The “Rights” of Dictators

by | Jan 12, 2006 | POLITICS

“We [the Iranians] have a right to have nuclear technology. We are a nation with an ancient civilization and rich culture. I think it’s really hypocritical of Mr. Bush to criticize Iran for having nuclear technology while Pakistan, India and Israel have nuclear bombs.” So claims the 25-year-old citizen of the deadly Iranian dictatorship, as […]

“We [the Iranians] have a right to have nuclear technology. We are a nation with an ancient civilization and rich culture. I think it’s really hypocritical of Mr. Bush to criticize Iran for having nuclear technology while Pakistan, India and Israel have nuclear bombs.”

So claims the 25-year-old citizen of the deadly Iranian dictatorship, as reported at MSNBC.com.

Is this young man right? Do dictatorships have “rights”? Do the policies of the government of a certain country have no relevance when considering the rights of individuals within that country?

Is it not fair for the U.S. to deny a dangerous dictatorship like Iran the “right” to have its own nuclear weapons?

If not, then the U.S. was wrong to take on Nazi Germany and imperial Japan in World War II. After all, the individual Japanese and Germans have rights too. Why should their countries be left out of the power game?

If you think that the analogy does not hold up because Nazi Germany and imperial Japan were self-evidently dangerous nations on the attack against the U.S., you are wrong. Nazi Germany, thankfully, never had a chance to attack the U.S. because it focused first on Europe. The U.S. intervened in order to help itself, not just Europe. Various Iranian officials have made it very clear over the years that they not only intend to build nuclear weapons, but to use them, once developed, against their enemies. If you think the Middle East is unstable now, just wait until Iran has a nuclear bomb. Iran is the # 1 state sponsor of terrorism in the world, and has been since its Islamic “revolution” in 1979. This is not merely my opinion, but the official statement of the U.S. government for the last 25-plus years.

Dictatorships have no rights. The thugs and militants who run the Iranian government have no more rights than Osama bin Laden, who hides somewhere while the U.S. concentrates all its efforts on Iraq. The Bush Administration probably does not believe that dictators have rights, but they sure do soft-pedal the rhetoric against Iran. Why on earth have we not at least bombed their nuclear facility, or allowed Israel to do so?

History will record that President George W. Bush made a tremendous error when he chose to switch the anti-terrorism policy away from going after all terrorist regimes (remember the Axis of Evil?) and instead focus exclusively and indefinitely on Iraq. The President acts as if “we can only get stability in Iraq, the rest of the Middle East will follow.” Earth to Mr. Bush: elections in Iraq, even if they ever lead to anything valuable for that country, aren’t going to stop Iran from using both the threat and the actuality of nuclear weapons against Iraq, Israel, and all our interests in the Middle East. Why on earth do we keep evading this issue? Why have bombs not been dropped on Iran? It’s worse than dangerous to leave this to the next administration, still 4 years away and probably even less likely to face the facts until there’s a nuclear cloud over the Middle East.

I do want to end on a more positive note. I think Iran will be defeated. But it’s not going to be the U.S. that will do what needs to be done. It’s going to be Israel. In the end, we can’t stop Israel from defending itself — and ourselves in the process.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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