Friday, April 14, 2006

US and Iran on the brink of war

The game is who blink first, he or she loses.
For the past few years, Iran has been researching into alternative energy, which is nuclear energy to quench its energy hungry populace. Nuclear energy is relatively simple, and relatively cheap to produce. Western Europe and former USSR have been using this technology for a few decades, and being cheaper than other energy sources, they enjoy faster economic growth and command comparative advantage in the sixties and the seventies.
In the past, this old technology produces a byproduct that can be made into nuclear bomb. As such Western countries are wary of any country that acquires capabilities to enrich plutonium to fuel nuclear reactor.
Iran has rights to develop nuclear energy, just as USA, Western Europe and Russia had. Iran may have a lot of oil to use as energy, but it also need alternatives. Nuclear energy could fit the bill in winter, while solar energy could be harnessed in summer. I see no reason why the Bush Administration being suspicious, that Iran should might develop nuclear weapon.
In economics, a country could stay ahead from other countries if it still has comparative advantage in whatever it is doing best. Having cheaper energy, skilled populace, and bountiful resources could contribute tremendously towards a country’s comparative advantage. In Iran’s case, it already has bountiful oil for export, educated populace and much to the consternation of the West, an Islamic country with anti West leadership.
From Western viewpoint, if Iran could be self sufficient in energy needs, (Iran could develop nuclear energy as an alternative to solar and oil) educated and resourceful populace who could develop its own indigenous technologies for its own needs, then Iran could be the new leader in the Islamic world, without any supportive crutch from the West, unlike Saudi Arabia, Turkey or Pakistan. Look at Saudi Arabia, even though it is self sufficient in energy, it import everything else, its populace are too dependable towards foreign worker even to do household chores. The same can be said of other Gulf States. Does Turkey or Pakistan have sufficient energy and resources to stand on its own? Nope. The key to self sufficiency is energy. With cheap energy, you could produce food and almost all your needs, provided that your country has skilled and educated populace.
Iran has already shown its capability in defense technology, Western media have an eyeful of that the other day during Iran’s military exercise in the Persian Gulf. So Bush Administration starts asking, what else is Iran capable of?
I believe Iran is guilty of goading the West into current situation. President Ahmedinijad had made statements denying the holocaust and that Israel should be wiped off from the face of the earth. Furthermore, Iran had military exercises since last month, showing off its guided missiles.
Is Iran ready for war? I believe so, otherwise why would they do such things? Iran wanted to do that to be relevant in the Islamic world.
Then, is Bush Administration ready for war? I think not, not until the Iraqi business is concluded, then it will need another war. War is a good business for USA. It keeps the economy humming, producing vehicles, weapons and keeps the population focused on the war, forgetting their dismal performance at home. Look how much defense goods that America produces since the war began, and the surplus food that they shipped to Iraq. War abroad keeps the economy growing and healthy. Since 2001 “war on terror” in Afghanistan, America has been at war, first with the Talibans on pick-up trucks, and now with the Iraqis strapped with grenades.
Why doesn’t Bush Administration pick North Korea, Liberia, Sudan or Sierra Leone where there have been massacres lately? Those countries are inconsequential, no resources, and no oil. Bush Administration has found a way to keep the economy growing and healthy, make war, and war with an oil producing country. Oil prices will stay high, Gulf States will make a lot of money, which will be invested in America and Europe, and American companies will continue producing defense goods and keep American economy humming and healthy.
The real axis of evil, America, Europe and rich Gulf States. Why do I say Gulf States guilty as well? As Bill Clinton said sometime ago, it could invest in their poorer neighbours and spread their wealth where it is needed most, those poorer Middle Eastern countries, Indian subcontinent and Africa. If money doesn’t flow back to America and Europe, they wouldn’t have enough clout to throw their weight about, and threaten war against Iran.

Noor Yahaya Hamzah

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