Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Time for Action against Iran

There are two interesting news articles today that I thought might represent a good departure from the global warming debate. With the temperatures of some of my readers getting high enough to force certain “Anonymous” readers away from my blog, I thought it might be worth discussing something that is more likely to destroy the world than global warming. What is this terror that Al Gore is ignoring? Iran.

I have written previous post on this site arguing that Iran represents a clear and present danger to the United States. I am for the use of the military in Iran if we decide it is the only way to prevent a nuclear Iran. With the mindset of the rulers of Iran what it currently is, I believe Iran would not hesitate to use a nuclear warhead if it was able to get one. Mutually assured destruction means next to nothing if you believe you are preordained to usher in a new world order.

Iran has been at war with the United States and Europe since at least 1979. The latest salvo appears to be the use of the Iranian military to place bombs in Iraq. This story has been reported inThe Sun Online. This is still a developing story as I haven’t seen it reported anywhere else yet. The Sun sites an intelligence source as saying that British forces have seen Iranian helicopters ferrying soldiers into Iraq so they can place IED’s. The Sun says this claim is backed up by, “…very senior military sources.” However, the Sun is the only place reporting this story. Is this enough to go to war with Iran over? No. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only piece of evidence that Iran is at war with the West.

Peter Schweizer has a very good piece in USA Today outlining some of the other marks against Iran. Among other things, Iran is providing military equipment and funding to our enemies in Iraq. They captured British sailors and continue to hold 4 United States citizens. The Iranian President has stated more than once his intention to wipe Israel off the face of the map. I am inclined to take people like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at their word. If he wants to destroy the Little Satan because he says he can win a war of attrition between Jews and Muslims, the West should be very concerned.

As I said earlier, I am for a military strike in Iran to keep them from acquiring a nuke. However, Mr. Schweizer lays out an economic war that I could support. He believes in a two prong assault, the first is a full gasoline embargo. This would be enforced by the United States Navy Fifth Fleet. Mr. Schweizer says that Iran imports almost half of its gasoline and is particularly vulnerable in this area. Secondly, he argues that the United States should begin counterfeiting Iranian currency. As I stated in another post attacking China for this very ploy, counterfeiting another nation’s currency is an act of war. However, in this case, Iran has been at war with the United States for decades. We can stick our head in the sand and hope the bully leaves us alone, or we can fight and stand up to these bullies.

The other very interesting part of this article is that Mr. Schweizer never once calls for aid or approval from the United Nations. Whether this course of action is taken or not, Mr. Schweizer should be applauded for this. It is time the United States shows that she is willing to stand up to those who would kill us, and we are willing to do it without international approval. The United States is the lone Superpower in the world. It is time we started acting like it.


Chuckles said...

While there is definitely cause for some sort of severe action against Iran, I think it is highly unlikely anything would be done before '08, even if Irans role in Iraq increases and becomes more evident.
American leadership, Bush or whomever follows, has to do a much better job of taking their case to the people than has been done. Even the words of a President who is a good speaker cannot compete with nightly images on CNN. We used to say "a picture is worth a thousand words", well "a video is worth a million".
Our Jihadist enemies know this, and have become expert at using our own media against us, and until we get better at fighting the image war, we'll never win a real one. Perception is the larger part of reality, and it does not matter if you are winning, if everyone thinks you're losing.
I believe I was not alone among people who did not think the emotions of 9/11 would last long enough to foment real change in the Middle East.
Sometimes I hate being right.

Anonymous said...

Oh, definitely, another war! Hey, just what we need! Yes indeed, Israel should, and will, fight to the last American.

familyman said...

Nobody outside of Iran can say for sure if they are in fact developing nuclear technology for weapons use or for energy.

If in fact the day comes that Iran has a nuclear bomb, what is the first thing they will do with it?

Probably the first thing that everyone does when they first develope a nuclear bomb. They'll explode one as a test to see if they got it right before they start putting them in missles.

So, I think it's pretty reasonable to assume that if Iran were to test a nuclear weapon, the U.S. would not have much trouble convincing most of the world that immediate and severe military action against Iran was necessary to mitigate the threat.

This seems like a much more sensible course of action than pre-emptively invading yet another country that we think might possibly be a threat.

I wrote about this recently on my blog Andy. I was surprised you didn't comment.

Andy D said...

Sorry about that, Familyman. I haven’t been surfing my favorite blogs as much as I would like recently. I promise to drop by yours today.

For the sake of argument, let’s say your scenario is correct and they decide to test the bomb before they go into full production mode. Is there any reason they couldn’t test it in Tel Aviv? It would accomplish a host of goals: it would show that Iran has joined the nuclear club, it would show Iran wasn’t afraid of using their nukes, and it would kill many Jews. All of these are goals of the current regime.

While I would agree that a land invasion into Iran would probably not be the best course of action, I think air strikes and even Special Forces operations against nuclear installations within Iran should be on the table. I think any combination of those coupled with the economic warfare listed above could quite easily put Iran in a very precarious position.

Anonymous, there will be times in our future that we need to use our military. Those times may or may not be after the end of the Iraq war. If we don’t have the will to use our military to protect our nation and our allies, then we truly are the paper tiger Bin Laden and our enemies have described us as. And welcome back, you have been missed.

Brandon said...

Andy: I agree with you that economic sanctions would likely be effective, however I think you're wrong about Iran not wanting to test a nuclear weapon before using it.

