The Iranian Threat – Part 2
My article on Iran, its nuclear ambitions, Israel’s possible response and that of the United States elicited many responses…almost as many as the articles on Ron Paul not having a chance to win the Republican nomination. Here’s my take on your comments…
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The responses ranged from agreement to disagreement and I would urge you to read them here: https://leagueofpower.wpengine.com/freedom-by-friday/does-bombing-iran-make-sense/#comments.
Iran’s is a global pariah, no doubt about that. Should they be taken seriously? Absolutely. Just look at the effect on oil prices from the saber rattling that is taking place. The country is nowhere near completing a weapon and yet it’s rhetoric has sent politicians in the West into a tizzy.
But, Iran is not only a pariah to the West. It also faces hostility from its neighbors. As a majority Shiite non-Arab country it is largely surrounded by countries that believe in the Sunni strain of Islam and which sport an Arab majority. There is no love lost between Iran and its neighbors. They privately would welcome a non-nuclear Iran, by any means. They’re just not going to admit it publicly.
Destroying Iran’s nuclear dreams are easier said than done. The development of the technology is as important, if not more important, than the actual development of a weapon. Weapons can be destroyed, bunkers blown up, scientists killed…but knowledge is much harder to erase. As long as the Iranian Mullahs are in power, that knowledge will always be a threat.
The real, and only way to defuse the situation is to bring down the Iranian regime that is in power today and move Iran back to a democratic society. The Iranian people are not fond of their government, but lack the power to overthrow it. Riots in the past few years have been put down violently by Iran’s military and by mercenaries brought in from nearby Lebanon. The West stood by and did nothing.
Doing nothing then was an option. That option bought Iran time, time to further develop its technology. It allowed Iran time to cement relations with Russia and China; its two key suppliers for weaponry and technology.
Today, Iran is facing strong sanctions from the West. China and Russia are too becoming antsy about their support for this least liked of all nations. But, all must tread carefully nevertheless because Iran has that one card that seems to control the deck and dictate most of our modern day conflicts: oil. Not only it’s own oil but that of its neighbors.
Iran may not be able to defend itself from a strike from a nuclear-armed Israel, but it can cause havoc amongst its neighbors with retaliatory strikes. It can disrupt the flow of oil in the Straits of Hormuz and it can lob missiles at Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab oil producers. It can use its Lebanese proxies to wage a covert war all over the world. It is these options that scare the West more than a half-assed nuclear program that will likely take years before it produces a weapon…if ever.
The best alternative is to foment discord by the Iranian population towards its government and this time to come to the aid of the opposition instead of running away from them. Had we chosen that route two years ago, chances are that we would not be looking at a more expensive proposition today, both in terms of lives and treasure.
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