Mon 23 Jan, 2006 09:38 pm
Iran with it's nuclear ambitions presents us with a convenient test of the power of multi-lateral, UN centered diplomacy to resolve really difficult international problems.
It's a fair bet that it will fail this test.
What is the best recourse, for America, if it does?
1) Accept that the Iranians will develop nuclear weapons and make it clear
to them that they will be obliterated if they ever use them...or provide
them to others to use.
2) Intervene militarily.
3) Encourage the Israelis to intervene militarily.
4) Actively support and encourage a popular revolution within Iran.
#1 makes sense only if we can feel relatively confident that a theocracy that encourages the worship of martyrs has the same sensitivity to annihilation as the typical Western nation. And if they provide a nuclear weapon to Hamas to aid it in wiping Israel off the map, would we really be prepared to retaliate with a nuclear strike on Iran? Do we simply ignore the fact that the Iranian president has publicly called for the elimination of Israel, or chalk it up to bluster?
#2 appears to be very problematic in that the Iranians have apparently learned from the Iraqi experience and buried their nuclear facilities. Any sort of surgical strike we might launch seems a dubious proposition. If military intervention is necessary it will have to be another Iraqi styled operation of regime change. I doubt the American people will have the stomach for such an operation.
#3 - See #2. If we can't pull off a surgical strike, neither can Israel, and Israel cannot invade Iran. Never-the-less, I hope the rest of the world doesn't cause Israel to assume they must take the matter into their own hands. Whether or not they can succeed, they will have to try if they believe America has decided on #1. It will be a meager consolation to them if Iran is flattened after it nukes Israel. The rest of the world can afford to talk about diplomacy, sanctions, and threats of retaliation. It is Israel that Iranian nuclear missiles will target.
#4 seems to me to make the most sense, but it would be foolish to think that this approach could be pulled off without serious resistance from inside and outside the US. I can hear Noam Chomsky and Blueflame now: "Who is America to intervene in the internal politics of a sovereign nation and overthrow a government duly elected by its citizens!"
Personally, I favor #4, providing we go at it whole hog.
It offers the very positive advantage of not requiring the loss of American lives and limbs (save perhaps for a few CIA operatives).
It will cost us far less than an invasion and occupation.
It relies on the creation of democracy from within rather than from without.
It seems feasible. If the CIA could stage a revolution that put the Shah in place, it should be able to aid and encourage one to overthrow a pack of dictatorial mullahs.
I would love to see this problem resolved by the combined diplomatic efforts of the world. I would also love to see the Yankees win the World Series every year for the rest of my life.
#6. Crack another beer, and see who's on Letterman gets my vote.
#5 just bomb the f**king **** out of them, do not go in to support anyone there after and let the world know that's what will happen to anyone who f**ks with us. That might have considerable effect. if people realized we would utterly destroy them and then give them zero help to rebuild.
btw Atomic Mullahs...what a great name for a band. I can see a lot of concept tie ins.
#18. Bomb them until they like us.
Rice is saying we've talked to Iran enough.
I really think we're about to make a parking lot out of them. I hope to God those kids can get alphabetguy out of there before something awful happens.