Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Dealing with Iran, Plan B

In the late 1950s China was where Iran is today, working on developing nuclear weapons. Bevin Alexander (p. 158 of How America Got it Right) writes that [Kennedy] failed to take advantage of the great schism between China and Russia revealed in the late 1950s. This fracture proved beyond all doubt that Communist states acted in their own interests, not to further some universal Marxist purpose. The United States could have played one side against the other quite effectively. Instead Kennedy bought the erroneous idea of Chinese belligerence and sided with the real threat, the Soviet Union, to try to destroy Chinese nuclear-test facilities at Lop Nur in Xinjiang Province. The Kremlin refused to participate in the air strikes Kennedy proposed, knowing they would bring on a war of unmeasurable dimensions. In this regard, Moscow’s leadership showed better judgment than Kennedy.”

Is there a lesson here in regard to Iran? In looking back, who besides Saddam and Qhadaffi wanted nuclear weapons and failed to obtain them? Some nations decided they didn’t want them. Some of the former SSRs indicated a desire to be rid of their nuclear weapons, but the USSR, France, India, Pakistan, China, and North Korea have obtained them despite our disapproval. Did we disapprove of Israel getting nuclear weapons or did we help them. I don’t know, but the beat goes on; so, will we like Kennedy want to bomb the heck out of Iran? Or will we protest mightily and let it happen?

We worry about Iran giving terrorist organizations atomic weapons, but we don’t seem willing to do anything about it. It would be safest for us and our allies if we engaged in the Alexander-type raid described in an earlier note, but if we don’t. . . couldn’t there be future room for a Dulles-type “Massive Retaliation” threat? Couldn’t we tell Iran that we have checked all the arsenals of the world and everything has been accounted for (if that is true); so if terrorists explode an atomic weapon in the U.S. or in the nations of any of our allies, we will retaliate massively with atomic weapons?

Lawrence Helm

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