The premise of many analysts is that Persia wants an A-bomb. I’m deliberately using a retro vocabulary. I might even say Mesopotamia sometimes.
President Dwight “Atoms for Peace” Eisenhower helped the post WW2 Farsi speaking world join the nuclear club. The bequeathed reactor was similar to the one supplied to the University of the Philippines, and to Reed College: for research purposes, for learning nuclear physics, not for serious power generation, nor for weapons making, obviously. The power plants would come later.
People forget how Iranians loved Apollo, the moon landing initiative. A lot of them did. Iranians were encouraged to like Americans in those days. The CIA had established the Shah.
I’m guessing fewer Iranian internet users, a savvy minority, think Apollo was a hoax, than do anglophone teenagers, in percentage terms. I could be wrong. Shall we do a poll?
The District of Columbia makes no bones about wanting command and control over nuclear WMDs, even if it gives lip service to disarmament someday.
A big part of the 1900s American ego was having nukes, which connoted status and entitlements. One could strut and puff if in the nuclear club. Those were the good old days.
The Ayatollahs, on the other hand, were pretty consistent about nuclear weapons being immoral.
That the Persians might nevertheless be actively seeking “the bomb” is a possibility, out of desperation, however the hypocrisy would seem deeper, and the risks greater. With Iraq no longer a threat, what could be the point?
Why not stake a position on morally higher ground? Cast DC as a spoiled nuke-happy mega-brat. That’s a legitimate defense, in the form of a rhetorical offense.
Help lead the non-aligned movement, overwhelmingly anti-nuclear, despite the bad examples set by India and Pakistan? That’s been part of the pattern.
The post WW2 consensus was driven by optimism. The CIA, in cahoots with the Rockefeller, Carnegie and Ford Foundations, was spreading internationalization to a war-weary world. Receptivity was high. People wanted those kitchen appliances.
True enough, a lot of Christians within the District’s jurisdiction did not like the apparent secularism, which seemed an extension of Freemasonry in too many ways.
Religious hierarchies newly coming under DC’s purview were likewise skeptics, about birth control, sexual permissiveness, contraception, rights for women.
But in the 1950s and 1960s, the mood was still upbeat among power centers.
Fast forward, to a time when neo-conservatives controlled many offices, in cahoots with the alt-right. By now, DC had lost much of its prior ability to:
(a) converse with Russians in a civil fashion or
(b) make friends in general.
That having nuclear weapons in the first place might constitute a weakness did not occur to these strategists apparently.
The only way to gain respect is to threaten total annihilation, right? They called it “asymmetric warfare”.
Winning through bullying, including of one’s allies, seems to be the new credo (policy?) and is a long way from the post WW2 optimism I grew up with.
Now we were dealing with last ditch desperadoes who saw a window of opportunity closing.
That such a window, opening onto world domination and a New American Century, was ever really open, likewise goes unquestioned by these clingers on to power.
That we’re still in an age of Pax Americana, that must be prolonged at all costs, seems more an article of faith than a reasoned worldview, among these latter day would be leaders.
The original spirit of internationalization is probably best represented by the original EPCOT in Orlando.
Disney’s Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow was meant as a kind of Apollo Project for civilian lifestyle development. Experimentalists would prototype high tech, futuristic, enviable ways of life the rest of the world would want to emulate.
The competition, back then, was in terms of civilian living standards, not who had the most nukes. Capitalism could best Communism, fair and square. The future looked bright.
At EPCOT’s center: Spaceship Earth. Buckminster Fuller represented the confidant dreamer who was spreading positive futurism to the world. He beckoned Persia to join in playing World Game, in Humans in Universe by Anwar Dil.
This was neither Kissinger-style realpolitik, nor weapons of mass destruction for Saddam Hussein. Those were B team concerns.
The A team’s initiatives started to crumble as the CIA got increasingly mixed up in the dirty business of proxy wars funded by drug smuggling. Between engaging in money laundering, serving as Wall Street’s cocaine supplier, and funding corrupt politicians, intelligence work still had some of its derring-do, some gung-ho aspects.
But the ideologies had become confused, and mixed up with the School of the Americas. The morally confused work for money, not out of idealism, and that’s a sign that some old order is breaking down.
By the time Oliver North and Admiral Poindexter were making headlines, the new idiocracy was pretty much intact.
By the time of Clinton versus Trump (2016), the CIA was but one of sixteen agencies, with the DNI the new hub.
People thought in terms of drones, torture (extreme rendition), and the Gitmo ghetto.
DC had gone from triumphalism to bottom of the barrel, from world empire to Banana Republic. USA OS was not yet a topic.
To be fair, a lot of air was leaving the nation-states balloon more generally. Zionism had been shown to not work, but then refugees were falling through the cracks everywhere, not just in Mesopotamia.
The intelligence community was re-configuring, more than entrenching to fight some particular president. The deep state was getting deeper perhaps, but was also becoming far less vested in DC’s way of running things.