The case for bombing Iran
The U.S. and its allies face terrible consequences from a military attack on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's nuclear facilities, but the alternative is worse
Ottawa Citizen Special
Monday, June 04, 2007
CREDIT: The Associated Press
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's apocalyptic fixations make the country's nuclear capacity, including Bushehr nuclear power plant, a risk to the existence of Canada and the entire world.
When the United States strikes Iran -- as it will -- the result will be a disaster, but a disaster that cannot be avoided.
Today, Iran's radical Islamist military, security and intelligence machine reflects the extremism of its history and entrenched masters. It has made Iran an engine of global instability and menace. For Iran today is on the verge of grasping the nuclear club, even as it remains an ungovernable influence in the international community.
Iran's extremist and uncontrollable nature has been well defined through action.
Start with reports of early post-revolutionary Iran. Massacres of Baha'is and other minorities. Razor-blade removal of lipsticked lips. Thumbtacks affixing veils to reluctant women. Adolescent gays hanged from construction cranes. Human waves of nine-year-olds attacking Iraqi forces.
The performance abroad has been as shocking.
For years, Iranian dissidents around the world have been hunted down and butchered by joint teams from Iran's foreign intelligence service and the country's other virulent creation, Hezbollah. By the late 1990s, German prosecutors stated that the highest Iranian officials authorized assassinations abroad through a "Committee for Special Affairs."
The Germans went on to prove that the Islamic Republic murdered people in its notorious "Mykonos" operation in Berlin. South American investigators fix the mullahs with responsibility for a mass-casualty bombing in Argentina. And, of course, writer Salman Rushdie lives under the multimillion-dollar bounty offered by a quasi-governmental Iranian foundation.
Under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's regime, Iran's religious supremacists call for the destruction of Jews, Christians, Israel, the United States, the West. No surprise, considering founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's helpful elaboration of the "11 things which are impure" -- everything from "urine, excrement," "the sweat of the excrement-eating camel," to "dogs, pigs, (and) non-Muslim men and women."
So hatreds like anti-Semitism blend comfortably with the regime's racist threats to capture "a nice bunch of blue-eyed blond-haired officers" and "feed them to our fighting cocks." And this, before the recent detention of British naval service personnel.
Unfortunately, such virulence is nothing compared to the frightening nuclear implications of this regime's delusional and apocalyptic fixations. Mr. Ahmadinejad is convinced a green halo hovered above his head while he addressed the United Nations -- and that his words paralysed all delegates for the duration of his speech. He assures anyone who will listen that he is Allah's handyman.
In this spirit, Mr. Ahmadinejad writes letters to the Twelfth Imam, who is said to have inhabited a well for the past few centuries. The president believes he can bring back the long-lost imam -- the Mahdi -- by precipitating the apocalypse, something his doctrine tells him will trigger a Second Coming, and paradise. Mojtaba Samare Hashemi, Mr. Ahmadinejad's eminence grise and suitably fanatic former Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps intelligence agent, helps his boss place fellow Mahdi-cultists in security, defence and other powerful positions.
All of this means that an Iranian bomb would be under control of nuclear triggermen who regards atomic annihilation as an incentive, rather than a deterrent. In short order, Canada and the rest of the world would face the mullahs' diktat.
The alternative? Nuclear catastrophe through either Shahab missiles, or warheads smuggled into our countries by sympathetic terrorists. This is why the United States and its allies have no choice but to act militarily against Iranian nuclear facilities.
But the price will be steep and long lasting.
After the attack, Iran's Hezbollah agents, its foreign-intelligence sleepers -- known in Farsi as "submarines" -- and suicide-corps infiltrators will likely go into action throughout the West. President Ahmadinejad has told us as much. The suicide corps alone is so aggressive that a commander of Iran's regular armed forces has complained about its uncontrollable nature -- if not about its ultimate aims and purpose.
With or without a nuclear warhead, the atomic program's longstanding nature means Iranians must hold vast stocks of radiological material. This is the feedstock of dirty bombs whose contamination can bar use of target zones for generations. As the clock ticks down to the inevitable airstrikes, all countries must have civil defence plans ready to do what they can against the radiological threat -- and chemical and biological ones, too.
Political leadership, security intelligence and our armed forces must be aggressive in preparing our defence. Pressure must be put on Germany, Russia and other of Iran's commercial, technological and military suppliers to embargo the atomic ayatollahs. Russia's shameless exports of anti-defence missiles to the mullahs, and similar behaviour by China, must draw economic penalties.
At a time when Iran is installing sleeper agents and combatants abroad, only those Iranians demonstrably fleeing the regime can be allowed to enter Canada.
Above all, citizens of the west must be realistic. Retribution inflicted upon us by Mr. Ahmadinejad and other Islamic extremists -- including disruptive oil prices -- must not cause us to buy enemy propagandists' continuing attempts to divide us from the United States and other allies. We must steadfastly recognize that the cost of attacks on Iran is the price we must pay to forestall the advent of a new form of slavery -- and many millions of nuclear dead, besides.
David Harris is a lawyer, senior fellow for national security at the Canadian Coalition for Democracies (CCD) and former Canadian Security Intelligence Service chief of strategic planning. He is counsel to the CCD, which is intervening in the Air India Inquiry. © The Ottawa Citizen 2007
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