The consequences of acting Iran...or not attacking.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by hapaboy, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. Making a decision on Iran

    By Charles Krauthammer

    Friday, September 15, 2006

    WASHINGTON -- In his televised 9/11 address, President Bush said that we must not ``leave our children to face a Middle East overrun by terrorist states and radical dictators armed with nuclear weapons.'' There's only one such current candidate: Iran.

    The next day, he responded thus (as reported by Rich Lowry and Kate O'Beirne of National Review) to a question on Iran: ``It's very important for the American people to see the president try to solve problems diplomatically before resorting to military force.''

    ``Before'' implies that the one follows the other. The signal is unmistakable. An aerial attack on Iran's nuclear facilities lies just beyond the horizon of diplomacy. With the crisis advancing and the moment of truth approaching, it is important to begin looking now with unflinching honesty at the military option.

    The costs will be terrible:

    Economic. An attack on Iran will likely send oil prices overnight to $100 or even to $150. That will cause a worldwide recession perhaps as deep as the one triggered by the Iranian revolution of 1979.

    Iran might suspend its own 2.5 million barrels a day of oil exports, and might even be joined by Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, asserting primacy as the world's leading anti-imperialist. But even more effectively, Iran will shock the oil markets by closing the Strait of Hormuz through which 40 percent of the world's exports flow every day.

    Iran could do this by attacking ships in the Strait, scuttling its own ships, laying mines or just threatening to launch Silkworm anti-ship missiles at any passing tanker.

    The U.S. Navy will be forced to break the blockade. We will succeed but at considerable cost. And it will take time -- during which time the world economy will be in a deep spiral.

    Military. Iran will activate its proxies in Iraq, most notably, Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army. Sadr is already wreaking havoc with sectarian attacks on Sunni civilians. Iran could order the Mahdi Army and its other agents within the police and armed forces to take up arms against the institutions of the central government itself, threatening the very anchor of the new Iraq. Many Mahdi will die, but they live to die. Many Iraqis and coalition soldiers are likely to die as well.

    Among the lesser military dangers, Iran might activate terrorist cells around the world, although without nuclear capability that threat is hardly strategic. It will also be very difficult to unleash its proxy Hezbollah, now chastened by the destruction it brought upon Lebanon in the latest round with Israel and deterred by the presence of Europeans in the south Lebanon buffer zone.

    Diplomatic. There will be massive criticism of America from around the world. Much of it is to be discounted. The Muslim street will come out again for a few days, having replenished its supply of flammable American flags most recently exhausted during the cartoon riots. Their governments will express solidarity with a fellow Muslim state, but this will be entirely hypocritical. The Arabs are terrified about the rise of a nuclear Iran and would privately rejoice in its defanging.

    The Europeans will be less hypocritical because their visceral anti-Americanism trumps rational calculation. We will have done them an enormous favor by sparing them the threat of Iranian nukes, but they will vilify us nonetheless.

    In the region, Persian Iran will immediately become the hegemonic power in the Arab Middle East. Today it is deterred from overt aggression against its neighbors by the threat of conventional retaliation. Against a nuclear Iran, such deterrence becomes far less credible. As its weak, non-nuclear Persian Gulf neighbors accommodate to it, jihadist Iran will gain control of the most strategic region on the globe.

    Then there is the larger danger of permitting nuclear weapons to be acquired by religious fanatics seized with an eschatological belief in the imminent apocalypse and in their own divine duty to hasten the End of Days. The mullahs are infinitely more likely to use these weapons than anyone in the history of the nuclear age. Every city in the civilized world will live under the specter of instant annihilation delivered either by missile or by terrorist. This from a country that has an official Death to America Day and has declared since Ayatollah Khomeini's ascension that Israel must be wiped off the map.

    Against millenarian fanaticism glorying in a cult of death, deterrence is a mere wish. Is the West prepared to wager its cities with their millions of inhabitants on that feeble gamble?

    These are the questions. These are the calculations. The decision is no more than a year away.
  2. "Then there is the larger danger of permitting nuclear weapons to be acquired by religious fanatics seized with an eschatological belief in the imminent apocalypse and in their own divine duty to hasten the End of Days."

    bush and the christian right?

