[Marxism] AIPAC works for the 1 percent

Eli Stephens elishastephens at hotmail.com
Mon Mar 5 16:27:01 MST 2012

Shane: "There is no possible economic justification for a program to build
nuclear power plants in any country."

Whatever your opinion of nuclear power, and I'm opposed to it, this
statement is just flat wrong.

Here's a post on the subject from my blog in 2006:


Iran's nuclear power
When I've written in the recent past about Iran, I haven't had the slightest
hesitation to say that Iran has the right to develop nuclear power or
nuclear weapons. But I admit I didn't fully understand why they were so keen
on nuclear power. This article
late=contentModules/printstory.jsp>  is extremely enlightening on that
point. Here's a sentence which describes what I probably thought of as their
main motive: "Iranians view the development of nuclear energy as a hallmark
of modernization and national pride." But the truth is, there are more
concrete reasons as well:
> Iranians point out that nuclear energy makes profound economic sense for their
> nation. The nuclear energy program aims to use the nation's own uranium
> resources.
> More important, nuclear energy development would allow Iran to husband its
> natural gas resources that are currently being exhausted for electricity
> generation, but that could much more profitably be exported to growing
> industrial markets such as China and India.

And, don't you know it, the self-interest of the United States plays a role
too. Not now, of course, but historically:

> Indeed, the United States supported Iran's switching over to nuclear energy
> under our ally Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in good part so that Iran's oil and
> natural gas would be preserved.
> Iranians, annoyed that that history is being ignored, correctly note that
> "nuclear technology transfer" was encouraged by both American government and
> American industry in the 1970s. President Gerald Ford offered Iran a full
> nuclear fuel cycle in 1976, and American nuclear plant manufacturers touted
> their wares at exhibitions and trade fares in Tehran.

Although it isn't as much of a mystery to anyone who understands the
concepts of "national sovereignty," the article also sheds light on why Iran
would not be amenable to allowing nuclear enrichment programs to be based in
another country (Russia):

> One of the reasons for this failure was the flawed partnership between the
> shah's government and the West. European and American industry was happy to
> cooperate with Iran in industrialization schemes, but these programs never
> provided Iran with the capacity for basic manufacturing [Ed. note: this is of
> course, no accident, but the essence of imperialism]. Industrial operations
> were largely turnkey assembly facilities designed to supply goods for internal
> Iranian consumption, with no possibility for export.
> For this reason, Tehran's leaders began working with the Soviet Union and
> Japan in the 1970s to develop the basic industries they felt Iran needed to be
> a successful state. They developed a steel mill with the Soviet Union in
> Isfahan at enormous public cost and a petroleum refinery with Mitsui.
> That history helps explain why Tehran is resisting a plan, suggested by
> Britain, Germany and France, that would allow Iran to have nuclear plants if
> Russia conducts the process to provide the enriched uranium to run the
> reactors and then repossesses the spent fuel rods.
> That would alleviate outside fears that Iran would misuse its energy program
> to create nuclear weapons, but it smacks of the neo-colonial "assembly
> industry" so despised by the revolutionary forces in 1978-79.

On a lighter note, I did love this closing remark, intended by the author to
express his disapproval of attacking Iran:

> Iranians have a keen sense of honor, gheirat, and when national honor and
> pride are attacked, particularly when they believe the attack is unjustified,
> an explosive, angry reaction is culturally required.

Yes, and I'm sure if another country bombed American nuclear facilities, or,
say, flew planes into large buildings, our lack of "gheirat" would cause us
to have a non-explosive, calm reaction. Uh-huh.

Eli Stephens
 Left I on the News

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