I asked Asad to be as concerned as humanly possible. Threats of war should never be discounted. And any armed conflict is obviously a grave matter. Especially since there are no swift and easy wars! Fifteen years after that first Gulf “turkey shoot,” 150,000 veterans continue to suffer from various ailments in the States if the American Legion’s database is to be believed. And the casualties in
It has irked me from the very beginning how the ones most disproportionately affected by this seemingly endless war are those of the military community in the States. I don’t see signs of the sort of activity in the larger society commensurate with the severity of those ostensibly horrendous “existential threats” plaguing civilization.
And the Iranian society too continues to reel from the aftereffects of the last war. Veterans die wretchedly after years of suffering everyday. There are still between 45-000 to 80,000 survivors of Saddam’s chemical warfare left suffering. Despite my persistent attempts, I haven’t been able to verify the exact numbers. But over 100,000 were reportedly gassed by the very same WMD everyone dreads now.
If nothing else, the sense of insecurity alone that the disabled vets and their families experience— even taking into account the-by-now defused anger directed in so many different directions—still makes this bloc a formidable force highly resistant to change as this latter by definition implies further uncertainly.
That said, I thought we should start our closer scrutiny of various positions with two articles for today. William Kristol is, as always, pithy and matter of fact in his And Now Iran :
The Iranian government is testing us, and its nuclear program could well be getting close to the point of no return…
A Cuban missile crisis with Khrushchev's
What about nuclear proliferation throughout the region?
What about the hopes for a liberal, less-extremist-and-terror-friendly
Our adversaries cannot be allowed to believe that, because some of the intelligence on
And his recommendations:
Mr. Hanson thinks that
Its theocracy poses a danger to civilization even greater than a nuclear
Islamic radicalism… has declared war on Western society and tens of thousands of jihdadists, whether Shiia or Sunnis, count on
With nukes and an earned reputation for madness, it can dictate to the surrounding Arab world the proper policy of petroleum exportation;
It can shakedown Europeans whose capitals are in easy missile range;
It can take out
The clincher below:
Any country that burns off some of its natural gas at the wellhead while claiming that it needs nuclear power for domestic energy is simply lying. Terrorism, vast petroleum reserves, nuclear weapons, and boasts of wiping neighboring nations off the map are a bad combination.
Mr. Hanson’s conclusion:
There are two parameters we should accept — namely, that
And his counsel:
Challenges call for something far more sustained and comprehensive — perhaps a week or two of bombing at every imaginable facility, many of them hidden in suburbs or populated areas. Commando raids might need to augment air sorties, especially for mountain redoubts deep in solid rock.
To that end:
The Europeans and the Americans right now must accelerate their efforts and bring the crisis to a climax at the Security Council
The public relations war is critical.
Economically, we should factor in the real possibility that Iranian oil might be off the global market, and prepare… for colossal gasoline price hikes.
[Longer term] develop an energy policy that collapses the global oil price
Forge a bipartisan front to confront
Finally, the public must be warned that dealing with a nuclear
The one moment Mr. Hanson got a wry smile from me was in his following move:
…we could step up… and provide far more money to dissident groups inside
It is a long-term therapy and therefore suffers the obvious defect that
So I simply wondered aloud how I would choose to characterize those formidable American warheads: the Founding Fathers bomb? A
No matter though.
If you have been reading for a while, you’ve probably gathered that I hold Mr. Hanson in high esteem despite many fundamental differences. He is one of only few honest men left in that lot. The why becomes clearer once we get to Gerecht.