Your Lying Eyes

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09 April 2006

Iran: Why We Can't Wait

Please read the Seymour Hersh article in the New Yorker about the plans underway for attacking Iran - including the use of bunker-busting tactical nuclear weapons. I'm always of the opinion that having a set of war plans at the ready is prudent for dealing with any international situation that could require more than just diplomacy. And I think enforcing non-proliferation is just a situation. Should it be found that Iran is actually building nuclear weapons, and concerted diplomatic efforts on the part of the international community have failed to stop them, the U.S. should be prepared, pursuant to a United Nations mandate, to stop them with military force. Such an action would send a clear signal to other countries as well. No country would want to risk spending billions on something that's going to be destroyed anyway. But use of nuclear weapons for such a task would never get international approval (particularly from Iran's neighbors, Russia and China) and so such plans would be rather last-resort, one would think.

But of course Iran is years away from having nuclear weapons anyway - they have yet to solve significant technical hurdles and may never solve them for all we know. And even if diplomacy fails to succeed there are other alternatives to employ as they get close such as industrial sabotage. Reliable intelligence is an issue, but are we trying hard enough? Would it be so hard to get some of their scientists to defect - hand them a couple million bucks and set them up in a secure villa somewhere with 72 real virgins (maybe that's a Sunni thing not a Shiite thing - but you get the idea). Of course we'd have to make sure they're telling us what's really going on, not what someone wants to hear.

So why the hurry - why is the Bush Administration so keen on bringing this to a head now? Hersh seems to have found the answer:
A government consultant with close ties to the civilian leadership in the Pentagon said that Bush was “absolutely convinced that Iran is going to get the bomb” if it is not stopped. He said that the President believes that he must do “what no Democrat or Republican, if elected in the future, would have the courage to do,” and “that saving Iran is going to be his legacy.”
So there you have it. It seems the pressure placed on this president is unprecedented - he not only has to worry about irresponsible governments in foreign countries, he must also worry about irresponsible future governments in our own country. One would think that just trying to solve existing problems - massive trade and budget deficits, unprecedented levels of illegal immigration, a disappering manufacturing base, potential terror strikes - would be enough work. You'd think with all that the threat posed by a relatively weak foreign country half-way across the world would be a really low priority. You'd think our involvement in this crisis would be somewhat reluctant - that we'd need to be goaded into participation by nations right next door or much nearer to this troublesome country. Yet the opposite is true - we who have absolutely nothing to fear from a nuclear Iran are the most determined to stop it now while those with the most to fear are willing to play along for awhile. That's the way it works, apparently, when there's a 'legacy' at stake.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good blog Ziel. I´m afraid I have to agree with what Krugman says in the Times today, that essentially this president WILL start a war to improve his political prospects. I don´t think he gives a rat´s ass about future generations, or even has that kind of vision anyway. Not only is he currently the most powerful man on the planet, but the most dangerous as well.

April 10, 2006 4:14 PM  
Blogger Dennis Dale said...

I read the Hersh piece and find myself hoping they're exploiting him to fake the Iranians into thinking that we're as crazy as they are.

April 10, 2006 9:52 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Jimbo, I wish I could disagree with you, but he's already on record telling a reporter that a president needs to be a "war president" to have any kind of legacy.

Dennis - Hersh emphasized the distorting effect of the political appointees in DOD in the decision making process. All too believable and familiar.

April 11, 2006 6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some interesting reasons not to take action with Iran, coming from a Texas Republican

April 13, 2006 3:01 PM  

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