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On August 6, 1945 the United States killed over 100,000 men, women and children at Hiroshima, Japan with the newly invented atomic bomb. Three days later a second bomb was dropped on the city of  Nagasaki. Some victims were incinerated into thin air, others fled in agony with their skin hanging from their bodies. Thousands more died in the weeks, months and years that followed.

The justification for this horror is the usual one for blood thirsty behavior. We killed people in order to help them, a convenient explanation for the perpetrators.

In fact, large numbers of civilian casualties were not an incentive for the Japanese to surrender. The napalm fire bombing of Tokyo and other cities created similar numbers of casualties but the Japanese didn't surrender after those human catastrophes. More than likely the Soviet Union's declaration of war against Japan motivated the raising of the white flag. The mass murder of thousands served only as a test for a new weapon, a horrific experiment in mass murder.

The United States is still the only nation to use an atomic weapon on human beings. Keep that fact in mind when we are whipped into a frenzy of fear regarding the possibility of Iran developing a nuclear weapon.

Every impartial observer of Iran's nuclear program agrees that it is at least five to ten years away from attaining a nuclear weapons capability. You wouldn't know it to hear members of Congress, the lapdog press and the Israeli government.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinajed already had a bulls eye on his head when he quoted the Ayatollah Khomeini's decades old call to "wipe Israel off the map." Cooler heads know that Israel, unlike Iran, already has a nuclear capability. Estimates range from 75 nuclear warheads to 300. A country without nukes can't harm a country that has at least 75.

The numbers are only estimates because Israel has never acknowledged the existence of its nuclear weapons and has never submitted to the same international inspections that it demands of Iran. Iran is a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel is not. Iran, without nukes, is called a threat to Israel, which is armed to the teeth with them.

While we are being propagandized into creating another human rights and foreign relations nightmare, it is the United States that has single handedly killed nuclear non-proliferation with its recent deal to boost India's nuclear capability. India may keep China in check so India gets the nuclear goodies.

The United States gives India, already a nuclear power, greater nuclear capability, but threatens war, death, the destruction of Iran's oil supply, and a world wide financial catastrophe if Iran dares to want the same thing. The United States created the nuclear world and now sustains it through rank cynicism.

Politicians and the press constantly make the case for war by declaring that Iran is run by "crazies." As usual, a history lesson is in order. The Iranians elected a secular democratic government in the early 1950s. Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh made the mistake of getting a little too uppity and had the gall to think he could nationalize oil production in his own country.  The British and American governments weren't having any of it. They overthrew Mossadegh and installed the Shah.

On July 3, 1988 the U.S. navy shot down, accidentally we are told, an Iranian passenger jet, killing 290 people. When Bush the elder became president he awarded the Legion of Merit for "exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of an outstanding service" to the commander who ordered the shot fired. Whose country is crazy?

The United States let the nuclear genie out of the bottle 60 years ago. The United States encourages the non-nuclear world to want to join the club. The lesson of the now three year old occupation of Iraq is simple. Get the bomb and the Americans will leave you alone.

The Iranians deny wanting to use their nuclear technology for military means. They may be lying about their intentions but it hardly matters. The reality is that Iran won't threaten Israel, or the United States either. They won't give a bomb to Hamas. They are not crazy.

Politicians who say that the military option can't be taken off the table or Iran must not be allowed to get the bomb, either believe what they say and are insane, or know there is no threat but cynically go along to get elected. Death and destruction are always political winners in America.

It would be wonderful to have a non-nuclear planet, but the nuclear have nots are being rational when they want to change sides. North Korea may be called a "crazy" nation but it is a nuclear nation and gets a little more respect. North Korea moved ahead with its nuclear plans even as its citizens were starving to death. North Korea concluded that starvation was a small price to pay in order to join the killer elite.

When you watch John McCain or a Democratic presidential hopeful foam at the mouth about the prospect of a nuclear Iran, don't fear the Iranians. Fear your own government instead. Its plans are always crazy.

Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BC. Ms. Kimberley is a freelance writer living in New York City. She can be reached via e-Mail at [email protected]. You can read more of Ms. Kimberley's writings at


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March 23, 2006
Issue 176

is published every Thursday.

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