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A nuclear Iran
Everybody now seems to accept a nuclear Iran. Sanctions certainly could have worked, but they should have started 3-4 years ago. Until they will come into effect they will be rather meaningless. Oh, perhaps all the world leaders will decide to completely bar trade with Iran, but that's not going to happen. Germany wants money from Iran more than stopping it, and it is not alone in that.

Obama is a weakling, and Bush wasn't stronger. Bush created the new Vietnam trauma with the Iraq war, and the Americans are not going to bomb Iran. That leaves Israel. But in actuality, Israel is not in any greater risk from a nuclear Iran than Europe or the US are. Actually, I would venture that if Iran gets nuclear weapons a bomb will explode in the US before it explodes in Israel. And make no mistake about it, a bomb will explode killing many thousands or hundreds of thousands, or millions. It's inevitable. (oh, and it's very unlikely Israel will attack).

Why is a nuclear Iran a problem you ask? We should negotiate and live in peace with them. That sounds nice, but if now they are not listening to the west, what makes you think that the moment they have nuclear weapons they will start to. What would the world do if Iran invades and takes over Saudi Arabia? Absolutely nothing, just as they are doing nothing now. Saudi Arabia knows that and hence a nuclear Iran means a nuclear Saudi Arabia. What about Qatar - the same, the United arab emirates - the same, even Iraq. What would stop Iran from attacking and taking control of a militarily devastated Iraq?

As you see, a nuclear Iran means to nuclearize the entire middle east. Perhaps you think this is a good idea and if everyone will have nukes, like Russia and the US, everyone will live in peace. Nice idea, but it might be strategically beneficial to Iran if a nuclear bomb explodes in the center of Manhattan, and as it won't be traced back, or at least not conclusively, they will do it. just the same as they bombed a peaceful jewish center in Argentina killing many. They proved again and again they like the terrorist means and they will use them with nukes.If not them, maybe a renegade from Saudi Arabia, or Qatar, or... Again, the entire middle east will be nuclearized.

What then can be done? Extremely strong sanctions: nope. It can be done but it is so clear it won't be done in any effective way.
The only solution is to attack Iran. Not only its nuclear facilities but its entire regime. It's a strong attack, but there is no other way if the world is to stop extreme nuclear proliferation and nukes becoming just another element in the terrorist/military arsenal. If you destroy the regime that will stop the entire middle east and the US from entering into a global war with Iran and its deep pockets. Attack not only the facilities which can be rebuilt but the entire regime! It goes too far you think? What are the alternatives? The Iranian regimes or millions dying from nuclear attacks?

The Iranian people don't understands why doesn't the world allow them to have nuclear weapons while accepting the US, France, Japan, Israel, India, etc.. It's not their fault, but the people who govern them behave differently than those other countries, and that makes a huge difference. If the regime goes away, maybe with a different regime nuclear weapons won't be such a threat as they are now.

A gun which is mentioned in the first act will fire in the last one says Chekhov. Nuclear weapons will not simply sit in arsenals the moment they become commonplace.
Dear Jonathan,
What would stop Iran from invading Iraq?  Probably nothing, once they have the bomb.

You advocate attacking Iran, but we don't have the resources to do that.  Unfortunately, this is the legacy of the Bush - Cheney administration.  Their misguided and ill fated decision to invade Iraq has led us to this tragic juncture.

I don't have the answer to your pessimistic assessment of this situation.  I believe that the world would be a much different place if Al Gore had become president instead of Bush.  If the Republicans hadn't stolen the 2000 election, we wouldn't be in this mess.  I don't know what Gore would have done, but I bet he wouldn't have invaded Iraq.  Wouldn't you agree?

I'm not sure that Obama is acting the way he is because he's a weakling.  He can only play the cards he's been dealt. 

Back in 1999 I would see posters telling us about the human rights abuses that the Taliban was inflicting upon the people of Afghanistan, and I wondered why we didn't do anything.  I heard about the terrorist training camps and wondered why Clinton just sent a few cruise missiles.  He probably knew that it was a bad idea to get involved in a land war in Asia.  Unfortunately, the same holds true in regard to Iran ten years later.  

What would you suggest we do now?  Open a third front in this war and engage the million strong army of Iran? It's perfectly obvious that we don't have the military capability to do that and win.  We could nuke 'em.  That might be a solution....
Jonathan,

Iran's nuclear programs should be a matter of great concern, and I sympathize with your evident frustration, but I can't find much else to agree with in your argument. I'm alarmed by the self-assured rhetoric of your post, which moves from one disputable or partial claim to another with an air of authority, implying that these claims corroborate each other and add up to an argument. Whatever your politics, this is the same dismissive style pioneered by the far-right talk radio hosts in the U.S. and suitable for the kind of fascist society they represent; so I would want to sound a note of caution about this variety of rhetoric, no matter how sincere or well-intentioned, especially when it concerns war.

I won't attempt a refutation, since I don't see anything particular to refute.  (And in any case, I'm not prepared to argue against an American invasion of Iran, which is the kind of response you seem to invite -- again, in the mode of our media-savvy demagogues.  It may, after all, come to that.)  The general lack of coherence should be apparent to many readers, and I see that another reader has already tried to qualify some of your overstatements; but there is one disarmingly subtle move that I'd like to foreground.

You write, "The Iranian people don't understands why doesn't the world allow them to have nuclear weapons while accepting the US, France, Japan, Israel, India, etc.. It's not their fault, but the people who govern them behave differently than those other countries, and that makes a huge difference." This sounds reasonable: draw a distinction between the Iranian people and their leaders, while preempting the inevitable accusation of hypocrisy. Incidentally, I don't disagree with your assertion of a meaningful difference between western liberal-democratic governments' possession of nuclear weapons and Iran's -- though this distinction is more problematic than you admit. What I want to attend to is the effect of your patronizing, paternalistic mode of address here. It may sound generous to say that "it's not their fault," but at the moment that you relieve them of responsibility for Iran's government, you also deprive them of any political voice. By the same token, you shore up a certain defensive western ego by opposing it to an irrational barbarian world, and this move (which is as old as Descartes) licenses declarations of war on whoever will not or cannot become sufficiently western. These are the Vietnamese peasants, Iraqi civilians, residents of Dresden or Tokyo: masses in whose name the enlightened western powers fight, at the same time that we preemptively mourn them as a necessary civilian casualty of war. If you get people to regard a population in this way, you can dismiss politics (since the foreign tyrant's subjects have none) and make invasion more palatable.
Jonathan,

Though I find it hard to subscribe to some of your projections, particularly to the inevitability of an Iranian nuclear attack or the likelihood of an Iranian occupation of some or all of its Sunni neighbors, I do find the prospect of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, that you suggest, to be a matter of concern. In fact, all countries you mentioned had considered acquiring nuclear weapons at some point in the past. However, you should consider how this nuclear arms race started -- Israel was the first country to introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East, and Iran may rightly consider her to be a strategic threat, just as Israel considers Iran so. Thus, a possible resolution of this crisis is a nuclear disarmament of the entire Middle East, whether voluntary or following outside pressure.
   
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