Sunday, September 10

Prediction:

There's a decades-old saying that "Opinions are like..." --well, I forget. But it's certainly true that predictions are like opinions. Having said that, let me venture something a bit more controversial:

Accurately forecasting future large-scale events involving people or nations is no more difficult than predicting the products of a chemical reaction. While it's not possible to know what each individual molecule will do, we don't need to know that to predict the overall outcome. There's no need to call on spooky-mystical stuff.

The key--as with predicting chemical outcomes--is to know enough of the rules of behavior of the system, and their order of importance--which is usually little more than Maslow's need-hierarchy.

Example: Most people prefer freedom to living under a dictator. However, if openly advocating freedom causes the dictator's secret police to torture you or your family, suddenly freedom takes a big drop down the to-do list.

In any case, my point is that when major events occur on the world or national stage, how often is your reaction one of "Uh-huh, no surprise there"?

So it is with predicting the events of Iran and the world: As many other analysts have written, Iran's leaders seem determined to get the Bomb. The only "natural opponent" of this outcome--a conservative-led government of the United States--is hamstrung by six years of hostile propaganda from a thoroughly liberal media. Thus Iran will get the Bomb.

Iran's leaders--and roughly 80% of its people--seem to be enthusiastic believers in the duty of Muslims to take over the world. Moreover, they have shown that they're willing to do things we would consider beyond rational consideration to accomplish their goals. (Example: enlisting thousands of early-teenage boys to be human mine-detectors in the Iran-Iraq war.) This suggests that if they get the bomb, they'd be strongly disposed to use it against all and sundry.

With even the most aggressive, bloodthirsty government, one would expect this tendency would be countered by the threat of massive retaliation by whatever nation was the target of an Iranian nuclear weapon. But one of the uniquely evil things about Islam is its promise of eternal paradise for those who die in the course of battling the infidel. Accordingly, it's reasonable to doubt that the threat of even devasting retaliation would restrain their eagerness to pull the trigger.

So...I predict Iran will use a nuclear weapon shortly after it acquires a dozen or so, and that this will happen within ten years. For anyone who's interested, I doubt the first target will be Israel. Rather, the mullahs will hit the U.S. because they're confident that our government would be too paralyzed by liberals and lawyers to respond in kind.

If we don't launch massive nuclear retaliation, Islam will be able to intimidate all other nations--including Israel--as local liberal pussies argue that living under Sharia law wouldn't be that bad, and certainly preferable to being nuked.

And the war against Islamofascism will be over.

Of course if that's what you want, by all means enjoy the results.

For those who don't, I see only one countermeasure that has a decent chance of being effective: In his initial speeches after 9/11 President Bush said that the U.S. government would henceforth consider terrorist-supporting governments as our enemy. Now he should formally announce that it will be the policy of the U.S. government that if a nuclear weapon detonates in the U.S. or on a U.S. base overseas, we will use thermonuclear weapons to totally annhilate the nation that used or supplied the bomb used against us.

For those who consider this barbaric or unthinkable, you should know that during the Cold War the Soviet Union repeatedly tried to get the U.S. government to promise that we'd never be the first to use nukes in a future war. The Sovs repeatedly scored propaganda points by solemnly promising they wouldn't use nukes first, and they called on the people of the world to pressure us into the same promise.

Of course this was a trap, since our only hope of staving off a conventional East Bloc armor attack through Germany was to use tactical (that is, very small) nukes. Whether we would actually have used nukes was questionable. Fortunately all we needed to do was leave open the possibility--which would greatly change the Russians' calculus regarding the wisdom of attacking.

Equally fortunately, the adults in our government recognized that if we promised not to be the first to use nukes, this could easily cause a future president to honor that promise--even if he knew it had been made in response to a propaganda war. In which case our major equalizer would have been lost.

Oh, and before some troll jumps up with "But you just said the threat of massive retaliation wouldn't deter the Iranians": It won't deter the religious fanatics. However, not everyone in Iran is a fanatical Muslim, and if massive retaliation was our announced policy, a non-fanatic would be more likely to thwart an attempt by the Iranians to nuke us or slip a nuke to a terrorist group.

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