In a recent op-ed, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof cited an alleged “consensus” of foreign policy “experts” who believe it would be “abominable” at this time for Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities.
Among those whom Kristof quotes is W. Patrick Lang, a former head of Middle East affairs for the Defense Intelligence Agency: “Unless you’re so far over on the neocon side that you’re blind to geopolitical realities, there’s an overwhelming consensus that this is a bad idea.”
Echoing the broader points of these “experts,” Kristof writes that a military attack would set back Iran’s nuclear program no more than three years while escalating Muslims’ anger toward Israel and America and possibly inspiring Iran to sponsor attacks on American targets. He believes we should wait for economic sanctions against Iran to “work” — but toward what ultimate end he does not say.
So as we hear talk about military action against Iran, let’s be clear about one thing. Outside Netanyahu’s aides and a fringe of raptors, just about every expert thinks that a military strike at this time would be a catastrophically bad idea. That’s not a debate, but a consensus.
Observe that while Kristoff treats a consensus of security wonks as akin to an unquestionable axiom that renders all debate on the matter irrelevant, he downplays or evades the essential facts about the Islamist regime that warrant its immediate destruction. While Kristof and company support another round of toothless sanctions, the ruling mullahs and ayatollahs in Iran continue their more than 30-year campaign of terrorizing, maiming, and murdering Americans, hundreds if not thousands, from Beirut to Saudi Arabia to Iraq to Afghanistan. Just this month, security services in Azerbaijan arrested twenty-two people who reportedly were trained and hired by Iran to carry out terrorist attacks against U.S. and Israeli embassies and British oil company BP.
The State Department is aware of decades of such efforts, which is why it annually places Iran on the top of its list of state sponsors of terrorism.
For security experts and politicians in Washington to advocate mere sanctions against the Iranian regime is to relinquish their moral and professional responsibility to protect Americans against a deadly enemy.
By any rational standard, it is time to destroy not only Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities, but also the Iranian regime itself. If the U.S. government is too irrational to do anything about it, the least we can do is not dissuade the Israelis from acting for their survival.