Wednesday, January 18, 2006

When will we begin to support the revolutionary elements in Iran?

Because all other options haven't worked (diplomacy, sanctions), and if you think the world hates us now, what if we orchestrated precision strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities? Michael Ledeen explains...

You want sanctions? When have sanctions ever "worked" against hostile countries? Did they bring Saddam to heel? With one exception (Reagan's embargo of military technology against the Soviet Empire), they have only altered the behavior of regimes that wanted to be part of our world, countries like South Africa and Chile. For the rest, sanctions cut primarily against the oppressed peoples of our tyrannical enemies, and the tyrants could care less. Sanctions, even if you accept the fantasy that the West en bloc accepts them and enforces them, would do more harm than good. We should want to help the Iranian people, who are overwhelmingly pro-American, and bring down the mullahcracy, which is our outspoken, fanatical, and bloodthirsty enemy. No sanctions.

You want to bomb the nuclear facilities? Do you really believe that our intelligence community is capable of identifying them? The same crowd that did all that yeoman work on Saddam's Iraq? The CIA that once received accurate information on Iranian schemes in Afghanistan, only to walk away from the sources that provided it? The CIA that, three times in the past 15 years or so, seems to have had its entire "network" inside Iran rolled up by the mullahs? And even if you believe that we have good information about the nuclear sites, are you prepared to deal with the political consequences, in Iran and throughout the region? Do we even know, with any degree of reliability, what those are? Look at the problems we now face in Pakistan, after a handful of innocents were killed in an assault against a presumed terrorist gathering. Then imagine, if you can, the problems following hundreds, or thousands of innocents killed in raids inside Iran. Are you prepared for that?

These are the questions that define our current plight. Having kicked the Iranian can down the road for many years, having failed to purge the intelligence community the morning after 9/11, and having failed to support democratic revolution in Iran and Syria, we are between various hard and alarmingly sharp rocks.

Iran is leaving us very little choice.