Friday, April 21, 2006

The Iranian Question

I know I'm not the sharpest pencil in the box, but I can't help thinking that the "Iranian problem" is not a big deal. In fact, I consider it a no-brainer.

We have all around us still the painful lessons of Iraq. These pointed lessons should prod us quickly into the right course of action.

The only problem, I guess, is that so many people have not learned the lessons - or worse, learned the wrong lessons about our efforts vis-à-vis Iraq.

See if you're with me on this.

Because China, Germany and most of the Security Council was circumventing them, not only did the sanctions regime against Iraq fail, but Saddam Hussein was emboldened enough to play "fuck-fuck" with the U.N. arms inspectors. Result? We didn't know what weapons Iraq did or did not have. Thus, the people who should have taken our concerns seriously, namely the U.N., did not do so and the United States was forced to invade Iraq to ascertain the exact nature of the threat Iraq posed and to make sure that threat was removed. Then, because we swatted the Islamo-fascist hornet’s nest, the situation in the Middle East became and remains, at least in the short term, tumultuous and people are rightly worried about an increase in terrorism.

With that as preface, let us consider Iran:

Perhaps a letter could be sent...

Dear U.N.,

In regard to Iran, we want you to be perfectly clear on this point: Whereas Iran is the greatest state sponsor of terrorism on the planet, we will not permit that nation to acquire nuclear weapons. To stop them there are two routes – diplomatic and military. While we always prefer the diplomatic route, by now you certainly know that we will not shrink from the military option. However, if memory serves, you were not overly enthusiastic about our choice in Iraq; so, if you would rather us go the diplomatic route, you will need to do the following:

1. Place a comprehensive and serious set of sanctions on Iran

2. unswervingly and vigorously maintain said sanctions in place, until the government of Iran capitulates

3. Closely monitor member-nation compliance with sanctions and sternly impose severe penalties on those states which violate the sanctions.

4. Demand, as proof of compliance with the will of the U.N., free, unfettered and unannounced access to any site the U.N., or its arms inspection committees deem appropriate for as long as it takes to be absolute certain that Iran is non-nuclear.

This will not be easy for any of us, especially since they’ve got a lot of oil, but, unless you want to see stealth bombers over Tehran, bite the bullet and do the right thing here.


Uncle Sam

Wouldn't that be great? Now as unlikely as it seems that the U.N. might actually do something helpful, their fear and hatred of the U.S. might just goad them into enforcing a sanctions regime with teeth - if only to thwart what they consider our military ambitions.

Hey, whatever works.


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