I am only going to say this once...

Much has been said about the possibility that either the United States or possibly Israel might strike at targets in Iran in order to roll back that country’s nuclear capabilities.

If that happens, I will probably remain silent, despite speaking out long and hard about the foolishness of the invasion of Iraq and the bungling of its aftermath. Because despite the serious moral questions around such a preemptive strike, at the back of my mind, I think it might still be necessary. Also, I have more confidence in the military’s ability to take out targets than to try to rebuild a nation, and though the resulting fury would be intense, as long as Iran’s nuclear capabilities are curtailed, I will sleep sounder.

We cannot countenance a nuclear-armed nation speaking in terms of “annihilating” a democratic country such as Isreal. As much as such a move might play into the hands of the hardliners in Iran and destabilize Iraq, in the long term this would be better than giving a dictatorship the ability to engage in nuclear blackmail.

Before anybody says it: the United States and Israel are democracies. Iran is a theocratic dictatorship. The former have what little moral high ground there is in this case. The sad fact is, when the stakes get this high, sometimes you do have to get your hands dirty.

I’m sure this doesn’t say good things about me, but that’s the way I think.

Now if only we could prevent the Middle Eastern dictatorships from engaging in economic blackmail. I had some thoughts about that here and here. And such moves might go some distance to reestablishing what moral high ground we had.

(Edited to Add: April 19): A history of US/Iranian Relations since 9/11

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