Thursday, July 2, 2009

Israeli Strike on Iran? Timing's Never Been Better

From John Bolton, "Time for an Israeli Strike?":

Those who oppose Iran acquiring nuclear weapons are left in the near term with only the option of targeted military force against its weapons facilities. Significantly, the uprising in Iran also makes it more likely that an effective public diplomacy campaign could be waged in the country to explain to Iranians that such an attack is directed against the regime, not against the Iranian people. This was always true, but it has become even more important to make this case emphatically, when the gulf between the Islamic revolution of 1979 and the citizens of Iran has never been clearer or wider. Military action against Iran's nuclear program and the ultimate goal of regime change can be worked together consistently.

Otherwise, be prepared for an Iran with nuclear weapons, which some, including Obama advisers, believe could be contained and deterred. That is not a hypothesis we should seek to test in the real world. The cost of error could be fatal.
It's a great piece (full essay at the link).

Adam Serwer is not pleased:

Bolton mocks those who are in favor of continued engagement as "theologically committed" to such a course, even though he's certain it won't lead anywhere. Robert Farley and Matthew Yglesias have both expressed skepticism about whether meaningful engagement is possible with Iran post-crackdown, but it doesn't necessarily follow that bombing is in our interest, given our continued involvement in Iraq and the devastation a bombing would cause. It also probably wouldn't work; the consequences of a failed bombing would be pretty catastrophic both for the people of Iran and our relationships in the region, and it would reinforce the legitimacy of the regime at a time when it is struggling to maintain it.
Serwer cites Robert Farley (a man totally bereft of moral credibility) and Matthew Yglesias (who espouses a foreign policy that only Caracas, Damascus, and Tehran could love).

Yglesias is basically an American Basiji, and Farley's no better.

And our options in Iran? Jules Crittenden says
there's never been a better time to take out the nukes. And here's this from Israel Matsav, who notes that it's not all upside:

Israel should strike Iran now, because there is no choice. It has to be done, and this seems to be the ideal time to do it. Curiously, there has been very little talk here over the last three weeks about preparations for striking Iran, although we saw a lot of talk about that in the winter and in the spring. But to expect an Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear capability to bring about regime change is probably wishful thinking given the values and goals of the current US administration. It is more likely to bring a further crackdown on Iranians by the Ahmadinejad regime and sanctions against Israel from the United Nations with US cooperation.


Norm said...

Probably cannot be done unless Obama
will guarantee America will resupply
weapons that might be used in massive quantities. Considering the huge sums of money given to Hizbollah, the bows, the kisses, the speech in Cairo I do not believe for one second that we will resupply Israel in the next fight.

Tom the Redhunter said...

Let's not kid ourselves, a strike on Iran would be incredibly messy. Consider what would likely happen:

- Iran would uleash terrorism against us around the globe and maybe in the U.S.
- Iran may have other tricks up it's sleeve, like manipulating money markets, or cyber attacks on our infrastructure.
- Shiites in Iraq would go nuts. The last thing we need is trouble there
- Diplomatic chaos around the world.

These things said, even worse would be an Iranian bomb. As such, we're probably getting close to the point where we'll have to attack.