Friday, January 20, 2006

The difficulties in
bombing Iran's nuclear facilities...

What to do about Iran? The press keeps saying President Bush "should have done something", but even they don't say exactly WHAT. And even if he did, or still does do something, I'm sure they won't approve anyway. But what CAN be done? Besides everything Europe and the UN already tried with Saddam, that didn't work with him either?

I know that many folks are holding out hope that Israel will bomb their nuclear facilities, like they did in the past. But I have come across an article that explains why this is unlikely to happen. An excerpt:

...So what can be done? Right now, Iran can count on at least two Security Council vetoes against any meaningful action by the "international community". As for the unilaterally inclined, the difficulty for the US and Israel is that there's really no Osirak-type resolution of the problem - a quick surgical strike, in and out. By most counts, there are upwards of a couple of hundred potential sites spread across a wide range of diverse terrain, from remote mountain fastnesses to residential suburbs.

To neutralise them all would require a sustained bombing campaign lasting several weeks, and with the usual collateral damage at schools, hospitals, etc, plastered all over CNN and the BBC. Meanwhile, Iraq's Shia south would turn into another Sunni Triangle for coalition forces. Every challenge to the West begins as a contest of wills - and for the Iranians recent history, from the Shah and the embassy siege to the Iraqi "insurgency" and Mr Straw's soundbites, tells them the West can't muster the strength of will needed to force them to back down...

The article discusses other options, such as destabilizing Iran by supporting and encouraging an uprising of dissent within it's own boarders, but I have my doubts about the effectivness of that, given the totalitarian nature of the Iranian government. The article correctly notes that the majority of Iran's population was born after Iran's revolution, and the unemployment rate is currently 25%. Wether that can be exploited, turning Iran's lethargic dissidents into something more serious is questionable; It might be worth a try, but who knows?

The article ends on a rather ominous note, with a quote a made last May by the Iranian President's chief advisor, which I have not heard in our own press. How hard is it to imagine what they will be like with nuclear weapons?

...But every risk has to be weighed against the certainty that Iran would use its nuclear capacity in the same way it uses its other assets - by supporting terror groups that operate against its enemies.

And Jack Straw's mullah-coddling is particularly unworthy in that, insofar as Iran has a strategy, the president's chief adviser, Hassan Abbassi, has based it on the premise that "Britain is the mother of all evils" - the evils being America, Australia, Israel, the Gulf states and even Canada and New Zealand, all of which are the malign progeny of the British Empire.

"We have established a department that will take care of England," said Mr Abbassi last May. "England's demise is on our agenda." Apropos the ayatollahs, England could at least return the compliment.

You can read the complete article "Let's give Iran some of its own medicine" by Mark Steyn.

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