By Alan Caruba
When you’re internationally famous or, in my case, just available to do an hour of radio, occasionally the BBC, Great Britain’s famed radio outlet, calls you and asks that you be interviewed or participate in an on-air discussion.
This happened today and, by 1 PM Eastern time and 6 PM London time, I found myself on the air with someone described as “an Iranian blogger”, someone with—I think—the Foreign Relations Council or some such distinguished diplomatic group, and a few others who called in from India, Somalia, and one of the Gulf oil states.
The point of discussion was whether every nation had a right to nuclear power for electricity as well as for the manufacturer of weapons capable of obliterating thousands of people in the name of Allah or Mohamed, peace be upon him.
Everyone agreed that electricity was a good thing and blowing up people with nukes was a bad thing. So far, so good, but of course the fellow defending Iran was so full of crap that it quickly became apparent to everyone that letting the ayatollahs get their hands on these weapons of mass destruction was a very bad idea.
What ensued for an hour was a discussion focused on two themes. The ayatollahs and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, should be taken at their word when they keep saying they want to blow Israel off the map and nuke anyone else they don’t like. Ignoring such threats always leads to worse things.
Dragged into the conversation was poor Syria whose secret nuclear facility was destroyed by the Israelis some seven months ago and the Syrians not only denied it was a nuclear facility, but astonishingly had nothing to say about what Israel did. They actually seemed surprised even though the Israelis had blown up a similar facility in Iraq back in the 1980s. Turns out those wonderful kids from North Korea were helping them build it.
It was left to me to remind everyone that Syria is a dictatorship and a bunch of thugs who go around assassinating Lebanese and supporting Hezbollah for the purpose of attacking Israel because they lack the guts to do so themselves.
The other main thrust of the discussion apparently was to determine how many callers and emailers could blame (1) America and (2) Israel for all the problems of the world. Apparently the mayhem that passes for intergovernmental relations in the Middle East, nor the fact that there isn’t a single functioning democracy (except Israel) to be found in the region hadn’t occurred to anyone but me.
Anyway, I pointed out that Pakistan and India had acquired nuclear weapons years ago and did so without mentioning it to the United Nations or anyone else until it came time to test them. I reminded listeners that when these two enemies reached a point in a fairly recent shouting match that threatened the use of nukes, both became so frightened they immediately started peace talks!
It turned out that I was pretty much the only participant who was both willing and happy to defend America and didn’t much care what the others thought. We’re not perfect, but we don’t go around threatening to blow up other nations…unless, of course, they are practically begging to be blown up.
This was the case of Japan in 1945. The Arab and Persian participants kept saying that the U.S. was the only nation to have used atomic weapons and I rather aggressively reminded them that it was Japan that had attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941 and after getting its ass kicked from one end of the Pacific to the other, still refused to surrender. After we obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki they reconsidered their position. Now we are the best of pals.
I also pointed out that the U.S. having engaged in any number of wars since then, Korea, Vietnam, and now Iraq, has never used nuclear weapons, ever. And we have a lot of them.
The difference between the former Soviet Union and the lunatics running Iran these days is that the Soviets were not suicidal. When it collapsed in 1991, they were greatly relieved they didn’t have to keep pretending that communism actually works. Even the Chinese, except for their government, are fervent capitalists.
Suffice it to say, I really enjoyed kicking butt on international radio and can’t wait to do it again.