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January 26, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Iran must know of consequences

In regard to Peter Goldmark’s recent column, “To bomb or not to bomb Iran,” in it he questions whether we should “bomb another country with which we aren’t at war and which is not preparing to attack us.” One potentially fruitful approach to persuade Iran to abandon development of nuclear weapons would be to demonstrate that we are ready, willing and able to do whatever is necessary to prevent this.

A surprise attack, intended to disable uranium-enrichment and related facilities, has presumably been planned. Carrier-launched aircraft could be over Iran within minutes after takeoff and reach their intended targets shortly thereafter. It seems highly probable that, even allowing for some losses, substantial damage to the program could be inflicted.

If convinced that such an attack would most likely be successful, the Iranians might see fit to suspend their program and permit inspection to confirm this.

One approach to such persuasion would be to publicize some specifics, including possible points of launch, number and type of aircraft and targets. Congress should specifically authorize the president to order such action, when and if deemed advisable.

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  1. What to do about Iran has got to be one of the most vexing problems facing the United States, Israel and most of the rest of the world.

    Many although not all 'experts' have concluded that an attack (without a follow on invasion and very long occupation) would only set Iran's nuclear development back a couple of years.

    If that is accurate, I have a suggestion for both the United States and Israel, given history and our recent experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Make the sanctions as tough as possible; assassinate their scientists if we can; use cyber warfare to destroy their computer network and work behind the scenes to destabilize their government, which is where the real problem is.

    If an attack becomes absolutely necessary, be honest enough to admit that we will NEVER invade and occupy Iran and make the ironclad committment to return and bomb their nuclear facilities as many times as necessary until we are convinced that they have stopped development or that a stable and trustworthy government is in place.

    If we can't make and keep that committment to bomb the facilities as many times as necessary and are unwilling to invade and occupy Iran for a long time (and we are unwilling to do that), DO NOT BOMB THE FACILITIES AT ALL.

    Here's what not to do. DO NOT, as we did in Iraq and Afghanistan think that the endeavor can be easy, low cost, accomplished quickly and won't have consequences that we cannot possibly know or anticipate.


  2. Frank,

    I proposed none of what you accused me of proposing regarding Iran and nuclear weapons. You're real good at just making stuff up. I have to give that to you.

    I know it irritates you that I look for compromise and won't just jump totally to one side or the other, whip out my side arm and 'let er rip'. Too bad.

    There is not one side here who has it totally right.... no matter how many times you claim that there is.


  3. Although the consequences are likely to be extremely threatening to the Western European, American and Israeli nations, I presently do not see any fruitful path to avoiding the bombing( repeatedly if necessary) of the Iranian nuclear facilities, and key military targets that would be used to repel the bombing, and in retaliation for the strike. I agree with Michael's statement as follows:

    "If an attack becomes absolutely necessary, be honest enough to admit that we will NEVER invade and occupy Iran and make the ironclad committment to return and bomb their nuclear facilities as many times as necessary until we are convinced that they have stopped development or that a stable and trustworthy government is in place".

    There is a collective body of opinion giving much more credence to this approach. As to the initiation of such an attack, the initiator might be Israel and NATO forces could join in to support Israel and demonstrate support to the action.

  4. OK, let's say we bombed the two sites existing now and successfully took them out -- at any cost (And remember, Iran has a modern air defense system, so either the cost is likely to be high for a fighter/attack sweep or the air defenses would have to be significantly degraded before targeting the nuclear sites.) But let's ASSUME "success" defined as destroying both sites completely. What happens then?

    We haven't killed the people with knowledge of how to make nuclear weapons. Even if we killed all of those folks in our strikes, there are more physics and engineering students and graduates who can be trained by N. Korea and by the Khan family of Pakistan. And, since any tech with the right kind of centrifuge can make bomb-grade material in a shed, what will we have accomplished other than a short delay in which the cancer metastasizes and returns in a more virulent form.

    And that is the result of "SUCCESS."

  5. @fosimmons...

    "Caslter should be considered as a diplomat to be sent to Teheran ... he's got all the ideas and would immediately solve the great issue of a nuclear weapon in the hands of the Mullas who vow to wipe Israel off the planet - Castler would explain how both sides need to be heard and have fair options that would benefit both sides and both would then come out okay - Castler would make them heed one another and listen and be co-operative ..."


    (c'mon, Michael...even you must admit that was funny:)

  6. The old what if game from the war mongers.If they don't get any oil money it has to slow down the process. I don't want Iran to have a weapon either but you can't go to war with somebody every few months. We already did that with Iraq and their weapons of mass destuction. Hopefully Israel will take care of this problem for the rest of us and we can sit this one out. We have fought enough wars and its somebody elses turn.

  7. Any pre-emptive attack will probably come from Israel. The ideal solution would be to have it come from Russia. But that isn't going to happen.

    The real debate is over what rights a sovereign nation has to develop whatever technologies it wants and/or needs versus the threat that such technologies might pose to other sovereign nations.

    Also, all the talk about a surgical air strike is nice, but bunkers can be built hard enough to withstand anything short of a nuclear bomb, and even that might not be a sure thing against something built deep enough. It will takes boots on the ground to really be sure the job is done right if that course of action is taken.

    Right now I'm leaning towards the TR approach, but only using the big stick *after* someone does something to warrant it, not before. We already know what happens when perceptions of threat are faulty.

    If that means we get a bloody nose first, so be it. We can make damn sure the other guy gets a lot worse.

  8. Actually the president all ready has the right to launch a strike against Iranian nuclear sites. That said I think what we are doing is more then adequate. Economic sanctions, cyber warfare and the amazingly short life span of a Iranian nuclear scientist will get the job done without a potential world war 3 scenario. Pakistan who supports the Taliban in Afghanistan and sheltered Ben ladin and does in fact possess nuclear bombs is a far greater danger then Iran.

  9. gamag39,

    I guess you just don't understand that I don't try to get laughs at the expense of someone else, don't name call and don't belittle the opinions of others, nor do I think others should do that.

    I'm not going to cry over what Frank says or that you think it is funny. I just think it is kind of sad that we can't engage in honest debate. When that happens, we all lose.


  10. Comment removed by moderator. refers to removed comment.

  11. Do exactly what Obama is doing - cut them off from world trade, destroy their economy through sanctions and let internal upheaval bring the country to a halt.

    There are a lot of rich Iranians, albeit with Turbans, that like their money, and they will take actions to continue their access to the world markets. They won't sit idly by and watch their family fortunes be destroyed for the political aspirations of a few. Once the Iranian Government is churning in it's own slop, the time to move will be ripe.