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    Best you can do is dim-fix the harvest/And kick somebody's ass..., 2007-08-15 15:36:21 | Main | wikipedia's credibility gap..., 2007-08-15 20:34:28

    They've learned the lessons of Iraq:

    The weirdest thing, I've been feeling, is everytime I scan through Google News output for "iran nuclear weapons" or "iran iaea" is that virtually no specifics and fewer factoids are ever offered among the flood of weapons allegations regarding Iran's nuclear program. Two weeks ago the IAEA inspected the heavy water reactor under construction at Arak around the same time as half a dozen foreign journalists were given guided tours of other UN monitored facilities around the country, with thus far nothing to report (oh, Iran's nuclear power structure is "opaque", luckily, I doubt glass would offer sufficient containment and we haven't invented invisible lead yet, that doesn't happen til, what, episode IV?).

    Anyway, far as I can tell Iran is under no legal obligation to show folks around Arak in the first place, and this is just them going above and beyond - as they did when they voluntarily suspended the enrichment program - their obligations under the Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA, and correspondingly the NPT. This would seem perfectly in line with the official Iranian policy - contra the US, which has obstructed it - of supporting a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty.

    That treaty puts just the kind of controls in place that we say we want, but instead we make demands beyond their obligations and refuse to move forward on turning those demands into mutually agreed upon obligations. I'm just a caveman, so the glaring logic of this state of affairs is quite beyond me. All I grasp so far in my primitive state is that if I have a club everything looks like a fluffy bunny.

    Just to give you an example, though, the safeguards agreement to which Iran is obligated only requires Iran to submit reports and subject facilities to inspection upon the introduction of nuclear material, e.g. Article 8.b.ii:

    Information pertaining to facilities shall be the minimum necessary for safe-guarding nuclear material subject to safeguards under this Agreement.

    The news then is that Iran is bent over once more for a foreign probe of a facility to which no nuclear material has been introduced (see, it's still under construction). Maybe this is all part of the Additional Protocol to the safeguards agreement, but that serves the same point.

    Back in the darkages of our calm and rational discussions concerning the evidence of Iraq's weapons programs we at least had yellowcake and aluminum tubes and moldy artillery shells and weather balloon stations and a long list of our receipts (coincidentally we also have a lot of them for Iran) and the literally tortured plots of suspicious terrorist gophers driven half insane by the waterboard. A skeptic recieves no boon of such quality material this time around, just the repeated, unsupported, apparently blind insistence that Iran has not only a nuclear weapons program but that, say, it has openly declared its desire for them, or maybe last week that it already has them, or that not only has the IAEA found some evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program but definitive proof of it.

    The lesson from Iraq has been learned: the absence of any evidence is enough to disprove the negative in satisfactory terms if you simply hope and pray strongly enough, and ignore the surplus of evidence that they're once again badly mistaken and that there are perfectly obvious rational explanations for impasses with the IAEA.

    Furthermore, hope and prayer continues to have a high efficacy with the rest of the lazy Washington intelligensia and your local bootlickers and even your liberal enemies on that hate list by your bedside (for some real entertainment along these lines you can go back and read the arguments of yesteryear at the apparently now defunct TPM Starbucks Abroad between highfalutin establishment liberals and the user Haas on Iran's nuclear program). They still swallow the shit and regurgitate it whole without ever demonstrating that they've ever thought twice about it. If the White House weighs anchor the rest of the fools on deck will hope and pray right along. Evidence would just give those liberal nitpickers a scab to itch. Better to leave them coasting on the coattails or doing leaps of logic in the wake of the ship of state. It's an amazing, pathetic thing to watch.

    So, obviously, they must know something we don't.

:: posted by buermann @ 2007-08-15 19:16:35 CST | link

    go ahead, express that vague notion

    your turing test:

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