Israel is a Rogue Terrorist State, so is the US
The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s top nuclear scientist, was a war crime and a terrorist action. While the Israeli government and military have refused to confirm or deny, which is as good as confirming, it is the common consensus that Israel is responsible for the murder, and that US leadership knew that it was going to happen. This sort of behavior is the kind that would earn just about any other nation, particularly if it was committed against us or an “ally,” a terrorist designation and widespread condemnation. This isn’t the first time that Iranian scientists have been assassinated. Nor is it even the first time this year that an Iranian official was assassinated by the US-Israel alliance. The US murdered Qasem Soleimani with a drone strike in Iraq at the beginning of this year. Israel and the US have violated the sovereignty of Iran and other nations in assassinating both government officials and private citizens, and apart from some criticism immediately following these war crimes, not much of anything meaningful is ultimately said about them, and less is done.
Imagine if a foreign nation executed military assassinations on US citizens. Farkhrizadeh reportedly worked for the Iranian military, and that in addition to his nuclear work had built missiles. The same could be said of hundreds if not thousands of American citizens employed or contracted by the US military. Imagine if US military officers were bombed when they visited other nations. Imagine if US scientists were gunned down on an American highway by agents of a foreign government. All hell would shit directly into the fan. American politicians would be screaming about the crime and demanding action. The intelligence agencies would be flipping every rock, exploiting every constitutional loophole, using every dirty trick to determine the party to blame. Our military would demolish and devastate all the property and people at all suspected of having any involvement or connection to the assassinations.
You know we would.
But notice that Iran hasn’t.
For all the bellicose language some people, mostly US and Israeli hawks, use about Iran, about them being a major sponsor of terror in the world, about them being so dangerous and an immediate threat to peace, Iran’s responses to attacks against it have been not only measured but amazingly calm and conciliatory. Part of this has to do with the fact that Iran, at least its current leadership, does not want war. Despite every effort of Israel, with help from the US, to provoke Iran into responding to their violent and brazen attacks in kind and starting a full-fledged war, Iran hasn’t taken the bait. The US and Israel likely wouldn’t be able to win a war with Iran, in the same way that the US was unable to win their wars against Iraq or Vietnam, but they, the US in particular, would do far more damage to Iran than Iran could hope to match.
Most of what is said in calling for war, or war-adjacent actions, against Iran is based far less on what Iran has done or is doing, but on what it is suspected they will do. Despite having no nuclear weapons, saying they do not intend to develop nuclear weapons, US intelligence agencies agreeing that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons, and there being little to no substantiated evidence that Iran was or is or will develop nuclear weapons, the leaders of Israel’s government and military, and some of the psychotically hawkish and evidence-unencumbered folks in the US government and military, never cease beating the drums and stoking feverish terror of Iran’s, as far as can be proven, imaginary nuclear weapons program. They insist that it is a real and immediate danger that must be thwarted, preferably with lots of violence. They warn of the horrors that would follow should Iran obtain nuclear weapons.
But why shouldn’t Iran have nuclear weapons?
I don’t want them to. Ideally, no one should have nuclear weapons. Yet the justification for why it’s fine for the US and the UK and France and China and Russia and India and Pakistan and presumably Israel and a handful of other states to have nuclear weapons, but it would be wrong and horrible for Iran to have them is weak. The only real reason is that other nations, especially the US, but especially especially ESPECIALLY Israel, don’t want them to. They don’t want Iran to be a more formidable rival. More than that, they don’t want Iran to have a deterrent to prevent them being attacked or having their citizens and government personnel assassinated.
There is not a high likelihood that Iran, if they did develop nuclear weapons, would use them. Nearly all nuclearly armed nations have never used them. The consensus among most nations is that the point of nuclear weapons is that you don’t have to use them. They’re meant to be used as a deterrent, a threat to keep enemies or rivals from attacking. Horrible as nuclear weapons are, it’s not surprising that nations whose leaders are under perpetual threat of invasion or obliteration would want to have them.
Look at North Korea. The Kims and their regime would have been assassinated years ago if they didn’t have nuclear weapons. But Kim Jong-un isn’t actually about to use them. Even a purportedly mad childlike despot doesn’t want to risk the fallout of ordering a nuclear strike. Putting aside whether malice would make him want to use them, fear of retaliation, of him and his people being obliterated, prevents it. You don’t hold onto nuclear weapons because you want to destroy the world; you hold onto them so that no one will fuck with you. Kim has managed not only to keep his dystopian dictatorship in existence, but also earned a free trip to Singapore and personal fellatio from the president of the United States.
Every nation with nuclear weapons has a history of committing war crimes and human rights abuses, many have colonized and committed genocides, those and other offenses should disqualify them from pretending they have any moral authority to judge other nations. I don’t defend the actions or supposed intentions of Iran, but those of Israel and the US are no less indefensible. The US retains the ignoble distinction of being the only nation on Earth to ever actually use nuclear weapons against another nation. We did so unnecessarily and against a civilian population. That distinction should serve as our automatic recusal as a moral authority on the subject.