have this right:  1948..they didn’t have nukes.  Thus, they could never threaten nuclear extinction.  That you bring up 1948 in the context of a nuclear Iran and nuclear Israel - presumably seeing no difference between their temperaments, their threat level to the region, or to the 1948 UN partition speaks volumes of your intellectual dishonesty and prejudice. .

    And yes, America’s interest in maintaining oil flow from the middle east, unencumbered by a radicle and dangerous regime who spreads fear of war and instability among its Muslim neighbors is a threat to the US.

    Now,  I oppose war. I oppose initiating war in Iran.  I opposed Iraq war.  I also oppose saber rattling.  However, I similarly oppose the absurd and blind Muslim support of a nation because of their religious connection to you. A rouge nation that is poised to bring about a major disaster in the region based on their volitle nature, overtly aggressive behavior, and mindless threats.

    Finally, the comment that follows yours from necimerry where it states .”... why doesn’t it allot one its states for their beloved Jews to establish their sovereignty.”  is typcal of Muslim think and an anti-Jewish bent.  It is unworthy of my response.  I for one would never propose that some Muslim nation turn over their territory to “their beloved Palestinians” in lieu of carving out their own Palestine homeland from the Israeli territory.

    You see, I’m not driven by religious fervor or hatred.  I base my perspective on reason and intellect, not hate, religious connection/fervor or prejudice for any side.  Something I fear neither you, nor your Muslim brethren, are capable of.

  7. Oh..grieving mothers in lebanon..you mean the mothers of suicide bombers who kill indicriminantly in Israel?  Or the grieving mothers of those who shoot rockets into Israeli terrirory, protected and uninhibited by neighboring Muslim nations? 

    I’m sure you have no problem with the acts that causes Israel to retaliate.  Why should you?  After all, a few dead jews on a bus, or hit by a rocket fired from Gaza isn’t worth the life of one Muslim extremist who has vowed to die a “martyr” in the destruction of Israel… is it? 

    Yes, I am sorry for those mothers…I am sorry for the mothers on both sides.  I wonder, how often do Muslims like yourself speak out against terrorist acts that lead to retalliation in a never ending cycle?  Not ever from my observations.

  8. Hi Bart.  I don’t know you, so I won’t say much about you personally.  I don’t find name-calling and personal attacks enlightening, or spiritually edifying.  You don’t know me, but there is this handy-dandy little tool you can use to find out more.  It’s called Google.  If you are genuinely interested, feel free to find out whether I have ever condemned terrorism—repeatedly or not.  Just might be surprised.

    Let me just end my conversation with you with this.  You have called me a Muslim apologist, and more.    I urge you to re-read your own words:  “You see, I’m not driven by religious fervor or hatred.  I base my perspective on reason and intellect, not hate, religious connection/fervor or prejudice for any side.  Something I fear neither you, nor your Muslim brethren, are capable of.”

    Forget what you say about me, that’s not important.  You have said that Muslims are not capable of reason and intellect.  You do realize that there are 1.5 billion or so Muslims in the world, right?  At least you are kind enough not to attribute those hideous qualities to my Muslim sisters.  But apparently you have felt comfortable painting 750 million “Muslim brethren” with that broad stroke brush.    Take out the word Muslim, and put Black, Jewish, Christian, White, Blue-eyed people, Gays/Lesbians, Hispanic, Chinese, basically any other ethnic or religious group, and you say how vile and prejudiced your words are, to accuse an entire block of humanity of being incapable of reason and intellect. 

    I will end by saying that I hope you address this prejudice in your own heart, and deal with it somehow.  Hatred/fear/prejudice is a poison that ultimately corrupts the heart that carries it.   

    Peace, out.

  9. actually, 2.2 billion muslims, but who’s counting. “Brethren” in the vernacular implies boith sexes. 

    No, you’re mistaken. JNeither Jews,  Christians, nor any religious group in the 21st century endorses killing their own religious apostates.  Islam alone has that very special doctrine. What you do share with Christians however is that you both claim to be the “religion of peace”, or follow the “prince of peace”, yet have been nothing but a blight of war, sectarian and political,  for centuries.

    this isn’t about prejudice…I despise religious fanaticism of any type, thus am an equal opportunity critic of religiosity.  No, this is about an irrational acceptence of and apologetics for a rogue nation, and turning a blind eye to the region’s critical mass because of them, all because of your religious connection; and an overt hatred for Jews and israel .  I find it every bit as offensive and indicative of non-think as the Christian-Zionists, the right wing Israeli Jewish settlers,, and those Americans promoting/ seeking / threatening war at the drop of a hat.

