Sonntag, Dezember 02, 2007

Around and Around and Around We Go...

Even the French have come to see what the Iranians are up to: they aren't going to be bothered listening to the West. Why should they? The sanctions are annoying, but do not threaten the power of the mullahs in that country. Iran is clearly, clearly without a doubt, planning on acquiring the entire spectrum of nuclear technology, with the veneer of civilian power generation, but in reality seeking the holy grail - if you'll pardon the term in use with an Islamic theocracy - of nuclear weapons.

Here's the key quote:

The French official described the meeting as "a disaster," adding "Jalili essentially said, 'Everything that Larijani has proposed is a dead letter and we have to start from zero.'"

The official also said that Mr. Jalili had declared, "There is no longer an Iranian nuclear problem," and had added that the only interlocutor recognized by Iran from now on would be the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The hard-line position from the Iranian side was clear confirmation that Iran would not compromise on this issue, the French official said, adding, "We have in front of us the real Iran."

We have in front of us the real Iran. Indeed. This is a classic way of buying time in political discussions: just when it appears that talks would actually start, stop them by starting over again by assigning someone new. We can only hope that the West recognizes this for what it is: a blatant attempt to buy time on the part of the Iranians in order to get the time they need. They now say that they will only talk with the IAEA, which is a shrewd move: calling the Iranian's bluff would mean that the UN will have to grow a pair, and that has been successfully bred out of the UN.

I've said this again and again: this is what they want, this is what they need, and it will cost lives to stop them. It boils down to the hard question: whose lives? If Iran does what it says it will do, it will destroy Israel, who will destroy Iran, killing dozens of millions. The core of the Israeli nation remembers מצדה. For those who don't know Hebrew, that is Masada.

So, here's the problem: I think it is reasonable to believe that Iran is building the infrastructure for nuclear weapons. It is also reasonable to believe that Iran will behave as its leaders say, that Iran intends to eliminate Israel from the world map. It is also reasonable to believe that Israel knows this. What do you do?

There are only three choices: you change Iran's drive to acquire nuclear weapons, you change Iran's intentions or you change Israel's existence.

There are diplomatic and military options. There is the option of genocide.

The diplomatic options are running out: we see as per ut supra that Iran has no intention of discussing their acquisition plans, nor have they shown any interest in changing their intentions.

That will leave military options. That will leave the option of genocide. To destroy Iran as a functioning country, all you need is between 14 and 20 20 kt warheads, which would reduce the nation of Iran from its current population of 71mn down to around 10mn. It would destroy all major cities in Iran, destroy the infrastructure of the country, and Iran after the strike would resemble Afghanistan after the Soviets withdrew.

Of course, if Iran were to use but one warhead against Israel, that destroy the Israeli state as well: a 15kt warhead exploded on the ground in Tel Aviv would rip the heart out of Gush Dan, the major population and administrative center of Israel, killing hundreds of thousands, and if accompanied by a major Iran-proxy attack from Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon, could seriously place the existence of Israel as a functioning state in question.

This is not speculation: this is reality. The Israelis can destroy Iran; Iran, when it gets the bomb, can destroy Israel. Only irrational people commit genocide.

But remember that Masada wasn't a Jewish victory. It was a bitter defeat by an enemy who made defense virtually impossible by using Jewish slaves to build a rampart up to the gates of the city, making it impossible for the devoutly religious defenders to kill them. Realizing that they would fall, they chose death instead.

The Middle East is being remade before our eyes: we have, fundamentally, won in Iraq, bringing hope to the downtrodden Arab masses. Will this be destroyed by Iran? If the spasm comes - and can anyone really think at this point that it isn't? - what will happen?

Obviously, oil prices will explode, since Iran will disappear as an oil supplier. It will be the end of the age of oil. Those countries with strong nuclear infrastructures - France, Russia - will do well. Those with moderate alternatives will not. It won't mean megadeath in the West - of millions dying of starvation - but it will mean impoverishment and the virtual collapse of world trade. The world lives on oil, it is the lubrication that keeps the machinery of the world working.

The real problem is that the Iranians don't care about that. They are deeply and fundamentally irresponsible and irrational, and for hat reason alone should have their hands kept off the nuclear option.

Will the West get its shit together and really do the last possible diplomatic move, of extreme sanctions and blockade of Iran? That could destroy the government of the mullahs and make it possible to defuse the situation. But it means extreme sacrifice of the public, as refusing to buy Iranian oil means that oil prices will boom even further, and the public will bear the burden. That is the greatest weakness of the West, that public opinion drives policy.

Will the public accept high oil prices, inflation, economic dislocation to prevent Iran from nuking Israel? Which opportunistic group of politicians would quickly kowtow to Iran to break the blockade?

Around and around and around we go...

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