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Political Devotions - Conservative Alerts, News and Commentary
Wednesday, September 8, 2004
Forbes on Iran
Topic: World War IV
(What are "political devotions"? Click here.)

It's a rare occasion when I can voice an "Amen" to every idea presented in an editorial, but that is the case with this recent Steve Forbes piece:
The news from Iran is grim. This Islamic dictatorship--the biggest source of terrorist training and financing in the world and the nation that's doing all it can to stir up trouble in already combustible Iraq--is clearly on the cusp of becoming a nuclear power. The clerical fascists running the country have dropped just about all pretense of their atomic programs being energy-related only. Tehran announced in July that it had resumed making the centrifuges needed to produce highly enriched uranium, a key ingredient for nuclear bombs. It is, in essence, tearing up last fall's agreement with the UN International Atomic Energy Agency to keep its nuclear program transparent and to do nothing that could be construed as developing nuclear weapons.

Iran, more than Iraq or the reorganization of our intelligence agencies, is the crisis flashpoint in our war against Islamic fanaticism. What to do? John Kerry's advisers and many Bush Administration officials think we should deal directly with Iran. The Europeans would support us. The goal: to persuade Iran--through cash, trade agreements (its economy is a mess) and pats on the back--to halt its nuclear arms program. These so-called realists in this instance are the dreamers, the fantasizers.

Why wouldn't Iran go nuclear? Our ten-year dawdle over North Korea's nuclear adventurism hammers home to Tehran's corrupt, totalitarian-minded thugs this inescapable conclusion: Nukes mean respect, mean security--and they grant blackmail power to shake down billions in booty from the U.S. and other Western moneybags.

The implications of a nuclearized Iran are appalling. Fanatics in Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere will be emboldened to undermine existing governments. Israel may well feel the need to strike, just as it did against Iraq's nuclear facility in 1981.

The all-too-real possibility of a violent Israeli reaction--Israel has long considered Iran's black- robed fascists to be its ultimate enemy--may be the only possible deterrent to Iran's final nuclearization. But that's not likely, given that the mullahs have probably dispersed their nuclear capabilities around the country. Iran, moreover, is not defenseless; it has missiles that can hit Israel.
Read the whole essay for the rest of Forbes' analysis, and his proposed solution. Could someone explain to me again why we can't elect this guy president?

Posted by Tim at 11:46 AM EDT

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