Monday, March 16, 2009

Nuclear Mullahs

It's official! Iran's hand picked president and resident fiery rocketeet made the announcement about Persia's illicit hook up with space racing nuclear powered world powers.

At least - that's what the Russians say - Iran's state controlled media hasnt yet made the announcement.

This is significant. As Great Satan's largest moustache ever once put it - it kinda sucks talking about living with a nuclear Iran because it makes you start thinking about how to live with a nuclear Iran.

Case in point?

Great Satan's Truman Nat'l Sec Project has corralled several super smart cats like Madelaine Albright, Ann Marie Slaughter, John Podesta and Leslie Gelb.

Despite using the name of Great Satan's one and (so far) only nuclear Regime Changer these cats have devised a tiny tiny brief (in PDF) about accepting and containing an illegit nuke powered regime:

"The good news is that Iran’s military is a shadow of its former self. Iran devotes a
smaller percentage of its GDP to military spending than any of its neighbors in the
Persian Gulf, the United Arab Emirates excepted.1 Iran’s annual defense budget of $6-$8 billion is approximately 1/100 of the $711 billion the United States devoted to the Department of Defense, nuclear weapons, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in fiscal year 2009.

Nor can Iran make up this conventional gap via mass fanaticism. The people of Iran are tired of their system of government and its poor handling of the Iranian economy. According to one poll, 61% of respondents expressed opposition to Iran’s form of government, while 68% favored normalized relations with the United States.

The Iranian regime commands too few military resources and too little domestic support to engage in territorial aggression against its neighbors, our allies, or the United States itself. Iran is not a major threat to the United States, and we should not allow our own rhetoric to puff up a paper tiger

The bad news is that since Iran cannot compete with the United States in conventional terms, it has adopted asymmetrical tactics that can inflict real harm on America and our allies.

Instead of armoring squads of soldiers, it has armed squads of suicide bombers, mounted speedboats with missiles, and funded fifth-column networks in neighboring countries.

These tactics are designed to make it a deadly proposition for the U.S. and its allies, such as Israel and some Gulf States, to cross Iran.

The Iranian regime also funnels tens of millions of dollars per year to terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah. Whether it’s supplying Hezbollah during the Israel-Lebanon War of 2006, arming Shiite militias in Iraq, or supporting Hamas’s demands during Israel’s recent excursion in the Gaza Strip,
Iran has the ability to activate terror cells and cause chaos throughout the already turbulent Middle East.

Moreover, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard – funded outside the regular defense budget – is an elite fighting force that controls billions of dollars of its own and wields tremendous power"

This is where it gets weird. Mindreading the mullahocacy in Iran:

The real question is what Iran would do with a nuclear weapon?
Would the Iranian regime ever actually use a nuclear weapon, given the threat of massive retaliation? After all, the United States feared what Stalin and Mao would do with nuclear weapons, but they were effectively deterred.

The same logic might apply to Iran: Iran must realize that it would face massive retaliation if it ever used nuclear weapons against the U.S. or its allies

The problem is that suicide and martyrdom play an essential role in Iranian theology.

In the words of Ayatollah Khomeini, father of the Iranian Revolution, "the natural world is the lowest element, the scum of creation."

He and many of his followers, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, subscribe to an apocalyptic vision of the end times whereby the sacrifice of life on earth is justified in the eyes of God.

While the regime may be willing to encourage individuals to sign up for suicide squads for the greater glory of Iran, it has showed no signs of a willingness to forfeit its own existence.

However, if the regime was teetering or threatened, there is a real possibility that they may boost their domestic standing by using terrorist organizations to spark a conflict with Israel, then launching, or seriously threatening to launch, a nuclear missile to protect their co-religionists in the region.

Even if Iran’s leaders do not wish to instigate nuclear war, their possession of nuclear weapons would give them a major bargaining chip. It would boost their standing in the region, possibly leading nearby Gulf States, long-time enemies of the Persian nation, to invest in nuclear weapons of their own.

They would be able to issue more credible threats and interfere with American and European interests with greater impunity. It would also deepen the hold an oppressive regime has over its people – people who wish to be a normal country integrated into the rest of the world. This is the more likely, but seriously problematic, scenario.

Iran is already spreading terror throughout the Middle East. The possession of a nuclear weapon would allow the Iranian regime to safeguard its existence from perceived threats, and to increase its power at the expense of the greater good of the international community and its own people."

So how do these cats envision putting up with such a wicked regime?
Not to let the cat out of the bag - they do have some good ideas (and some that decorum prohibts mention - yeah - they suck that bad) - though it's nothing new


Be Crystal Clear. We must make it crystal clear that Iran’s use of a nuclear weapon will elicit a punishing military response from the United States
We cannot prevent the existence of fanaticism, but we can make it more likely that pragmatists in the Iranian government will outmaneuver the fundamentalists if we make our intent to respond with overwhelming force absolutely clear.

A credible threat to retaliate will make Iran’s leaders think twice about using a nuclear weapon, making a nuclear weapon less useful.

Credible Deterrents:

Create Some. Missile defense advocates are pointing to Iran as a principal reasonfor continuing our strategic missile defense program.

They have a point.

Today's missile d
efense priorities emphasize small arsenals from threatening states.

clearly fits the bill.

There remain serious questions about the technological feasibility of the system, and worries about whether it will ever be a credible deterrent.

But the premise is not to be dismissed lightly: the best way to reduce the worth of states acquiring nuclear weapons is to render those weapons ineffective.

A credible deterrent undercuts Iran’s ability to use missiles, making a nuclear weapon less useful"

Dr Josh Muravchik (Oh! He got game!) drew a very nice picture for the wave of designer dialogue that kinda sorta crashes the party.

"Eventually the United States and Iran will be reconciled. This will happen not as a result of diplomacy but in one of three ways: a change of heart by Iranian rulers, replacement of the Iranian regime, or in the way that the US and Japan finally became friends."


Skunkfeathers said...

True, Iran cannot directly attack the US the way an Axis power did in 1941. But 9/11 is another matter, and if Iran made a nuke available to Al Qaida or the scum-sucking Hamas -- so that, at least in their mind, we couldn't prove they had anything to do with it -- goofs like Ahmadinejad may well think this is doable, especially with the weak-willed administration that has taken over in DC.

The enemy has always been emboldened to action when a Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and now Barry Soetero, are in "power". Because they know the spine to act decisively against demonstrated and credible threats just ain't there, when the concern is more to make us "loved", at the cost of being protected.