Friday, October 28, 2011

The "Existential Threat" of those Mad Mullahs

OK, OK, so the worthies who published this Islamophobic screed in Haaretz didn't call them "mad mullahs" - but they do make reference to Iran's " irrational Shiite clerics."  Close enough.

Sad to say, the authors include two former major honchos of the US military hierarchy: Admiral (ret. ) Leon "Bud" Edney, former vice chief of U.S. naval operations; NATO supreme allied commander, Atlantic; and commander in chief, U.S. Atlantic Command; and  Lt. Gen. (ret. ) Thomas G. McInerney, former vice chief of staff, USAF; deputy chief of staff for operations and intelligence; and vice commander in chief, HQ, U.S. Air Force in Europe.  Regrettably, the editors of Haaretz provided them cover to disseminate a pseudo-legalistic apologistic essay that attempts to wash the US's hands of any moral or legal culpability should it decide to launch a pre-emptive attack on Iran.

Their rationale appeals to some of the most standard, even hackneyed assumptions [see my italicizing below] about Iran's leadership and what it might be capable of:

The United States is presently the only country that has the operational capability to undertake a successful preemptive mission to remove Iran's covert and illegal nuclear weapons program. In the best of circumstances, such an expression of anticipatory self-defense would be broadly multilateral, and endorsed by the United Nations. But we don't yet live in the best of all possible worlds, and even now, the most likely alternative - if there is not an American defensive strike on Iran - would be a fully nuclear Iran, led by irrational Shiite clerics. Should this alternative be "selected," America would need to clarify persuasively that its response to any attack on the United States or its vital interests in a Middle East where nuclear weapons are now proliferating would be instant and overwhelming.

In world politics, irrational does not mean "crazy." It indicates, rather, that national self-preservation is valued less than certain other leadership preferences. With Iran, these preferences would be associated with various core religious beliefs and expectations.

There can be no foreseeable nuclear balance of terror in the Middle East. In the not-too-distant future, Iran could well justify using nuclear weapons against "infidels" or "apostates," whatever the expected retaliatory consequences. In such conceivable cases, nuclear deterrence would be ineffective. Iran would become a suicide-bomber writ large; in other words, a "suicide-state."

"Suicide-state."  Gee, that's catchy.   (Ooooh, I know, I know!!  How about "kamikaze kountry"?)

I'm not making this stuff up.

How about these two red-blooded American heroes get back on their meds, head back to the golf course - whatever it takes to get themselves out of the limelight before they incinerate whatever's left of the reputation for clear-thinking of a Pentagon establishment that has undeniably self-immolated over the past 10 years.  (And take your Purdue professor pal with you.)

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