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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Dealing with a Nuclear-Intent Iran

I've said since 2002 that dealing with Iraq was a necessary step on the way to deal with the biggest threat to stability and peace from the Middle East: Iran.

Iran, with its oil dollars, has long been the biggest supporter of terrorism in the world. Further, Iran has been pursuing a nuclear program for several years. A nuclear Iran possessed of a terrorist mindset would be lethal to hopes for stability and peace in the Middle East. And since terrorists are not confined by borders or easily identified by military uniforms, this poses a threat not only to Iran's Middle East neighbors, but to Israel, to our allies in Europe, and to the United States itself.

Norman Podhoretz has a lengthy article on the case for military action against Iran at Commentary Magazine.

Perhaps the best encapsulation of why Iran must be dealt with soon and dealt with decisively is in the eighth paragraph:

To begin with, Iran was (as certified even by the doves of the State Department) the leading sponsor of terrorism in the world, and it was therefore reasonable to fear that it would transfer nuclear technology to terrorists who would be only too happy to use it against us. Moreover, since Iran evidently aspired to become the hegemon of the Middle East, its drive for a nuclear capability could result (as, according to the New York Times, no fewer than 21 governments in and around the region were warning) in “a grave and destructive nuclear-arms race.” This meant a nightmarish increase in the chances of a nuclear war. An even greater increase in those chances would result from the power that nuclear weapons—and the missiles capable of delivering them, which Iran was also developing and/or buying—would give the mullahs to realize their evil dream of (in the words of Ahmadinejad) “wiping Israel off the map.”

The piece also points out that while the latest intelligence estimate contradicts the previous one of 2003, in this case claiming, well we don't think Iran is pursuing a military nuclear program, that the distinction really lies in the interpretation of whether the Iranian uranium enrichment program is intended for civilian or military application. When one can fairly easily be applied to the other, this is a dangerous distinction to make.

Yet the world body of nations, looking as usual for an excuse to play the coward and bury it's head in the sand, latched onto the intelligence estimate with a near-collective, "Whew! See, we don't need to do anything!"

The article also points out something interesting about the doctrine that helped keep us from nuclear annihilation during the Cold War: MAD, or Mutually Assured Destruction.

For all the coldness of atheistic communism, the Soviets still had enough humanity (or self interest?) not to unleash a flood of nuclear death. But does the typical radical Islamist see life, for himself or others, this way?

Podhorez quotes Bernard Lewis, who he says is the leading contemporary authority on Islamic culture:
MAD, mutual assured destruction, [was effective] right through the cold war. Both sides had nuclear weapons. Neither side used them, because both sides knew the other would retaliate in kind. This will not work with a religious fanatic [like Ahmadinejad]. For him, mutual assured destruction is not a deterrent, it is an inducement. We know already that [the mullahs ruling Iran] do not give a damn about killing their own people in great numbers. We have seen it again and again. In the final scenario, and this applies all the more strongly if they kill large numbers of their own people, they are doing them a favor. They are giving them a quick free pass to heaven and all its delights.

Failure to stop Iran from getting nukes may just usher in Armageddon and the end times spoken of in the Bible, with its images of the dead numbering in millions.

We cannot wait on the world body to, like the lion in the Wizard of Oz, find some courage. The vast majority of them lack the moral compass and fortitude to have the will do do what needs to be done. And many of them, while pretending to be our allies, would as soon or rather see the Iranians develop a nuclear weapons program. Nations like Russia and China are not our friends, and may actually be hoping for our demise, and the sooner we wake up to this reality, the better.

Once Iran has nuclear weapons, it will be too late. At that point, there is almost no world leader, in place or on the horizon, who would dare risk opening the Pandora's Box of even a limited nuclear exchange with Iran. They must be stopped NOW.

With the miserable prospects for who will next occupy the White House, it may fall to Israel to do what must be done, simply because unlike us, they do not have the luxury of a two-ocean buffer zone to fall back on.


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