The problem is, it is a bluff and Iran leadership, I think, knows it’s a bluff. Which makes US look very weak and will make it even weaker once Iranians test their weapon. It would have been better if Panetta just shut up.
Right – such as Obama in September 2008: “It is unacceptable for Iran to possess a nuclear weapon; it would be a game changer. . . . It’s sufficient to say I would not take military action off the table and that I will never hesitate to use our military force in order to protect the homeland and the United States’ interests.”
It has to be a bluff. This isn’t GWB’s administration. Iranian nukes, while unpleasant, will not signal the death knell of Israel or US interests so Obama should and will continue to pay lip service to military options. At most, Iran has a bigger bargaining chip and we’ll be forced to deal with them on a more equal level.
Because it’s too late to stop Pakistan from developing nuclear weapons and we can’t do anything to them now that they have nuclear weapons since they have nuclear weapons. Which is why Iran want’s nuclear weapons.
What I think is besides the point; the point is that threatening Iran with everything up to and including nuclear attack is highly threatening and makes it perfectly reasonable for Iran (or anyone else we spout such genocidal threats at) to want nuclear weapons. And in a previous threadJohn Mace did defend threatening Iran with nuclear attack with the same exact excuse he’s using here:
If we want them to not want nuclear weapons, then constantly threatening them with mass slaughter is the exact opposite of what we should be doing. And making speeches about how it’s “SOP” makes it no less a genocidal threat.
We were on much healthier ground when trying to bribe them, by offering them pre-enriched uranium for use in power-generating reactors. Alas, that compromise fell through.
And if their labs are so hardened the only nukes can crack 'em, then we’re stuck in a “first use” crisis.
Not good… I say swallow the bitter pill and let them have their damn firecrackers. Then, if they ever misuse them…
One of the interesting things about Iran as a strategic target is that you can wipe out Tehran without nuclear weapons. Ordinary explosives used against their aqueducts would render the city unlivable. (The same is true of Los Angeles…) So, if massive retaliation has to happen, it doesn’t have to involve our use of nuclear weapons. An odd kind of moral high ground…