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Monday, August 23, 2010

Should We Invade?

Lindaman writes:

For the past couple of years, Iran has been making moves to build nuclear reactors, citing their desire to move away from an oil-based energy policy. The Left has cheered this move,


marking one of the first times in recent history that Leftists have actually cheered for nuclear power.

Liar. There's tons of people on the left that are in favor of nuclear energy. Heck, I'm not against it.

But, here's the funny thing. Iran is sitting on one of the largest oil reserves in the world. And I can't say that Iran's done much to tap into that reserve. Why would they go nuclear when they have oil? I have a few thoughts on the matter, and none of them are as blissfully ignorant as the Left's thoughts on the same matter.

1) Iran knows they have the US over a barrel. An oil barrel, to be precise. It's no secret that America has a jones for oil. One of our sources of foreign oil is the Middle East, and one of the primary tanker routes is the Strait of Hormuz. And guess where Iran sits. Right along the Strait of Hormuz. Combine that with the fact about Iran's oil reserves that I referenced above and you get a situation that could create an artificial spike in oil prices if Iran decides to cut us off. Going nuclear allows them to hold onto more oil which they can sell back to us as economy-busting prices.

2) They're gearing up for an attack on Israel. It's not secret that the current leadership in Iran wants Israel out of the picture in the Middle East. One of the great advantages Israel has over their Muslim counterparts in that neck of the world is their military. One way to counteract that military is through bigger, more dangerous weapons. Like...oh I don't know...a nuclear bomb. And given that Iran has a deal with Russia to get the kind of uranium used in nuclear weapons instead of the uranium used in nuclear reactors, I'm guessing Iran's going to play a much bigger role in the Middle East's conflict with Israel very soon.

Meh, Iran's been saying that for 30 years.

Israel should not have nukes, either. Biggest mistake besides Pakistan. We bribe them 3 billion a year not to nuke people. And yet they keep pushing it.

Israel is a strong military power that prefers to dictate and hates negotiation. So it is in the interests of any opposing country to dull that spear with strategies to balance their own security and insure their other neighbors take them seriously. Look at Iraq. The Iraq that going to emerge is going to be, from Israel's perspective, just as bad or worse than the one Saddam administered simply because the situation and Israel's attitude to its neighbors does not recommend peaceful accommodation.

Military force should be used as a last resort. If Israel feels that it needs to preemptively strike at Iran's nuclear facilities, they'll do it with or without America's consent. Israel showed us in 1967 and 1981 that they will preemptively act if felt compelled to do so. Iran will retaliate to an attack. Even if Israel acts alone, Iran will hold the United States as an accessory and will retaliate accordingly. It is that retaliation that the United States might be drawn into a wider conflict.

Defending Israel is not a must in our foreign policy. American government should be serving Americans, not Israelis. I don't care how much money we give Israel, or if they give us a foothold into the middle east. Let them manage their own fights, it's not our problem.

3) Iran will be a battlefront in an impending geopolitical conflict akin to the Cold War. This is a radical notion, but one that has a basis in fact. The fall of the Soviet Union left great opportunity, but also a lot of hard feelings among the communists still there. Although we saw Russia moderate its relationship with the West early on, one would be hard-pressed to say that the relationship hasn't soured again. Blame Bush if you want, but it wouldn't have mattered who was President because they have been planting the seeds for this for decades. Now, consider China's growing influence on the global scene. The fact that China and Russia are on the same page is scary, especially considering both are actively supporting Iran's nuclear aims. Both countries have an ax to grind with America, and they're not above making us fight on ground that isn't theirs. If events continue to unfold like I think they will, once Iran goes nuclear, Russia and China will get more vigorous in their defense of Iran, which would embolden Iran to attack Iraq. That has the potential to draw us into a global war that we won't be able to afford and will most likely lose.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong on these (especially on that third one). But until we're willing to look at the facts and act accordingly, Iran's nuclear capabilities will continue to be the elephant in the room that we're trying to ignore.

You know what? You could be right about all those things. So, what's your solution? Do you want us to invade Iran or not?

Iran hasn't done anything worth being invaded for. There is no nuclear balance in the region. Currently it's Israel that has the nukes, and everyone else is screwed. None of them should have nukes. If we were going to attack anyone in that region for being aggressive, having dangerous nuclear aspirations, a hostile posture towards their neighbors, and an unwillingness to accept US arbitration, we'd have to attack either Pakistan, Syria, or...Israel.

Iran hasn't done anything except shout "Death to Infidels!" for the last 30 years, and even the Grand Ayatollah hasn't been very fervent about that lately.

What could possibly be gained from an invasion of Iran that couldn't be done through a thorough and extensive bombing campaign of military and scientific targets? We can strike if we need to. It very well could happen if Iran tries to pull a fast one. Before you know it, there will be purple fingers everywhere.

But a full-on invasion? Why destabilize a country where there were anti-government protests going on last year?

Honestly, Conservatives, do you really want a full-on occupation? The casualties would make Iraq and Afghanistan look like a training exercise.

Conflict may be inevitable - but we don't need to be a part of this conflict. Israel has gotten themselves into this mess through violating international law and antagonizing the Islamic community. Yes, the Islamic community has antagonized back, but that cycle won't stop until someone stops it. If Israel has such a huge problem with it, then they should start the cycle.

Conservatives need to just stop treating Obama like he's anything other than what he is, a reasonably smart politician who consults with our allies on possible courses of military action that he think will best lead to advances in our national security. That's it. Then you won't sound shocked when he does something completely unremarkable like his cracking down when Ahmadouchebag tries to be clever.