I’ve been listening to Bibi Netanyahu’s speech before Congress — and Bibi is clearly a good politician — and I still just don’t get why Iran getting the bomb would be any worse than Pakistan having the bomb. Which it already has.
Not that I want Iran to have the bomb. Far from it. But there are plenty of countries that already have the bomb, that I wouldn’t to have the bomb. At the top of that list is North Korea, with Pakistan and India not far behind. Now, when it comes to fanatical Muslims, I think you have to put the Pakistani’s ahead of the Iranians. Granted, they’re in a kind of a nuclear stand-off with the Indians, but they’re populace is generally still a lot more fanatical than the population of Iran.
Regardless of what some of their official policy might be, what motivation would Iran have to actually drop a bomb on Israel. First of all, Israel — and this is well known if not formally acknowledged — already has the bomb. And Israel has a lot better delivery mechanisms for dropping a bomb than Iran will ever have. Israel also has its “iron dome” missile defense system, which while not a guarantee of protection, is certainly much better than what the Iranian’s have. In any case, a nuclear attack on Israel from Iran would surely provoke a nuclear response from Israel. Under the doctrine of “mutually assured destruction” this would pretty much destroy Iran. In addition to which, it could provoke a nuclear attack from the United States.
There is also nothing the United States can do to guarantee that Iran not get nuclear weapons short of invading Iran periodically and destroying all of their enrichment facilities. Just as the United States could not stop Pakistan or North Korea from getting the bomb. It’s much better to negotiate a resolution that — while it may not guarantee that the Iranian’s don’t eventually get the bomb — at least keeps the Iranians from developing a bomb right now.
We unleashed the Pandora’s box of nuclear weapons back in August of 1945 when we dropped the first Atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It’s actually a small miracle that more nations have not taken up the nuclear mantle in the 70 years that have passed since then.
Netanyahu may think that we should prevent the Iranians entirely from having any nuclear facilities — which would also deprive them of the right to have nuclear energy — but there is just no realistic path for getting from here to there.
So, Netanyahu may claim that we can make a “better deal” with Iran, but if there were a better deal to be had, we would have made it already. The Iranians have their own interests, and it’s hardly a surprise that among those is the desire to be militarily strong. The current President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani is not nearly as crazy as their previous President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This is not a distinction without a difference. This new President is much more moderate than the previous nutjob, and it makes a difference that he is, if haltingly and modestly, at least moving Iran in the right direction.
I’m also not fond of Netanyahu using Elie Wiesel as a prop.
In short, Bibi did nothing to convince me that the negotiations that Secretary Kerry is leading on behalf of the Obama administration isn’t the direction in which we should head.