Monday, September 17, 2007

Pay no attention to that warhead behind the curtain! We're just trying to make electricity! Mmmm Hmmmm. Yeah right.

I'm bothered by this. Retired General John Abizaid seems to have a factually bankrupt sense of optimism about the nuclear intentions of Iran.

""Iran is not a suicide nation," he said. "I mean, they may have some people in charge that don't appear to be rational, but I doubt that the Iranians intend to attack us with a nuclear weapon."
So while agreeing that they are not rational, Gen Abizaid would have us believe that they are also not a threat! Pardon my skepticism, General but I just ain't buying what you're selling. I don't want nuclear weapons in the hands of a regime that doesn't " appear to be rational". I don't want them even aspiring to obtain such a weapon. The fact is, it doesn't matter what the Iranians want. It matters what the leaders of the Iranian government want. Iran hasn't had a "rational" regime since the Shah, Reza Pahlavi. Any optimism that they will somehow develop a rational diplomatic relationship with the west is severely misplaced. Even if a moderate President is ever elected, there is still the matter of the Supreme leader Ayatollah, a Shi'a cleric. I'd sooner put my money on an abduction by a UFO.

The real nail in the coffin is that Iran has made legitimate, specific threats against the United States and, more importantly I believe, against Israel. If Israel is attacked by Iran, (a more likely scenario than a state sponsored attack on the US) we are treaty bound to come to their aid. The end result is the same....WAR. When a rogue nation makes such specific threats as "wiping Israel off the map", prudence would dictate that one is forced to act preemptively in the event that technology to develop a weapon capable of doing so is obtained. Iran will force our hand. We will back down and never have any leverage in the region again, or we will act swiftly and decisively. You don't wave a gun around without the expectation of being shot. Likewise you don't wave nuclear technology around and make threats against the United States or her allies without the expectation of being crippled if not exterminated. Iran has not offered anything but extreme language for us to use as an interpretation of their intents. They have refused to moderate their stance despite repeated efforts to convince them to do so. If we wait to see what will happen, we cross a line....a point of no return. Once they have the capability to create such a weapon, it will be too late to minimize our cost of disarming them.

Another significant consideration is, "Who will they sell such a weapon to?" It doesn't have to be an Iranian agent that carries a nuclear device into the heart of America....just the highest bidder. All it takes is one warhead. One would have no reason to believe that Iran would refuse to sell a warhead to a suicidal enemy of the United States or Israel and then, after millions are dead, hold up their hands and shrug their shoulders as if to suggest they had nothing to do with it. Perhaps they would even offer their "official" condolences in an effort to separate themselves from the act. It's a can of's Pandora's Box. And we simply cannot allow it to be opened, even if it means significant collateral damage to the population or infrastructure of Iran. I would go so far as to suggest that it would be worth risking a WWIII, so long as said war is "conventional". Either way, The United States cannot bet the lives of its citizens on the word of an irrational regime.