Debunking An Insane Call For War With Iran

Joshua Muravchik is a neoconservative fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University's School of Adanced International Studies. He recently wrote a Washington Post op-Ed advocating war with Iran. Usually neocons say something along the lines of

 

We can't have a deal with Iran! The deal that Obama is negotiating is a bad deal! (They say that, even BEFORE knowing the details of the deal.) Better no deal than a bad deal!

Unfortunately they seldom spell out what the consequences of their stance will be. They might say that we should tighten sanctions, but that is magical thinking. The sanctions regime was started to bring Iran to the negotiating table. The only reason that Iran is negotiating is to get the sanctions lifted. If we walk away from the bargaining table then Iran will have no incentive to keep a lid on its nuclear program. If the rest of the P5 + 1 nations believe the U.S. is responsible for sabotaging the talks then the sanctions regime could easily collapse Thus, should Iran choose to develop a bomb, there will be nothing short of war that can stop it. (And even then, war is only likely to set back Iran's nuclear program by a few years.) Muvarachik's article is simultaneously insane war mongering and a breath of fresh air. We should thank Muvarachick for having the honesty to spell out for us what his fellow neoconservatives have pussyfooted around--that the alternative to a nuclear deal is likely to be war. READ MURAVCHIK'S COLUMN NOW!  Pay close attention to the following:

Sanctions may have induced Iran to enter negotiations, but they have not persuaded it to abandon its quest for nuclear weapons. Nor would the stiffer sanctions that Netanyahu advocates bring a different result. Sanctions could succeed if they caused the regime to fall; the end of communism in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, and of apartheid in South Africa, led to the abandonment of nuclear weapons in those states. But since 2009, there have been few signs of rebellion in Tehran.

 

Otherwise, only military actions — by Israel against Iraq and Syria, and through the specter of U.S. force against Libya — have halted nuclear programs. Sanctions have never stopped a nuclear drive anywhere. (emphasis added)

This column's insanity is screaming out for a good debunking. And Ali Gharib has done an EXCELLENT job of whooping Muravchick's ass. READ GHARIB'S ANALYSIS NOW!

I just want to add one point to Gharib's analysis, a point Gharib would have made had he been given more space.

Muravchick was dead wrong when he claimed that Israeli military action stopped Iraq from getting a nuclear weapon. As Colin H. Kahl pointed out in a 2012 Washington Post story, Saddam Hussein's nuclear program was not even close to getting a nuclear weapon when Israel attacked it in 1981. At best it could be called sputtering. But Israel's attack convinced Hussein that he needed nuclear weapons, so he took his nuclear program underground and sent it forth full speed ahead. We were lucky that he started a war by invading Kuwait in 1990 before he had his bomb. Had he waited a few more years to invade then we could have been facing a nuclear-armed opponent. If anything, Israel's bombing of Iraq's Osirak reactor should be a cautionary tale. If we bomb Iran then it will practically guarantee the Iranians will do everything in their power to get a bomb.