The Mullah Menace
So, clearly, we must stop Iran from going further down the road toward nuclear weapons. It has already secured from North Korea long-range missiles that can cover Europe with a range of 1,600 to 2,200 miles. Ahmadinejad boasts that the Hidden Imam (an Islamic messiah) gave him the presidency to provoke a "clash of civilizations" in which the Muslim world, led by Iran, takes on the "infidel" West, using hundreds of millions of Muslim ghazis, or holy raiders, keen to become martyrs while their opponents love life, fear death, and hate to fight. Hot air? We can hardly count on it. The leading opponent in this epic battle, by the way, would be none other than the United States.
The Bush administration is correct when it asserts that only the threat of serious military action and serious sanctions may deter the Iranians. But American public opinion will not lightly accept another war, given the calamity now playing out in Iraq and the fear of being bogged down in another endless war of attrition. "We know how to be patient," the Iranians like to say. "We have been weaving carpets for thousands of years."
There is no magic bullet here, of course, but we cannot just sit back. We must find a way and the will to show the mullahs we are deadly serious, or we will face the worst crisis in international relations since the Cuban missile crisis.
The West will have to decide what is more dangerousto attack the infrastructure of the Iranians sooner rather than later or to deal with an Iranian nuclear capability after the fact. The choices are not between good and bad but between bad and worseand the longer we delay, the more dire those bad and worse choices will become.