Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Millitary as Last Option Argument

Hugh Hewitt has done a (belatedly) good job of covering the dangerous Hojjatieh ideology of Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadinejad, and the threat of Iran's mullah's obtaining a nuclear weapon. However, I fear he overestimates President Bush's intellectual adeptness in dealing with this dire situation in a timely manner. So, I wrote Hugh a letter, which I reprint here.

Dear Hugh,

1. Thank you for focusing on the danger of Iran’s mullahs on your show and your blog these last few days. I consider myself a student of Dr. Michael Ledeen who, as nearly the only prominent American intellectual to have urged regime change in Iran for the past three years, has been a modern equivalent of Winston Churchill during the "Alone" years. I would argue that the honor of this comparison belongs to Dr. Ledeen as much, if not more, than to anyone else on the American political scene (given that Dr. Ledeen is a professional intellectual, not a politician).

2. I am deeply concerned that, with the current Iranian situation, President Bush is falling for the same "let diplomacy take its course through the U.N." delusion, foisted upon him by Tony Blair and Colin Powell in 2002. Only this time, the pressure is coming from the Democrats and a perceived reluctance of the American people (as portrayed by the MSM) to undertake another military action against a second Middle Eastern regime. They are saying that the U.S. doesn’t have the will or the way. I do think that President Bush has the "will". I just don’t think he has the "way", i.e., the intellectual arguments needed to justify action against Iran outside the context of the U.N..

3. The main argument put forth by the Left against taking quicker action to overthrow Iran’s mullah’s is based on the same maxim they misused to argue for delaying military action against Saddam during 2002: "Military force should only be used as a last resort." As misused by the Left, this maxim is taken out of proper context, and it is used to trick the intellectually unsophisticated into thinking that military action must be delayed until literally the very last minute before the enemy strikes us. This is, of course, suicide. Waiting until the mullahs have nuclear weapons is waiting until it is too late.

4. We (and by "we", I mean anyone who has any chance to influence the policy of the Bush Administration) should be counter-attacking against this faulty argument by pointing out that, while military might may be the least desirable option to use in general, it should not be the last option to use when confronted by enemies, who we know in advance are end-of-the-world Islamist madmen intent on obtaining nuclear weapons..

5. Time is not on our side. Considering that the progress of Iraq’s WMD program was vastly underestimated prior to the 1991 Gulf War, I feel justified in writing that we do not know with sufficient certainty when the mullahs will obtain the ability to produce a nuclear weapon. We can rest assured that they would not hesitate to try fooling us into thinking that they are further away than is actually the case. And with President Bush apparently dead set on letting "diplomacy take its course" through the U.N. (where Russia and China will ultimately veto any Security Council resolution with teeth), I think all of us have cause to be deeply concerned.

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