March 2, 2010
Does Ahmadinejad Want a Radioactive Cloud over Iran?By James Lewis
Why did Iran move its stockpile of low-enriched nuclear fuel to above-ground storage that is vulnerable to air attack? The New York Times reports that IAEA inspectors in Iran just saw this:
Iran has long used North Korean engineers to build military tunnels deep in their vast mountains, where they are protected from air strikes by many tons of rock and concrete. But this time is totally different -- the Iranians exposed their whole stockpile of enriched uranium to precision bomb strikes. Further, they did so in plain sight of U.N. inspectors.
There are three rational interpretations. None of them apply, because this is not a rational regime by normal human standards. But let's look at them.
One is that the nuclear fuel needed to be moved above ground to enrich it further, which A'jad just announced they want to do. So in effect, Ahmadinejad openly called attention to what they are now known to be doing.
The second rational explanation is that it's a royal screw-up. Don't believe it. These people are mad, but not stupid.
The third is that the real Iranian stockpile has been moved elsewhere and that U.N. inspectors are being suckered with fakes. Remember that during the Kosovo War, the Serbians were able to fake out the U.S. Air Force with wooden "tanks" while hiding their real tanks from high-altitude bombing. U.N. inspectors are a lot less savvy than the USAF.
Those are rational explanations for rational regimes. The Iranians are not necessarily rational in that way. They are a suicide-preaching, murder-preaching, profoundly regressive, pre-medieval regime. They are throwbacks to the martyrdom cults of the Dark Ages. Ayatollah Khomeini himself caused thousands of teenagers on motorbikes to be sent racing into Saddam Hussein's minefields to martyr themselves in the Iran-Iraq War in order to clear them. The sacrificial lambs were promised a direct entrée to Paradise, with green plastic signs around their necks reading "Key to Paradise." Allah can read Arabic. Happy day, kids, this is your chance to become a Shaheed for Allah.
Normal human beings don't think that way.
To understand Amadinejad's "I dare ya!" move with his enriched uranium, we have to try to think the way these people think.
I believe that the regime is deliberately trying to trigger an Israeli or American bombing strike at a time and place of its choosing. That time is now, and the place is the location of the enrichment factory.
Why now? Because there is an uncontrollable democratic rebellion threatening to boil over in the modernist half of the Iranian nation.
Why this place? Because a bomb attack on uranium stored above ground would raise a cloud of radioactive particles spreading around the world, as it did after the Chernobyl plant disaster in the Soviet Union. By contrast, underground uranium can be degraded just by making the roof fall in, with little or no radioactive particle leakage.
Remember that Saddam Hussein had a giant, rickety warehouse full of yellowcake uranium -- all the time we were told he had no WMDs by the sleazy Western media. We heard about that warehouse only three years after Saddam was overthrown, the yellowcake was very carefully repacked and moved out, and it was sent to Canada for reprocessing. The uranium warehouse was never bombed or shelled. The risk of a radioactive disaster -- or at least a P.R. disaster -- was much too great. President George W. Bush tolerated years and years of vicious personal smears by the Democrats and the Left about his "failure to find WMDs" just to ensure that the yellowcake was moved safely out of the country. That's the kind of man George W. Bush is. He did the right thing, and he took the hits from all the sleazy demagogues.
But why would A'jad invite such an attack on his precious enriched uranium? Because this is a martyrdom regime. These people derive their deepest justification from suffering -- the real thing, not the phony suffering the Western media like to celebrate on the nightly news. In Iraq, you can see news photos of Shiite religious processions with men whipping their backs bloody every single year. Suffering is the key to Shiite psychology, and in Iran, Khomeini turned the willingness of his followers to suffer into a political weapon. That is how A'jad still uses it today. Ahmaninejad appears to be a "Twelver," a follower of the most radical suicide- and hate-preaching cleric of them all, Ayatollah Yazdi, a real mad hatter. A'jad certainly wants every intelligence agency in the world to believe that he is a madman, because who wants to fight a real nutjob? There's no knowing what he will do.
A'jad's political calculation may be that after thirty years of forcing every Iranian child to chant "Death to Israel! Death to America!" -- an Israeli/U.S. attack will unify the country behind the cult in power. That would allow A'jad to carve up and kill the democratic opposition.
So far the Israelis haven't struck the "Bomb Me" target. They are in a serious bind. A'jad keeps taunting them with a genocidal nuclear attack. He is building the means to do it. But he is also aching for a good excuse to go and kill the Jews and the "Crusaders." When he is asked what the two greatest duties of a Muslim are, he answers, "To Kill and Die for Allah." That's official doctrine. It's what children are taught in school.
A'jad organized suicide charges in the Iran-Iraq war, and last year he appointed a known torturer to be the police chief in Tehran. A'jad's personal guru, Yazdi, calmly discussed on video how it is legal under Islam to rape prisoners -- boys or women -- prior to their execution; the only restraint is that raping a woman should be done in private. It's the dress code, ya see. The naked body of women must not be exposed to the lustful eyes of men, even if the woman is being officially raped, tortured, and murdered. Three years ago, they did it with a Canadian woman journalist.
These people are bestial, sadistic, anti-human, the very worst that humanity throws up from its cesspit of horrors. Legal rape-murder is sanctioned by Twelver doctrine. (The Ayatollah Khomeini himself explained that intercourse with animals is permissible. But women can't wear short sleeves.)
The other side of their destructive sadism is masochism. One reason they can inflict horrors on other people is because they expect to suffer themselves, and they do, in ritually approved ways. They are taught to yearn for death. "We desire death just as you desire life" is a standard slogan of Islamist death cults, both Shiite and Sunni.
What A'jad is doing by exposing his uranium as a target is to taunt the enemy with a martyrdom act for the entire Iranian nation. He is exposing his nation to a bombing, knowing that radioactive uranium particles may spread in a giant cloud. Even if there were little radioactivity, the worldwide outcry from the hysterical Left would trigger a P.R. disaster. It would be identical to a "Dirty Nuke" -- no nuclear reaction, just a lot of radioactive material being vaporized.
Ahmadinejad is always testing. That's what bullies do. It's what Saddam was always doing.
The Iranian regime knows perfectly well that most of the world is expecting an Israeli and/or allied strike on Iranian nuclear facilities sometime soon. They would rather have it happen at a time and place of A'jad's choosing. Obama might call it "the Audacity of Martyrdom." Because this is a very high-risk move by the maniacs of Tehran.
The first rule of war is never to do what the enemy expect at a time when they are ready for it. It is therefore important not to fall into this trap. I believe that the IDF will not do so, because they have far better intelligence regarding Iran than the CIA does. Recently, the son of the head of Hamas was revealed to be an Israeli spy, now going public as a Christian convert. With the horrors the Khomeini regime has routinely inflicted on the people of Iran, it is very likely that enough Iranians hate the regime that they are keeping Israel and the Saudis well-informed.
Any attack on key nuclear components in Iran must be carried out at a time and place of Western choosing. A decapitation attack on Ahmadinejad personally might be welcomed by the people of Iran. An above-ground uranium stockpile attack would not.