Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Iran's Nuclear Armageddon


By Alan Caruba

During the long years of the Cold War from 1945 to 1991, the U.S. and the former Soviet Union faced off against each other, both having an arsenal of nuclear weapons. Only once, during the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962, did the prospect of a real threat to the homeland arise. After a U.S. naval blockade was imposed, the Russians took their missiles home.

The key factor was that the Russian leaders were not suicidal. They were not crazy. They fully understood what it would mean to actually use nuclear weapons or be on the receiving end of them.

The Iranian ayatollahs are a different case entirely. Over the years, they have voiced a rather nonchalant attitude toward being on the receiving end of nuclear weapons because they are a Shiite martyrdom cult. During its eight-year war with Iraq, initiated by Saddam Hussein, an estimated 500,000 Iranians died, including 100,000 children sent to clear mine fields by setting them off.

The failure to grasp the depth and insanity of the current leaders of Iran is pushing the world toward the first nuclear confrontation since A-bombs were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima to end World War II in 1945.

Yoram Ettinger, a former Israel consul general in Houston, Texas, warns that “Iran’s geostrategic goals are energized by its current Islamic zeal, viewing jihad (holy war) as the permanent state of relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, while peace and cease-fire accords are tenuous.”

So, when the Israelis shared intelligence with President Obama in mid-November that the Iranians “will already have five nuclear bombs or warheads” by late March 2012, it raised the stakes for President Obama and the nation.

We already know Obama wants a reduction in nuclear arms. He signed a treaty with the Russians to achieve this. He refused to permit missiles to be based in Poland, presumably for the same reason. The surface to air missiles, however, could have deterred any missiles headed toward Europe.

I have absolutely no confidence in Obama when it comes to the preemptive action that must be taken against Iran’s nuclear and military facilities in order to end a threat that even the President acknowledged in a recemt Hawaii press conference would be directed not just at Israel, but at the United States as well.

The stakes just don’t get any higher and this President has not demonstrated any backbone except to okay the assassination of Osama bin Laden, the man behind the attack on 9/11. That was a no-brainer.

I don’t know what military assets and options we have in the Persian Gulf, but if an attack to deter an Iranian nuclear threat is undertaken either by Israel or together, we will likely need a lot of them.

Military observers have concluded that Iran would close the Strait of Hormuz that provides access to and from the Persian Gulf, thus putting enormous strain on the provision of Middle East oil that flows through the Straits on a daily basis, not just from Iran, but from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Iraq. An estimated 40% of all seaborne oil passes through the Strait, the equivalent of 20% of the total amount of oil traded worldwide. If closed, it would drive the cost of oil to stratospheric heights.

The failure of the U.S. to develop its own extensive oil reserves will prove to be a massive strategic error. The delay of a proposed Canadian oil pipeline to deliver oil to the U.S. is just one small element of this failure.

In an August 6, 2009 Jerusalem Post article, Anne Bayefsky of EyeontheUN.org wrote, “The Iranians have already called Obama’s bluff. An Iranian newspaper referred to the American agenda on July 20 this way: ‘The Obama administration is prepared to accept the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran…they have no long-term plan for dealing with Iran. Their strategy consists of begging us to talk to them.”

Ultimately it will be Israel’s call if U.S. leaders fail to step up to the task and, in the judgment of the Iranians, the U.S. will not. The Israelis have no choice.

In February 2010 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s president, addressing a crowd celebrating the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Tehran,said  “Iran is now a nuclear state.”

The world is rapidly running out of time to prevent an Iranian Armageddon.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

1 comment:

Dean Yale said...

When you combine insanity with anger, hatred, and nuclear weapons; the world has a problem.

A surgical strike is the least onerous way to 'fix' the situation. We do live in interesting times.