The big news of the day has clearly been the US Intelligence report that’s come out detailing how Iran halted its nuclear weapons work in 2003.
Iran halted work toward a nuclear weapon under international scrutiny in 2003 and is unlikely to be able to produce enough enriched uranium for a bomb until 2010 to 2015, a U.S. intelligence report says.
A declassified summary of the latest National Intelligence Estimate found with “high confidence” that the Islamic republic stopped an effort to develop nuclear weapons in the fall of 2003.
But, of course, the debate has heightened – some state that this is just more proof that action is needed, because Iran has (and could again) have the intention to build a nuclear program. On the other side, some state that this is a slam dunk – since Iran isn’t building nuclear weapons, and thus, there’s no need to get aggressive with that country’s leadership.
So who’s right?
If we look to the Constitution, and more specifically the 10th Amendment, both sides of this argument are wrong – as far as what direction American foreign policy should take, that is.
Let’s back up a bit first.
The Constitution was written under what’s called “positive grant.” What this means is quite simple. The federal government is authorized to exercise only those powers which are positively granted to it by the Constitution. If a power is specifically listed in the Constitution, the federal government can do it. And, vice versa.
This principle was so important to the founding fathers that they codified it in law as the 10th Amendment:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Simple, right? Well, you’d think so, but it’s in the nature of government – and politicians – to ignore any rules that limit their power. And that’s why we see both the 10th Amendment, and the entire Constitution, becoming more and more irrelevant in political discussions in Washington D.C.
So how does this apply to Iranian Nukes – or lack of them?
Well, it’s so straightforward, it’s pretty easy to miss.
Nowhere in the Constitution is the US federal government given the authority to dictate to other countries what form of offensive or defensive weapons they may possess. The Constitution clearly gives the feds the power to repel an imminent attack, but possession of a weapon, in and of itself, is not a threat of its use.
That’s why it’s so odd that there’s such a large contingent of so-called right wingers who are supporting action against Iran – supporting the disarmament of another country.
It all seems quite hypocritical. Generally, the right (or conservatives as some like to be called) supports the right of self-defense – especially as espoused by the 2nd Amendment.
While many of these people oppose criminalizing the possession of a weapon, and only support punitive measures based on how that weapon is used, they do an about face when it comes to Iran. They have no problem criminalizing the possession – rather than the use – of a weapon, and are seemingly willing to end the lives of countless thousands to enforce that “law.”
This is government power run amok – in the worst way. The disarming of Iran is just gun control taken to its natural conclusion – on a global level – where one group of armed people in a government claim the right to disarm another group of people.
“Disarming” or preventing nuclear weapons in the hands of the Iranian government has nothing to do with maintaining peace, has nothing to do with protecting the American people, and has nothing to do with just about anything we hear from the mainstream media.
It’s about one government disarming another to ensure its own safety, its own power, and its own empire.
In a May 2005 article, former presidential candidate Harry Browne may have put it best:
No one has answered – or until now, even asked – the obvious question: Why is it that the United States can have a nuclear arsenal far larger than that of every other country in the world combined, but that Iran can’t have even a single nuclear bomb – especially when Israel, Pakistan, and India have nuclear weapons?
But then, that’s the mission of TV news: to avoid asking the obvious questions.
And on top of it all, from where does the US government claim its right to determine what’s acceptable – and what’s not – as part of another country’s military arsenal?
It’s over two years later, and still no one on either side of the debate is asking these important questions.
It’s just not in their interest to do so.