Follow the Whig by Email!

Friday, March 27, 2015

John Bolton's Dangerous Fallacies

Former UN ambassador and Republican operative John Bolton the other day wrote an op-ed in the Times advocating bombing Iran as the only way to stop its presumed nuclear weapons program. Bomb Iran  His argument is simple:  the Kerry negotiations will fail, and Iran will build a nuclear bomb.  Bomb Iran now, before it's too late.  He figures the US and Israel working together will set back Iran's program three to five years.  We should also support regime change in Iran.

Bolton is a serious, hard-charging guy.  His bio is impressive, even inspirational.  He's done a lot of good things for the conservative movement in America.  He's completely sincere.  But he's nuts.

  • He offers no evidence a massive attack will succeed, even if it could be justified legally.
  • He fails to consider that such an attack might make Iran more dangerous and give more support to the Tehran regime.  It would also convince them they NEED a nuclear bomb.
  • He doesn't see how bombing Iran will discredit any Iranian opposition.  ALL presidential aspirants in Iran have backed its nuclear program. 
  • He pays no heed to international blowback against the US.  Why that would be worth just delaying Iran's program, he doesn't say. 
  • He ignores how such a bombing might in fact make other nations MORE sympathetic to Iran. 
  • He acknowledges that other nuclear programs have been discontinued by negotiation, but somehow Iran is different.  
  • He assumes that, in response to Iran, other nations will go out and get their own nuclear bombs.  (I guess by magic.)  He takes the Saudis' threats for granted. 
  • He doesn't apply this logic to North Korea, which presumably has the bomb and is demonstrably more pugnacious than Iran is.  
Bolton is fighting an old war.  Iran represents no threat to us.  (Never has been, really.)  In fact, Israelis don't even believe Iran represents a threat to them.  Bibi's "winning" in Israel (such is the inherent perversity of proportional representation systems) had nothing to do with his stance on Iran. 

The best policy on Iran:  keep pushing for concessions and keep dialogue open.  Get them to stand down centrifuges.  Increase inspections.   De-escalate tensions and ease sanctions.

Okay, it might not work.  Got any better ideas?  

Post a Comment