Archive for October, 2010

The Iranian Nuclear Bomb and Me

I don’t really care whether Iran attains nuclear power and be able to develop, construct and maintain a nuclear bomb.

This attitude may seem either fatalist or, you may more probably think, sheer stupidity and fatuousness. Sadly, I guess you would be correct: I do not believe in my ability to influence any significant factor of this process and I am literally an ignorant in the details and nature of it.

But really, most people are. I can write and perform music decently and I have a reasonable capacity to teach it, or at least not to afflict or mislead any of my students. But I, and all the people I know personally are, the most base of laymen regarding nuclear weapons, Iran and international politics – to name just a few of the disciplines and faculties relevant to the adept professional. Some people call me from time to time for assistance in what they believe to be my area of expertise. I haven’t yet got a call concerning the Iranian bomb. I’m quite comfortable with it.

In such a dilemma one should probably call others: if you desire to know what should be done, you should most likely call your prime-minister, or head of the armed forces. If it is just a theoretical, preliminary research, then perhaps a scholar or an Iran-pundit will do. But most of us sluggards don’t even do that. There are few reasons why we address this seemingly baleful and exigent matter in such an irresponsible manner. First, them haughty prime minister and head of the army and even the lesser ministers don’t usually answer. To state it more bluntly, they never answer. Then, we are too busy: I feel obliged to answer my students’ questions and improve my professional skills (not to mention making a living, cleaning the house from time to time and gazing through the window). And last – and I refer only to myself but you may identify if applicable – I don’t really trust the PM and the army that much.

As I said, my own means of evaluating the situation are meagre. But even my ability to evaluate the pros, their virtues pertinent to that matter, are scarce, close to nonexistent. I honestly don’t know if the PM consults the right experts, and worse than that, if he’s following any clear ideology and rationale. On the other hand there are some other features pertaining to this bunch of leaders that can be easily discerned. Their looks, for example. Yes, I know this sounds REALLY idiotic, but if you’ve borne with me up until now try to go on. I’ll give an example: when I first I saw Ehud Barak’s face in the news-papers I had made up my mind not to support him. His supercilious countenance just looked wrong. Now, of course I could have been completely or partially mistaken: does his face reveal the relevant information for my functional acquaintance with that man? Maybe not, but what other source can I use? The media? I don’t really take them that seriously. Perhaps if I have known any of his close associates I would have had some better information. But unsurprisingly I don’t know any of his friends and I don’t have the time to glean the facts myself. You may ask: why not just listen to his proclaimed stance and agenda? Well, that’s exactly the point: compare them to reality and you’ll see I was better off with my primitive attitude.

So what do I care about? I care about trust and integrity. There are so few politicians that actually proved to be smart, honest and having the puissance and endurance necessary for leadership (and I almost forgot to mention having the right ideology for me). This leaves me with two practical alternatives: fatalism and preserving my vicinity of influence and expertise well maintained, or neglecting my vocation and rush to learn Farsi, nuclear physics, international relations, sociology, political science, strategy and, well yes, public relations.

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