Saturday, September 27, 2008

Only Nixon Can Go to China

Given the hatred the global Left has for President Bush and America, it would be impossible to launch a strike on Iran to keep them from getting atomic weapons. Despite ample and widespread belief that Iran is seeking nukes, if Bush orders the strike, Bush will be vilified for taking action and loons around the world will declare their intent to arrest various American officials on war crime charges. Some of those loons will be in allied governments and some will be within America. The world is that screwed up.

And we know we can't subcontract the job to Israel. Israel can't do the job properly and we'd be blamed anyway. The BBC reports that the Guardian writes that we turned down an Israeli request to approve their strike:

The Guardian quoted unnamed European diplomatic sources as saying Mr Olmert had used a one-to-one meeting with Mr Bush in May to raise the issue.

Israeli sees Iran's nuclear programme as its greatest threat.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes only but has defied demands from the United Nations Security Council that it halt enriching uranium.

According to the sources quoted by the Guardian, Mr Bush turned down the proposal for an attack and said the US position was unlikely to change as long as he was in office.

Our "approval" is needed for Israeli aircraft to cross Iraq where we control the air space. It wouldn't do to have our air defenses knocking down Israeli aircraft on a raid we didn't know about. Israel needed to deconflict with our air defenses just to strike Syria a year ago.

I'd long thought that Bush would strike Iran before his term of office ends. I no longer think we will. I think we are hoping that Iranians will overthrow their mullahs before they go nuclear. I've pretty much given up any hope that our intelligence agencies are working to engineer such a revolt. So we won't strike and risk inflaming Iranian opinion to rally around the mullahs. I'm not so sure that is the right way to read the Iranian public's reaction should we hurt the mullahs, but I think we are operating on that assumption.

I also think we are compelled by world opinion and our own loyal opposition to only strike Iran when even the densest Leftist admits that Iran has a nuclear missile pointed west. Not that the Left will approve even then, but the liberal non-Left will stop taking their cue from International ANSWER at that point. Even European countries who don't want Iran to go nuclear and believe Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, but think diplomacy can stop the mullahs, will back us in military action then.

But striking when the threat truly is that imminent and obvious is a tough act to pull off. What would stop the Iranians from launching when they detect our forces are on the move? What if we missed just one in the initial strike?

So while I think that we would strike in a very thorough campaign under those circumstances, I think we are building up layers of missile defenses not with the idea of decades of deterrence, but with the idea that we only need to defend against the Iranian nuclear missile threat for a couple hours while we destroy their nuclear infrastructure including the nuclear missile(s).

Irrational hatred of this administration will keep us from striking Iran under any other circumstances.

Of course, the bright side of our elections could be that the Obama administration won't face this public relations problem. Heck, he could get the Nobel Peace Prize for preemptively nuking Iran.

The world is funny that way.

UPDATE: This development fits with my view that we are preparing a shield to blunt an Iranian blow while we strike Iran's nuclear infrastructure when their ambitions become too obvious to explain away or deny:

U.S. European Command (EUCOM) has deployed to Israel a high-powered X-band radar and the supporting people and equipment needed for coordinated defense against Iranian missile attack, marking the first permanent U.S. military presence on Israeli soil.

And plugging Israel into the network would help keep Israel from freelancing an attack that won't be enough to do the job.