Friday, October 16, 2009

Iranian War

Victor David Hanson has a rather scary article on the demise of Israel should Iran get the bomb. In his scenario however Iran realizes its goal of wiping Israel off the map without ever using its nukes.

The net effect would be for half the world’s Jews to hear constantly two messages — there was no Holocaust, but there might well be one soon. It would be analogous to the American public reliving the threats of the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 — every day.

A recent poll revealed that a quarter of Israel’s population quite understandably might emigrate if Iran gets the bomb. And it seems likely that within a decade or two, a nuclear Iran could so demoralize the Israelis by such psychological intimidation that it could unravel Israel demographically without dropping a bomb.

Aside from being at war with Iran since the takeover of our embassy, a war every administration since and most Americans are in denial about, when Iran gets the bomb things in the Middle East will go from bad to horribly worse. That Iran will get the bomb seems to be a safe bet. Obama’s shafting of East Europe by reneging on his campaign promise to keep the missile defense shield in Poland was supposed to yield Russian help on sanctions against Iran. (Ironically enough, scuttling a defensive missile shield designed to prevent attacks was one reason given by the Norwegians for giving Obama his Peace Prize.) When Russian President Medvedev signaled in September that Russia’s opposition to sanctions was being reconsidered it was hailed as a diplomatic victory for Obama, but that victory turned out to be only short lived rhetoric from the Russians. While Hillary was making her first public visit to Moscow on Monday the real power in Russia, Vladimir Putin, was in China reassuring Beijing that he had no intention of supporting tough sanctions. From China Putin told reporters the threat of sanctions is unneeded at this point because it could scare the Iranians, scuttling chances that talks with global powers could end Tehran's recalcitrance. Equally worthless diplomatically was Obama’s pandering to the Chinese. During Hillary’s trip to China human rights were taken off the table and Obama dissed the Dalai Lama. That didn’t gain much vis a vis Iran either, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Jiang Yu said that "China always believes that sanction and pressure should not be an option and will not be conducive to the current diplomatic efforts over the Iran nuclear issue”. Trade between China and Iran grew 35% last year, to $27 billion. China wants Iran’s oil and no amount of hope from Obama will change that, sanctions will only drive up the price of oil for China, the world's second-largest buyer of crude oil.

Obama himself isn’t ready to sanction Iran, still hoping that more talks will change Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but he would at least like the Iranians to think that maybe sanctions could be a possibility if the talks lead nowhere. Why these talks would lead to anything substantial when the previous nine years of talking didn’t is anyone’s guess. What Obama should be doing is unilaterally imposing sanctions and telling Tehran that we will lift them only when they drop their nuclear program and allow verification. Republican candidate for Senate, (Pennsylvania), Pat Toomey explains here that Congress is attempting to do just that:
Many in Congress understand the importance of using the diplomatic “stick.” The vast majority of members of Congress in both the House and the Senate are sponsoring legislation to do that.

The Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act is a bipartisan bill that would require President Obama to sanction foreign firms that sell, ship, or insure gasoline and diesel fuel to Iran, unless Iran agrees to drop its nuclear ambitions. To date, 75 senators and 321 representatives have co-sponsored the legislation.

The Iran Sanctions Enabling Act would authorize state and local government to direct divestiture from, and prevent investment in, companies with large investments in Iran’s energy sector. To date, 34 senators and 247 representatives in both parties have co-sponsored this important legislation.

He also asks “Why aren’t Sen. Arlen Specter’s and Rep. Joe Sestak’s names on either of these bills?” My question is will Obama veto the bill?

The other option that everyone hopes for and yet justifiably fears is an Israeli attack. An attack by Israel will be really tough to pull off and only delay the bomb by about five years. Of course allot can happen in five years., but then all hell will break loose if Israel attacks, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, and along the Syrian border from Iranian orders alone. While Egypt and Saudi Arabia will privately applaud Israel for slowing down a Shiite bomb publicly they would come down hard on Jews and Americans worldwide. The rest of the Muslim world would do likewise.

Currently we are hearing rumors that Khamenei is either in a coma or dead. Should the current military takeover fail with the death of Khamenei and a more moderate reform minded theocracy take its place that would only be good for America. It may not mean an end to Iran’s nukes or support for terrorism. If however a new Democratic revolution comes out of the impending chaos then maybe we could see the end of the Iranian war on America, and maybe an end to support for Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, Al Qaeda, and Hugo Chavez.