Sunday, August 3, 2008
Short of residing under a rock for the past few years, you could not have failed to notice the constant streaming of news pieces on Iran's nascent nuclear program. At first, the pieces were not all that frequent. Lately, though, they seem to be reaching a fever pitch. I don't know if this means Iran is closer than ever to having nuclear capability, or if there's nothing more interesting to report on but, regardless, we are being inundated with stories of Western threats and Iranian defiance.
I have a simple solution for all of this threat/defiance garbage: The West should bow out of the issue and allow Iran to continue with its nuclear weapons program unfettered. The prospect of an Iran with nuclear weapons does not excite me but, short of another war in a region of the world renowned for backwardness, poverty, totalitarianism, illiteracy, outright idiocy, racism, misogyny, and holier-than-thou piety, practically all of it institutionalized and canonized, and none of it worth one drop of American blood, I don't see how it can be stopped.
There are two things, however, that the United States could do that might very well lend stability to the entire region. First, take the short leash off of Israel by allowing it to do, without comment, what needs to be done to ensure its security. If that means a preemptive strike (Nuclear? Israel has never publicly acknowledged having nuclear weapons, although it's widely believed, perhaps wrongly, that they have them.) on Iran, so be it. Second, clearly state, sans all ambiguity, what the US response will be if Iran ever does use its nuclear weapons, whenever it actually develops them, against another country: annihilation so total, via nukes (of course), that cartographers will leave a blank space on future maps for where Iran used to be.
Tangentially, a third option actually exists, at least for those with a decidedly libertarian bent, and that's to bring all US troops home from everywhere around the world, discharge 90% of them, fix our own crumbling country, and let the world tend to its own problems. But that would mean facing our own faults/problems and finding (uncomfortable) solutions to them, and we all know that's not going to happen. No, the US seems to find it easier to insert itself into others' messes than to clean up its own, a behavior it will continue until it no longer has the wherewithal to do so.