Thursday, January 12, 2006

Dancing With Mullahs- What the US and the West need to do to deal with Iran

A lot of the news cycle lately has been devoted to Iran. I'm grimly amused by this, to be honest.

Iran has been pursuing nuclear weapons for at least a decade, and has been a major sponsor of terrorism for even longer. Their views on Israel and the West have been crystal clear since the Iranian revolution and have never wavered one iota. This is not exactly news out of the blue.

Now that the pundits have discovered Iran, all sorts of opinions are being tossed around. The reality is that there are only a few realistic options available.

Depending on the effectiveness of UN sanctions is frankly, folly, as Saddam Hussein could tell anyone who's interested. Aside from the fact that Russia, China and certain members of the EU are unlikely to abide by them, the black market is alive and well, especially when you have oil contracts to sell.

`A quick air strike' on Iran's nukes as proposed by various proponents is possible, but risky, kind of like the old proverb about shooting at an only get one shot so you had better not miss. If the US,or more likely Israel fails to totally eliminate the threat we can count on the mullahs seeking revenge and retaliation as soon as they can repair the damage.

I also think that anyone who seriously talks about a land invasion of Iran is likewise not exactly living in reality. While the US military, perhaps with assists from the Ozzies and the Brits are more than capable of handling the job, the time, money and effort involved would be horrendous.

And with that scenario, there's the danger of a replay of the endless debates, street demonstrations and useless resolutions like the ones in the run up to the Iraq war. Those theatrics, largely orchestrated by the Left in the USA and Europe gave Saddam 15 months to sell or hide any WMDS he had and plot a bloody guerilla war that still goes on as I write.

No, dancing with the mullahs will take more finesse than that.

There are two threats with Iran that need to be dealt with: not only its nuclear weapons, but its support and financing of jihadi terroism. President Bush touched on this when he compared Militant Islam with the communist menace of the Cold War. Iran needs to be dealt with exactly the same way, in my opinion...but with this slight difference.

While going after Iran's nukes is definitely important, even more important is attacking the means of obtaining future nukes and financing terrorism. In that context, the most effective strike would be at Iran's ports and especially at its oil fields. Cut off the cash flow and the Russians will cease supplying the mullahs with nukes and arms, and the Chinese will find another third world oil supplying country to be interested in.

Also, the financing and support for Islamic terroism is eliminated when there's no oil money to pay for it. At that point, the West can encourage Iranian moderates within the country while the mullahs can be isolated until the whole rotten structure collapses and more moderate forces take control.

To me, that makes more sense than betting the farm on eliminating all of those underground bunkers the Russians so thoughfully built for Ahmadinejad and friends.


Anonymous said...

Offense is the best defense

Anonymous said...

Let me get this right, you are proposing removing 2.5 million barrels a day of oil from the world market?

BEFORE Iraq is back on line?

The cost of a ground assault pales into insignificance....