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Reader comment on item: Symposium: The Showdown [with Iran]

Submitted by Peter J. Herz (Taiwan), Aug 7, 2005 at 01:45

One reason I'm wary about intervening in Iran is because it could easily turn out to be something like China in World War II.

In the 1920's and '30's, most of China probably hated Jiang Jieshi (aka Chiang Kai-shek--thanks to the Cantonese-speaking interpreters Western Journalists employed when the man started rising in the Nationalist stronghold of Canton). He came to power by beating the warlords militarily or by co-opting them, while an alienated intelligentsia went whole-hog for the more radical reform promised by the Communists. China plunged into civil war, which Jiang was winning during the period from 1927, when he broke with the Communists, to 1937, when the Young Marshall Zhang Xueliang kidnapped him and forced him into a United Front with the Communists. Tempted by China's internal chaos, Japan first seized Manchuria in 1931, then invaded the rest of the country.

True, Chinese forces tended to retreat throughout World War II, and performed badly. At the same time, the "United Front" was often honored more in the breach, and renewed civil war was inevitable (thanks more to an intelligentsia intoxicated with Marxism than China's smallholder peasantry). Yet China nonetheless tied down roughly a million Japanese troops who might have been freed up for action elsewhere had either the Communists or Jiang's Nationalists made a separate peace with Japan.

I suspect that no matter how much the mullahs are hated, the people of Iran love their own country more than they hate their current crop of leaders, and the mountains and deserts of Iran would be a tougher geographical nut to crack than Iraq--where the rough, mountainous country was already run by an American semi-ally.

Hence, if Iran goes nuclear (which it probably will, with Russian, Chinese, and Pakistani help), the USA should declare a MAD policy--and, since China wants to help Iran's nuclear weapons program, remove China from the list of states receiving MFN.
Submitting....

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Reader comments (18) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
iranian situation [168 words]nick wrightAug 15, 2005 02:5624642
Iran already has nuclear weapons [357 words]Norm GrantAug 11, 2005 21:4624585
Response to Asim [250 words]No dhimmiAug 8, 2005 00:3424416
Further Comment [313 words]Peter J. HerzAug 7, 2005 01:4524404
Answer to Asim [389 words]WernerAug 3, 2005 22:2824322
Answer to Iran [176 words]Tony AAug 3, 2005 20:5724317
Monty islamists are after epople like you [108 words]Asim AhmedAug 3, 2005 19:2524312
no nuclear war -Iran already has bomb [259 words]haydarJan 8, 2006 21:4424312
Soft power [277 words]WernerAug 1, 2005 20:1224198
USA – playing for the mullahs! [127 words]John MAug 1, 2005 19:4724196
Soft-Power Works and Is Cost Effective [98 words]GWAug 1, 2005 15:3224187
Iranian Quagmire [88 words]John MAug 1, 2005 07:4624176
Disposition of the Military [78 words]MontyJul 31, 2005 11:3924152
Iran--stay out [249 words]Peter J. HerzJul 31, 2005 10:0824149
MAD makes sense [64 words]WJ HalversonJan 26, 2006 23:5524149
Shias & Sunnis [172 words]michael cJul 31, 2005 06:3524147
Which option [391 words]WernerJul 30, 2005 22:3124139
Israel's role? [109 words]Yehoshua ZellerJul 30, 2005 19:3124131

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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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