Netanyahu makes strongest argument yet that Iran is close to nuclear bomb

Prime Minister Netanyahu was all over the Sunday morning talk programs stating that Iran is a few months away from having enough enriched uranium for an atomic bomb, and that Obama must draw a red line for Iran beyond which the U.S. will use military force to destroy its nuclear facilities.

I myself made the point so many times and with such urgency in past years that for the last several years I’ve stopped making it. Here it is again. If Iran has nuclear weapons, it’s not just Israel that will be at risk, and it’s not necessarily the actual use of such weapons by Iran that will be the problem. Rather, Iran will have the ability to intimidate and blackmail Europe and the world. Imagine for example how a nuclear-armed Iran would react to another Satanic Verses or another anti-Muhammad video or another anti-Muhammad cartoon or another speech by the pope criticizing Islam. If Iran acquires a nuclear weapons capacity, the power of Islam over the West will instantly become far greater than it already is. A nuclear-armed Iran cannot be allowed.

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Bruce B. writes:

Imagine how it will affect our ability to halt and reverse the Islamization of Western societies. Anti-intervention paleoconservatives miss this point.

LA replies:

Yes to both of your points.

Alexis Zarkov writes:

In my opinion, we had better get used to the idea of an Iran with nuclear weapons because it’s going to happen, and the U.S. won’t do anything about it other than diplomacy and economic sanctions. Moreover, at least in the past, Russia and China have resisted severe sanctions against Iran. They have not cooperated, and I don’t expect them to change position in any meaningful way in the future. The only way to stop Iran is militarily, and I don’t see the U.S. doing anything like that. If their nuclear facilities are both secret and well buried, non-nuclear air strikes won’t work. In my opinion, assertions to the contrary are a bluff. That leaves two options: (1) a boots-on-the-ground invasion; (2) punishing air strikes against civilians and infrastructure. We certainly aren’t going to do (1) as that’s an invitation to a quagmire. That leaves (2) as the last and only real military option. NATO did bomb the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War in 1999, and Yugoslavia did withdraw from Kosovo. But Russia cooperated, and the air strikes were not that punishing. It will take a whole lot more to bring Iran around—enough to produce huge numbers of civilian deaths. The U.S. doesn’t have the stomach for that. It’s not going to happen.

The U.S. will tolerate a nuclear Iran just as it has tolerated a nuclear, Russia, China, and Pakistan. U.S. leaders believe in the MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) doctrine having lived with it for the entire Cold War. They believe that MAD guarantees Iran will not use its nuclear weapons because that would invite its complete annihilation. I personally don’t believe MAD applies to Iran. It’s a judgment call about the true nature of the Iranian leadership. My opinion runs contrary to the mindset in Washington, and I don’t count. I’m afraid the future is very grim.

LA replies:

One of the reasons I ceased several years ago writing about the Iran nuclear issue and issuing my repeated warnings about it, was that I saw nothing happening but bluffs. There didn’t seem any point in continuing to talk about it. Also, there was zero response from VFR readers. Because of the nightmare of Iraq, people had turned off on the idea of any kind of U.S. military action in the Mideast, and didn’t want to think about it.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 17, 2012 01:36 PM | Send

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