Remember the French capitulation and the Freedom fries protests leading up to the war with Iraq? Recall the outrage at the failure of the French to join the invading American led coalition? Don’t look now, but the surrender to the Iranian nuclear bomb has begun. This time it’s not on the Champs Elysees, but in our own Beltway and on the Avenue where the Wall Street Journal is written. The sound of this retreat doesn’t resemble the baleful tone of a bugle, but in the sound of pages turning in Foreign Affairs and the Journal itself.
The one, two, retreat punch was delivered last week in the March/April issue of Foreign Affairs and the March 5th WSJ. First, James Lindsay and Ray Takeyh, uber-credentialed Mid-East scholars, tell us what to do in their cover article, “After Iran Gets the Bomb.” In an orgy of conditionals, there are scores of “mights” “would” “can be” “should” and dozens of “may nots.” Lindsay and Takeyh tell us all we can do is try “containment.” They assure us that even if we took out the Iranian nuclear facilities it would only set back their program “a few years.” How they know that for sure, we are never told. In the next few thousand words they describe a fantastical series of bold, coordinated and competent diplomatic initiatives we will need to undertake with our allies to neutralize the Iranian threat. Their plot scenario is more far-fetched than Avatar.
If America is not willing to stop this mad, gone rogue regime before it can trigger Armageddon, why would anyone think America could or would muster the will to stop it afterwards? Read the article for the improbable road map of diplomatic high wire trapeze acts we will have to coordinate with the Europeans, Russians, Chinese and Arabs to lessen the threat of an Iranian bomb. I could not help think of WWII and the Nazi rearmament that, just like the Iranians, was done in spite of all international treaties. It would have been a lot easier and simpler to stop Hitler from illegally re-arming and invading his near neighbors before than after. Yes we defeated him in the end, but it was clear to many that stopping him in the Ruhr was a better idea than fighting in Tripoli and Moscow. But, the West failed to do so and we know the result. This message of resignation before the Iranian bomb is actualized as delivered by Foreign Affairs must be meant to soothe and reassure. It also gives cover to policy makers over their failure to stop the Iranian bomb. It is as if they need reassurance or to reassure the world post-bomb by offering some hope for the future. Frankly, it did the opposite for me. So fantastic and improbable were its academic scenarios that I became more despairing with each sentence.
The second bombshell was the normally hawkish Journal in an article/interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski by Gerald F. Seib. Seib is, as far as I can tell, Rupert Murdock’s spokesperson and is often very smart and clear. Yet now he is telling us to avoid at all costs striking at Iran. Brzeninski in no uncertain terms tells us it will only agitate them and cause trouble in the Mid-East and “cause energy prices to soar.” Wow, a leading mind in the world of foreign policy would rather have mad Mullahs go nuclear, threaten us and our allies with annihilation and see the first use of a nuclear bomb since WWII than take a risk now. Ou la la, how European he truly is. His continental outlook is no longer hidden. Iran announces daily a new missile capable of striking further and more accurately and aimed at it’s enemies. Ignore that at your peril. Brzezinski also goes on to describe a fantastic series of hopeful, conditional diplomatic and policy absurdities that will have to take place with our allies. In this he includes the Saudis. He talks about what to do if Iran “crosses the line.” After they do, he supposes we will be ready to be “engaged and strike at them.” Why would anyone least of all the Iranians believe that? Just as Hitler was encouraged to complete his mad plans for global domination after no one took action against him for Czechoslovakia so too may the Iranians be emboldened by us giving them the gift of the bomb.
It is also unclear how Israel, the country most affected by this new appeasement in the air will react. It may feel that it is now totally isolated and on it’s own, or that it too will just have to live with the bomb.
Here at Java Jag we firmly believe that stopping the Iranians from getting an atomic bomb is a global imperative, necessary for survival of the planet as we know it. To read these wise men tell us otherwise and set us up for the non-inevitable shows their understanding of current reality and history is faulty in the extreme.
Disclosure: no position