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December 09, 2006


For you horribly disabled non-statisticians out there (lawyers, for example), here is a key fact: If all countries were placed on a bell-curve of nastiness, most would clump in the middle, with Iran North Korea, and a few others, on the tail, as the most nasty. Over time, a powerful phenomenon called “regression towards the mean” occurs, and they tend to drift back toward the average, or mean. All else being equal, random events conspire to create “average nastiness”. Tyrants lose power, or they run out of the money they need to do bad things, they get assassinated, their people rise up, etc. Honestly, this really happens. Examples: Nicaragua, ALL of South America (compared to 1965), Panama, Libya, and of course, the Soviet Union (remember them?). Ergo, if the democracies simply CONTAIN Iran, it will likely improve over time, on its own. Condi recently pointed out that Iran’s economy is fragile (still much weaker than 1979), people are getting very tired of poverty, the isolation, and their obviously emotionally disturbed president. Hate is also very disabling to Iran. Many people in the Middle East cling to hate as an addiction, passing it on to their children, cherishing it inside themselves, using it as the centerpiece of their lives. For Iran, hate is an enormous waste of time and energy. Finally, we probably have time on the nuclear issue. There are only two ways to make nuclear weapons, Plutonium - 238, or enriched uranium. Key points: (1) North Korea has no usable weapons; their "fizzle" shot occurred because they only have REACTOR grade plutonium (80% pure or less), which can only be refined to weapons grade at enormous cost, and they don't have significant usable enriched uranium; (2) Most Russian nukes are mothballed and have degraded to an unusable state, and (3) Iran has no idea what they're doing. Contrary to web chit-chat, building reliable, weapons-usable and deliverable nuclear weapons is very hard, and Iran would only get one shot at an attack. Russia has never perfected stable, reliable weapons where you could just push a button and get a reliable bomb blast of a certain size in a certain exact place on the other side of the world. (Remember these people are still driving Lada’s.) Given these facts, are these Iranian fanatics (who could not even build a Lada without help), a clear and present danger to the US? Russia seems to be playing Iran along to take their money. Iran apparently tried for a North Korean nuke, but now realize that huge, ship-sized nukes that only fizzle are useless. They probably planned to hit a coastal city, like Tel Aviv. Right now, we (democracies) just have to keep up the pressure, and focus on containment If the democracies have to bomb Iran as a kind of last-minute thing, we will. Astonishingly, even liberals will support war if the enemy is at the gates.

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