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Re: Dr. Pipes, there is a much better alternative to your suggestion.

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

Submitted by Aymenn Jawad (United Kingdom), Feb 3, 2010 at 09:56

Dear Dr. Pipes: Your proposal for US military strikes against Iranian facilities ignores the fact that this will cause Iranians to 'rally around the Mullahs' (to borrow your terminology), for the Iranians in general have a strong sense of national pride: as the Farsi saying goes, 'cho Iran nabashad tene man naba' ('without Iran I prefer to die). Thus, carrying out your plan will only diminish the chances of regime change and the possibility of ending the Iranian nuclear threat permanently.

Also, have you not considered that we will face repercussions from the Russians and Chinese if we launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities? What do you want to see? A global confrontation between the US and most of the rest of the world? Surely Obama would only lose more popularity because of this? There is a much better alternative to your suggestion: namely, we should covertly support Baluchi insurgents to carry out bomb attacks against Iran's revolutionary guard and possibly their nuclear facilities.

There are two main advantages to this approach: 1. The Baluchis are Sunnis discriminated against in Iran and have been historically maltreated, and are fighting for an independent Baluchistan. Thus there is some legitimacy to their fight against Iranian security forces as they can easily be portrayed as a national liberation movement with rational grievances. Also, Baluchi insurgents don't target civilians. 2. Such attacks, sporadic in nature and covert, could cause the Iranians to lose faith in their government, destabilize the regime and embolden the opposition. A perception of Iran being attacked by another nation (which is what a US military strike would be seen as) is far more risky than being attacked by a group of stateless insurgents. How could the Iranian government respond to such attacks? Please let me know what you think of my suggestion.

Yours faithfully, Aymenn Jawad.

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