To Bomb or Not to Bomb Iran

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Itchy trigger fingers can cause wars.  A pre-emptive conventional weapons bombing strike against Iran’s known nuclear facilities could do more harm than good….or at least so say some.[i]

And indeed there is the real and frightening possibility that an Israeli or American attack might unite Iran’s disaffected anti-Mullah 30-somethings into a furious show of patriotism and thus lock in the current mullah-cracy (aka the Islamic Republic of Iran) for another generation.  Such an attack might also have a similar effect on the current Syrian regime; radicalize the Muslim world against the West; ignite Hezbollah on the Lebanese border; re-invigorate a flagging Hamas; endanger US troops in Iraq; spark revenge terror attacks; propel oil prices skyward; trigger a regional war; prompt Iran’s closure of the Straits of Hormuz; and cause stock markets world-wide to plummet.  And then again, it might not.

But what happens if one does not bomb?

Some current analysis suggests that an Iranian Islamist regime armed with nuclear weapons will trigger a regional nuclear arms race; destroy the non-proliferation treaty; increase the danger of miscalculation that could bring on a nuclear exchange; allow Iran to escalate its destabilizing influence throughout the region and the world; threaten Israel and moderate Arab regimes; manipulate energy markets to its benefit; pose as a guardian of Muslim communities even beyond the Middle East; and, perhaps worst of all, share its nuclear technology with its non-state proxies and terrorist groups.  Thus empowered, Iran just might be able to throw its nuclear weight behind the current Syrian regime; radicalize the Muslim world against the West; ignite Hezbollah on the Lebanese border; re-invigorate a flagging Hamas; endanger US troops in Iraq; provide a measure of impunity for Muslim terror attacks; propel oil prices skyward; trigger regional wars anywhere it wants; close the Straits of Hormuz with impunity; and cause stock markets world-wide to plummet.

And to make matters worse, the Iranian nuclear threat may by now be global. Israeli sources disclosed that recently Iran began working on missiles with a 10,000 kilometer (c. 6,200 miles) range, capable of striking targets in the western hemisphere.  But even worse is the slowly emerging reality that Iran and Hezbollah are working with drug cartels in Mexico and with the Venezuelan government to smuggle materials into South America, creating a conduit that could one day be used to smuggle nuclear weapons into South America for deployment against North America.  An Iranian nuclear attack on North America, via long-range missiles or from bases in South America, could involve the detonation of a nuclear device high in the atmosphere to send a massive electromagnetic pulse that would paralyze virtually all U.S.-based electronic defense systems, destroying America’s electrical grid, and shutting down everything from cars to computers to airplanes and refrigerators.  And if detonated closer to the ground, such a device would vaporize millions of Americans.

But Iran does not need to actually drop the bomb.  The moment Iran goes nuclear, other countries in the region will feel compelled to do the same, sparking a nuclear arms race among the world’s most unstable and fanatical regimes and their proxy terrorist forces.  And such threats, without a single missile being launched, would have a devastating effect on the Israeli economy and society:  withdrawal of overseas and Israeli investors, a record number of Israeli emigrants, a sharp decline of Jewish immigration, dwindling tourism, intensification of military-political-economic dependence on the U.S., and the transformation of Israel from a strategic asset to a strategic liability.

Should Iran achieve nuclear military capacity, it will be free to advance its Islamist revolution throughout the world with impunity from attack.  So it may well be that by not bombing, the world, and especially the USA and Israel, will pay a much higher and more horrific price.

But what about the IAEA, inspections, and sanctions?

The problem with the IAEA and its inspections is that it has failed numerous times to detect clandestine WMD activity in countries that are signatories to the non-proliferation treaty.  Such embarrassing gaffs include North Korea, Libya, Russia, China and most recently Syria and Iran.  Moreover, there is no method of enforcement of IAEA inspections.  With complete impunity, Iran recently barred inspectors from the most sensitive and suspicious of its WMD sites.

Moreover, Iran possesses the most clandestine-capable nuclear-weapon technology in history: the gas centrifuge. Gas centrifuge installations can be housed in a room the size of a high school gymnasium, and require very little external power, thus making it almost impossible to detect.  Iran can now make centrifuges on an entirely indigenous basis.

