Monday, April 17, 2006

Sanguine Sophisticates

The Moose elaborates on the Weltanschauung of our foreign policy sophisticates on Iran.

To be a member of the sophisticated CW club on Iran you must dismiss the Iranian leader Ahmadinejad as a kook with minimal influence. His threats toward Israel and the West are merely attempts to establish Iran as a regional superpower. And we are only inflating his importance by even noting his utterances about annihilating Israel. Sophisticated observers know better.

Anyway, Iran is years away from obtaining a bomb. Our intelligence tells us so. We can wait, there is no hurry. Complacency is cool. Anyway, why shouldn't Iran have a bomb? It is a symbol of national prestige. And if they had a bomb, it would be suicidal for them to use it. Containment worked toward the Soviet Union - why not Iran?

Moreover, we cannot do anything about Iran even if they are at the point where there is no turning back on moving toward nukes. We would not even know where to hit. And it would trigger a regional war. We could lose Iraq. America would be the victim of proliferation of terrorist attacks.

And after all, even if we could do something about it, we have to wait until we have a competent President. We are weak. President Bush is incompetent. America's first objective is regime change at home.

Don't worry, be happy.

Pardon the Moose, but he is not a sophisticate. Perhaps the Iranian madman should be taken at his word. Two must reads this week appear in ideologically diverse publications. In the conservative Weekly Standard
Reuel Marc Gerecht comprehensively addresses the issue of an attack on Iran.

And in the liberal New Republic, Matthias Kuntzel addresses the suicidal/martyr ideology of the President of Iran.He writes,

"A politics pursued in alliance with a supernatural force is necessarily unpredictable.Why should an Iranian president engage in pragmatic politics when his assumption is that, in three or four years, the savior will appear? If the messiah is coming, why compromise? That is why, up to now, Ahmadinejad has pursued confrontational policies with evident pleasure.

"The history of the Basiji shows that we must expect monstrosities from the current Iranian regime. Already, what began in the early '80s with the clearing of minefields by human detonators has spread throughout the Middle East, as suicide bombing has become the terrorist tactic of choice. The motivational shows in the desert--with hired actors in the role of the hidden imam--have evolved into a showdown between a zealous Iranian president and the Western world. And the Basiji who once upon a time wandered the desert armed only with a walking stick is today working as a chemist in a uranium enrichment facility."

It would be ideal but unlikely if the world would unite to deny nukes to the Iranians. No one wants another war. But, as we learned in the aftermath of World War I, appeasement also has a price. Then, the West was exhausted. Democratic crusades were passe. Sophisticated foreign policy dictated accommodating tyrants with apocalyptic ambitions.

This morning, the lead story in the New York Times may stir the slumber of our sanguine sophisticates,

"Iran has consistently maintained that it abandoned work on this advanced technology, called the P-2 centrifuge, three years ago. Western analysts long suspected that Iran had a second, secret program - based on the black market offerings of the renegade Pakistani nuclear engineer Abdul Qadeer Khan - separate from the activity at its main nuclear facility at Natanz. But they had no proof.

"Then on Thursday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Tehran was "presently conducting research" on the P-2 centrifuge, boasting that it would quadruple Iran's enrichment powers. The centrifuges are tall, thin machines that spin very fast to enrich, or concentrate, uranium's rare component, uranium 235, which can fuel nuclear reactors or atom bombs."

The Moose apologizes for considering such impolite, crude and quasi-neo-con thoughts. Maybe the sophisticates are right. Perhaps we should all relax and take a deep breath. Maybe the words from Teheran have no meaning.

Don't worry, be happy.

-- Posted at 8:26 AM | Link to this post | Email this post