Roger L. Simon

Sick Priorities

Sad news again from Iran.

A powerful earthquake struck southeast Iran Tuesday, killing 400 people, injuring hundreds and turning remote mountain villages into rubble, officials said.

The tremor, with a magnitude of 6.4, centered on the town of Zarand, about 440 miles southeast of Tehran and revived painful memories of the devastating quake just 14 months ago in the nearby desert citadel city of Bam that killed 31,000 people.

Distraught and weeping villagers carried dead bodies wrapped in bloodied blankets and bed sheets, and dug with their bare hands through ruins in search of friends and relatives.

Sad news indeed. But to be frank, I think it verges on the mentally ill that a culture so primitive that year after year it leaves its citizens unprotected from the same natural disasters, its countryside scattered with untold numbers of medieval villages without even a semblance of earthquake proofing, would have an atomic bomb. That’s like giving a loaded gun to a two-year old. I hope those European negotiators start to grow up a bit themselves and realize this isn’t about American hegemony. This is about human survival.

More here. Not surprisngly, the situation is getting worse.

UPDATE: My thanks to Kyda Sylvester in the comments for reminding us that today is the day of protest against the incarceration of the Iranian bloggers Mojtaba and Arash.