Sanctions have failed to bring Iran to its knees, even though the most recent ones have thrown the Iranian economy into turmoil.  And this is one of the most problematic aspects of sanctions:  in a country where leaders have no concern for the well-being of their own people, sanctions can harm the innocent without influencing the government. Enhanced incentives have not only failed to entice Iran to give up its nuclear program, but they have had the reverse effect of validating its uncompromising policy against making any concessions in the nuclear arena.  Moreover, Iran has successfully evaded US sanctions against its state shipping company simply by painting new names on its ships. Equally problematic is the willingness of Russia, China, North Korea and Venezuela to supply Iran with whatever it needs, including WMD expertise and uranium, to vitiate the effects of the West’s sanctions.[ii]

The Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control reported in November, 2011 that by December 2008 Iran had one atomic bomb. By 2009 it had two, and by 2011, five.  The IAEA garnered evidence that Iran was testing nuclear explosives and working on weaponization (fitting nuclear warheads to nose-cones of missiles). In January 2012 Iran announced publicly that its uranium enrichment site was about to become operational, prompting the IAEA to warn the world that Tehran now has the ability to make whatever nuclear weapons it chooses, within months.

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  • crackerjack

    Some have suggested that the only viable solution is regime change in Iran. Perhaps a much easier solution is regime change in the USA in November 2012. <i/>

    Changing the US regime will not change the system. Even after a regime change in 2012, the US democratic, constitutional system will still remain prone to putting US interests before Israeli interests. Ensuring the priority of Israeli interests in the US system will at least take an amendment of US constitution establishing the preference of Israeli guidelines in US foreign affairs. (Domestic affairs could be left up to the locals).

    Transferring US foreign policy to the Knesset, appointing a member of the Knesset as US Secretary of State or Granting AIPAC a right of veto in the US Department of State could be valuable mesures in dealing with present and future unstable USA regimes.

    • muchiboy

      What universe do you occupy,crackerjack?muchiboy

      • stern

        Oh boy. When even muchiboy criticizes you, then you really have gone cracker, jack.

  • muchiboy

    Take what action is needed to stop "Mullah"-centric Iran from becoming nuclear.But make it clear to Iran and the Arab world that the west will de-nuke Zionist Israel.Two birds/threats with one stone.muchiboy

    • StephenD

      What "Threat" does Israel pose? Have I missed them threatening annihilation of a people like Iran has? Are France or England, India, America, China and Russia also a Threat? What criteria constitutes, in your mind, a threat?

    • ObamaYoMoma

      In other words, trade the security of Israel and the Jews you are obsessed with hating in return for the Islamic world remaining nuke free. However, the Islamic world is not only waging jihad against the Jewish unbelievers in Israel. It is also waging jihad against all non-Muslim unbelievers in the world including you and me. Thus, they would never honestly agree to such a blasphemy. Indeed, not knowing this indicates how much your compulsive Jew hatred has destroyed your infantile brain.

    • Stephen_Brady

      And when Israel is "de-nuked", you … of course … will be strongly in favor of stationing large Western ground forces in Israel, correct?

      • muchiboy

        i wouldn't dismiss it.But Israel doesn't have need of such doomsday weapons anyway. She carried the day in all her wars without using nukes,but I think the threat of them did encourage Kissinger to resupply depleted stocks during the Yom Kipur war. A partial Arab victory (alternatively a non humiliating Arab defeat) may have had some paradoxical benefits. muchiboy

        • Ghostwriter

          What universe do you live in muchiboy,because it sure isn't ours. Iran has said for years it wants to wipe Israel off the map. Maybe,you should consider that before making another stupid comment.

    • NorthStar

      And who's going to denuke Pakistan?

    • BS77

      Mucho dumbo is a troll, boycott this idiot…do not respond to this garbage peddler.

  • Ron Carnine

    Israel has a right of nations to dwell in safety and preemptive strikes against those who threaten her safety. Israel has shown great restraint in using her missile and nuclear weapons. Iraq tried to get her involved in 1991 and Israel let missile after missile fly into her territory but restrained to attack in case she would break up the coalition of states fighting the Iraqis. She is the only state in the Middle East that tries to minimize civilian casualties when she does retaliate against Hamas rocket attacks. The cowardly Arabs are the ones who sneak across the border, kill a sleeping family, including slitting the throat of an 8 month old baby, sneaks back and then brags and is honored for such a courageous attack. An Iran with nuclear weapons will mean we will have to go to war, or Israel will be toast. Iran is also threatening the security of the US by her behavior in South America. In spite of Obama, Iran is a very real enemy that must be cut off. She is leaving us no choice.

