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Iran: To Bomb, Or Not To Bomb?


Der Spiegel says the Bush administration is planning to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities.

Is this news? It would only be news if the U.S. didn't have such a plan. There are probably warfighting plans for taking on Bhutan somewhere in the Pentagon - so it should come as no surprise that there is a gameplan for taking on Iran.

The question is: should such an attack take place? Should we attack Iran's nuclear facilities before the mullahs get the bomb?

Well . . . Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has not exactly reassured the world that he is a rational or peace-seeking leader. He has called for Israel to be wiped off the map, declared that the holocaust is a hoax, and suggested that the Israelis should be relocated to Europe.

He also believes he needs to aid the imminent return of the Mahdi, the 12th Imam messiah that will bring justice to the earth.

Ahmadinejad has explicitly rejected the policy of detente forwarded by Iran's previous two administrations, which he said has reduced Iran's standing in the Islamic world, and appeases Europe.

Iran resumed uranium enrichment in August, leading the International Atomic Energy Agency to declare the Iran has violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Iran has signed. Iran has stated to the IAEA that it will resume enrichment once again on January 9.

Iran is quickly developing the means of delivering a nuclear payload. The Shahab-3 missile is believed to have a range of 1,550-1,620km, which is the range of the North Korean Nodong B missile it is based upon. Iran has also developed solid-fuel boosters which could allow ranges greater than 2,000 km, enough range to threaten Europe as well as the entire Middle East.

The terrible legacy of the 20th century has taught us that fanatical leaders espousing hatred and destruction all too often mean what they say. Adolph Hitler was a fanatic who was not shy about his intentions - when he said he intended to solve the 'jewish problem' this was taken by many to be mere posturing. When Lenin, Stalin and Mao Zedong stated that 'class enemies' must be liquidated, such 'liquidation' was not a euphemism for sending them on their merry way out of the country. They intended to slaughter humans en masse, stated so beforehand, and then achieved it.

There is precious little evidence that Ahmadinejad is anything but another mass-murderer in waiting, a holocaust denier who avowedly hates Jews and Americans, and wants to see Israel destroyed.

Thus, President Bush faces a most risky calculation. War might be avoided by waiting for economic and diplomatic sanctions to work. Iran could be feigning its nuclear ambitions, seeking to increase its stature in the Islamic world by claiming it has joined the nuclear club along with the other advanced nations of the world. Iran could merely be seeking political leverage.

Or . . . Ahmadinejad might just be telegraphing his real intentions. Do we then wait until Iran has successfully tested a nuclear weapon to act? [ed. - come to think of it, the U.S. military did not even bother testing the U-235 Little Boy device before sending it over Hiroshima, because the design was considered to be so fool-proof. Something to consider.]

The threat of Iran developing nuclear weapons echoes Iraq's earlier nuclear ambitions, which were shattered when Israel's Defense Forces bombed the Ossirak nuclear facility in 1981. The question is whether such an operation could succeed again, and whether it would be Israel, NATO, the U.S., or some combination thereof that takes on the mission. Israel has developed a plan to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities.

Destroying Iraq's single nuclear facility was a far easier task than taking on Iran's facilities, which are numerous and spread throughout the country. The main focus is the nuclear enrichment plant at Natanz, which is buried under 75 feet of earth, with a reinforced concrete roof.

It is possible that the GBU-28 'bunker buster' bomb may be able to penetrate and destroy Iran's buried facilities. Israel has purchased these weapons from the U.S., and has the F-15 aircraft necessary to deliver them.

The risks of such an attack would be retaliatory missile strikes upon Israel (whether Israel participated in the air strikes or not), missile strikes against U.S. facilities and ships in the region, and military activity by Iran's sole allies in the world, Hezboallah in southern Lebanon, and Syria. Thus, the chances of air strikes igniting World War III are exactly nil.

I am not advocating strikes against Iran, nor am I advocating a wait-and-see approach - but what I am advocating is that we all take a moment to reflect on the terrible decisions our Commander-In-Chief has to make. I think we are fortunate to have the right man in office to sift through the various options, and to take bold action if that is what is required.

Update: A hat tip here to Wizbang's Jay Tea for a link to an animated graphic about the GBU-28 and how it works.

More Links: Via Drudge, The UK Guardian warns secret services say Iran is trying to assemble a nuclear missile.

Also, Iran Plans To Knock Out U.S. With 1 Nuclear Bomb, a WorldNetDaily.com article about the effects of EMP over the United States.

Filed under This Sh*t is Getting Serious.

Posted by Ken McCracken · 4 January 2006 06:07 AM


If it talks like a madman, if it looks like a madman, if it acts like a madman and said madman has stated his intentions of building nukes.....then you have to take action.

Yes, bomb them. I am not sure how you would do it or if it would be successful, but sitting back doing nothing is the worst thing you can do.

But, I do not believe Bush has the political capital to do anything. He is hamstrung and we may have to wait until 2008. But by then it will be too late and the same people who have hamstrung Bush will be condemning him to hell for NOT acting.

Posted by: WunderKraut at January 4, 2006 08:15 AM

I think Iran have bomb and if Israel attack to Iran, Iranians governore will use it!

Posted by: Amin at January 4, 2006 11:47 AM

The GBU-28 is a true example of American ingenuity. We needed a bunker buster in a hurry, so they took surplus 8-inch artillery barrels (203mm in diameter), dug a big hole in the ground, put 'em in closed-end down, poured in over a ton of explosives, then took it back out of the ground after the boom stuff had cooled and solidified. After that, they put on a guidance head, a fuze, and steering fins. Voila -- instant bunker buster bomb, whipped up from spare parts. In modeling terms, it's a kit-bash -- and one that was wildly successful.

