Should Israel Attack Iran?
Sabers continue to rattle in the Middle East. On August 15th, a leaked memo given to an American blogger by an anonymous Israeli official outlines the country’s strategy for a strike on Iran. During the Beginning of the month, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad just declared that the ultimate goal of world forces should be the annihilation of Israel.
It is important not to second guess the true intent of Iran. Since the Islamist regime was established there in 1979, Iranian theocrats have made it abundantly clear ever since then that they are at war not only with the United States and Israel but also all of Western civilization. Since 1979, Iran sanctioned the invasion of the U.S. embassy in Tehran which resulted in holding embassy personnel hostage in which the imprisoned Americans were subjected to beatings, malnutrition, and torture. The Iranian regime has also supported efforts to kill U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon. They also fund terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah who not only commit terrorist acts that not only kill Americans but Israelis too. The Islamist despots are also developing the capability for nuclear technology and are guided by a doomsday philosophy driven by the Twlever sect of Shia Islam which is the official state religion.
Up until recently, President Obama’s actions have been so feeble in which he acts more like a dhimmi President than a world leader attempting to convince Iran not only to not pursue nuclear technology, that the country’s dictatorship still presses on. The President’s attempts were (and in some way are) so feeble that (now former) Secretary of Defense Bill Gates warned that the United States did not have a long term policy to stop Iran. Fortunately some sort of retaliation is occurring in the form of virus attacks against Iran’s computer system that monitors their nuclear capabilities (if any) but it might be too little too soon.
Despite the large amount of evidence pointing to an Iran at war with us, libertarians remain in denial. A Cato Institute opinion piece made the case against an Iran attack saying:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed that Hezbollah—the Lebanon-based, Iranian-backed, politico-military terrorist organization–was responsible for the suicide bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists. Amid ongoing U.S. and Israeli threats to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, the bombing raises a critical concern about any potential conflict: a very capable Hezbollah, together with Iran, would likely strike back hard—and not only in the Middle East—drawing the United States into another prolonged and bloody conflict in the Muslim world that it doesn’t need.
Then there is also Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul who said during one of the GOP debates:
I don’t want them to get a weapon, but what I think is what they’re doing is encouraging them to have a weapon because they feel threatened. If you look at a map of Iran, we have 45 bases around the country plus submarines, the Iranians can’t possible attack anybody. We’re worrying about the possibility of one nuclear weapon.
What Cato and Paul are really saying is, essentially, the U.S. should not even think about Iran’s pursuit of nuclear technology because the U.S. is the big, powerful bad guy. Its because we are so powerful and because of actions, like the 1953 coup, it is the U.S.’s fault that Iran was inspired to do what it is doing. The Iranian regime’s guiding philosophy is Twelver Islam which is a Shi’ite sect that believes the Twelfth Imam will return during the end times involving a great apocolypse. Accordingly, Muslims will then lead great armies against Israel as part of a grand prophecy as foretold in the Quran (at least the Shi’ite version).
At one point the Iranians circulated a film among Muslims in the Middle East making the case that the end times are upon them. Fortunately, last year Iranian leaders backed off such a claim after the film caused an uproar among key members of the country’s government.
Any doubts about Iran’s intentions should be allayed not only with Ahmadinejad’s recent statement but by reading statements by the regime’s founder Ayatollah Khomeini:
The governments of the world should know that . . . Islam will be victorious in all the countries of the world, and Islam and the teachings of the Qur’an will prevail all over the world. —Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in January 1979
We must strive to export our Revolution throughout the world. —Ayatollah Khomeini on March 21, 1980
In the Iranian Islamists eyes, the United States is The Great Satan that leads Muslims away from Islam. Therefore, because of our decadence the U.S. must be destroyed including the Zionist (i.e. Jewish) nation of Israel. I would not put it past Israel to conduct a strike against Iran and they (as well as the United States) certainly would be justified in doing so. As Ayn Rand rightly observed:
Dictatorship nations are outlaws. Any free nation had the right to invade Nazi Germany and, today, has the right to invade Soviet Russia, Cuba or any other slave pen. Whether a free nation chooses to do so or not is a matter of its own self-interest, not of respect for the non-existent “rights” of gang rulers. It is not a free nation’s duty to liberate other nations at the price of self-sacrifice, but a free nation has the right to do it, when and if it so chooses.
She did, however, state the right of free nations to attack dictatorships is conditional:
This right, however, is conditional. Just as the suppression of crimes does not give a policeman the right to engage in criminal activities, so the invasion and destruction of a dictatorship does not give the invader the right to establish another variant of a slave society in the conquered country.
In 2007 Israel destroyed a nuclear reactor built in Syria and she would certainly be justified in attacking now just like was done 5 years ago. Ultimately, I do not think Israel will attack but not because of the possibility of retaliation. I think the U.S. and Israel have held off on military action against Iran since the country’s regime is nearly done for. Last month two people closely connected to Ahmadinejad are being investigated for corruption indicating a power struggle is occurring there between the President and Islamic clerics.
In terms of how to deal with Iran, unfortunately, the United States is already stretched thin economically and the government is bankrupt. Any usage of military forces against Iran may result in short-term victories but continued and sustained budgetary overstretch as well as the country’s mountainous terrain would make an invasion extremely difficult. Until and unless measures are taken to balance the budget or (at the very least) reduce spending, the best option is to let Iran build their nuclear facilities on one condition: the despots enact an extension to the nuclear non-profileration treaty that was originally signed by the Shah. Iran has complied with the original treaty as a result of the IAEA’s efforts. By passing the extension the IAEA would be allowed to inspect Iran’s facilities anywhere at any time. At present nuclear inspector’s access is limited.
I am getting the impression that Iran is establishing the infrastructure to build nuclear weapons like Japan and Brazil have so that they can construct them at their discretion. It’s possible Iran may not be pursuing nuclear weapons after all. However, that does not mean that we should not let our guard down. With all of the deaths that had resulted from the terrorism committed by Iran’s theocratic regime, they should be treated with the contempt they have earned. That is the best act of justice that can be exacted on behalf of all freedom-loving people around the world including Iranians who want to be free of their government’s iron-fisted rule.