Sunday, May 2, 2010

New Rule

The next time someone talks about a military strike as an option for containing Iran, they need to look at this map and tell me how we're going to bomb all of those sites. Many of them are buried deep underground, do we nuke them? Also, most experts would tell you that we probably don't actually know where all the sites are. How long did the facility at Qom exist before we found out about it? Don't forget that when bombing sites filled with Uranium, you're going to be spraying radioactive material all over Iran. It's not just Ahmadinejad and Khameini in that country. You could be looking at health issues affecting very large swathes of the Iranian population for decades.

That doesn't even get into geopolitical issues. If America (or Israel, with our implicit consent) bombs the shit out of Iran, I have a feeling that Green Movement's pro-America leaning will disappear. Their leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi, supports Iran's push for peaceful nuclear power, though not necessarily weaponizing. If America or Israel (and in the minds of most in the Middle East, they're one and the same) takes action against Iran, they'll end up helping the current Iranian regime. Suddenly, there's a common enemy.

If someone can offer a convincing answer to all of those issues, I'm listening. But I haven't heard it yet.


  1. Yes, attacking Iran with airstrikes is a really bad idea. But on the other hand, sitting around and doing nothing but negotiate is also a really bad idea. So we have two really bad ideas, and it's probably the less really bad idea to do nothing and hope that containment and deterrence work. But we shouldn't kid ourselves that the current approach (negotiate) is actually good.

  2. Except that "sit around and negotiate" is NOT what we re doing. Its a nice way to caricature the policy of the Obama administration but its not actually true. We are already imposing sanctions on Iran and we have been building support for harsher sanctions, including China and Russia. This also probably won't work, but calling it "sitting around" is dishonest. Gates also lit a fire under the administration's asses on developing contingency plans for if nd when Iran builds a bomb. No, it's not perfect or even good, but it's also more than your post suggests.

  3. Fair enough. I'll restate my position as "sitting around, negotiating, and hoping that China and Russia will agree to harsh sanctions is also a really bad idea." Other than South Africa and apartheid, have sanctions ever really achieved their goal? They certainly didn't work with Iraq. . . .