CAUGHT BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

In 2006, the Israeli government decided that it was necessary for Israel’s survival to destroy Iran’s budding nuclear bomb development. After all, Iran’s fanatical mullahs had threatened over decades, to destroy the State of Israel, and the quickest way of doing that would be for Iran to launch a nuclear missile attack. So Israel decided that a bombing raid on Iran’s nuclear facilities would be the most direct action necessary to prevent a nuclear armageddon. At that time such a military strike was still doable since almost all of Iran’s nuclear stations were either above ground or otherwise easily accessible. The mistake Israel made then, however, was to ask the United States government for permission to proceed with this action. At the time, President George W. Bush had the U.S. already deeply enmeshed in 2 Mid-East wars, (Iraq and Afghanistan) and he figured that the last thing the American public wanted to hear was U.S. involvement in still a third war in that region. There were already big-time protests against the 2 on-going wars, since there seemed to be no daylight at the end of the tunnels for concluding these wars. So Bush denied Israel’s request for military action in 2006, and a golden opportunity to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities was lost, probably for all time. Now fast forward to the mess we’re in today trying to prevent Iran from actually building an accumulating nuclear weapons.

Over the ensuing years, Iran realized how vulnerable their existing sites were, and thus started building new sites that were deeply underground and scattered all over the country. So deep underground that it’s problematical as to whether our most potent bunker-busting bombs could destroy such facilities. Iran also added thousands of centrifuges for enriching uranium to levels needed for nuclear weaponry. With this being the new reality, as we all know, the Obama administration has just concluded a treaty with Iran that would supposedly preclude the fanatically-driven Islamic-Jihadist mullahs who run that country from acquiring a nuclear arsenal. But the treaty is unquestionably flawed and virtually all Republicans and some Democrats, as well as the Israeli government are deeply opposed to its ratification. Nevertheless, this pact may be the only realistic option available for us to currently deal with this mess. In effect, we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place.

The pact’s opponents rightly point out that Iran will still be allowed to keep thousands of centrifuges, still enriching uranium, but supposedly, to just below weapons-grade levels. A key aspect of this treaty was to allow United Nations weapons inspectors unfettered access to Iran’s nuclear development sites at any time, anywhere, and unexpected, in order to assure Iran’s compliance with treaty requirements. This provision, however, has been compromised to the degree that Iran will have some say in where and when U.N. inspectors are allowed to show up, and what they will be allowed to examine. In return the U.S. and its 5 negotiating partners have made huge concessions to Iran. About $150 billion of Iranian money that’s been frozen in U.S. and European banks will eventually be released back to Iran. A U.N. embargo on providing military hardware to Iran is to be lifted over time. And, Iran will be allowed to pump an export its full quota oil, which will do wonders for the currently wounded Iranian economy. All of this will be bestowed on the world’s number one Islamic-Jihadist state, who will then be free to further support murderous terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Hezbollah, the sadistic Assad regime in Syria, and other assorted cutthroats. All are valid arguments for opposing the treaty’s ratification. But it’s still not enough. Here’s why.

The only really valid option to not ratifying this pact would be to go to war with Iran. The U.S. could bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities around the clock and hope that its bunker-busters would reach down deep enough. But if we initiated such action, the Iranian government is not going to just sit back and sigh-” Well, we’re not happy about it, but I guess, that’s just how the cookie crumbles.” Instead, Iran would undoubtedly launch powerful missile strikes against Israel for certain, as well as against U.S. bases scattered throughout the Mid-East. An Iranian missile launch against Tel-Aviv alone could kill thousands, if not tens of thousands. Iran also has a fairly strong Navy that could bottle up that narrow waterway known as the Straits of Hormuz through which 17 million barrels of oil pass on a daily basis, most of it headed for Europe. Think our European allies would be delighted over that event. There’s also the likelihood that some Americans could be coming home in body bags. Think Americans would have the stomach for that. I’ve written in a previous entry about how the U.S. has become soft with its primary focus on achieving instant gratification, often through the latest in electronics such as the newest version of the smart-phone, or the latest in automobiles. Think Americans today would be willing to make the sacrifices needed to fulfill the military option, as they did during WWII. Think again.

That’s why none of the numerous Republican candidates for president are advocating military force, even though they’re all opposed to this treaty. Instead they’re claiming that we should strengthen the economic sanctions and trade embargoes that we and much of the rest of the world have placed on Iran. The trouble with that line of reasoning is that sanctions and embargoes can always be evaded. There are enough shady wheelers and dealers throughout the world, who, for the right price, will be more than happy to provide Iran with everything it desires, from weaponry to lettuce and tomatoes. That’s how Iran has been functioning all these years under supposedly severe sanctions. Yes, the people may suffer to some degree because of sanctions, but those fanatical mullahs will never give up their dream of a nuclear-armed Iran, no matter how much human suffering it entails. If we tore up this treaty as many Republicans are advocating, it would just give the ruling mullahs license to plow ahead unfettered in achieving their nuclear aspirations. To have the ability to wipe Israel off the map as they have so often stated. And to launch a nuclear strike against the “Great Satan” or America as we call it.

So there you have it- caught between a rock and a hard place. My feeling is that we should ratify this treaty, even with all its defects. It will, at least, slow down Iran’s impetus toward acquiring a nuclear arsenal, perhaps for a period of years or even decades. In the meantime, a regime change in Iran is always a possibility, which could alter the course of history.

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