Tuesday, April 25, 2006

My fellow Americans: We cannot bomb Iran to peace

Letter to the editor, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The news has been filled with stories about Iran's nuclear program -- and the possibility that the Pentagon has operational plans to use bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapons to destroy it ("Magazine Reports Iran Attack Planning: Sources Say Nuclear Attacks on Sites Not Ruled Out," April 9).

Pittsburgh's AM radio news station, KQV, did a poll on April 11. The question was, "Should the U.S. consider using nuclear bombs to halt Iran from developing a nuclear weapon?" This is both Orwellian and nightmarish. There is a slogan in "1984" -- "War Is Peace." It reminds me of a jingoistic bumper sticker: "Nuke Their Ass and Take Their Gas."

Although the poll is not scientific, I found the result shocking. Fifty-seven percent of 2,386 respondents -- that's 1,363 people -- would support using nuclear weapons on Iran to prevent them from developing nuclear weapons. I haven't seen much analysis in the news about the consequences of such an attack. For example, how are 1.2 billion Muslims going to react if a major Islamic nation is attacked by America with weapons of nuclear force?

Who are these people who voted yes? Are they just ignorant and scared, or are they card-carrying members of the rapture right ("end-timers," like Bush). Or both? Whatever they are, I'm terrified of them, and scared for the future of the world, for good reason.

If we use nuclear weaponry against Iran, then Russia and China, who need Iran's oil, will have to choose sides. A picture of how WWIII could unfold is not hard to draw from this scenario.

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