Sunday, April 23, 2006

Iranian nuclear fallout

Victor Davis Hanson has an essay in The Claremont Review of Books:

“Bad and worse” is now the conventional wisdom regarding our choices in dealing with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s efforts to obtain the bomb. We are told that Western air strikes will lead to violent reactions in the Islamic world; increase terrorism; empower the Iraqi Shiite obstructionists; destroy the much ballyhooed but little heard from Iranian opposition; and that even after days of bombing, we will be unable to level all Iran’s nuclear facilities. That’s the “bad” option we face.

This is the conventional wisdom regarding any military action taken to disarm the Iranian theocracy. “Worse” is defined as Iran getting the bomb and all the instability that they could generate with it.

But he also makes this observation:

Apparently no one believes that stopping the Iranian bomb would humiliate the mullahs and teach others in the region not to try something similar — even though Libya gave up its WMD arsenal, by its own admission, only because Muammar al-Qadhafi feared the fate of Saddam Hussein.

This is a good point, isn’t it? After 9/11 the Palestinians were dancing in the streets and the most popular name for new-born baby boys was “Osama”. Then when the US and allies began military action against the Taliban and it became obvious that no Islamic military could do much more than provide target practice for a Western army and that Allah was not going to strike down from Heaven and smite the infidel invaders the pro-bin Laden signs came down and baby boys went back to being named “Mohammad”.

Perhaps the expected conflagration would be brief and limited? After all Iran is now the chief exporter of terrorism to the rest of the world. If they were invaded and occupied with their leaders either dead, captured or in hiding with their money supply cut off how much attention could they focus on destabilizing the rest of the Middle East? I’m not saying that there would not be a terrorist insurgency in Iran just like the one we are dealing with in Iraq. However we have largely learned how to cope with that and are making good progress in learning how to defeat it.

What would happen to world oil prices if American troops occupied the Iranian oil fields and made a priority out of maintaining their smooth operation? I know that moonbats in the US would scream about “blood for oil”, but have we not learned by now that nothing that a Republican president and/or congress can do (short of committing ritual mass suicide) will ever please the moonbats? By now protests and complaints have become part of our societal “white noise” and change nothing.

VDH ends with an observation that I’m not sure is completely accurate, however it may be becoming accurate:

All that has changed in the past six months is the growing Western realization that radical Islam thrives on appeasement, and really does mean what it says. Once elected, Hamas, despite Western money and support, did not budge from its charter’s promise to destroy Israel. Far from withdrawing his pledge to wipe Israel out, President Ahmadinejad doubled-down on the boast by organizing formal Holocaust-denial conferences, the prerequisite for any Jew-hater who wishes to move from rhetoric to action. Unlike Hitler, however, Ahmadinejad outlined in advance not merely the intent but the method of his intended follow-up to the Holocaust.

The burning and killing over the Danish cartoons — coming on the heels of the French riots, the bombings in Madrid and London, and Theo van Gogh’s murder in Holland — have shaken the very foundations of Europe. Perhaps the European Union will realize that its 450 million citizens cannot tolerate living in range of radical Islam’s missiles, with Ahmadinejad’s finger on the button. Thus Holland increased its troop deployment in Afghanistan. Many European newspapers reprinted the cartoons in a show of solidarity. Germany’s Angela Merkel compared the Iranian President to Hitler. And even earlier, Jacques Chirac talked of using his country’s nukes against state sponsors of terrorism. We are coming to a showdown where the headshaking over “bad or worse” is no longer an excuse for inaction, but a tragic acceptance that there is still a bad choice, after all.

From his lips (or word processor) to God’s ears.