Everybody has heard the news: Iran has demonstrated its ability to attack Israel with by testing long range missiles.


TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran test-fired nine long- and medium-range missiles Wednesday during war games that officials said aimed to show the country can retaliate against any U.S. or Israeli attack, state television reported.

Oil prices jumped on news of the missile tests, rising US$1.44 to US$137.48 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The military exercise was being conducted at the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway at the mouth of the Persian Gulf through which about 40 percent of the world’s oil passes. Iran has threatened to shut down traffic in the strait if attacked. It was not clear, however, whether the missile test also took place near the strait.

Gen. Hossein Salami, the air force commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, said the exercise would “demonstrate our resolve and might against enemies who in recent weeks have threatened Iran with harsh language,” the TV report said.

Once again, we have Iranian officials stating that their intent isn’t to offensively attack anyone, but that their motives are defensive. The US and Israel keep talking about attacking Iran, Iran responds by saying they will do all they can to defend themselves. Wouldn’t we do the exact same thing? Don’t they have that right?

Then there’s this:

“They should also refrain from further missile tests if they truly seek to gain the trust of the world,” he added, speaking from Japan where President Bush is attending the Group of Eight summit.

But the missles display seemed to be a response to an Israeli military exercise aimed directly as a show of might against Iran:

Israel’s military sent warplanes over the eastern Mediterranean for a large military exercise in June that U.S. officials described as a possible rehearsal for a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, which the West fears are aimed at producing atomic weapons.

Iran says its nuclear program is geared only toward generating electricity, not weapons.

The Israeli exercise was widely interpreted as a show of force as well as a practice on skills needed to execute a long-range strike mission.

Shaul Mofaz, an Israeli Cabinet minister, set off an international uproar last month by saying in a published interview that Israel would have “no choice” but to attack Iran if it doesn’t halt its nuclear program.

I’m sure I’ll be branded a terrorist at the most and a terrorist sympathizer at least by those who chose not to logically think about this whole situation, but it seems to me that when Iran vehemently denies trying to create nuclear weapons and our intelligence supports it, UN inspectors say it’s true; but we keep threatening to attack them and Israel demonstrates it’s ability to do so, isn’t it perfectly logical for Iran to do the same?

It seems like all we have to do is accuse a country of wanting to blow the world up and it justifies us starting a war. But what happens if we tell them to stop doing something they aren’t even doing? How will they ever be seen as complying? Do we teach our children that if someone SAYS they are going to hit you it’s okay to hit them first whether or not they intend to follow through?