Monday, June 25, 2012

"We talk about Iran as a huge threat. But we behave as if it were no threat at all"

"Reuters reports that the Flame virus that was apparently produced by the US and Israel, was not limited to simply spying on Iranian activities. It was also able to erase large hunks of data from the infected computers, thus rendering them useless.The code for this virus is now available to Iran and others. The US has probably more of our infrastructure systems linked to the internet — and thus potentially vulnerable to cyber attack — than any other country in the world.
The software is now out there, and we have ostentatiously established the precedent that it can be used in peacetime for essentially political or national security purposes.
If your local power grid goes down, or if your sewage plant blows up, or if your fire department is suddenly rendered incommunicado…will your first thought be: Oh, it’s those Iranians up to no good?
Maybe that possibility should cross your mind.
We have proceeded with sanctions and a virtual blockade of Iran’s oil production — potentially subtracting some 80 percent of Iran’s national revenues (not to mention assassinations and industrial sabotage) — on the unstated assumption that it is a one way street. .
The theory seems to be that we can conduct economic and cyber warfare against Iran as we wish, but they can do nothing to us. Is that really true? What would we think if another state did that to us?
Remember, all the Arab oil production in the Persian Gulf is managed by computers. If a significant percentage of that production were taken off line by computer malfunction, what would the price of gasoline look like? If gasoline should hit $5 a gallon in the peak driving season this summer, would we think that was just fair play in response to the 20-30 percent inflation we have generated in Iran?
We talk about Iran as a huge threat. But we behave as if it were no threat at all. Have we really considered what our reaction would be to retaliation in kind?

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