Iran is part of the “Axis of Evil” that President Bush identified years ago, along with the then-Saddam-controlled Iraq and fruit-loop-led North Korea. North Korea claims to already have working nuclear weapons. Saddam certainly wanted nuclear weapons and was actively working on them, as Lybia’s handing over of 408 Iraqi scientists proved. So this leaves Iran. And Iran wants nuclear power.

Oh, yes. Iran wants nuclear power, but you don’t have to worry. They say they only want it for peaceful purposes to generate power. And I could believe them if they weren’t already sitting on a vast sea of oil which can give them all the power they need for their nation. Why do they need something more like nuclear generated power? I can’t see the need, but I can certainly see their want of nuclear power. And this want isn’t coming from a desire to make sure every household in Iran has all the electricity they want, but rather to get rid of their long-time enemy, Israel, and become the lead player in the Middle East. Iran wants nuclear power, but not the power of electricity it can generate. It wants the power of fear and intimidation that comes from nuclear weapons.

“Israel has nukes, so why can’t Iran?” I don’t worry about Israel’s nukes any more than I worry about England attacking the United States with their nukes. But I worry every time a state sponsor of terrorism even thinks of getting nuclear weapons. Knowing that Iran is merely enriching uranium is scary even if they never put the uranium into a power plant or bomb. I can put together the news of enriched uranium and Iran’s sponsoring of terrorism and come up with the answer of a dirty bomb. I wonder how the political left and moonbats of this country would react to a Manhattan made uninhabitable due to the scattered radioactive material from terrorist-exploded dirty bombs? Or Rome? Or London? And what would their reaction be when tests prove the radioactive material came from Iran? I would rather not find out.

Victor David Hanson sums up our options with Iran in his recent post to National Review Online titled, “Dead-end Debates:”

The Bush administration is hardly hell-bent on preemption, unilateralism, and imperial grandeur in blocking Iran’s rapid ascendance to nuclear status.

Instead, there are, and always were, only three bad choices. First, we could let the multilateral Europeans jawbone, using the cowboy George Bush as the bad-cop foil while drawing in the United Nations, the Russians, and the Chinese, or the Arab League, in hopes of delay. Perhaps as we bought time we could pray that after 26 years either the Iranians would liberalize their regime or the democratic experiment in Iraq would prove destabilizing to the neighboring mullahs.

The second tact was live with a nuclear Iran as if it were a Pakistan — and perhaps hope that something like a nuclear democratic India emerged next door to deter it.

The third choice, of course, was to tarry until the last possible moment and then take out the installations before the missiles were armed. The rationale behind that nightmarish gambit would be that the resulting mess — collateral damage, missed sites, enhanced terrorism, dirty-bomb suicide bombers, Shiite fervor in Iraq, and ostracism by the world community — was worth the price to stop a nuclear theocracy before it blackmailed the West, took de facto control of the Middle East oil nexus, nuked Israel, or spread global jiahdist fundamentalism through intimidation.

All alternatives are bad. All have been discussed. So far neither the retired military brass nor the Democratic opposition has offered anything new — much less which choice they can assure us is best. The result is that Iran is the new soapbox on which talking heads can blather about the dangers of “preemption,” but without either responsibility for, or maturity in, advocating a viable alternative.

So what can we do? I don’t like any of the options, but there are times when you have to choose between options that are really bad on the one hand and horrible on the other. Read Tom Godwin’s short story “The Cold Equations” about making tough decisions when all the options are bad.

Reuel Marc Gerecht makes a good point about who is in control of this nuclear showdown in Iran in his article “To Bomb, or Not to Bomb” at The Weekly Standard. It is long, but well worth reading the whole thing.

Critical point: The Iranians–not the Americans–control this discussion and are circumscribing the diplomatic avenues the Bush administration is still determined to pursue. Tehran’s mullahs are unlikely to allow us any running room. Rafsanjani’s and Ahmadinejad’s recent statements about Iran succeeding in enriching uranium (level unspecified) and its readiness to begin industrial-scale production mean, among other things, that the clerical regime believes it now has the advantage (which it does).

The United Nations has again proven incapable of handling this challenge (the Russians and the Chinese will, so the Iranians believe, continue to block sanctions). And the Iranians have little reason so far to fear the Europeans. The Germans have repeatedly shown themselves uncomfortable with tough sanctions against Tehran, and the recent comments made by the German foreign minister recommending direct U.S.-Iranian talks signify, translated into Persian, that the Germans really don’t like the sanctions approach, even when pushed by France. Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad are also saying that it’s too late; you can’t bomb us now since we’ve crossed the enrichment threshold. This certainly isn’t true–the Iranians don’t have enough centrifuges constructed and running–but it could become true, much faster than the Bush administration would like.

And finally, I will finish this by pointing to some text and another great cartoon from Cox and Forkum about Iran:

Apparently some on the left are mobilizing to prevent military action against the U.S.-hating, terrorist-sponsoring, genocide-threatening, Nuke-seeking, Holocaust-denying, homosexual-executing theocrats of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Mild and Woolly

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