Wednesday, January 18, 2006

More Thoughts On Iran

What to do about Iran? As usual, it appears that the United Nations will fail to take any serious action.
If Europeans and the United States succeed in referring Iran's nuclear program to the U.N. Security Council, sanctions or other enforcement actions would be a long way off, if imposed at all.

But at a minimum the West is counting on a political and diplomatic embarrassment for Tehran, which this month removed U.N. inspection seals on uranium enrichment equipment, deepening suspicions it is seeking nuclear arms.
That sounds like a plan. Embarrass Iran into giving up its quest for nuclear weapons. What's next, the comfy chair?
"Iranians are very proud and don't want to become a pariah state like
North Korea," said Edward Luck, a Columbia University professor specializing in U.N. affairs. "I think they would find it very unattractive."
Why consider sanctions when you can apply peer pressure? Sure, now I'm convinced, but only if the Iranian government is made up of teenage girls.

Now, somebody who makes sense-Amir Taheri:
This is one of those regimes that will not stop until they hit something hard. Why should they, when they can pursue their objectives cost-free? Soft power may work — if it is backed by hard power. Yet Europe has, once again, made it clear that it would oppose even the threat of hard power.

As things stand, all those concerned in this carnival of absurdities have reason to be happy: The Europeans get rid of the hot potato, the Bush administration finds a diplomatic fig-leaf to cover its lack of an Iran policy, the Russians sell their arms, the Chinese get their oil and gas and the Islamists in Tehran accelerate whatever mischief they might be up to in the nuclear domain.

But the problem remains unresolved. Down the road, the West may well find that it would have to use far more than the mere threat of hard power to restrain Tehran's messianic ambitions — a much costlier bill than would have been the case three years ago.
Well, what should we be doing? Why not do unto the Iranians as they like to do unto others, and attempt to destabilize their government from within? We are told of the unpopularity of the Iranian regime amongst its own people. Why not use that? Why not provide support to those who oppose the mullahs, but currently lack the means to take action? Use the disaffected youth of Iran, instead of provoking them and turning them against us. Is our government doing this already?

QandO has more on this approach, with some help from Mark Steyn.