    • muchiboy

      ". She is the only state in the Middle East that tries to minimize civilian casualties when she does retaliate against Hamas rocket attacks."

      She is also the only ME state to possess a nuclear arsenal (possible some hundred plus).Occupier,colonialist,ethnic cleanser,human rights abuser,guilty of crimes against humanity,crimes against the Palestinian people and war crimes.Pure as doves.Israel could,and should,be so much more.Instead she is the moral equivalent of her regional neighbours.No better,no worse,perhaps.Maybe they all deserve one another.After all,they all share a regional history from the earliest of times.muchiboy

      • stern

        "the moral equivalent of her regional neighbours"???

        Let's pretend, for just a moment, that this BS even warrants a serious response.

        Hmm, let's see. Hamas, Hizbullah etc., deliberately target civilians, while the IDF's rate of civilian to military casualties is the absolute lowest in the world, by a large degree.

        Hmmm, let's see. Syria is currently killing thousands upon thousands of its citizens, for the sin of demanding democracy, while in Israel, bitter opponents of the government, representing minority groups, don't protest in the streets because they don't have to. They are free to do so in the Knesset.

        What else? Gee, the Palestinians have claimed publicly that their state – heaven forbid it should ever materialize – will be completely Judenrein, while 20% of Israel's population is Arab and, in poll after poll, has made it clear that they would rather remain in Israel than be "repatriated" into a Palestinian state. And Israel is quite happy to allow them to.

        If you still need more, then you are the one who is suffering a crisis of "moral equivalency". But then, we all knew that already.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    threaten Israel and moderate Arab regimes;

    There is no such thing as a moderate Arab regime. They are all Islamic regimes. Therefore, they are all waging jihad per the dictates of mainstream orthodox Islam against the West and the un-Islamic world, primarily via covert non-violent jihad or otherwise on a much smaller scale via violent jihad.

    In addition, covert non-violent jihad, such as the hijacking of Western college and university Middle East Studies Departments and mass Muslim immigration to the West for the purpose of stealth demographic conquest to make Islam supreme, relative to violent jihad is employed by the Islamic world against the West astronomically far more prevalently and constitutes the exponentially far greater threat to the security of the West. Indeed, the Saudis and the Gulf State Emirs are the biggest players involved in covert global jihad today.

    Of course, the news media, the political elites on both sides of the political aisle, and the US federal government are all oblivious to the existence of the covert global jihad because they all get their information on Islam from the same exact source, our elite college and university Middle East Studies Departments that have all been hijacked by Wahhabi lobby money and the Left since way back in the '70s, and in which is also a testament to the efficacy of covert non-violent jihad. Thus, all the information they get is always only bogus, and until that monopoly on knowledge is exposed for what it is and broken, the USA will continue moving from one strategic blunder to the next strategic blunder.

    share its nuclear technology with its non-state proxies and terrorist groups.

    It's non-state proxies are not terrorist groups. Instead, they are jihadist groups. As jihad, which can be both violent and non-violent, and terrorism, which is always only violent, are two entirely separate, distinct, and mutually exclusive manifestations altogether that are intentionally conflated together today via the false ideology of PC multiculturalism to camouflage the reality of Islam.

    Indeed, Jihad is holy fighting in the cause of Allah against non-Muslim unbelievers to make Islam supreme and involves both violent means, such as the 9/11 violent jihad attacks, and non-violent means, such as mass Muslim immigration to the West for the purpose of stealth demographic conquest to make Islam supreme.

    However, by conflating jihad with terrorism, per the dictates of PC multiculturalism, the reality of what jihad actually is always remains hidden from view, and because terrorism can only be violent, it also enables covert non-violent jihad, such as mass Muslim immigration to the West for the purpose of stealth demographic conquest to make Islam supreme, to manifest throughout the West today totally uncontested and unopposed. Since if it isn't violent, it isn't terrorism, and if it isn't terrorism, it isn't contested or opposed.

