Pat Buchanan

"Diplomacy has failed," Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told AIPAC, "Iran is on the verge of becoming nuclear and we cannot afford that."

"We have to contemplate the final option," said Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., "the use of force to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon."

War is a "terrible thing," said Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., but "sometimes it is better to go to war than to allow the Holocaust to develop a second time."

Graham then describes the war we Americans should fight:

"If military force is ever employed, it should be done in a decisive fashion. The Iran government's ability to wage conventional war against its neighbors and our troops in the region should not exist. They should not have one plane that can fly or one ship that can float."

Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute, Neocon Central, writes, "The only questions remaining, one Washington politico tells me, are who starts it, and how it ends."

As to who starts it, we know the answer. Teheran has not started a war in memory and is not going to launch a suicide attack on a superpower with thousands of nuclear weapons. As with Iraq in 2003, the war will be launched by the United States against a nation that did not attack us -- to strip it of weapons it does not have.

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But to Graham's point, if we are going to start this war, prudence dictates that we destroy Iran's ability to fight back. At a minimum, we would have to use airstrikes and cruise missiles to hit a range of targets.

First, Iran's nuclear facilities such as the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, the U.S.-built reactor that makes medical isotopes, the power plant at Bushehr, the centrifuge facility near Qom and the heavy water plant at Arak.

Our problem here is that the last three are not even operational and all are subject to U.N. inspections. There are Russians at Bushehr. And there is no evidence that diversion to a weapons program has taken place.

If Iran has secret plants working on nuclear weapons, why have we not been told where, and demanded that U.N. inspectors be let in? Why did 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, three years ago, tell us they did not exist and Iran gave up its drive for a nuclear weapon in 2003?

If Iran is on the "verge" of a bomb, as Schumer claims, the entire U.S. intelligence community should be decapitated for incompetence.


Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
 
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