If you are going to use nuclear weapons against a country, you obviously don't like that country. Therefore, you would want to make sure that you're launching a weapon that you know is going to work. In the case of Israel, if Iran fires off a nuclear tipped missile without testing it first & it doesn't detonate, they're barely going to have time to say "whoops" before Israel launches a counterattack, which would possibly be nuclear itself.

Regarding military action, air strikes would likely be ineffective because a) the facilities are deep underground and scattered throughout Iran, b) they are heavily ringed by air defense systems, and c) the scientists might die but their knowledge wouldn't. Special forces are also out because we would have no way of extracting them and the risk of some of them being captured is simply too high. Besides, Special Forces are spread pretty thin as it is since they're currently deployed in the Horn of Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Philippines.

Andy D said...

Brandon you bring out some interesting points. However, don’t forget that Iran has Hezbollah and Hamas they can act through. If they supplied a test nuke to one of the terrorist groups to detonate, they would probably have little fear of reprisal in the current political climate. Here is the scenario I would outline:

Iran gets a nuke (either through development or from Russia) and provides this nuke to Hamas or Hezbollah. The terrorist group of choice sends a suicide bomber in to Israel to detonate it. Iran can see if they have a nuke that is workable, and there is a potential for an incredible number of Jewish deaths. The west would be hard pressed to retaliate because Iran would have plausible deniability. I seriously doubt very many members of the UN or the Democratic Party would push to have a retaliatory strike against Iran.

I don’t know if this situation is how it would play out or not. I am certain it is a situation that has been considered by Iran. This is simply one case of how a nuke might be used in the hands of the Iranians. My overall message is this: If Iran gets a nuke (weapons grade or not) I think it is simply a matter of time before they use it. Because of that, we must not allow Iran to get to the testing stage. We must do everything in our power to prevent Iran from getting a nuke, up to and potentially including military strikes.

familyman said...

I'm definitely not an expert in this area. Are there any examples of anyone ever developing a nuclear bomb and then using it offensively without ever testing it first?

Andy D said...

Good question. To the best of my knowledge, the United States is the only nation to set a nuclear weapon off on foreign soil. If someone knows differently, please correct me. However, Iran would also represent a few firsts if they got a nuclear weapon.

The Ayatollah’s in Iran, as well as Ahmadinejad, believe that the end of the world is only two or three years away. They firmly believe the time for the coming of the 12th Imam is at hand. Ahmadinejad has even claimed to have meetings with the 12th Imam to receive instructions. According to Joel Rosenberg in his book Epicenter , Ahmadinejad, ”has also said that he believes the way to hasten the arrival of the Islamic messiah is to unleash an apocalyptic holy war against Christians and Jews.”

The world has never seen a nation rise with nuclear power that doesn’t believe in M.A.D. Iran and the Iranian president have said time and time again that nuclear weapons should be used against Israel even if there is a direct retaliation against Iran. I have said it many times before, with someone like Ahmadinejad you must take him at his word. If he says he wants to use nuclear weapons against Israel, should we really ignore him? Which seems the wiser course: Take him at his word and act accordingly, or hope he is lying and will simply threatened and blackmail the world if he gets a nuke?

Despicable said...

At the beginning of the third REICH the fuherer bragged that today we have Germany, tomorrow we will have the world!.
Hitler was wrong and you are wrong when you think that because today we are a super power we can use our so called military strength to intimidate the rest of the world to conform to our way of thinking!
The genie is out of the bottle! and you are not going to force other competing nations to put it back in the bottle by force of arms!

Andy D said...

Despicable, you would be okay with a nuclear Iran? Military force should always be a last resort. Unfortunately, with Iran, we may either be at that stage, or we may be too late.

familyman said...

Andy, you've got to admit that the disaster that is Iraq gives people good reason to be hesitant to trust the current administration to carry out any major military action - especially another preemptive attack.

Kram said...

Familyman said, "Are there any examples of anyone ever developing a nuclear bomb and then using it offensively without ever testing it first?"

My only comment to that is, I am not aware of anyone testing airplanes flying into buildings. Who is to say that the first test of Iran's nuclear capabilities won't be in a metro area in Isreal or the US by an Iran sponsored Islamic Jihadist? My point being, I'm not so sure a terrorist always tests his methods before carrying them out.

I must admit, if YouTube had a video of some of the carbombers or suicide bombers that were test pilots it could be quite entertaining.

familyman said...

Kram - I wasn't saying it couldn't be done. I was just asking if it ever had been done.

Although, to your point, the 9/11 hijackers did take flying lessons. That could be considered testing their method of attack before actually attacking.

And if terrorists were given a nuclear bomb by the Iranian government, I wouldn't expect the terrorists to test the bomb. But I think it's pretty likely that the Iranians would test it before providing it to the terrorists.

Kram said...

We could sit here and split hairs all day about what is testing and what is not, I suppose... because someone can drive or walk doesn't mean they have tested car bombs or suicide bombs.

Anyway, I do agree with you that I think Iran will test the nuclear bomb before they distribute it to their terrorist network. However, there might be advantages to not testing first. Such as a signature that would be left behind identifying where the materials came from.

Andy D said...

I am not sure it matters if Iran is willing to test their nuke or not. I contend that if Iran gets to that point, it is too late.

If they get a nuclear weapon that is capable of being tested, then they have the materials and technology to make dirty bomb. I contend we can never let Iran get to that stage.