    As for name calling (?) interesting how you once again fail to notice your own intellectual dishonesty.  Your first reply to me was calling me full of hot air. 

    Thanks, but I don’t need to review your bonifides…i know everything about you I need to know. 
    والسلام عليكم

  10. Ps: (once again) Islam’s age of reason and intellect ended in the 13th century. It was all down hill from there. Once a great c0ntributor to science, math and culture, it now eschews intellect and reason. 

    Evidence?  Look at the Nobel prize awardees. Islam represents over 25% of the population of the world, yet has garnered less than 10 awards.  Jews represent 0.2% of the world’s population and have been awarded fully 25% of all Nobel prizes…the rest being awarded to Xtians and those of no belief/or undeclared belief.

    You see, this isn’t prejudice either… in the world of intellect we call it objective evidence, substantiated ob observation and falsifiability.

    Prejudice will be when you say: “Ah, but the Jews control everything including the Nobel committee.”  To which I reply: “Arafat”.

  11. Hi Bart.  You are doing such a fine job of assuming other people’s positions and answering their questions that maybe it is best if we all step aside and you can have all the conversation by yourself.  It is fairly clear that you are actually not interested in a factual conversation which depends on the ability to ask specific questions, listen for answers, and follow up.   
    Your second post (the one from 9:46 pm) is so loaded with racist assumptions that I think I am just going to leave it, and leave you.  I am not sure if you are capable/willing to see that.  That is your own issue, and you’ll have to come to terms with that.   
    May God guide you somewhere better than where you are, and may all of us be guided.
    Peace.

  12. My asumptions are grounded in objective observation.  You’ve done nothing here to change them, having found yourself hoisted on your own word pitard numerous times, and by avoiding my logical criticism of your statements. .

    So, the statistics on the Nobel prize awards are racially motivated?  Is that your position? 

    Look “professor”, one gauge of intellect and reason may be exemplified by contributions to society as a whole.  Pointing out that modern Islam has made virtually none, compared the the rest of the planet’spopulation may be an inconvenient truth, but it’s not racially or religiously prejudicial -  it is fact.  If you can refute it, prove it in error please do so.  But to attack with charges of racism is simply transparent dishonesty and a rather insipid ploy.

    That you reject fact, and cry “racism”, speaks volumes about your own ability to reason and reinforces my initial assessment of your intellectual honesty. .

    May Moloch give you abundant crops and bless you with many male offspring.

  13. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2097252/Kill-Jews-annihilate-Israel-Irans-supreme-leader-lays-legal-religious-justification-attack.html

    A recipe for disaster.  But, as long as they are only spending 4% of US miliary budget…whats the problem?  Besides, they have moral justification.

    Gotta love that “religion of peace”

  14. Hi, I just wanted to help you two, brother Bart and brother Omid: Bart you’ve been irrelevant, rather wildly so, in your commenting. We’re talking about the wrongdoing of governments and you bring up anything from the collective intellectual contribution of people who accept that Muhammad is the current epoch’s prophet of God to religious martyrdom to apostasy (and all the while do so erring very consistently; I think that the 13th century is early for that drop-off, about whose occurrence you definitely are right; martyrdom is not through suicide bombing, where did you learn that; and the apostasy guidelines are not that apostasy deserves death).

    Anyway, I, like Professor Safi, am not going to address your comments, woefully erroneous and fallacious as they are—so ironic in light of your constant self-appointment to the knowledgeable and the logical—but I do wish to share this piece of advice: be nice. As a generality, even, and especially actually, when people are wrong and even not nice themselves.

  15. Hait…
    Thanks for your offer of help.  Should any be required I look for it among the thinking, not the religiously afflicted.

    i supose when viewed from the stunted and narrow lens of Islam think any criticism of islam or brother Omid is seen as wildly irrelevant, erroneous and fallacious.

    Nicety when the curse of religion destroys the world is not something I can feign.  Not like Muslims feign civility, Christians feign tolerance, or Jews feign righeousness.

    Much as the oft referenced inability to see the forest for the trees, I’m quite sure that like periods to your sentences, it is all lost on you.

