Monday, July 28, 2008

Crazy ideas

There has been a lot of talk in the Main-Stream Media (MSM) and by Republican politicians like John McCain that tries to portray Israeli and/or American air strikes on Iran's nuclear sites before January as inevitable or even desirable. Among the most frightening was this recent New York Times op-ed piece by Benny Morris

Israel will almost surely attack Iran's nuclear sites in the next four to seven months — and the leaders in Washington and even Tehran should hope that the attack will be successful enough to cause at least a significant delay in the Iranian production schedule, if not complete destruction, of that country's nuclear program. Because if the attack fails, the Middle East will almost certainly face a nuclear war — either through a subsequent pre-emptive Israeli nuclear strike or a nuclear exchange shortly after Iran gets the bomb.

These statements seem to presuppose that we have forgotten the NIE report that states Iran is many years away from having nuclear weapons. In case you had forgotten, something these people seem to be counting on, a Dec 3, 2007 article in the New York Times, reported that the National Intelligence Estimate, the consensus view of all 16 American spy agencies:

concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains frozen, contradicting judgment two years ago that Tehran was working relentlessly toward building a nuclear bomb.

Furthermore, since there are international nuclear inspectors in Iran, to restart their nuclear program Iran would first need to kick the inspectors out, at which very pubic and noticeable point they would still be years away from having a nuclear weapon.

Far from making the world safer, airstrikes by the United States or Israel against Iran would be an unmitigated disaster, most immediately for the Iranian people but also for the Israelis and the Middle East as a whole. Talk of bombing Iran, a country which has attacked no other country for thousands of years, is absolutely crazy and by rights anyone who advocates such ideas should immediately lose all credibility and influence. Instead we have the "paper or record" publishing such notions and a major political party is about to nominate as its candidate for president a man who jokes about bomb, bomb, bombing Iran.

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