Monday, February 13, 2006


Get ready; get set! I predict that soon we will be innundated with reports like this one, which will form the basis for condemning any action that might be taken against Iran:
A major American attack on Iran's nuclear sites would kill up to 10,000 people and lead to war in the Middle East, a report says today.

Hundreds of scientists and technicians would be targets in the opening salvos as the attacks focused on eliminating further nuclear development, the Oxford Research Group says in Iran: Consequences of a War.

The research coincides with reports that strategists at the Pentagon are drawing up plans for "a last resort" strike if diplomacy fails. Plans for an assault have taken on "greater urgency" in recent months, The Sunday Telegraph said.

Coincidentally? I suspect it was entirely deliberate and marks the beginning of playing the Iranian victimhood card by the Worldwide Federation of Useful Idiots (Worldwide "Phooey" for short).

Of course people are going to die if things reach the point where diplomacy fails. We don't need complicated "scientific" studies to tell us that (we know how accurate such "scientific" studies are, too).

Is there anyone in this entire space-time continuum who believes that it is possible for diplomacy to succeed? Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?

Wretchard has a perfectly sound explanation of why there is absolutely no reason in the world (and that's not even assuming that Iran is operating rationally) that Iran should negotiate. I urge you to read it, but here are the salient points:
Of course, the key problem being why anyone should be willing to negotiate with a party which is willing to surrender at the drop of a hat. As every MBA (but presumably not Polly Toynbee) knows, the unspoken alternative to negotiation is the Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement or BATNA.

BATNA is a term coined by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 bestseller, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Without Giving In. ... In the simplest terms, if the proposed agreement is better than your BATNA, then you should accept it. If the agreement is not better than your BATNA, then you should reopen negotiations. If you cannot improve the agreement, then you should at least consider withdrawing from the negotiations and pursuing your alternative (though the costs of doing that must be considered as well).

My teachers put it this way: BATNA is the penalty you pay when you walk away from the negotiating table. Since Polly Toynbee argues that Teheran should face no penalty for walking away from the negotiating table then there is no reason it cannot continue to do whatever it wants. Indeed the question is why it should negotiate at all since nothing is to be gained by negotiations

Iran has, for some time now, steadily and deliberately conned the entire world (particularly Europe) into the position it is in today. After dealing with the West directly for several years now; the mullahs and Ahmadinejad can both be almost completely sure that they will suffer no significant consequences (even the loss of 10,000 people is not particularly significant as far as they are concerned) whatever they do; because it knows without a doubt that the world will rally around to denounce whoever dares to attack them. The final evidence of the cartoon jihad is crystal clear and unmistakably demonstrates the fatal weakness in the West; and that is all that is necessary to proceed.

Being attacked by either the U.S. or Israel will, on the contrary, likely confer on the fanatical Iranian regime a legitimacy they could never have obtained otherwise in the eyes of the world.

They will be VICTIMS! They will be OPPRESSED! They will be taken to task by the evilist daddy of them all - America.

I say "the world", but I really mean "the left"--and all their minions in the news business--who even now, I'm sure, are preparing the rhetoric that will undermine the U.S. no matter what course it chooses. The article cited above will be the basis of how evil we are; how inhumane and insensitive we are to human life; how warlike and aggressive against the poor mullahs.

And a second and separate set of rhetorical exigencies are ready and waiting to be used if we do not act before the Iranians nuke Israel or provide the means by which Al Qaeda can nuke the U.S.

Damned if we do act and damned if we don't act. At least that makes it easy for us.

Since either way, the left and the international media will blame the U.S.; deploy the Iranian victimhood card; and sensitively and compassionately fail to hold the thugs ruling Iran accountable in any way whatsoever-- our way is clear.

In the first case, perhaps 10,000 people in Iran will likely die (if we believe the study). This is sad and quite tragic. One fervently hopes that Ahmadinejad has a copy of the study and includes it in his own "thinking" about the consequences to his people for a future war; but I don't count on it.

In the second case (where we allow Iran to get nuclear weapons and use them), then we can almost certainly expect that innocent deaths will number in the hundreds of thousands--perhaps millions.

By the cold, simple math that is sometimes necessary to optimally save the most people possible from the horrible reality of certain death, the choice is painful but obvious.

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