Iran's new president, Hasan Rouhani, is telling President Barack Obama what he wants to hear while buying time to build a nuclear bomb, says John Bolton, former U.N. ambassador and current senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute..
"Just as Vladimir Putin had played him for a fool over Syria, Mr. Obama was initially snubbed by Iranian President Hasan Rouhani despite frantic White House efforts to produce a handshake," Bolton writes in a Sunday op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.
It's not the first time Rouhani has played the West, Bolton writes. Rouhani was Iran's chief nuclear negotiator from 2003 to 2005, when he successfully followed the same playbook
John Bolton is an idiot, a psychopath or a liar. Of course, I'm not ruling out the possibility that he might be all three.
First, we should look at when Tehran made its greatest strides toward nuclear capability. And it wasn't during the Obama administration. The Bush folks were plenty dumb, but even they weren't boneheaded enough to start anything with Iran. Bolton and Cheney were outliers even in that freakshow of a government.
Then it might be a good idea to try to understand why Iran might want the bomb.
Let's assume for a second that a country that had called for "regime change" in Washington for thirty years suddenly had a quarter of a million troops in Canada and Mexico. How do you suppose Washington would react to that.
And before we jump the gun, we should remember that the Kennedy administration nearly ended the world for far, far less in Cuba.
Oh, and just last month the CIA declassified papers that showed that the Reagan administration provided targeting information on Iran to Saddam Hussein that he exploited with chemical weapons, which is probably a war crime.
If you were Iran, what would you do?
The Iranians aren't crazy for pursuing nuclear capability. They'd be crazy if they didn't.
And can we please stop pretending that anything short of a massive ground invasion is going to end Tehran's nuclear ambitions?
Air strikes, the protestations of fools like Benjamin Netanyahu notwithstanding, only delay the inevitable and give the Iranians credible reasons to use nukes once they have them. And that assumes that Israel could fly to Iran and back without refueling, which it can't.
Unless and until I start hearing about serious plans for ground action against a country that's three times as large and populous as Iraq - with much more challenging geography - I'll take John Bolton's positions for exactly what they are: retarded dick-waving by someone who lusts for wars that he has no idea how to win.
Iran with nukes.
Do you think the world is better off with North Korea having nukes and being able to menace its region because of them? If you do, you'll love what comes next when the sociopaths running Iran get theirs.
Most of the intelligence analyses I've seen think that effective bombing would set Iran's nuke program back by a few years.
Does that mean the problem will have to be dealt with again?
Sure - but I prefer that to not dealing with it at all.
Whether or not the world is better or worse off because of a country's nuclear capability is immaterial. The fact is that it exists.
Moreover, the example of North Korea makes my argument for me. They live off of a steady diet of tree bark, and if they can test a weapon, pretty much anyone can. And that's something we should get used to.
If the US were to take a poke at North Korea's capability, the response would be the leveling of Seoul with conventional artillery.
Iran has an even greater capability for retaliation if attacked. First, Iraq would explode. American forces in Afghanistan would vulnerable. There's every reason to believe that Tehran would launch missile attacks on Saudi airfields and tanker traffic in the Straits of Hormuz. Curious about what oil at $200 barrel would do to the economy? I'm not.
Then there's the very real possibility of terrorist retaliation against the US homeland by Hezbollah, which is at least as capable as al Qaeda, and probably more so.
And at the end of the day, Iran would STILL have a deliverable weapon within a decade, and every reason to actually use it.
There's the problem with people like Bolton: They never do a cost-benefit analysis on the crazy shit they advocate.
Then arises the question of what constitutes "effective bombing."
Unlike the Arabs, the Persians aren't idiots who put all of their eggs in one basket.
Everything I've read suggests that the Iranian program is spread out and riddled with redundancies, with several facilities doing the same thing. That means hitting even a bunch of them might not accomplish much.
Most of the sites ae hardened and underground, which poses a challenge. Others are thought to be in population centers, which means significant civilian casualties.
That goes to a larger point. The regime does a lot of things that are unpopular with the people, but this isn't one of them.
Bombing might serve to only unify the people around their government and convince them that the program is necessary. And as I pointed out earlier, that isn't even the worst case scenario.
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