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4/09/2006 01:25:00 PM | Nathan Empsall

I just sent an e-mail to a friend about President Bush "considering" the use of military strikes against Iran. It's not meant as a blog post, but I figured I'd put it here anyway. Relevant links:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/08/AR2006040801082.html?sub=AR
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3898804/


We should chat about Iran on the phone. I should point out that the use of tactical nukes, while abhorrent, is only a smaller part of this story; the administration is not really "considering" military use yet, like the headlines say, but only reviewing and familiarizing themselves with plans and options. A land invasion is not one of those options, just air-strikes. The questions needed are, will these airstrikes be effective, how many diplomatic options remain, should strikes target just nuclear facilities or other military and intelligence ones as well, can the underground bunkers be destroyed with something other than tactical nukes, will Turkey let us use their airspace, etc. I hate it so say it, but limited military force (i.e., air strikes on nuclear and intelligence sites w/possible secret help from the Mossad) might wind up being the only option. For now, I think the President needs to make covert diplomatic threats to Putin and trade threats to Hu to try and get them to fall in line with sanctions. Those two will never support military use, but if we try to get them to support sanctions, Old Europe doesn't oppose air strikes, Congress is involved more than they were with Iraq, no nukes are used, and Israel is properly prepared, I might be ok with such strikes down the road. (Admittedly, most of these steps are not typical of Bush, but there's a first time for everything so let's keep our fingers crossed.) I don't they should consider the use of nukes, even if they are the tactical sort (which have a limited strike zone, at least as far as direct damage goes - we won't talk about particles and fallout, that's another story). They've been researching those since the start of the Bush administration, and it's a terrible idea. Personally, I'd like to see a Constitutional amendment saying that the Commander in Chief must recieve declared permission from the Congress to keep troops in any specific area more than four months or use nuclear weapons.



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