Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Why The Iranian Theocracy's Nuclear Program Must Be Stopped

Why do we need to stop Iran from continuing its inexorable march towards acquisition of nuclear weapons?:

1. The Khomeneist theocracy has a history of terrorism in the Middle East and throughout the world that has not ameliorated in their near 30 years of theocractic rule. Indeed, before 9-11, Iranian funded and directed Hezbollah was responsible for more American deaths to terrorism than any other organization. And it was the Ayatollah Khomenei himself who gifted to the Middle East the suicide bomber. This is an incredibly dangerous, brutal and amoral regime for whom the end justifies any means.

Update: As Sec. of Defense Robert Gates recently said:

"Everywhere you turn, it is the policy of Iran to foment instability and chaos, no matter the strategic value or cost in the blood of innocents - Christians, Jews and Muslims alike," Gates said in his address at the event organized by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

"There can be little doubt that their destabilizing foreign policies are a threat to the interests of the United States, to the interests of every country in the Middle East, and to the interests of all countries within the range of the ballistic missiles Iran is developing," he said.
2. Khomeniesm is an expansionist, triumphalist and apolcoyptic ideology that does not operate according to the rules of western logic. As the world’s premier Orientalist, Bernard Lewis, has warned:
There is a radical difference between the Islamic Republic of Iran and other governments with nuclear weapons. This difference is expressed in what can only be described as the apocalyptic worldview of Iran's present rulers. This worldview and expectation, vividly expressed in speeches, articles and even schoolbooks, clearly shape the perception and therefore the policies of Ahmadinejad and his disciples. . . .

A passage from the Ayatollah Khomeini, quoted in an 11th-grade Iranian schoolbook, is revealing.
I am decisively announcing to the whole world that if the world-devourers [i.e., the infidel powers] wish to stand against our religion, we will stand against their whole world and will not cease until the annihilation of all them. Either we all become free, or we will go to the greater freedom which is martyrdom. Either we shake one another's hands in joy at the victory of Islam in the world, or all of us will turn to eternal life and martyrdom. In both cases, victory and success are ours.
In this context, mutual assured destruction, the deterrent that worked so well during the Cold War, would have no meaning. At the end of time, there will be general destruction anyway. What will matter will be the final destination of the dead--hell for the infidels, and heaven for the believers. For people with this mindset, MAD is not a constraint; it is an inducement.

3. The West's refusal to deal with the nuclear problem presented by the Iranian theocracy is set to kick off a true nightmare scenario. Iranian pursuit of a nuclear arsenal coupled with the lack of response by the West has already motivatd a similar pursuit by many other Middle East countries, ratcheting up the threat of a nuclear attack, a nuclear exchange, and/or a terrorist strike using nuclear materials exponentially. Indeed, just last week, Egypt announced that it would commence a nuclear program.

4. Nuclear terrorism is not merely a fantasy. The Dircetor of the FBI has stated that it is only a matter of time before terrorists acquire nuclear weapons. Allowing Iran to continue its nuclear program will likely make nuclear terrorism an occurrence sooner rather then later.

The 9-11 Commission listed the first failure of America's security apparatus' failure to protect us from al Qaeda as a failure of imagination. To put this in perspective, it is not difficult at all to imagine the Iranian theocracy providing materials to terrorists for an attack on the West. We know that Iran has supported al Qaeda in Iraq. Is there any reason to think that Iran might not choose to distribute nuclear material to al Qaeda or to its own world-wide terrorist organization, Hezbollah, for an attack on the West if they thought that they could do so plausible deniabiity?

Indeed, it need not be an atomic bomb that Iran provides. In an al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan, we recovered sophisticated plans for the most "dangerous form of dirty bomb" that can be made. And dirty bombs are not difficult to make. Cesium chloride is a by-product of the nuclear process. It is highly radioactive, has a half life of over 30 years, and it is in a powdered form, like talc, thus making it a perfect component for a dirty bomb. A handful of cesium chloride and ten pounds of plastic explosive would make a "dirty bomb" sufficient to render an area of several square blocks a no-go area with the costs of cleanup and the economic losses running from the billions to the hundreds of billions. And that is one bomb. Imagine a scenario where terrorists plant multiple such bombs around the world to attack strategic infrastructure. Imagine major ports being shut down or Wall Street rendered uninhabitable. While America and the West cannot be defeated by terrorism initially, even nuclear terrorism, our economy can be wounded, perhaps permanently so.

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