It's the War, Stupid, Not the Nukes
My invaluable friend, David Goldman, aka Spengler, called our attention to an extremely important article in the German press by a highly respected German defense expert, saying there is good reason to believe that North Korea tested an Iranian nuclear device in 2010. The pundits have not spent much time analyzing the significance of this, uh, bombshell, because it destroys the current narrative and, if taken seriously, would force us to face the real issue with Iran: the war the Iranian regime is waging against us.
The claim that an Iranian nuke has already been tested need not be true in order to reshape the whole debate. It need only be plausible, and several experts have said it is plausible.
It reshapes the debate because it demonstrates that there is no basis for the belief that we will know enough about the Iranian nuclear weapons program. If we still do not know whether or not Iran tested a nuclear device two years ago in North Korea, then no serious person can believe we will know when, or even if, one of the two celebrated "red lines" (Iran has a nuke; Iran has the ability to produce a nuke) has been crossed.
And that's only the beginning of wisdom. It is a commonplace that Bush took us to war on the basis of an intelligence assessment that turned out to be false. Ergo -- another commonplace -- no president is going to war on the basis of a future intelligence assessment.
But the assumption that we will "know" all about the Iranian nuke is the basis for the whole debate, even though it's quite clear we are very unlikely to know that.
We are having the wrong debate, about the wrong questions. The right debate is about the war Iran is waging against us. The Iranian regime kills Americans whenever and wherever they can, including inside the homeland. Remember the plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington? If it had been "successful," it would have killed and maimed many Americans. And that's only the latest in a long series of attacks ever since the Ayatollah Khomeini declared war on us in 1979.
I agree with the Washington Post when it says that regime change in Tehran is the only reliable way to stop the Iranian nuclear weapons project. It's also the only way to win the war they are waging against us, in tandem with an international network that includes Syria, Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, and a collection of wicked actors from terrorist groups like al -Qaeda and Islamic Jihad to international drug dealers.
We have to win that war. The enemies' central command post is in Tehran, down the hall from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. I remain convinced that that war can be won without dropping bombs or sending troops; I think the Iranian regime is mortally threatened by its own people. If you look at the regime's behavior, you can see that Khamenei et. al. believe it too. Otherwise why would the streets be full of security forces to protect against...voters? The supreme leader knows that the people would happily rise up against him -- they've tried it many times -- and so the major cities are under virtual military occupation, all forms of rapid communication, whether by cell phone or via internet, are monitored, blocked or filtered, and anyone suspected of disloyalty is rounded up and thrown into the hell of the prisons and torture chambers.
I think we should support the Iranian opposition even if Iran had no nuclear weapons program at all. It's both morally and strategically sound policy.
There is no sign that our leaders understand this or, if they do, care to do anything to win. Rare is the national figure, Democrat or Republican, in or out of the government, who speaks the well-documented truths about Iran (they just talk about nukes). The president himself continues to seek a deal with Khamenei; that is the clear meaning of President Obama's plea to "give diplomacy more time." And Khamenei gives him hope. The recent announcement that one of the American hostages, the Marine (Hekmati) recently condemned to death for espionage, will be retried, is a coded message to the White House: we're going to make you look good. Khamenei is quite capable of making little cosmetic changes in the nuclear policy (letting IAEA into some sites previously declared off limits, once the damning evidence has been sanitized), or even promising to do "everything in his power" to facilitate a peaceful American retreat from Afghanistan. These gestures would likely take place during the summer, during the political conventions.
If such things do happen, they would give Khamenei more time to crush the opposition in Syria, kill more of his critics in Iran, increase his sway over the new Islamic Republics in gestation in Egypt and Libya, shore up his ally Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, and continue whatever he's doing on nukes. In response, the president would promise to continue to lecture the Israelis on the importance of patience, demonize those of us who dare call attention to the existence of the real war, and campaign as a brilliant peace maker.
Can you imagine the effect of a Marine hostage appearing on stage with the president at the Democrat Convention?
A real deal -- not likely to happen -- would require Iran to terminate its support for terror, cease its involvement in the Syrian civil war, end the shipment of dangerous materiel to anti-American governments in South America, and, yes, shut down the nuclear weapons program.
But we can't even begin to talk about such things so long as the "debate" is all about nukes. Nukes are important because a nuclear Iran would be able to kill even more Americans. But they are not the main point. They're a fanciful distraction from the life-and-death war that has been waged against us for decades.