    Posted on Tue, Aug. 08, 2006email thisprint this
    For some evangelicals, Mideast war stirs hopeBelieving the Mideast conflict is a sign that Christ will return soon, some evangelical groups have cheered Israel's military actions.
    The Rapture Index -- a popular evangelical Christian Web posting that calculates a global rise in natural disasters, war and inflation -- bills itself as ``a Dow Jones industrial average of end-time activity.''

    An index below 85 signifies a week of ''slow prophetic activity.'' Anything above 145 signals the apocalypse is near.

    The Rapture Index this week: 158. The spike reflects many U.S. evangelicals' view that growing conflict in the Middle East signals the start of a global struggle leading to Christ's return.

    ''We believe 100 percent what the Scripture has to say about this,'' said Jack Heintz, a South Florida businessman and president of the Christian group Peace for Israel, who recruited 23 evangelical Christians to join a July telephone fundraising event for Israel. ``There's going to be a total battle, the battle of Armageddon, and I believe that's very close to happening.''

    Some have ratcheted up support for Israel in its current battle in Lebanon with Hezbollah out of belief that a raging war -- perhaps even a nuclear confrontation -- marks a prelude to the apocalypse. Christian groups are sending millions of dollars to Israeli communities and shelters, hosting pro-Israel rallies and urging U.S. politicians to back Israeli military action.
  3. ^^And that has what to do with the topic of this thread?^^
  4. IF there is an attack, it will be air only, taking out nuke facilities. There would be no reason for anything more.

    Iran is not going to block the straights nor even suspend their own oil. Almost all their income comes from oil. Sure, the Mullahs are nutty enough to do it anyway, but Iran has a very unhappy middle class, and mostly secular younger generation. The mullahs aren't going to risk putting this population in the poor house. Screwing the rest of the world would be fun for them, but not at the risk of losing their power.

    Iran is exactly where they want to be right now. They are getting loads of attention. I believe they will drag this out as long as possible, never quite going far enough to get attacked.

    Reminds me a lot of North Korea. Its an attention thing.
  5. bush's rhetoric about protecting our children is fine and good, but it tends to contradict Halliburton's deal in Iran. They're selling technology to an Iranian official who's intimately involved in Iran's nuclear program. How does that jive?

    I wonder if this is covered by the same 'Trading With The Enemy Act' that shut down Bush's grandfather for managing investments on behalf of the Nazi party during WW2

    how about... the Axis of Evil Clients
  6. The pakistanis already have the bomb and so do the North Koreans. The mullahs can purchase those financed by us, each time we slide that card to fill our SUVs.

    I believe all these noise over Iranian nukes is just a smoke screen... remember the Iraqi WMDs? Fool me once... surely not fool me twice. However, there are fools out there who are willing to be fooled by the kleptocrats running the country today. They did not pay attention to the UN when the inspectors reported on Saddam's nuclear arsenal and they are not paying any attention now when the same people are mentioning the lack of credible progress of the Iranian nuke. They need the boogie man to scare the conservative base, who shits in their pants anyway whenever the country faces a challenge, to come out and vote. What a pathetic bunch of crooks and their supporters.
  7. Pabst


    How are things in New Orleans? I see the murder rate is back up to those lofty pre-Katrina levels. Always a GOOD sign of prosperity!!! I'm glad your folks are back in the 'hood thuggin' and murderin'.........

    BTW: Did you know that being a black male between 15-30 in Nawlins is a more dangerous gig than serving in Iraq......
  8. does making fun of his race and/or hometown have something to do with iran policy? is that supposed to discredit his point somehow
  9. Unreal....Stunning, in fact.

  10. Pabst


    Not at all. It's just if I lived in Nawlins I'd have a more local concern than Iraq. And don't even attempt to tell me N.O. wasn't a pit before Katrina. It's been the per capita murder rate leader in the U.S. going back to the mid-90's.
    #10     Sep 19, 2006