Saturday, May 13, 2006

Fear of Action vs. the Consequences of Inaction

Yesterday AP reported that traces of highly enriched uranium were found in Iran at a facility linked to the Iranian military. The uranium was enriched to near or above the level needed for nuclear weapons. This further validates the claim made by the Bush administration, some in Europe, and Israel that Iran is indeed actively developing nuclear weapons. This came just two days after Iranian President Ahmadinejad's latest promise of genocide for Israel, in which he said Israel "cannot continue and one day will vanish."

On the same day, on NPR's On Point program, President Bush's record low approval rating was the topic of discussion. One of the guests (I honestly don't know which) expressed the "fear" the President Bush would "precipitate a war with Iran" to boost his sagging polls before the midterm election.

Precipitate a war? It seems to me the Iranians are the ones precipitating a war. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is providing arms to al-Qaeda in Iraq and Iran has offered to share nuclear technology with Sudan, a nation which has been committing genocide in Darfur and previously in southern Sudan. Iran has also been providing Katyusha rockets to Hamas, some of which were seized by the Jordanians. Is there any doubt that Iran would also gladly provide weapons, including radiological or even nuclear weapons, for al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups to use against the United States?

Rather than fearing war with Iran all of us in the free world should fear the consequences of inaction. One day we could wake up and find that Cleveland or Miami, Tel Aviv or Birmingham could be a radioactive crater with millions dead or dying courtesy of the Iranian regime. Two thirds of Americans see Iran as a threat according to a recent Zogby poll, with 58% believing Iran will inevitably use nuclear weapons if it obtains them. I have no clue what the other 42% are thinking with all the evidence in front of them.

Yes, war is horrible to contemplate and innocent people will die. Yes, many nations will side with Iran, from Hugo Chavez' government in Venezuela to most of the Muslim world. Oil supplies will undoubtedly be disrupted and their will certainly be economic hardships. Considering the likely alternative: nuclear annihilation for Israel and an eventual nuclear attack on the United States, those hardships seem like a small price to pay and the casualties of a conventional war, as tragic as they would be, are mild by comparison.

Technorati Tags:

1 comment:

cornelius said...

MI6, Britain's secret intelligence service, has identified six Pakistani scientists working in Iran's nuclear bomb program who have been "advising al-Qaida on how to weaponize fissionable materials it has now obtained."

Stateless terrorists are more dangerous a country because they could be anywhere; the shooter is invulnerable to retaliation. We cannot nuke everyone, and thus we will be unable to stop repeated attacks. 1945 Japan could not retaliate and was coerced into surrender by a 15kt atomic bomb.