    Meanwhile, jihad, which involves both violent and non-violent means, is always waged by Muslims in the cause of Allah against non-Muslim unbelievers to make Islam supreme. While terrorism, on the other hand, is always only violent, indiscriminately targets civilian non-combatants, and in stark contrast to jihad, can be for any reason other than in the cause of Allah.

    Indeed, unless we insist on using the correct un-politically correct terminology, nobody will ever learn the truth about Islam, which is the intention of PC multiculturalism.

    radicalize the Muslim world against the West;

    The notion that normally peaceful and moderate Muslims can be radicalized and turned into vicious radical Muslims is another ridiculously absurd non-existent false PC multicultural myth. The reality is the sixth and most important pillar of Islam makes it an obligatory duty for EVERY MUSLIM on earth to fight jihad in the cause of Allah against non-Muslim unbelievers to make Islam supreme. No exceptions.

    Thus, ALL MAINSTREAM ORTHODOX MUSLIMS ON EARTH are jihadists. A tiny minority of them are violent jihadists, while the vast overwhelming majority of them are covert non-violent jihadists, and the few that are not jihadists are not Muslims at all, but instead blasphemous apostates that per the dictates of MAINSTREAM ORTHODOX ISLAM must be executed.

    In any event, as for as I'm concerned, Iran must be stopped from acquiring nukes at all cost, even if it involves using tactical nuclear weapons. Indeed, that's what they were built for. In fact, I would encourage Israel to strongly consider using tactical nukes if that is what it takes to end the threat. It's not like it will make them a bigger pariah than they already are.

    Indeed, if the West fails to stop Iran from acquiring nukes after years and years of defiance, the West will deserve what will inevitably happen to it. The last time it was WWII, this time it will be a nuclear WWIII that will make WWII seem like a pleasant stroll in the park.

    • NorthStar

      Do you have to spam every article with the same politically correct rant?

      Give it a break.

      • ObamaYoMoma

        More cyberstalking!

        • NorthStar

          More playing the victim.

          What a leftist tool.

          • ObamaYoMoma

            How am I playing the victim? You are the one stalking me and that's obvious. Indeed, this is the 11th time just today already, not counting the ones by your fellow cyberstalker cohorts in crime. All you moonbats are posing as conservatives to pick out true conservatives to harass and intimidate. Not to mention that collectively it was even more times yesterday. Give me a break and what a way to get your kicks.

  • Fred Alexander

    The hell with world opinion, if you want to stop Iran use nuclear weapons to take out their facilities, it won't matter how impregnable their facilities are and it will be 50 years before those areas are stable again.

    • Stephen_Brady

      First, there's no such thing as an "impregnable" facility, just like there's no such thng as "impregnable security". Security just slows down an enemy .. it doesn't stop them. Heavly-fortified positions are a monument to the stupidity of man. If we can cross the oceans and land men on the moon, we can defeat an "impregnable" facility.

      Second, the "areas" you talk about are already unstable. What would change?

  • KKKK

    Iran does nto jus want "israel wiped off the map" but " a world without America." we msut take action to defat Irans regime. ideally, i dont want war with Iran, specially as, you mentioned, it might turn the disatistifed young crowd pro-Islam an pro-regime. the IAEA has been bared from Iran nuclear facilities and is prone to coruption. the UN can clearly do nothing with the veto power of China and Russia. we will just have to wait and see.

  • muchiboy

    Good one stern.I struggled and failed in an attempt to find a more humorous reply to crackerjack.You are indeed formidable.I always cringe some before reading one of your replies to one of my posts.You do keep me on my toes.Cheers.muchiboy

    • stern

      muchiboy, glad your toes manage to support you, because you arguments are always completely insupportable.

