The com­ing war with Iran

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

War with Iran is now in­evitable. The only ques­tion is: Will it hap­pen sooner or later? Tehran’s re­cent mis­sile tests and war games sug­gest that the apoc­a­lyp­tic mul­lahs have reached the same con­clu­sion.

Iran is on the march. Their medium-range Sha­hab-3 and Sa­jjil mis­siles can reach Is­rael, the en­tire Mid­dle East and parts of Europe. Tehran is slow­ing ex­pand­ing its re­gional sphere of in­flu­ence. It has backed in­sur­gency groups in Iraq, which have killed U.S. sol­diers. It spon­sors Ha­mas and Hezbol­lah. It has trans­formed Syria into a po­lit­i­cal vas­sal. It has forged an al­liance with Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela. It has pur­chased key air de­fense sys­tems from Vladimir Putin’s Rus­sia.

Ira­nian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ah­madine­jad is a Holo­caust-de­nier and vir­u­lent anti-Semite. He is a Per­sian Nazi strong­man who vows to wipe Is­rael “off the map.” He is a rev­o­lu­tion­ary Shi’ite. He be­lieves the Jews must be ex­tin­guished in or­der to usher the com­ing of the Shi’ite Mes­siah, the so-called “Hid­den Imam.”

For years, the fas­cist theoc­racy has in­vested con­sid­er­able re­sources into de­vel­op­ing a clan­des­tine nu­clear weapons pro­gram. Mr. Ah­madine­jad in­sists Tehran only wants atomic en­ergy for “peace­ful pur­poses.” Yet, he can­not an­swer one sim­ple ques­tion: Why does a coun­try with the world’s sec­ond­largest nat­u­ral gas re­serves and third-largest oil sup­ply need do- mes­tic nu­clear power?

More­over, Mr. Ah­madine­jad is a con­gen­i­tal liar. He re­peat­edly in­sists that Iran is a “democ­racy.” Rather, it is a bru­tal po­lice state based on rigged elec­tions and the tor­ture and mur­der of dis­si­dents. He claims that Iran has “no ho­mo­sex­u­als” and that women are treated “fairly.” In fact, the Is­lamist regime rou­tinely ex­e­cutes gays and sub­ju­gates women. He says Iran has “noth­ing to hide” about its nu­clear pro­gram. The West, how­ever, re­cently dis­cov­ered a hid­den, un­der­ground fa­cil­ity near the holy city of Qom ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing highly en­riched ura­nium for weapon­s­grade nu­clear ma­te­rial.

Since es­tab­lish­ment of the Is­lamic Repub­lic in 1979, Iran has been en­gaged in an ide­o­log­i­cal strug­gle against the West. Its two main en­e­mies have been the United States (“the Great Satan”) and Is­rael (“the Lit­tle Satan”). From its in­cep­tion, Tehran has sought to erect a world Mus­lim em­pire; to re­store me­dieval Is­lamic civ­i­liza­tion to its for­mer dom­i­nance. The regime is re­ac­tionary and — in a twisted man­ner — even utopian. Nu­clear weapons are about more than at­tain­ing great-power sta­tus. They are the means to achieve the fi­nal tri­umph of mes­sianic Shi’ism.

Iran is on the verge of ac­quir­ing the bomb. The mul­lahs have reached the point of no re­turn. Is­rael — the coun­try that has to live in that danger­ous part of the world — be­lieves the mul­lahs are six to nine months away from get­ting it.

Hence, Pres­i­dent Obama’s pol­icy of diplo­matic en­gage­ment com­bined with pos­si­ble sanc­tions is doomed to fail. It is in­ef­fec­tive, naive and reck­less. Di­rect talks, like those con­ducted in Geneva two weeks ago, only give Iran more time. Mr. Obama is sim­ply pro­vid­ing the mul­lahs with the cover they need to fin­ish com­plet­ing their nu­clear arse­nal.

Wash­ing­ton now has two choices: Sanc­tion an Amer­i­can or Is­raeli mil­i­tary at­tack to de­stroy Iran’s nu­clear fa­cil­i­ties or al­low Tehran to go nu­clear. Ei­ther op­tion means war.

A dev­as­tat­ing strike would likely trig­ger a fierce Ira­nian re­sponse, in­clud­ing waves of sui­cide bombers tar­get­ing Is­raeli civil­ians and U.S. troops in Iraq. Ira­nian mis­siles would pound Is­raeli and, maybe, Euro­pean cities. Vi­tal ship­ping lanes in the Per­sian Gulf would be dis­rupted, driv­ing the price of oil to more than $300 a bar­rel — plung­ing the West into a pos­si­ble de­pres­sion. Hezbol­lah sleeper cells might be ac­ti­vated within the United States, un­leash­ing deadly atroc­i­ties on Amer­i­can soil.

Yet, al­low­ing a nu­clear-armed Iran is likely to lead to an even worse re­gional war. Once the rul­ing cler­ics get their hands on nukes, a mil­i­tary show­down with Is­rael is in­evitable. They will seek to de­stroy the Jewish state once and for all. Jerusalem will not stand by and com­mit ex­is­ten­tial sui­cide. It will re­tal­i­ate. The re­sult would be a nu­clear holo­caust in the Mid­dle East.

The winds of war are blow­ing across the Per­sian Gulf. Fol­low­ing this sum­mer’s crack­down on pro-democ­racy pro­test­ers, the Ira­nian regime is weak, des­per­ate and frac­tur­ing. Wash­ing­ton should vig­or­ously pur­sue a pol­icy of in­ter­nal regime change; oth­er­wise, Tehran will drag the Mid­dle East into a cer­tain con­fla­gra­tion that could lead to the slaugh­ter of mil­lions.

In­stead, Mr. Obama has ruled out “med­dling in Iran’s in­ter­nal af­fairs.” His peace-at-any-cost diplo­macy guar­an­tees mil­i­tary con­flict. It is no longer a ques­tion of if this will hap­pen, but when and on whose terms. Mr. Obama is sleep­walk­ing into dis­as­ter. Amer­ica and the Mid­dle East will pay the price.

Jef­frey T. Kuh­ner is a colum­nist at The Wash­ing­ton Times and pres­i­dent of the Ed­mund Burke In­sti­tute, a Wash­ing­ton-based think tank.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.