Friday, January 20, 2006


The Problem of Iran

Joe Katzman, writing at Winds of Change, presents a highly logical if chilling analysis of various Iranian scenarios. Some commenters offer more hope for more viable options to avert the catastrophes Joe articulates. Armed Liberal promises some brighter options this weekend. Grim, difficult, seconds to midnight fare. All too probable.

Like the question posed by Scrooge, confronting the visions of Christmases future:

Are these the visions of what will be, or what might be without an altered course for the present? Must we be condemned to an inevitable future, or is there time to change the outcomes that look all so certain now?

The fierce opponents of the Bush Administration’s policies on Iraq and the Global War on Terror have long used North Korea and Iran as the strawmen for a “there are greater dangers” line of political attack. Where are they now?

Does President Bush and his team have the strength of will to take on yet one more challenge in the face of the inner opposition? Can they overcome the fifth column? Can they eliminate the nuclear threat yet preserve the Iranian people’s hopes and dreams for democracy for them, too?

Can they even move fast enough now, or is it already too late? Must an Israel or Great Britain or other ally already suffer an ultimate consequence of receiving a final death throe from an Iran who has already acquired nuclear weapons?

I’m afraid I agree with commenters who warn there is no way near enough time to use a “topple from within” strategy of aiding and enabling democracy movement within Iran. I do think someone in the last day or two suggested sponsoring a military coup that deposes the mullahs and turns power over to a civilian authority (in time). (Unless of course, those who might have led such an effort died in the recent suspicious Iranian military plane crash.)

Many of us long suspected Iraq was selected after Afghanistan in large part due to its potential as the tipping point in destroying the Middle East as it was, and creating the conditions to thereby unleash the natural and long suppressed aspirations of people in the Middle East for freedom and democracy, to work in concert with military and diplomatic efforts.

Yet this takes place within a very fractured and insubordinate coalition. No, I’m not talking the insubordination of allied nation states, but the almost traitorous rebellion of agencies and agents within the Federal Government. Department of State, the CIA, FBI, members of Congress – all have seen their share of counter-counter insurgency efforts. For political gain, for turf, to exact vendetta, for partisan advantage, for policy control or supremacy. Not to mention a very divided and sometimes ambivalent public, made increasingly skeptical beyond reason by a hostile media.

The battle of our times is upon us, greater than we have ever known in our history, greater perhaps than the twilight years of fascist ascendancy in the 30s and 40s, or the threat of encroaching communism in the 60s and 70s. Nuclear weaponry and global destructive capability has final devolved down to the logical endstate of technical capability. In the hands of madman, surely.

We could stand by and see what happens, we could, and in the face of great uncertainly, fear, and the potential costs of action and mistake, we possibly will.

The problem is, with this technology, it won’t mean that everyone around the world will have to deal with noxious American syndicated television or culturally abusive motion pictures as a consequence. Or a bar on every corner, or earplugs in every ear.

Rather, we’ll all be faced with the kind of nuclear exchange that many of us who lived through the Cold War thought we had averted. And as the mushroom clouds expand, and the world as we know it ends, will we be prepared for what is left?

Not just the damage to our allies or our cities. But to ourselves? To the nation we will and must become, to finally, completely, for once and for all, really fight back against this enemy and vanquish them from the face of the Earth?

For at that point, as we in anguish mourn the extermination of the Israelis or Iranians or Iraqis or whoever else gets caught in the carnage, we will finally have the will to act, and act with extreme violence. And in the killing and the conquering and the elimination of this enemy, we may in the end pay a higher price for victory than ever we imagined.

But fight we will. Now, or later.

Links: Mudville Gazette, Jo's Cafe, Outside the Beltway

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