  • Mladen Andrijasevic

    Why is it that even David Meir-Levi does not consider the worst case scenario

    The problem is that if Iran gets the bomb there is a non negligible likelihood that that they WILL USE IT despite the consequences of retaliation from Israel. The crux of the matter is that Iran cannot be deterred. Shia eschatology, the belief in the end of days and the wish to trigger the return of the Hidden 12th Imam, the Mahdi, takes precedence over catastrophic loss of life on the Iranian side. This and not Iran’s support to any nation or group that confronts Israel is what Israeli leaders should concentrate their attention to. This is not the opinion of some crazy conspiracy theorists but the opinion of leading western scholars of Islam like Professor Bernard Lewis of Princeton University and Professor Raphael Israeli of Hebrew University. Reza Kahliil, the ex CIA operative who spent 10 years under cover among the Revolutionary Guards shares this view. Some will say that Reza Kahlili is a self proclaimed spy but if this were so and he were a fraud then the former CIA director James Woolsey would not have shared the platform with him at the National Press Club. See MAD is Dead

    Why even bother about Iran’s full support to any nation or group that confronts Israel? This line of thinking would be equivalent to a passenger on a Boeing 777 who had just observed that the left engine has caught fire worrying whether he would in the crowd find a free taxi from the airport.

    • NorthStar

      You're right

  • muchiboy

    Stern,you can't merely justify your own bad behaviour by pointing out the faults or bad behaviour of your opponents.The Zionists fail entirely to address the valid accusation of occupation and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian Arabs by the Zionists,most who were European Jews.Jews bring a lot of value e.g.human rights(ignoring the human rights of the Palestinian diaspora),innovation,etc.I give you that.And a very good reason why Palestinians and the region generally should welcome Jews back to the ME.But the wrongs done to the Palestinian people by Zionists and Jews generally need be acknowledged and resolved to the benefit of both peoples.For the most part,I believe the moral high ground,if there is one,belongs to the Palestinian people,long denied their homeland and birthright by the Jewish people.muchiboy

    • stern

      muchiboy, you're moving the goal posts. I was responding to your ridiculous notion that Israel and her neighbours are morally equivalent. You have responded with all the same old crap, garbage that I – and many others – have refuted time and time again.

      You don't listen because you don't like the fact that the truth goes against all your deeply ingrained prejudices. I'm not going to bother responding yet again to your usual false claims of "ethnic cleansing", the nonsense about most Zionists being European Jews when more than 60% of Israel's Jewish population traces its heritage to the Arab world. and all the other rubbish you love to immerse yourself in.

      Instead, I repeat what is fast becoming a mantra. Go away, muchiboy. Go away.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      The Zionists fail entirely to address the valid accusation of occupation and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian Arabs by the Zionists,

      Did it ever occur to you that both those issues are bogus and meant to dupe gullible useful idiots like you, while deflecting attention away from the Islamic world's perpetual jihad of conquest being waged against Jewish unbelievers in Israel and all other unbelievers around the world?

      In addition, do you know that spaces after commas, semi-colons, and periods are your friend, or has obsessive Jew hatred also made you unaware of that rule as well?

      • muchiboy

        It really never occurred to me that these were "bogus" accusations,ObamaYoMoma,as they were more or less original ideas.The fact that two or more people independently arrive at the same opinion may be taken as somewhat of a validation of these ideas.The fact that some very intelligent,reputable individuals,including some wise Jews,share these same arguments,further adds validity to these ideas.Now we may all be very wrong,but I think we have an arguable case,morally and logically.
        Thank you for pointing out my grammatical errors,as indeed commas,etc.are indeed important friends.muchiboy

        • ObamaYoMoma

          Actually, since you are a Muslim, I wouldn't expect you to be anything else other than a rabid Jew hater, and how do I know that you are Muslim, because you admitted once that your grandfather is a Palestinian. Hence, since your grandfather is a Muslim, that means you are also a Muslim, as apostasy in mainstream orthodox Islam is a capital offense.

          • muchiboy

            Actually,I am Roman Catholic.My Palestinian grandfather was Christian,who emigrated from Bethlehem to work in our coal mines .An understandable mistake. However,to accuse all or even most Muslims of being rabid Jew haters is far from an understandable mistake.You may be forgiven for the one,but not the other.muchiboy

          • ObamaYoMoma

            However,to accuse all or even most Muslims of being rabid Jew haters is far from an understandable mistake.

            With all due disrespect, if a Muslim isn't a rabid Jew hater and also a rabud hater of all other non-Muslim unbelievers as well, per the texts and tenets of Islam, then that means they are blasphemous apostates and blasphemous apostates per the dictates of MAINSTREAM ORTHODOX ISLAM must be executed.