A great explanation of all this is over at http://www.usatoday.com/graphics/news/gra/gbuster/frame.htm.


Posted by: Jay Tea at January 4, 2006 11:52 AM

I see no good outcome.

There is one sensible option with Iran at this point. A total economic embargo might change their policy. Bombing and invasion will make things worse. Certainly it will unless the full UN Security Council participates.

The UN will probably do nothing and neither embargo or authorize force. Russis seems likely to veto anything. China might. And France - who knows about France?

Iran has skillfully played the game of negotiating and talking while never pausing development.

For roughly three years Iran has said yes we are, then no we are not, yes we were but we will stop, no we never have but we might, Israel must vanish, we seek peace with all nations, etc. etc.

Recent years have shown that the Yes/No game is likely to paralyze action. Saddam used it for years before finally running into Bush II, who because of other events, did not wait for final UN agreement.

Posted by: K at January 4, 2006 01:27 PM

There is no good choice. I choose date certain to disarm, then bomb.

What do you choose ... we all have to make choices.

Posted by: bill at January 4, 2006 04:13 PM

This is absurd. Israel has 200-300 nuclear weapons. It employs terror and repression against the Palestinians killing thousands and imprisoning and torturing thousands more, expropriating territory, bulldozing homes and impoverishing its own citizens under Likud rule.

Should we trust a regime with a nuclear arsenal that flouts UN Security Council resolutions and acts as a rogue state? Yet Israel's arsenal is almost never mentioned.

The US is also ruled by a mad, criminal clique and possesses thousands of nukes and abjures from its obligations to negotiate disarmament under the NPT. It is massacring the Iraqi and Afghan population and is responsible for the deaths of tens of millions in the name of the spread of "democracy" since the end of the Second World War -- Vietnam, Korea, Indonesia, Africa, Central America, Argentina, East Timor, etc.

The US is waging atomic war right now in Iraq and Afghanistan with its criminal use of depleted uranium. It repudiates international treaties and any accountability such as the International Criminal Court because the rulers here are fully aware of their culpability and vulnerability. We employ coercion, terrorism, nuclear blackmail and economic warfare the world over and intimidate and petrify our own population with constant warnings of terror that we ourselves have created.

Ahmadinejad may be inflammatory but he's not really in control of national security -- Khameini (with Rafsanjani now at his side) are. Iran would never dream of using nukes in a first strike. They're not crazy, in spite of their rhetoric. They know if they were ever the first to fire a nuclear weapon they'd be utterly destroyed by a US/Israeli retalitory strike that would turn the country into a nuclear wasteland.

A US/Irraeli attack against Iran will be disastrous and will result in the death of millions in and outside of Iran. It will guarantee that Americans will pay with their own lives by the thousands or millions. This may be one of the options acceptable to this regime but it's a crime for anyone to sanction.

If nuked by the US or Israel they will respond now or later in kind. It makes complete sense that they would covet nukes as a deterrent. Having nukes gives the US and Israel pause before attacking or blackmailing Iran or attempting to nuke them. You need only look at the example of North Korea to see why they would want a nuclear deterrent. They also have a right to peacefully develop nuclear power.

You people are such blind American chauvanists, as if no people or other nation existed on the planet. It's so easy to demonize and ignorance is rife with a controlled, irresponsible media here in the US. Any dissent here is automatically called treason. As Menken said patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

How about paying attention to the systematic looting of private pension funds, the social security trust fund, the US treasury, S&L's in this country. You're being hoodwinked by an illegitimate, criminal regime that distracts people from the utgrages they commit with elaborate diversions like the war on terror when the US itself is the lead perpetrator.

Don't be corrupted by mass media propaganda.

Posted by: Robert Peter at January 4, 2006 06:02 PM

That graphic was kinda slick, but it's another reminder of why USA Today is like a Fisher-Price My First Newspaper.

Multiple times, the graphic explained that the bomb falls fast because of its weight.

Why are these guys so hell-bent on teaching Darwin in the classroom when they haven't even gotten to Galileo yet?

Posted by: Matt Bramanti at January 4, 2006 09:42 PM

Hey Robert Peter, you should put down the Chomsky Reader and pick up some real history.

It would do you a world of good.

Posted by: Ken McCracken at January 4, 2006 11:21 PM

When I think of the Iran hostage crisis and all the Ayatollas and craziness???... It might not be such a bad idea!... On the other hand there are many Iranians who need to get out before we should consider bombing! ... Many Iranians are wanting the US to do something!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at January 5, 2006 06:50 AM

As Menken said patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

I was going to say that this was the only provably true statement in Robert Peter's rant, but it is credited to Samuel Johnson by Bartleby's.

Posted by: Eric at January 6, 2006 11:54 AM

I'm seriously concerned about this situation. Israel has determined that Iran will be nuke-capable within two years, and have identified the production facility, and have stated intentions to destroy it within six months (May 31) if Iran doesn't back down. The time to act is now. On the other hand, the US already has its hands full cleaning up Iraq. And Iran is five times as big as Iraq, and their people are a lot more militant. Starting war with Iran before Iraq is cleaned up would be a difficult undertaking. The pressure will be on for a solution, whether political or military, before Bush leaves office in '08.

Sorry, I don't have links; this is from memory. Research on your own. I most likely got it from Netscape news, and The History Channel.

Posted by: the paperboy at January 6, 2006 10:07 PM