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January 23, 2006


steve sturm

I think most people are looking at Iran the wrong way - they're putting the process before the horse.

To them, we start with such things as censure, then move to sanctions, perhaps then more serious sanctions... all before contemplating using the military. And, even once military force is on the table, the scale, scope and timing are all subject to negotiation with our purported allies.

I wish we'd look at the situation differently. A nuclear-capable Iran is a threat to our national security and that of our allies. Therefore, military force ought to be the default option... in other words, we go with the military unless we think - and reasonably so - that some other option can achieve the result we need in the time frame we have to work.

As I have posted (and, unfortunately, mostly to an empty forest), sanctions can't and won't work. Neither will hoping for an uprising against the Mad Mullahs.

Therefore, we ought to be planning for military option and not wasting time debating approaches that have no chance of working. While there may not be a 'perfect' military option, using the military is the only option that has a chance of working..


The math might be different but a spear composed of ice or dry ice would leave no trace and the heat of impact would be explosive. Dry ice is sometimes used for sand blasting to avoid a mess


I have to admit I also lack faith in the sanction option. It seems as though more aggresive action is necessary here.


Michael Ledeen argues agaain for arming and supporting the Irani opposition, noting that Assad is about to fall:

[quote]In short, the Assad family's grip on Syria is weakening, and this is welcome news indeed, both for the long-suffering Syrian people and for us. The Iranians are obviously desperate to keep Assad in power, and Hezbollah armed to the teeth. Should things go the other way, Iran would lose its principal ally in the war against us in Iraq. As is their wont, the Iranians have been paying others to do much of their dirtiest work, and they have awarded Assad tens of millions of dollars' worth of oil, as well as cash subsidies, to cover the costs of recruiting, training and transporting young jihadis, who move from Syria into the Iraqi battle space (and, according to Jane's, a serious publication, the Iranians have also sent some of their WMDs to Assad for safekeeping). That deadly flow has been considerably reduced in recent months, thanks to an extended campaign waged by U.S. and Iraqi forces in Anbar Province, and further along the Iraq/Syria border. The Syrians have accordingly sent radical Islamists into Lebanon, perhaps to link up with Hezbollah in a new jihad against Israel.

Should the jihadist traffic into Iraq and Lebanon cease, we and the Iraqis would be free to concentrate our attention on the Iranian border, especially in the oil-rich south, where Revolutionary Guards forces are very active, both to contain the anti-regime rage of the Ahwaz Arabs on the Iranian side of the border, and to infiltrate the Iraqi side, both in support of Zarqawi's terror network, and to agitate for an Islamic republic in the Shiite region around Basra. The Iranians have been hyperactive in that area ever since the fall of Saddam, and it would be a very good thing to start to turn the tables on them. For, just as many Iraqi oil fields, and millions of Iraqi Shiites, are vulnerable to Iranian maneuver, the reverse is also true: the bulk of the Iranian oil fields, and millions of Iranians, are vulnerable. And the strategic balance is definitely in our favor.

The population of the Iranian oil region is largely Arab, and they have been brutally oppressed and ethnically cleansed by the mullahs. Tehran has gobbled up thousands of square kilometers of land on the pretext of building industrial parks or expanding military facilities, and the locals have been protesting on and off for many months. As I wrote last week, the regime is so nervous about disorder in the spinal cord of the Iranian economy that they sent Lebanese Hezbollahis and members of the Badr Corps (Shiites of Iraqi origin trained in Iran for the past two decades and then sent into Iraq to fight the Coalition).

In short, the Iranians have a lot to worry about, regardless of whether or not they have atomic bombs. Indeed, as I have long argued, the mullahs have made an enormous strategic miscalculation by going all-out for nukes, because it has made regime change in Iran an absolute imperative for the West. The closer they get to their first nuclear test, the closer the mullahs approach judgement day, and not in the way the fanatics around Khamenei and Ahmadinejad believe. They will not face the 12th Imam, but the harsh condemnation of their own people.[/quote] http://www.nationalreview.com/ledeen/ledeen200601231246.asp


Wait'll the Shia Arabs in Saudi Arabia get riled enough to claim their lands.


The only problem with defusing this situation by having Russia enrich the fuel is again, the monitoring. What's to prevent the Iranians from continuing their own development? What, really is to prevent the Russians from arming enough Iranian missiles to effect their own geopolitical strategy? Client state anyone? This is a tough nut to crack. All the more reason to trust Rice in '08.


In the article titled, "Time to Face Reality on Iran", Fareed Zakaria's summary paragraph has this little gem: "Tehran is many years away from nuclear weapons." Stunning irony! Does Fareed know that Al Baradei, that famous hawk, disagrees with him by.....years?! Heck, by units (months v. years).

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