Saturday, June 02, 2007

Should we bomb Iran? Two views...

Norman Podhoretz insists that it must be done:

The Case for Bombing Iran:
I hope and pray that President Bush will do it.

[...] The Iranians, of course, never cease denying that they intend to build a nuclear arsenal, and yet in the same breath they openly tell us what they intend to do with it. Their first priority, as repeatedly and unequivocally announced by their president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is to "wipe Israel off the map"--a feat that could not be accomplished by conventional weapons alone.

But Ahmadinejad's ambitions are not confined to the destruction of Israel. He also wishes to dominate the greater Middle East, and thereby to control the oilfields of the region and the flow of oil out of it through the Persian Gulf. If he acquired a nuclear capability, he would not even have to use it in order to put all this within his reach. Intimidation and blackmail by themselves would do the trick.

Nor are Ahmadinejad's ambitions merely regional in scope. He has a larger dream of extending the power and influence of Islam throughout Europe, and this too he hopes to accomplish by playing on the fear that resistance to Iran would lead to a nuclear war. And then, finally, comes the largest dream of all: what Ahmadinejad does not shrink from describing as "a world without America." Demented though he may be, I doubt that Ahmadinejad is so crazy as to imagine that he could wipe America off the map even if he had nuclear weapons. But what he probably does envisage is a diminution of the American will to oppose him: that is, if not a world without America, he will settle, at least in the short run, for a world without much American influence. [...]

While many in the US would dismiss Ahmadinajad's comments as crazy rantings, not to be taken seriously, Podehoretz makes an analogy with the Cold War, and explains in detail why this cannot end the same way.

Many Muslims consider Israel a "one bomb country", i.e., one nuclear bomb exploded over Tel Aviv would end the country of Israel. Ahamadinejad has indicated that any counter-strike against Muslim nations could be endured, and would be worth it; the casualties would die as martyrs, and that is acceptable!

Also, whether or not President Bush has the will to carry out a military strike seems highly doubtful these days. Not impossible, but doubtful.

(for commentary & links click here.)

For an entirely different point of view, Iranian "prince" Reza Pahlavi makes the case that we must NOT bomb Iran:

Reza Pahlavi: war with Iran is unnecessary

I don't care much for the idea of "royalty", such titles don't impress me. Pahlalvi is hoping to to be reinstated as Monarch in Iran one day, so of course he is against bombing; if he was for it, the Iranian people would never let him be their King in any capacity. Yet putting Royalty considerations aside, he none the less makes some compelling arguments against bombing, arguing for supporting a revolution from within Iran to bring about regime change.

It sounds good, but how plausible is it? In both scenarios there is a great deal to consider, and no certain solution.


Anonymous said...

Liberman is wrong...bombing Iran is not the solution to bringing down that regime! You should read this blog on why Iranian Americans oppose a strike on Iran:

Chas said...

Thanks for the link, it's an interesting post, that makes many good points. But even it says that some people in Iran think a military strike could cause the regime to crumble.

I think a limited strike at the right time in the right place(s) could precipitate that, but it's a difficult call. I think most people in the West would rather use non-military options like sanctions.

I've posted before about articles that say we should support pro-Western movements in Iran. That's all fine and good, but how, and what, do we do on a practical level to support them? I've seen a few ideas tossed around, some of them good, but it needs to be talked about more and expanded on, and then IMPLEMENTED. I hope that is exactly what will happen, and I'm hoping more people will start pushing for that.

Thanks again for the URL, which I will put as a hyper-link to the relevant post here:

Iranian Americans Question Logic of Bombing Iran