Op-Ed: The Folly of a Conventional Strike on Iran
Yonatan SilvermanThe author is a professional translator from Hebrew to English. He is the author of For the World to See:The Life of Margaret Bourke White. He operates the online newsletter SARTABA.
Khomeini put it in a speech in Qom in 1980: "We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah... I say, let this land [Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant..."
"For these worshipers at the cult of death, even the sacrifice of the homeland is acceptable if the outcome is the demise of Israel." Prof. Benny Morris
Controversy rages in Israel and the US about if and when to strike Iran militarily. The assumption is that if there is a military strike against Iran it will employ conventional means, which is to say F16 jets and standard issue bombs, and perhaps special “bunker buster” bombs too.
No one seems to question the ultimate effectiveness and purpose of such a conventional military strike. The fact is, a conventional military strike against Iran holds a very good chance of completely failing to achieve its mission. A conventional military strike against Iran holds the negative promise of being a completely pointless, foolish and counterproductive undertaking altogether.
And although it is relatively simple to surmise what weapons will be employed in a conventional military strike against Iran - it is harder to surmise accurately what the targets are. The Mossad and IDF intelligence have greater knowledge than the average citizen,. but the problem is that the nuclear targets in Iran are dispersed and it seems many are already buried underground and armored.
Logic dictates that the nuclear targets in Iran are more than likely impervious to a conventional military strike. So what’s the point?
The available picture of Iranian nuclear facilities is a jigsaw puzzle. And even though Israeli intelligence may know more about locations of the various facilities on the ground than the average citizen, even the average citizen has to ask himself if on the basis of what is known, a conventional military strike with jets and bunker busters can achieve the objective.
What is the objective of a military strike against Iran? The plain truth is that Iran must be forced to terminate its plans to create nuclear weapons. For some time there have been negotiations with Iran regarding its nuclear plans and ambitions, but the Western powers who have been involved in these negotiations have thrown up their hands.
Iran is stonewalling and absolutely refusing to be forthcoming about its nuclear plans and facilities, and it is clear to all that their obfuscation conceals an intense desire to produce and possess nuclear weapons.
This cannot be permitted.
For Israel, Iran’s desire to possess nuclear weapons is an existential threat. The Ayatollahs and the president Ahmedinejad are constantly calling for Israel’s destruction, constantly characterizing Israel as a cancerous tumor that must be cut out, and so forth. This is the face of Islam and it is also the face of Islamic terrorism, a force in which Iran is a major leader in the world.
A major murderer.
Even though no one has a crystal ball to predict the outcome of a conventional military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, common sense dictates that a conventional military strike against Iranian nuclear targets is dramatically more problematic than the Israeli bombing of Osirak in Iraq, and the chances of the mission not achieving its objective are quite significant.
On the Iranian side, of course, there are also defensive weapons protecting their nuclear facilities in a way Iraq lacked in 1981, such as anti-aircraft guns, and ground to air missiles. Israeli jets that enter Iranian air space to attack nuclear facilities will be met with a firestorm. The chance of tragic losses is far greater than it was in Iraq.
But the fact remains – Iran is pushing hard to produce nuclear weapons and the fact also remains that nuclear weapons in the hands of radical terrorist Islamic Iran are an existential threat to the state of Israel and the Jewish people. The fact also remains that negotiations and sanctions have had no influence on halting the Iranian push to obtain nuclear weapons. So, as the clock ticks, the only option available to the civilized world to stop Iran’s push for nukes is a military strike. The international sanctions regime against Iran has failed to stop Iran’s nuclear bomb ambitions.
It would be a terrible tragedy if a conventional military strike against Iran did not achieve its objective. Israel, in particular, is the country with it’s neck in Iran’s nuclear noose. For Israel’s sake, Iran must be stopped from producing Islamic terrorist nukes, and since negotiations and sanctions have failed along those lines, the logical alternative is to attack Iran with nuclear weapons on the model of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
After the US dropped the first A bomb on Hiroshima, president Harry Truman said
"With this bomb we have now added a new and revolutionary increase in destruction to supplement the growing power of our armed forces. In their present form these bombs are now in production and even more powerful forms are in development.
"It is an atomic bomb. It is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe. The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East.
"We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city. We shall destroy their docks, their factories, and their communications. Let there be no mistake; we shall completely destroy Japan's power to make war."
Truman’s statement following the bombing of Hiroshima was obviously intended to show that the US meant business. It had not employed the most powerful bomb ever made just for the purpose of destroying Hiroshima. The objective was to stop Japan from making war. And the powerful bombs the US dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had the desired effect.
Japan surrendered unconditionally.
This is precisely what is needed in the case of terrorist Islamic Iran. On the surface, attacking Iran militarily is aimed to stop its nuclear bomb ambitions and production efforts.
Islamofascist Iran represents a scourge to civilization and humanity.
Attacking Iran with nuclear weapons is also an effort to attack despicable Islamism and rightly so. It is Islamism that drives Iran to want nuclear weapons to terrorize other countries, Israel in particular. So it isn’t the drive for nuclear weapons per se that needs to be struck militarily but Iranian terrorist Islam. A message must be sent to Iran to stop its Islamic terrorist endeavors and objectives and behave according to civilization and humanity as we know it
In the final analysis, a conventional military strike against Iran will only scratch the surface of the underlying purpose for a military attack if it is successful at all.
But a massive pre-emptive nuclear strike against Iran will send an unequivocally effective message. And more than a message a massive pre-emptive nuclear strike against Iran holds the promise of defeating this outlaw Islamic country once and for all.