A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A Sobering Thought

Andrew Sullivan has an interesting, and scary, post about Iran and the dangers of their getting nuclear weapons. I'm not sure what we can do about it-- the ideal would be an invasion similar to what we did in Iraq, but that really isn't practical in a political or manpower sense right now. I'd like to be reassured that U.N. sanctions would have an effect, but given the Oil for Food scandal in Iraq, I'm afraid I have only slightly more than zero, zip, nada, none, zilch confidence in the U.N. right now.

And the fact that Russia, itself slipping rapidly back into totalitarianism, is a strong supporter of Iran cannot be a good thing.



I'd say to forget about invading, even if the US weren't so heavily committed elsewhere. The Iranians will have been watching Iraq and learning. The "war" would be as swift as in Iraq - and the "peace" would be three times as deadly. Bomb their research facilities and all the surrounding infrastructure. It's what a high-tech military's good at.

Alas, I suspect that the need for that sort of international incident will not become clear until after a regime like Iran's has acquired and used nuclear weapons. But, where do you think they'd strike? America's a bit far away, Baghdad and Jerusalem have substantial muslim populations . . . Europe it is, I fear.

The alternative being not to use it but to threaten with it. Seems to be working for North Korea.
Andrew Sullivan just scratched the surface of the danger posed by Iran.

Davoud Danesh-Jafari, the Iranian Economy Minister. noted on Monday that Iran, as the world's fourth largest oil producer, could hurt the West and the world economy by cutting production and sending oil prices soaring if any sanctions are made against Iran. On Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki stated his opinion that there is a weak chance of Iran actually being sent to the U.N. Security Council. Today, reports are surfacing that indicate that Iran is beginning to transfer some of its funds out of European banks and into East Asian banks, apparently to protect their assets in advance of any sanctions.

Additionally, Russia and China are not supporting U.N. sanctions, Syria and Kyrgyzstan are supporting Iran's "right" to nuclear technology, and Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri stated yesterday that Pakistan will stand by Iran in the event of any aggression.

Further, Iran is continuing to create and firm-up agreements with other nations, including Syria, China, and Venezuela. Iran is also allegedly trying to create agreements with Bolivia (President Evo Morales is becoming very buddy-buddy with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez), but I can't definitively confirm the Bolivian connection at this time.

Outside of these international connections, Ahmadinejad met in Syria on Friday with terrorist leaders Khaled Mashal (HAMAS), Ramadan Shalah (Islamic Jihad), and Ahmed Jibril (PFLP). Also, Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has stated that he has solid evidence that Thursday's suicide bombing in Tel Aviv was funded by Iran and planned by Syria.

Iran has continued weapons acquisitions, as well. It was reported last month that Iran purchased eighteen BM-25 missiles from North Korea, and Russia has stated that they will fulfill their contract to supply Iran with a modernized missile air-defense system.

So, we have a situation where Iran has no fear of any UNSC repercussions, they appear to be moving their assets to protect them in advance of any possible sanctions, and they have threatened to dramatically impact the world economy through the regulation of their oil output if sanctions are imposed. Further, other nations are openly supporting Iran's quest for nuclear technology and two UNSC members are not in favor of sanctions. Add to that new or solidified trade agreements with Syria, China, Venezuela, and (possibly) Bolivia; meetings with the leaders of three major terrorist organizations; and a possible connection to Iranian funding of a terror attack which took place two days ago in Israel (a nation that Ahmadinejad wants "wiped off of the map"). Finally, add in eighteen missiles that Iran wants to either increase the range on or modify the engines for use in other Iranian missiles, and a modern missile air-defense system from Russia.

Making matters worse, if Iran would be able to export their nuclear technology to Cuba, Venezuela, or Bolivia (none of whom are very friendly towards America), that could be a serious threat against the U.S. mainland.

And, not to make things even more nerve-wracking, but Muslim terrorists apparently purchased some Russian SAMs from Chechen terrorists which were originally to be used in a plot to shoot down civilian aircraft in France (I am unable to definitively confirm this at this time). That would be the same France whose president just recently stated that he would consider using nuclear weapons in retaliation to a terrorist attack.

Sobering, indeed.
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