April 11, 2006

Killing Allah

Jefferson Morley's Washington Post blog entry today, Talk of Iran Strikes Gets Cool Response, in which Morley summarized world media opinion on threats of a possible attack on Iran's nuclear program, triggered an interesting response from a reader who called himself Farhad Saidieh:

This is a good article, but when have the USA backed down, especially if it would require them to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Iranian regime; the withdraw of the "axis of evil" statement; and then removal of accusations of Iran's links to terrorism/freedom fighters. Even if the USA felt that this may some how be in its interest the Israelis wouldn't allow it and would drag the USA back. There is another way. It would require the USA to acknowledge that it does not have the right, or moral standing to be the Judge, Jury and Executioner. Only then will the end of the war on Terrorism start.

As you may imagine, I had my own response to Farhad:


Why does it seem you are more interested in ending the War on Terrorism, than on ending terrorism itself? I think you have overplayed your hand and stated your intentions a little too clearly.

Iran is a terrorist state that openly seeks the ultimate weapon, while maintaining long-standing calls for the eradication of Israel. It is no great stretch to see that a nuclear Iran would try to destroy Israel as soon as it thought it was possible. Before dying, the Israeli counterstrike is certain to exact a horrible toll of its own. All told, tens of millions will die in this ever-more-likely scenario, and the Middle East will become inhabitable for thousands of years because of nuclear radiation.

The projected and all-but-promised Islamic first strike will clearly mark Islam as an aberration; a threat to all humanity. I doubt any of the "civilized" nations will think twice about unleashing their own arsenals, conventional or otherwise, in smashing other Islamic states that can be seen as a threat to those not already killed by the Iranian-triggered war.

Islam will be smashed, consigned to the ash-heap of history with other failed religions of past centuries. Is this the future you want for Islam? That is the path you are choosing.

If western powers back down now, Iran will end your world, and your religion, and the only solace you will find is that you outlasted the Israelis by a breath.

This is the future Iran would choose for you. I suggest you find another way.

Too many people in this country are allowing their views on developments in Iran's nuclear proliferation gamble to be colored by their like or dislike of President Bush. This is a mistake.

As Mark Steyn noted in an excellent commentary today:

Anyone who spends half an hour looking at Iranian foreign policy over the last 27 years sees five things:
  1. contempt for the most basic international conventions;
  2. long-reach extraterritoriality;
  3. effective promotion of radical Pan-Islamism;
  4. a willingness to go the extra mile for Jew-killing (unlike, say, Osama);
  5. an all-but-total synchronization between rhetoric and action.


…the extremist [Iranian President] Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map," while the moderate [former Iranian President] Rafsanjani has declared that Israel is "the most hideous occurrence in history," which the Muslim world "will vomit out from its midst" in one blast, because "a single atomic bomb has the power to completely destroy Israel, while an Israeli counter-strike can only cause partial damage to the Islamic world." Evidently wiping Israel off the map seems to be one of those rare points of bipartisan consensus in Tehran, the Iranian equivalent of a prescription drug plan for seniors: we're just arguing over the details.

So the question is: Will they do it?

And the minute you have to ask, you know the answer.

When Seymour Hersh wrote in the New Yorker that the Administration is planning contingencies for possible military strikes against Iran's nuclear sites, and that even our own nuclear options were being considered as a possible response in some scenarios, my initial response was one of "isn't it their job to consider all options?" I did not however, actually think using nuclear weapons was a workable solution, anymore than did the generals in Hersh's anonymously-sourced article who threatened to resign if the nuclear option wasn't removed from the table.

Like the President, I do not desire military conflict—or in light of Iranian intrusion into Iraq, more military conflict—with Iran, and would much prefer a diplomatic settlement where no more lives need be lost. I agree with the apparent assessment of Steyn and others that the Iranian mullahcracy will not stop until they are stopped, and that stoppage, like so many things in the Islamic world, will only occur at the point of the sword.

The American nuclear option of using B61-11 tactical thermonuclear bombs or similar munitions is unsettling and unpleasant, and only to be thought of seriously if all diplomatic efforts fail, and no other military response seems capable. But it is an option, and one that must be considered. They stakes—tens of millions of lives across the Middle East and southwest Asia—are simply too high. Yes, some generals will not want to even consider this option, but generals tend fight the last war, and the civilian leadership most be more nimble in considering what may occur if we fail to stop the Iranians here.

To fail here is tantamount to the total destruction of Israel and the Palestinians, the poisoning of Jordan, Lebanon, and surrounding nations by fallout from Iranian nuclear weapons, and the destruction of much of Iran in retaliation by an Israeli response, even as the Jewish state ceases to exist. It is a price Iran says it is willing to pay, but what of neighboring Iraq, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan? What of other nations that will reap what Iran has sown? They have no say is determining this nuclear winter that ends their lives, and yet they all stand to lose because of an Iranian mullahcracy that has never deviated from its plan to rule the world for Islam, or die.

Iran cannot win this war, but it can destroy much, including Islam itself.

