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A Case Against Air Strikes In Iran

Reader comment on item: How to Save the Obama Presidency: Bomb Iran

Submitted by Hughie (United States), Feb 5, 2010 at 11:40

Just for a laugh, let's consider the scenario facing the United States vis a vi Iran. Opinions abound from political pundits, citizens and talking heads that goes something like: "We gotta get in there and blow up those nuke facilities and we got to do it now before Iran lashes out at, maybe, Israel. We can do it from the air lickety-split. In and out and they'd never know what hit 'em." I just provided the laugh. Now, let's really see what lies ahead for the United States. Presumably. Iran's nuclear facilities are spread out all over the country.

This strategic placement increases Iran's chances for maintaining the integrity of their nuclear program as a whole while allowing herself to loose some of the pieces during an air strike. Since our military is aware of this strategy they will, undoubtedly, knock out every possible site so as to assure that no site survives intact. We must eliminate even the slimmest possibility of Iran's efforts at reviving her nuclear program any time soon. Hitting the preassigned target coordinates is not a problem and would be achieved with flawless precision by our Air Force. Is it over ? Are we done ? Heck, we've just begun. Now we enter the invasion phase, which is required for verifying the destruction of all the nuclear sites and their support facilities. Oh, you thought we were done after dropping a stadium full of bombs? Nooooooo. We're the United States, we must make sure none of that icky nuclear waste is scattered all over the country side, villages, towns, small cities or some farmer's back yard. Yeah, we don't need pictures appearing on the front page of the New York Times showing mothers holding babies with hideous deformities, all courtesy of the United States. See, we're not contemplating the destruction of a nuclear program by only blowing up multiple nuclear structures. No sir, it's what's in the buildings and in deep underground bunker facilities that must be eliminated. If nuclear waste is unleashed into the local atmosphere, in the aftermath of an aggressive bombing campaign, there's no telling how it's going to affect innocent people.

Verification will mean...everybody, all at once...yes, boots on the ground...lots and lots of boots on the ground. Whoever is designated to inspect and verify conditions will need to go into Iran behind a military force that is prepared to meet and neutralize the Iranian military yet appease the Iranian people with: "Hey, while we're here, need a new government?" Even without any thought of overthrowing the government the playing field must be to our military's advantage. Inspectors can not possibly work under active battle conditions and be successful in assessing the volatility of radioactive material that could kill millions of Iranians over time. Now, like it or not, we settle into the occupation phase. We have opened Pandora's box and must clean up the mess which may have escaped through our very discriminate bombing sorties

. Depending on the need for waste cleanup and containment we will be in Iran for ten more years just to mount, carry out and maintain the expensive program. We will have invested billions upon billions of dollars to dispose of and contain the horror we unwittingly leashed upon Iran and the world. We meant no harm. We meant to take preemptive action against some little creep with a Napoleonic complex before he had a chance to launch his, presumed, imminent attack. Yet, for generations to come, we will be funding a program that may include medical costs for those Iranian citizens affected by nuclear poisoning and health monitoring to track those at risk for long term health consequences. Again, all of this is my opinion. I am not credentialed in any field of study requiring one to have been in the military or hold higher academic degrees.

I have merely thrown my two cents onto the table with the hope that people would think beyond overly simplified solutions offered ... or the hysteria provided by Frank Gaffney. My worst case scenario only applies if Iran does have the nuclear goods and is in the preparation stages of launching missiles. And, of course, once again the United States will do all the heavy lifting. We will absorb all the financial and human costs associated with our newest mission as the world's "beat-cop" and in turn, the world will continue to hate us for what we did to the people of Iran.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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