Monday, May 01, 2006

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence

One of my favorite lines from the invasion of Iraq surfaced in the May 8th issue of Newsweek in an article about the crisis in Iran titled Iran: Tehran's Known Unknowns. When Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld uttered “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” to a skeptical American public it was suppose to convey the meaning that a hidden menace was obscured behind Saddam’s incompressible and defiant actions. I believed Iraq was dangerous at the time because their actual behavior seemed to indicate that they were hiding a dangerous military and subversive religious agenda from the rest of the world. France and Russia objected to taking any direct action, as I recall, China did as well. What is different with the situation in Iran today?

France seems to be siding with the rest of Europe and the United States. Of course, they are doing it in their own special French way which means they will most likely side with Russia before the end. China and Russia are deeply involved in potentially lucrative economic considerations. China needs Iran’s oil, Russia wants free market access. Both countries motives are blatantly obvious and should be discounted when dealing with rouge counties like Iran.

Iran has a nuclear program. They have deliberately hid their activities from the safeguards of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. They have purchased machinery through illicit means which will facilitate the creation of weapons grade highly enriched uranium. The icing on this nuclear cake is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s comments demonstrating a total lack of concern for any UN resolution and a strong desire to remove Israel from the map. Imho – Iran is developing a nuclear weapon. They may intend to use it on Israel or other hapless non-Islamic countries. Russian seems intent on providing the technology; China seems intent on providing the money. The UN is helpless. Must we act alone again?

I hate say it (because I am not a Rumsfeld fan), but Rumsfeld and Rice may be right. Iran is dangerous. They must be confronted and their nuclear ambitions thwarted. It pains me to side with Rumsfeld. He is too arrogant to be trusted. Yet, Ahmadinejad pushes us towards accepting Rumsfeld on face value. Ahmadinejad must be mad – he pokes his finger in the eye of a giant who has already demonstrated a devastating ability to topple governments and the unilateral resolve to do so.

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