Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Enemy of My Nuclear-Armed Enemy

Whenever we contemplate action against a threat to our security that exists in a Moslem nation, opponents of action assert the "Moslem street" will rise up and make our life hell. Islamists will take over friendly countries and blood will flow. Or something.

I don't understand this thinking. This mythical street did not rise up over the Persian Gulf War, sanctions and no-fly zones, Operation Desert Fox, Afghanistan, or the Iraq War.

But Moslems worldwide will be sympathetic to Persian Shia Iran's nuclear ambitions? I doubt that very much. So hints of support by Arab states who have felt Iranian pressure and fear the fallout of a nuclear Iran should be instructive:

This tiny Gulf country is increasingly nervous — as are some of its neighbors — about Iran's controversial nuclear program, right across the water. But heading into a key summit, Arab leaders are divided, and publicly squabbling, over how to defuse a crisis that has caused the West to haul Iran before the U.N. Security Council.

Countries close to Iran, including Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, have focused on safety issues, the threat of a possible regional arms race and the possibility that a crisis with the West could spill onto other nations. Iran's nuclear program "still poses a big worry," Sheik Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nayyan, the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates, said this month.

This voicing of concern by Iran's neighbors is certainly louder than the support of neighboring Arab states against Iraq in 2002 and 2003--and those countries supported our war against Iraq.

We will have Arab support for action against Iran. These Arab states may not be proud of it, but they want to avoid a nuclear-armed Iran even more.