Friday, August 25, 2006

Iran. What's The Plan?

We have all heard President Ahaminajad's frequent threats (plans?) to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.
We all know that Iran is well on the way to nuclear capability.
And the logical outcome of all of this is that all Israelis, all Jews, should be extremely worried. If you read today's Jerusalem Post, you will read the following headline:

'Ahmadinejad would sacrifice half of Iran to wipe out Israel'

We should be exceptionally worried.

And indeed, Israeli newspapers yesterday reported that Dan Halutz has made an appointment of Israel Air Force Commander Major General Eliezer Shkedi as "GOC Iran Command"... in other words, to plan for any possible military attack by Iran.

Today Ha'aretz ran an editorial entitled "Now is the Time For Sanctions Against Iran" And that is the Western consensus: sanctions. Iran must be pressured as much as can be, and must be stopped.

But can they be stopped? Two methods are possible: Military, and economic.

Military? Apparently their nuclear instillations are deep underground and dispersed in several locations. How can we terminate their nuclear program?

Economic? Sanctions? They have enormous revenue coming in from oil. And the Western World will never cut off their oil, because then the price of a barrel of oil will skyrocket and lead all the Western economies into ruin.

So how does one stop Iran?

The Times ran this piece suggesting that a different strategy must be adopted. I will quote a piece of the article:

"What then should America and its allies do in the face of Iran’s nuclear defiance? The answer is clear: concede defeat. Iran has won this tussle and there is no point in pretending otherwise. Instead of trying to stop Iran’s nuclear programme, the international community must bring Iran back into the civilised world. The only way to do that is to stop issuing empty threats and to start offering Iran real incentives for co-operative behaviour : non-aggression guarantees from America and Israel, removal of the residual US economic sanctions dating back to the 1980s and the prospect of steadily improving treatment in investment and trade."

Is this simply naive thinking? Or is this a practical realistic approach? If the Jerusalem Post is correct, then this guy sounds like a Chamberlain! You can not tame Iran! But is there a possibility that the carrot could work rather than the stick?

Hizbolla is not weaker after this recent war. They are now rebuilding Lebanon with Iranian money and simply getting more and more popular. Ideological organisations are exceptionally difficult to defeat. Even if they are smashed, they proclaim victory for the cause.

In the acclaimed book by Bernard Lewis - "What went wrong" - He claims that the Islamic world is experiencing extreme frustration as it sees the "infidel" West lead industrially, technologically, economically, and defining the world order. And yet, if I was a religious Moslem with that perspective, I would certainly view the Islamic Republic of Iran as a means of restoring that sense of pride. The first step in that process is gaining that nuclear bomb!

So, once again I pose the question. How do we stop Iran?

Oh! Apparently Bernard Lewis has written about this! see Here. Hat Tip - An Unsealed Room

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