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Sometimes deterrence really deters

Reader comment on item: Deterring Tehran

Submitted by Kenneth S. Besig (Israel), May 9, 2006 at 15:37

It seems that most Western analysts assume that a military strike against the Iranian nuclear facilities and a military assault on the present Iranian leadership would only harden the will of the Iranians to continue their nuclear program and intensify the already pretty profound hatred that parts of the Islamic world have towards the West in general, and the United States in particular.

It is hard for me to understand just where this reasoning comes from. Perhaps a military strike against the Iranian facilities would actually be seen by a large part of the Iranian leadership as the serious message it is and deter them from continuing their program. Perhaps a direct attack on the top leadership of Iran would actually frighten these people enough to convince them that not only would continuing their nuclear program be foolish, it could even endanger their own lives. And finally, while a military attack on Iran's political level, as well as Iran's nuclear facilities might be taken as offensive by the larger Islamic world, it might also just show these people that the West is even more concerned about it's own security than it is about currying favor with Islam. While it would be nice if Moslems liked the West, it's probably for the best if the Moslems just fear the West.

Many Westerners still take Islamic Iranian propaganda seriously, that the Iranian mullahs care more about their supposed Koranic imperatives than they do about their own lives. And for some of these people this may well be true, but probably for most of them, they would be happy to quit with the nukes if this would save their lives. Indeed, one of the few times the West actually used military force to frighten a fanatic Islamic leader, that is, Muammar Khaddafi in Libya, well the use of force and the threat of more force actually worked.

Apparently in Arabic, there is no word for compromise while there are words which imply compromise, but these words usually have humiliating connotations. And while I realize that Iran is Persian, and not Arabic and thus probably has a different view of compromise, the present Iranian leadership seems capable of one of two choices, that is they are either at your throat or on their knees.

Submitting....

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