Thursday, April 9, 2015

You say to-MA-to, I say to-MAH-to. Same thing. Right?

I have another view of the recent Iranian nuclear weapons deal that I don't think many people, at least many Americans, are thinking of.  First, the obvious sticking points:

It's now coming out that based on speeches to their own people, Iran and the West have different interpretations of several important points.  Iran expects sanctions to be lifted instantly in June when the treaty becomes effective, while the US expects to gradually begin to lift sanctions over time.  This will hit the fan in June if not sooner.

Second, Iran prevailed and excluded inspections on their military bases for any nuclear development activities, making that the obvious place for them to proceed unmolested.  It's pretty easy to fool inspectors...the IAEA said back when they were allowed in Iran they were constantly finding sites not listed in Iran's declaration of all their research sites.  They were always behind the curve.  (Israel developed their atomic weapons directly under their Dimona "research" reactor while inspectors were topside.  Duh!)

But here's where I have a problem that I haven't heard mentioned much:  I don't think we fully understand the implications.  If Iran should ever get atomic weapons, they could blackmail their neighbors with impunity.

Think back to 1990-91.  Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and the US responded by massing 500,000 troops and their equipment in nearby Saudi Arabia, from where they launched Operation Desert Storm.  If Saddam had had atomic weapons, we would not have dared present him with such a juicy target.  

If just one of his bombs had gotten through, we could have lost hundreds of thousands of Americans and other allies, too.  No politician would have chanced it.  Iraq would still be in possession of Kuwait, and Saddam would have been embolden.

Heck, he could have demanded and probably gotten any concession he wanted from Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, too.  He would have complete control of the Arabian Sea and the Red Sea.  The Strait of Hormuz and the Suez Canal would have essentially been his.  The entire world's balance of power could have been upset, and not in a good way. Oh yeah...and bye-bye Israel.

Short of a nuclear conflagration, we could have done nothing.  Economic sanctions would not have worked because what he would have had control of, the rest of the world, including us, desperately needed, leaving us no choice but to accept his Status Quo. 

Can you see essentially the same possible outcome if Iran were to ever develop a Bomb?  The end to this story looks very scary.  I don't think Stephen King could have written a more chilling nightmare.



  1. Short of war, I see no way to stop Iran from developing the bomb. Sorry, but it's a done deal. I don't believe in Iran's promise to abide by a treaty. I expect that Israel will issue a statement similar to Kennedy's during the Cuban Missile Crisis, that any bomb leveled at Israel will prompt a nuclear response from Israel on Tehran- whether or not the bomb is fired from Iran. Difficult times are ahead.

    1. Your scenario would be my odds-on most likely, too, Steve.

  2. I think diplomacy is worth a shot, and as Kerry has said, other options are not ruled out. We'll know soon if Iran is going along with it or not. I don't think this can be equated to Chamberlin/Hitler agreements, we're not locked into anything with this.
    I don't think the US is ready in any way for a war with Iran. We will not be able to do 'selective bombing' there. It's an action, like Iraq, we'll end up regretting.

    1. I agree, diplomacy is always the best option. And I also agree we will not go to war, or even undertake selective bombing, for many reasons: we're tired, we can't afford it, and I doubt we know what/where to bomb. But can you imagine un unholy Mideast alliance between...umm, I think I have tomorrow's post topic. :)