            Indeed, since you are so obviously utterly ignorant of Islam, it is very easy to see how you got your ignorance's exploited to the hilt.

            So your grandfather was a less that second class dhimmi citizen who suffers from Stockholm's Syndrome. Why am I not surprised? I hate to rain on your useful idiot parade, but the only reason your grandfather hates Jews and sympathizes with Muslims is because his life depended upon it, and the fact that he still sympathizes with his tormentors and still hates Jews is a routine manifestation that is ubiquitous around the world. You ought to study Stockholm's Syndrome and apologize to the the Jews and everyone on FPM for insulting their intelligence with your obsessed insanity.

          • muchiboy

            My grandfather was long dead before Israel was recreated.He emigrated to Canada when Palestine was under the Turks.He was killed underground,like many coal miners.muchiboy

          • ObamaYoMoma

            Why did you even mention him then? To attempt to enhance your own credibility?

  • dysgenic

    Israel should be relocated to New Gingrich's moonbase.__

    • reader

      Here comes a ron paul storm-trooper trying to be as cute as his fuhrer.

  • muchiboy

    "your usual false claims of "ethnic cleansing"

    Another case of denial,Stern.The skinheads do it,the Neo Nazis do it,the Turks do it,the Zionists/Jews do it.The darker side of human nature,I suppose.Pity.muchiboy

    • stern

      No muchiboy, the Zionists/Jews have NOT done it. For heaven's sake, as I have told you numerous times, read "Palestine Betrayed" by Efraim Karsh and you will have ample proof that 99% of the Palestinian "refugees" fled in 1948 at the urging and instigation of their leaders and of the Arab League. Karsh draws on newly-released British archival material, as well as documentation from the Arab League, to prove conclusively that this is a libel against the Jewish people. But then, blood libels are nothing new, are they?

      I've had enough of you for today. Go away.

    • NorthStar

      Don't forget the Muslims and Arabs. Darker side of human nature.

  • 080

    None of the above arguments are capable of coming to a conclusion. The fact is that crappy policies, leading to the long retreat of the United States in the Middle East, have wiped out all the good options. It's just like the thirties, so fasten your seat belts. After all if the Iranians are not worried about the discovery of a plot to assassinate the current Saudi Ambassador to the United States I can't imagine what would worry them. In any case I believe that people should stop throwing their mental products on the world hoping that they will stick. They almost never do.

  • Mickey Oberman

    One must take the threats and blustering and boasting of Ahmadinejad and his religious masters as facts.
    Israel has no choice.
    The only way to stop the insane Iranians is by force. All the force necessary to return it into what it once was, bunch of stone age desert tribal encampments intent on killing each other.

  • Bert

    No one wants to notice that Jewish leadership in both Israel and America is corrupt. They are secular politicians who fear Obama and Iran and only know appeasement. None of them are real Jews who fear G-d. All of them lack even the courage to speak truth to power and call Obama on his brazen lies and expose him for what he is.
    Israel should announce to the world that they do not trust Obama and will act how and when they choose. They could announce that they will copy what America did in WWII when we destroyed entire civilian cities in Germany and Japan. They contained no military targets and those countries never attempted to exterminate America. What was good enough for America in WWII is more than appropriate for Israel today.
    Unfortunately too many Jews are secular and cowards and will cling desperately to illusions just as they believed that the gas chambers they entered were really showers.

  • Flowerknife_us

    The whole policy is ass backward. We should bloct the Straight of Hormoozzzzzzzzzz to Iranian shipping.Then watch them deal with a disaster in their Petro Chemical industry. Iran is the one in the bath tub with only a drain spout to get out.

    The Navy can just sit out of range and sink anything Iran trys to pass through.

    No reason to give Iran more power than they actually have.

  • muchiboy

    "Why did you even mention him then? To attempt to enhance your own credibility?"

    ", because you admitted once that your grandfather is a Palestinian."

    Well,I don't recall that "once" as it would have been many posts ago.As to motive,well, just out of interest should suffice. muchiboy

  • ariel

    Pres Obama may have been able to sweet talk over 50% of the electorate in 2008,but he will find out he is not a god but mortal when the mullahs tell him to take a long walk on a short pier.