Iran: Shadowboxing vs. a Rationally Genocidal Regime

(Times of Israel) Elihu D. Richter and Yael Stein - The Iranian leadership is rationally using the implements of modern technology to pursue irrational imperatives: conquest, intimidation, subordination. The Iranian leadership stepped back from advancing its nuclear ambitions when threatened - for example, during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. And it moves forward when it perceives it has received a respite. Scholars of genocide know that words kill, especially when they come from authoritarian leaders. When leaders incite and use hate language, they are signaling their real intentions. Architects and perpetrators of genocide mean what they say and say what they mean, and usually act on what they say. The use of hate language by leaders to incite is itself a crime against humanity. Precisely because the mullahs are rational, they will move as fast as they can to get as close as they can to having the bomb. Having invested so much political and economic capital in nuclear enrichment, it would be irrational for the mullahs to stop so close to the finish line. Iran will be "using" the fact they have the bomb every day - to threaten, extort and intimidate, especially as the U.S. projects an image of self-imposed decline. Paradoxically, it is the threat of the use of force that increases the probability that it will never have to be used. Think of Iran as the school bully. Elihu D. Richter MD and Yael Stein MD, of the Hebrew University Hadassah School of Public Health and Community Medicine, research the cause-effect relationships between incitement and genocide.

2012-03-29 00:00:00

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