Alpine Summit

Saturday, January 21, 2006

History Repeats Itself Again

Victor Hanson talks in a recent NR column about the choices open to us on Iran. Hanson argues that our choices are either bad or worse. There are no good options right now. One thing that sticks out is his argument adressing the problem of being "multilateral" in dealing with Iran.

The political heat would mount hourly, as Russia, China, and Europe all would express shock and condemnation, and whine that their careful diplomatic dialogue had once again been ruined by the American outlaws. Soon the focus of the U.N. would not be on Iranian nuclear proliferation, or the role of Europe, Pakistan, China, and Russia in lending nuclear expertise to the theocracy, but instead on the mad bomber-cowboy George Bush. We remember that in 1981 the world did not blame the reckless and greedy French for their construction of a nuclear reactor for Saddam Hussein, but the sober Israelis for taking it out.

Hanson makes a point here. His example is the 1981 airstrikes, but even more recently I recall all the "cowboy" rhetoric from people around the world about Bush without so much as a "tsk, tsk" to Hussein's genocidal and terrorist enabling regime (or that it was even a good thing it was no longer in power). We later discover that the leaders of many of these nations actually had quite a bit of money to lose and weren't about to support a country biting the hand that was feeding them.

This is why multilateralism is so dangerous in this day and age. With nuclear proliferation becoming a serious problem, and countries around the world more interested in placating terrorists, I'm amazed a nuclear bomb hasn't gone off in a major city yet!

I predict the politics will play out in a similar fashion as in Iraq and America will have to step in with the military to pull everyone's butts out of the fire at the 11th hour only to be condemned once again for removing yet another regime with a track record of gross human rights violations and terrorist enabling actions.

UPDATE: After reading a few more pieces on Iran, I am reminded of the perspectives I see the left taking so many times regardless of the conflict these days: "don't attack them, they haven't done anything bad yet," or "they aren't a threat," followed by "we need to negotiate." Then later: "don't attack them, they're too much of a threat," or "the body count will be too high," follwed by: "we need to negotiate!" It boggles the mind.