Arnaud De Borchgrave’s column of June 14 in Newsmax (http://www.newsmax.com/blogs/deBorchgrave/id-80?s=al&promo_code=A44C-1) is too encouraging of military intervention by far. He also notably offers that the U.S. military would be the one who plans and carries out the strike(s), rather than say, a coalition of NATO/UN or even Pan-Arabic forces(Saudi Arabia? Hint, hint). A military strike, however, must not only take out multiple nuclear facilities, it must neutralize Iran’s military counter-measures, and it’s retaliatory capabilities.
Iran has the capacity to strike in and across the Gulf of Hormuz, and throughout the Middle East at U.S. and friendly country military installations and energy structures, to say nothing of Israel proper, their declared target. Nuclear weapon capability magnifies the threat capability a million-fold.
U.S. action would be a Declaration of War; everybody knows it.
De Borchgrave’s analysis is compelling however, and the refusal of influential Arab states to mutually condemn Iran and assert strategic leadership defines part of the problem. On one hand Arab states respect strong leadership and want the respect of the world community at large. By only paying lip service, if that, to nuclear non-proliferation, even though it is in their best interest not to be placed in a position of being bullied by Iran, they will wind up being led to revolution and destruction.
When, not if, Iran asserts its leadership through the threat potential of nuclear weapons, energy resources will then become serious weapons in the Islamic Fundamentalist threat to the West. Iran could insist that Saudi Arabia, under threat of a nuclear attack, cut off any dealing with the West. Similarly, Qatar, Yemen, the Emirates, in fact any energy supplier to Western or non-Muslim countries could be faced with no-win choices.
Were Iran facing a unified Pan-Arabic coalition of condemnation and sanctions, we might have a different story.
Factionalism and tribal traditions including religion, are still the underlying dynamic in the Middle East.
Continually painting the West and other religions as the feared outsider intent on destroying Islamic values and Muslim society, unifies Middle East overt and hidden opposition to any Western strategic efforts to contain Iran.
We must understand that Iran’s religious leadership, Ayatollah Khomeni in particular, sees Iran as the seat of Pan-Arabic history and culture, with Islam as it’s unifying political”glue, ” leading to a potential new Islamic Caliphate, reminiscent of the glory-day eras that have occurred multiple times in thousands of years.
It would be a mistake to underestimate the control Khomeni exerts through his religious leadership, which in turn defines the difference between Iran and representative governments of the non-Muslim countries.
With religion the unifying and driving force of the political structures of the Middle East, it is unlikely that we can find a solution to any problems, absent a real effort to help create and support a Pan-Arabic strong coalition, willing to see the modern world in secular terms, and not in either/or religious terms.
Religion sacrifices itself to logic, faith not being subject to reason. That dynamic alone prevents satisfying religiously-driven policy with rationality.
It seems the only long term solution is to assist the Islamic-motivated and controlled governments in transitioning to secular governments, where reason and rationality have a least a chance to prevail.
So long as religious values drive governments and subvert secular values, there is little chance that existing conflicts within, and external to, the region can be managed to successful conclusions