The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Sunday, January 23, 2005


              Confronting Iran
Edward Luttwak writes about the upcoming confrontation with Iran and the possible consequences. He calls a nuclear Iran "the scariest prospect of all". And while he believes, like everyone else that the problem should be solved diplomatically, he seems to believe that the prospects of that are fairly low, and therefore the US will need to do something.
Unless European diplomacy obtains real guarantees from Iran, President Bush will soon have to decide to do to Iran what the Israelis did to Iraq. If he decides to attack, he will not announce it in advance: just a television broadcast the following morning announcing a job done. The "international community" will denounce the raid hysterically in public while approving of it whole-heartedly in private.

Conventional wisdom says that bombing Iran would lead to Iranians rallying round their government. I am not sure that would happen in today's Iran. Its rulers' bizarre combination of rigid religious conservatism, blatant corruption and economic incompetence has made them exceptionally unpopular. Half of the population is not Persian – and many of them would view an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities not as an attack upon them, but on their imperialist rulers. Even the Persian majority may not want their hated clerical despots to control nuclear bombs. A raid on nuclear sites, nearly all of which are in remote locations, may not provoke the population to rally round their rulers but, of course, the Iranian government would not collapse. Some form of retaliation would be inevitable.
|| Nudnik 11:12 PM
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