Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Still Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran (Repeat Chorus 100x)

Duncan Black makes a good point:

It must be understood that since our intelligence agencies don't believe Iran has a nuclear weapons program, it also means that they don't know where such a program would be physically located if it did exist. This means that any desires of Dick Cheney and his people to bomb Iran simply involve... bombing the shit out of Iran.

This also goes to the argument that, to paraphrase: Since the various intelligence agencies were wrong on the question of Iraq's WMD (and in the past with respect to North Korea, Pakistan and others), they are likely wrong now about the state of Iran's program. Thus, we should still bomb Iran.

However, as Atrios argues, even if the NIE is "wrong" in terms of accurately gauging Iran's progress toward a nuclear weapon, the document makes clear that our intelligence agencies don't know where that program resides (if they knew, the conclusions would be drastically different). So how do you take out a nuclear program that you can't locate via limited aerial bombardment? Answer: You can't. This is true, even if our intelligence agencies are mistaken, just like Iraq (only in the opposite direction).

Instead, our government would need to undertake a much more significant military action involving ground forces that could establish enough security/control over Iran's territory to permit our forces to locate the sites in question. So, perhaps, some of those "limited air strikes" advocates were really gunning for full scale war all along. If not then, at least now.

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