A recent opinion piece on Aljazeera went over some interesting cause/effect possibilities of a U.S./Iran war.
“The biggest problem for the United States is not Iran getting a nuclear weapon and testing it, it’s Iran getting a nuclear weapon and not using it. Because the second that they have one and they don’t do anything bad, all of the naysayers are going to come back and say, “See, we told you Iran is a responsible power. We told you Iran wasn’t getting nuclear weapons in order to use them immediately.” … And they will eventually define Iran with nuclear weapons as not a problem.”
It’s difficult to fathom how such a senseless excuse could seem sensible. I’m in no way a defender of Iran (which is to say I’m not a defender of its collectively insane leadership) but is this an appropriate justification for attacking another country?
Either way, though, what should be considered when considering a U.S. attack on Iran is:
a. Destroying Iran’s reform movement, who will most certainly side with their own government after it’s attacked.
b. More will die, on both sides. Even if Iran is neutralized (a much more difficult task than neutralizing Iraq, and will in itself cause thousands of casualties), American soldiers will face intensified attacks from Hamas, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda. There’s also the imminent threat of attacks on North American, Israeli, and European soil.
c. Reinvesting billions of dollars into a problem without a clear solution.
d. Worsened diplomatic relationships between North America and the Middle East.
e. Even if they are successful in destroying Iran’s nuclear program, this will just be a delay. Iran has the knowledge to complete the program, and they will do so at some point.
The list goes on…
What’s also important to keep in mind is the possibility of American enemies like China and North Korea funding Iran, and supplying them with arms (they did so in the Gulf War, as the U.S. supported Iraq), just as the U.S. funded Afghanistan in their fight against the Soviet Union.
So maybe Americans would be best advised to have a little bit of faith in the rest of the world, even if it often isn’t warranted. How well has the opposite treated them? As crazy as Iran’s government is, nobody should expect them to destroy themselves by starting a nuclear war. The same was thought of Russia, then China, the North Korea — but we’re all still here.
History repeats itself, amen.