Iran's announcement of an advance in its uranium-enrichment program—and thus a potential step closer to an A-bomb—has sparked four responses in various opinion pages:
1. It's time to attack Iran now, before it's too late.
2. It's time to rally the world to impose sanctions on Iran now, before it's too late.
3. It's time to engage Iran in diplomacy now, before it's too late.
4. Relax: An Iranian A-bomb is not a big danger, and, in fact, it might help stabilize the Middle East.
There are problems with all four arguments, but let's deal with the last one first, since, if it's true that we can stop worrying and love the Iranian bomb (to paraphrase Kubrick and Southern), the rest is moot.
The most recent sampling from this school of thought is an op-ed published in the Feb. 10 New York Times by Adam Lowther, a defense analyst at the Air Force Research Institute. Lowther argues that an Iranian bomb might be beneficial to U.S. interests: The Saudis and Egyptians would want us to protect them by pledging to retaliate against Iran if Iran attacks Saudi Arabia or Egypt; in exchange for this guarantee, we could insist that they institute massive economic and democratic reforms and make peace with Israel. Furthermore, Lowther claims, the Palestinians would also rush to make peace, because the radioactive fallout from an Iranian attack on Jerusalem would kill them, too.
This is one of the nuttiest op-ed pieces ever publishe... >>>
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