Confronting Iran: No Palatable Choices
By Steve Schippert | April 13, 2006
To continue to tap dance around the very real threat that Iran openly poses is a recipe for disaster, with consequences far more dire than most care to honestly acknowledge. America continues to be the ‘Great Satan’. Israel is an enemy that needs to be ‘wiped off the map’. Europe is still a continent that is regarded with content and manipulation.
First and foremost, Iran is, without possible debate, the world's premier State Sponsor of Terrorism. Iran owns Hizballah outright. It has always funded the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and through Hizballah training, funding and arming, also supports the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. They are currently in the process of leasing Hamas through influence gained via funding their freely elected (yet still terrorist) state operations. The influential foot is past the Palestinian door and Iran now stands firmly in the room.
Iran is cooperating with al-Qaeda by providing safe harbor for many of its leaders and operators who have fled Afghanistan. Iran has been sending arms (including advanced IED's) and IRGC operatives by the hundreds into Iraq to wage war with the American forces there as well as to foment the Sunni-Shiite bloodletting that destabilizes the emerging democracy elected by Iraqis.
That these facts do not serve as the foundation upon which unity among the West is built, let alone within the United States itself, is indicative of a loss of resolve among those who once had it and a continuing refusal to acknowledge the true threat of terrorism among those who have rejected it.
Forget what you may or may not think of President George W. Bush and consider the clarity in his message to the world after 9/11: “You are either with us, or you are with the terrorists.”
There was an eerie, still silence coming from important places and quiet nodding from others. Those words reverberated throughout the world. Not because of banter or tone. But because the world knew that behind them was a steel resolve in both the President of the United States and the citizens of the nation he led.
They were words said and words meant, and the world knew it. The world understood it. 3,000 people had been smote from our midst and, suddenly, the days of nuance and lobbing cruise missiles at inanimate objects such as aspirin factories were gone.
Fast forward nearly five years.
With renewed vigor, nuance is back. Nearly absent from the arena are clarity and resolve, replaced with bitter, self-destructive political debate and self-interest.
Lost is the focus on international terrorism and, thus, the West stand perilously close to debating ourselves into paralysis and therefore appeasement of the central command and chief state sponsors of global Islamic terrorism.
This is why confronting the nuclear ambitions of the Islamic Republic of Iran is absolutely critical and cannot be downplayed.
Vital Perspective offers great clarity today on this issue and warns against the ongoing downplaying of the obvious nuclear threat posed by Iran. They underscore a very important point in their analysis.
Many pundits have decided that this latest technological accomplishment is something to belittle (WP, NYT, Reuters). Unfortunately for them, and for the American public which relies in large part on their analysis, it is indicative of a fundamental misconception of the nuclear process. In fact, it's far more difficult to go from 0 to 3.5 percent than it is to go from 3.5 percent to 90 percent.
Iran has essentially managed to finally construct the basic block from which to build. Now, to somewhat oversimplify the process, it is simply a mater of duplicating this building block and connecting enough of them together to rapidly create their desired fissile material.
Another key paragraph from Vital Perspective exemplifies the current state of paralysis with regard to dealing with Iran (or, obviously, not).
Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, believes that America risks losing its global power in a war with Iran. We beg to differ. In this crisis, the issue is not what we can afford to do, but rather what we can afford not to do. This is one of those nightmares you don't wake up from. An Iranian-dominated Middle East threatens the future of the West.
It seems the resolve has shifted clearly to the Islamists, be they Sunni or Shi’ite.
In the beginning of the openly declared War on Terror, even Iran gave us some assistance, partly out of hatred for their regional enemy, the Taliban and their Sunni al-Qaeda guests. But what is sadly and frustratingly lost is the fact that Iran shook in their boots and wanted no part of the coming coiled American fist. Even they understood the resolve now seemingly evaporated.
We have collectively debated ourselves out of a position of strength, in the eyes of the Iranians, and reverted back and beaten ourselves into our customary form of conflict avoidance at any cost.
Fear the cornerstone of Islamist terrorism. Acknowledge that they are the most powerful enabler of proxies and aggressors through terrorism. Comprehend that the Iranian regime, with hands in some fashion on nearly all levers of power among terrorist organizations, is messianic in nature, led by mullahs and a president that seek to usher in the return of the 12th Imam, the Mehdi. Realize that he is prophesied to return only when the world is in utter chaos and turmoil, the conditions that define ‘paving the way for the return of the 12th Imam’. Acknowledge that this deeply religious messianic thinking dislodges those powerful men from the reasoned discourse and logic upon which we ourselves base our approach to negotiations.
Within that context, think of those powerful, devout men with nuclear weapons at their disposal. Dispose of them they clearly will. They, unlike the Soviets in the Cold War, do not hold the same sense of self-preservation. For, in their religious quest, destruction is their salvation and, in their eyes, the salvation of the entire world through the Mehdi.
Understand with clarity that there can be no victory in the War on Terror without the fall of the Iranian mullah regime, from within or without.
Vital Perspective concludes with an acknowledgement of this through the words of Senator John McCain.
"There's only one thing worse than using the option of military action, and that is the Iranians acquiring nuclear weapons."
Hopefully, through some miracle, both can be avoided. But the prospects are not good.
There simply are no palatable choices. None without much pain and sacrifice. There is one, however, that very well may not be survivable. That choice, through the decision of indecision, is too easily charted.