Sunday, January 15, 2006

Destination: Armageddon

Many US newspapers are still blissfully unaware of the dangers and threats posed by Iran. The Bergen Record ran a squib in the Sunday Record on the latest situation in Iran. A country threatens the entire Middle East and dreams of the apocalypse to fulfill some medieval religious belief, and it gets a squib buried in the middle of the paper?

Perhaps some are still smarting over the whole Iraq buildup and overestimation of Iraq's WMD programs (which most Leftists believe never existed, and most right wingers knew existed but have no good explanation for what happened between 1998 and 2003). The problem is that no matter how badly the Left thinks that the intel situation was screwed up, or how badly the Bush Administration prosecuted the war in Iraq, they've got to realize that we're dealing with an existentialist threat in Iran.

Iran poses a threat not only through its stated intentions to develop nuclear weapons, but in its support and training of terrorist groups. Oh, and a devotion to all things antithetical to the existence of the state of Israel, including Holocaust denial.

Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad the Agressively Insane continues letting the entire world know that he's not content merely threatening Israel with extinction. He wants to do the same with all of Western Civilization. He's not shy about this, and is extraordinarily clear about what he wants to do.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the hardline President of Iran, launched an angry tirade against the West yesterday, accusing it of a ‘dark ages’ mentality and threatening retaliation unless it recognised his country’s nuclear ambitions.

In a blistering assault, Ahmadinejad repeated the Islamic regime’s position that it would press ahead with a nuclear programme despite threats by the European Union and United States to refer Iran to the UN Security Council, where it could face possible sanctions. He added that Iran was a ‘civilised nation’ that did not need such weapons. Iran insists its nuclear programme is a wholly peaceful attempt to generate electricity.

Addressing a rare press conference in Tehran, he appeared to issue thinly veiled threats against Western countries, implying that they could face serious consequences unless they backed down. ‘You need us more than we need you. All of you today need the Iranian nation,’ Ahmadinejad said. ‘Why are you putting on airs? You don’t have that might.’

Reminding the West that it had supported the monarchical regime of the former Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi - overthrown in the 1979 Islamic revolution - he went on: ‘Those same powers have done their utmost to oppress us, but this nation, because of its dignity, has forgiven them to a large extent. But if they persist with their present stance, maybe the day will come when the Iranian nation will reconsider.’ He added: ‘If they want to deny us our rights, we have ways to secure those rights.’
Welcome to the wonderful world of nuclear blackmail. Combined with a religious fervor that overrides any sense of rationality. You know, the kind of religious teachings that would drive the Left nutty if President Bush even contemplated holding, but has drawn a complete blank when uttered in numerous places by Ahmadinejad.

Andrew Stuttaford has additional thoughts while France decides to backpedal on taking action (nothing quite like diplomacy in reverse - surrender before action).

Confederate Yankee also notes that it's time that Ahmadinejad faces the music.

Others who note the seriousness of the situation: Clarity and Resolve, Dr. Sanity, Jeff Goldstein, Rand Simberg, Secular Blasphemy, QandO, Stop the ACLU, and The Moderate Voice.

Kevin Drum thinks Democrats need to think seriously about Iran.
Of course, you never know. Maybe diplomacy will work and Iran will back down. But just in case it doesn't, Dems would be wise to start thinking about whether (a) or (b) — or some hypothetical (c) — is the right policy. And then, having thought about it, we can start figuring out how to persuade the American public that our choice is the right one.
We're past the point of recriminations on Iraq. It's hobbling the world's ability to deal with Iran's acquisition intent. And I mean world's ability because only the US appears to have the military capabilities to undertake such an effort - the credible use of force, which would have to induce Iran into accepting any kind of diplomatic solution.

The problem is that it's not just Democrats who have to think about the national security and foreign policy implications. Republicans do as well. There has to be a unified position on Iran to deal with the mad mullahs.

For a more humorous take on this deadly serious situation: The Jawa Report

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