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On the Brink of Nuclear War?

Arnaud de Borchgrave, writing for the Washington Times, makes the point that Iran is now governed by an ultra-extremist, fanatic believer in Islamís "12th Imam," a person who believes that creating world chaos will hasten the Imamís return.  This belief is analagous to what we Christians believe, namely, the second coming of Jesus Christ.  However, it departs when you get to the notion of creating the environment to precipitate our saviorís return.  Read article here.  Will president Ahmadinejad of Iran precipitate World War III?  Will he incite massive attacks in newly-freed Iraq and cut off our oil?  Will Israel protect itself by bombing Iran to the Stone Age?

Mr. de Borchgrave may be onto something.  If Ahmadinejadís plan is to poke Israel and the USA until he gets a military response, his present course of action is masterful.  If his idea is to build nukes and bomb Tel Aviv, in order to bring about the inevitable conflagration of 6-12 nuclear bombs falling from Israeli missiles onto Tehran and other cities, he is on course.  If Ahmadinejad is indeed the fanatic that he appears to be, then there is no negotiating with him and our only option is to take him and the fanatics out now.

But, will Ahmadinejad destroy the Dome of the Rock, one of the four holiest sites in Islam, to bring about his 12th Imam?  Or is he trying to protect Iran from what he may perceive as the inevitable "Youíre next" of the U.S. military?  The problem is figuring out who to trust.  If we trust Ahmadinejad while he lies to us about his true intent, we could spell our own destruction.  Ahmadinejad could withhold oil from us; China will eagerly buy every drop he has to sell.  Iran may believe that its oil gives it a commanding position in this struggle.

Iranís perception of its position is further bolstered by the Iraq situation.  Shiíites have come into power there, and they feel that they could cause Iraqi shiíites to attack our on-the-ground forces.  They also feel that they can supplement shiíite radicals from Iran.  They may be right.  Then there is the potential for U.S. response to any nuclear development:  We could nuke Iran.  It little to no warning, we could "light up" every Iranian military city and military installation.  Would that provoke a Chinese or Russian response?  Or would it turn the Middle East into a firestorm of angry anti-U.S. terrorist factions, all bent on visiting Iranís fate upon our shores?  What do we do then?  Nuke every Middle Eastern country?  How would China and Russia react to that?

Russia is already developing missiles to counteract SDI.  You can be certain that China is working on the same technology.  To these countries, their survival depends on not being severely outgunned by us; all they see is our ability to use our power to work our will worldwide.  Their ability to influence world events rests upon M.A.D., and they feel that SDI eradicates their half of that equation.  Hence anti-SDI maneuvering weapons.  Non-ballistic ballistic missiles.  Russia is already testing this technology.  That means that we cannot go about nuking the Middle East with impunity.

We have a real problem, and this problem is not going to be simply solved.  Ahmadinejad is a fanatic.  That is certain.  These uprisings and antics could be the last gasp of a dying terrorist beast.  However, the mortally-wounded beast is the most dangerous.  Give one nuclear weapons, and it could easily kill its attacker first.

Palestinians elected terrorists to power in Gaza.  Syria and Iran are strongly in the hands of fanatics.  Can we negotiate with any of these people?  Probably not.  Can we invade and democratize all of these countries?  Yes, but at a cost of lives that would come close to our losses in World War II, and complete with all of the sacrifices that our parents and grandparents had to make in order to prevail (eg. draft, meat rationing, no new cars, gas rationing, etc).  With an extreme Left anti-war faction screaming loudly over 2,000 casualties, this seems nearly impossible.

UPDATED 9:10AM 2-7-2006:

To Continue...

So.  What to do?  We have a Hobsonís choice.  We do nothing and let a fanatic with a strong desire to incite Armageddon get nukes, on the hope that his fanaticism is overblown and he can be reasoned with.  Or we act and incite Muslims worldwide -- or do we?  Iran is not as clear-cut as Iraq.  We would not be deposing a genocidal despot who had attacked two of hie neighbors and had feasible ambitions of controlling the entire Middle East.

We would be instead deposing a government run by Muslim clerics, of the same order that make up the majority population in Iraq.  Muslim terrorists worldwide would put aside their religious differences (i.e., Sunni v. Shiíite) and fight side by side, in what could be considered a last stand.  Those Iraqi WMDs currently in Syria would certainly come out of hiding.  If we failed at destroying all Iranian nuclear capability, the war would certainly become nuclear.

The course seems inevitable.  Ahmadinejad is a suicidal fanatic.  We can never trust his intentions.  We have to set up a steady supply of oil, cut Iran off, and attack.  We will have to bomb out the nuke facilities, and then give them the option of sitting down and shutting up or invasion.  Then. if Ahmadinejad  is the terrorist we know he is, weíll have to take it to the next level.