An Iran-triggered nuclear war would wipe out a significant portion of the cradle of civilization, and draw withering fire from suddenly isolationist populations worldwide that would prudently declare Islam a threat to the security of their states. The religion would be banned in many nations, it adherents driven out or underground in others, and the remaining Islamic nations not dying of radiation poisoning and internal wars brought about by this strife will be targeted at the slightest hint of provocation.

How long will the first Islamic nuclear state, Pakistan, last in this environment of well-earned distrust for the Islamic Bomb? What will happen to Pakistan's nuclear weapons when Pervez Musharraf is no longer firmly in charge? If Pakistan falters and control of its weapons is in doubt for even a second, the response will be swift, punitive, and decisive.

If Iran succeeds in its unholy task, Islam itself may die because the remainder of the world will deem it too dangerous to exist. Iran will kill Allah. It may take generations, but Allah will be a god as dead and forgotten as Huitzlopochtli and Heimdall. One billion Muslims armed mainly with small arms cannot compete against the modern world's militaries should the battle ever fully be joined. They will achieve their Islamic Armageddon, but they will go "into the light" alone, as forgotten as the followers of Odin and Ra.

President Bush said in his 2002 State of the Union Address:

We'll be deliberate, yet time is not on our side. I will not wait on events, while dangers gather. I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons.

Iran is the most dangerous of those remaining regimes, and it is seeking the world's most destructive weapons. Diplomacy is our first option as it should always be. If all else fails, however, we owe it to the world to resolve the problem of Iran's nuclear ambitions with any and all of the technologies at our disposal.

Too many lives hang in the balance not to take that difficult step.

Update: And time draws short.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at April 11, 2006 03:08 PM | TrackBack

Sy Hersh has done something else, probably unintentionally, but possibly not.

Because of his open stating of "The US is considering nukes." he's guaranteed we will.

Stay with me.

It doesn't matter in this context if we do or don't.

Because if we hit *any* underground facility that has radioactive material in it - it will be trotted out as proof that *we* used a nuke.

Never mind if it's the right isotopes or amount of radiation for a nuke - the geiger counters will click and the radiacmeters register... and those who are prone to believe we did it will believe we did it - and it will get reported that way.

You heard it here first. Hey, I was the first guy to predict that someone in San Francisco would quickly hatch a plan to make the USS Iowa a Gay Icon.

If this works out (I hope not, frankly) I'll have scored like a broken clock. Right twice.

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at April 11, 2006 03:42 PM

It seems Iran has reached the limits of it's insanity and unless a serious turn of events takes place very quickly in that country, being hit is the only option they are leaving the world.

Your assessment of the situation and probable outcome of a nuclear Iran is brilliant. Thanks

Posted by: Fish at April 11, 2006 11:05 PM

John of Argghhh,

The usual suspects claim our use of specially de-enriched depleted uranium constituted the use of a nuclear weapon on our part, as well as claiming WP as a chemical weapon instead of an incidnary. In short, ..-. 'em. If they're going to have the same reaction no matter what we do, we shouldn't change our plans on account of their kvetching.

Posted by: Cybrludite at April 12, 2006 06:29 AM

Master Luddite - Just for the record - I didn't suggest we should take the option off the table. I just pointed out we would get blamed, regardless of what we did.

I suppose I could have added, "So we might as well" except that I, a former nuke weapons person myself, just hate the damn things six ways to Sunday.

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at April 12, 2006 07:39 AM

I’d like to respond to your comments on your website on the 11th April 2006.

Firstly the war on Terror will only end when terror has ended. That is why I would like an ended the war on Terror. As for “The War on Terror” as named by the USA that is something of a political game. A true war on terror or terrorism would start by defining what terrorism is and apply the war equally where ever it exists. Not as the USA has done to block the UN request to define what terrorism is. In this way the USA decides what is Terrorism today and what it might be tomorrow to service its own political purpose. Hypocrisy continued.
Maybe you wish to war to continue indefinitely without any desire to see an end to terror? Do you understand the book 1984 by Aldus Huxley?

On a separate matter I agree that Iran is probably trying to get the “Ultimate Weapon” and the eradication of Israel. If Iran were to use it then there would be consequences for Iran, the death of millions etc. And threats like this have brought Pakistan and India to relative peace. As for whether this would destroy Islam I doubt as most Muslims do not live in the Middle East. And would I care if Islam was destroyed? Not particularly, neither wouldn’t care if Christianity was destroyed, for I am Agnostic. Despite the impression you may have got from my name I am not, nor have I ever been a Muslim. So my religion will not be destroyed, nor will my world as my world is not in the Middle East. If my name was John Doe you would not have jumped to such conclusions and accusations but looked at the facts.

Farhad Saidieh

Posted by: Farhad Saidieh at April 15, 2006 08:58 AM

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't "1984" by Orwell?


Posted by: AF at April 16, 2006 08:32 PM

Yes you got me it's Orwell.

Posted by: Farhad Saidieh at April 18, 2006 01:41 PM