One lesson learned in the war on terror is that it is
difficult to prevent suicidal terrorists from attacking us. The only protection
we have is to kill them first, or prevent them from obtaining the weapons they
may seek to use.
The Iranians have recently resumed uranium enrichment in
defiance of earlier pledges to the U.N. and the international community. They
are probably just months away developing the bomb. As one of the largest oil
producers in the world, to believe they hunger for nuclear energy, as they
claim, is ridiculous.
The Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, appears to
be an Islamic fanatic who believes the apocalyptic end of days has arrived. He
denies the Holocaust ever took place, and says he wants Israel destroyed.
From Tel Aviv to Trafalgar Square to Times Square, no
one can ignore the prospect of this madman providing a bomb to terrorists intent
on killing thousands if not millions of innocent people. We may be forced to
deal with this bad situation now, or deal with a much worse situation later.
So far, the U.S. and Europe have tried to solve this
crisis diplomatically. Negotiations can only work when both sides are earnest,
and the Iranian leaders have shown no willingness to compromise. They apparently
believe the U.S. is bogged down in Iraq, and Europe is too weak to do anything.
It increasingly seems that more diplomacy will only give Iran more time to
achieve their nuclear goal.
By possessing the bomb, Iran could blackmail their
neighbors and strike out conventionally without fear of reprisal. If they go
nuclear, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt will probably seek to go nuclear as
well. The possibility for nuclear exchange in the Middle Eastern tinderbox will
Inaction by the U.S. in this matter may not be an
option, and history provides clear lessons on the folly of appeasement. So, what
should the U.S. strategy be?
We can hope that "moderates" in Iran can
somehow restrain their leader. We can provide more money to dissident groups
inside Iran. Both options, however, likely require more time than we have
We could pass U.N. resolutions and drum up global
condemnation. None of this would make much difference to Iranian leadership.
Sanctions may have some effect, however, they are probably more painful to the
outside world than they are to Iran. Take four million barrels a day off the
market, and the price of oil will skyrocket.
Increasingly inevitable is the military option. Sometime
soon, the U.S. will likely be forced to decide whether to accept a nuclear-armed
Iran, or to take out their nuclear facilities with air strikes. We could likely
neutralize them without an invasion by a massive bombing campaign over a period
of several weeks.
Any action is a calculated risk. American air strikes
unsanctioned by the U.N. would create a diplomatic nightmare with China and
Russia. Such strikes would confirm the perception of American imperialism in the
minds of many Arabs, and add to the schism between Islam and the West. But they
would achieve the goal of neutralizing Iran's nuclear program.
If we bomb Iran, shrill protests in the U.S. by our
Lefty friends are virtually guaranteed. We should not let this dissuade us.
Whatever legitimacy 1960s self-indulgent liberalism may have once had is now
over. It died in the rubble of the World Trade Center.
Though it is widely known that Saddam gassed his own
people some twenty years ago, many of these Leftovers are stuck on the notion
that "Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction." Even while the
Iraqi liberation is winding down and the focus of the war is shifting to Iran,
these dinosaurs, not accepting post-9/11 realities, are sure to endanger us all
as they encourage the Iranian leadership with their rants.
The biggest question is how Iran would respond to such
an attack. They could stop oil shipments, or shut down the Strait of Hormuz
thereby stopping shipments from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq as well.
Perhaps the military option will not be necessary.
Diplomatic and economic pressure, however, can only work if credible military
force backs them up.
A critical decision on whether to take preemptive action
in Iran may soon be imminent. Our nation is able to confront the danger Iran
poses, but do we have the will? In this looming crisis, now is the time for us
to stand firm.