  16. Well I do think and am not religiously afflicted, both great fortunes that I am grateful for.

    Anyway, your comments were wildly irrelevant in that they were about all kinds of topics, erroneous in that they were numerous falsehoods, and fallacious in that they were fraught with logical invalidity.

    I urged being sincerely nice, not to feign niceness. Don’t you know that being nasty is bad? Be nice : ).

    Were my sentences long?..hehe

  17. Haithem…
    (interesting name by the way.. “Hate Them,” but never mind)

    Well, if you’re not a religionist, you’re putting on a convincing act. If you do think, then you cartainly conceal it well. 

    Your denial of suicide bombers doing same for maryrdom, instead asking where I (I??) got the impresion that it brings a martyr’s reward is proof positive of your intellectul dishonesty, or mental defect.

    You don’t get people to blow themselves up for Allah and “the cause” with no promise of a martyrs reward in paradise Dying in battle for Islam, as these weakminded rubes willingly do, is a martyrs death. This is what they are promised inspite of the Quran’s admonishment against taking ones own life, and whether or not you see their act as on behalf of or sanctioned by islam.  The critical issue is what THEY interpret their actions as, and the reward THEY perceive they are going to receive, true to the Quran or not.  I happen to interpret the Quran the same way those suicide bomber cannon fodder do.  .

    Deny if you like, dismiss it as you will, attempt to place the burden of evidence on me for the veracity of what I’m saying -  it means nothing coming from you as you have already discredited yourself with denial.

    I have made retorts and challenges to “the professor’s” article and subsequent defenses of it that are rational, verifyable, reasoned and easily interpreted by most people unencumbered with mental defect, physiological or of their own choice / making.

    Even to the simple minded, it is clear that Iran doesn’t need 10% 20% 50% or even 3% of the US militay budget to cause havoc in a region from which the US and the West gets the majority of its oil, the industrialized world’s life blood.  To that degree Iran is a threat to the US’ stability.. irrespective of their comparative expenditures to the US military budget.  Q.E.D- “the professor’s” premise is fallaciious at face. 

    This is so easy to comprehend that one would have to be a moron, or islamist, not to understand it and it’s relavance to the professor’s silly contention.

    But as i already it only appears to be fallacious irrelevant etc., etc. when viewed through the lens of islam

      But this is getting repetitive, almost as much as your insipid admonishments.
    I am not seeking an Islamic pen pal, and won’t be responding to your future childlike and repetitious comments. 

  18. Yea I think that there are suicide bombings whose perpetrators committed them for martyrdom, I think that that’s true. That topic, by the way, would be among the irrelevant ones that you brought up.

    You’re also right, in fact you even understated it, that promises of martyrdom from twisted people in this world of are in egregious spite of Quranic condemnation of suicide, a major sin, and there are only a few. It is a murder. But not only that it’s also the murder of civilians, again a major sin. Actually the ethics in Islaam are apically excellent, an appreciation I specially make as I am a philosopher.

    Another agreement that we two are in is the somewhat spuriousness of saying that Iran’s military expenditure is just such and such small percentage of the US’ to display that it isn’t a threat. But it is info that says something. For that side of it, Iran, but also on the side of US and its imperialism. The US is the modern great imperialist, the one that succeeded the Brits in the line of imperialists over the past couple millennia, and it is a good point, too, to remind ourselves, hey who is the one country who is not at 0 atom bombs dropped on a people? And that that country did so twice. Countries should not be dropping atom bombs on people.

    Of course our country, which I love extremely by the way and hope to see do good rather than evil in this world, might have by far the most significant nuclear stores and program in the world and just in general, as Prof. Safi mentioned, the hugest militaristic presence in the world. It’s just the effort to rule the world on a de facto basis.

    One satiric headline I saw the other day that embodies this all: “Iran Worried U.S. Might Be Building 8,500th Nuclear Weapon.” Man..that is funny in a really sad way.

    By the way, you keep referring to a bias that you think I have, “viewing through the lens of Islaam”, in your words. I’m actually fully open and painfully complete in my consideration, if anything I’m excessively so (it’s a bit of a problem!).

    One more time, my man Bart: subtract that inimicality from yourself. I didn’t mention this hitherto, but all of those admonishments are not only because of your offense on those whom you subject it to, but for yourself (of course me for example your nastiness I don’t feel an affect at all). it’s better for your health man, each kind.

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