No Easy and Safe Options

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton’s assessment of the options available to the United States in dealing with Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons ought to be absorbed and addressed by those on any side of the debate:

Sad to say, Obama’s Iran policy is not much different from that of George W. Bush in his second term. Relying on multilateral negotiations (the Perm Five-plus-one mechanism), resorting to sanctions (three Security Council resolutions), and shying away from the use of force are all attributes inherited directly from Bush. Bush’s policy failed to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and Obama’s will fail no less, leading to an Iran with nuclear weapons.
The issue now, however, is not this bipartisan history of failure, but what to do next. The Qom disclosure only highlights just how limited, risky, and unattractive are the four basic options: allow Iran to become a nuclear power; use diplomacy and sanctions to try to avert that outcome; remove the regime in Tehran and install one that renounces nuclear weapons; or use preemptive military force to break Iran’s nuclear program.

In practical terms, the options boil down to two: tolerate a nuclear Iran or pursue regime change. In brief, I favor a military strike — a NATO-type venture in an ideal, although fantasy, world; a green-lighted Israeli effort in all likelihood — to provide time for the West to encourage internally motivated regime change, in part leveraging the apparent progress of Iraq.

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David S
David S
11 years ago

So in practical terms, you are all for tea parties over entrenched powerful interests locally, but internationally you are all in on the entrenched powerful west’s interests over everyone else.

David P
David P
11 years ago

David S –
Wow! Too bad there’s no Nobel Prize for non sequiturs. The point is that Iran seems to be developing a nuclear arsenal. We can either accept that or do something about it. You don’t say which option you prefer although it sounds like you pick option A. However, since Barack Obama has said that a nuclear-armed Iran is “unacceptable,” wouldn’t your position make you a racist?

Andrew
Editor
11 years ago

David S,
I can say that I am entirely consistent on this one. Though I appreciate the excellent work that has been done by the Rhode Island Tea Party to date, I do not support giving the organization direct control over nuclear weapons.

David S
David S
11 years ago

David P and Andrew Thanks for the levity.

David S
David S
11 years ago

David P I think the charge of racism is used too frequently. And the charge is all too often a cover for a lack of a good argument.

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