Why on earth would we wait to disarm Iran? – By Christopher Hitchens – Slate Magazine
Why Wait To Disarm Iran?
There’s no possible advantage in waiting until Tehran has nukes.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, Oct. 19, 2009, at 11:15 AM ET
A contradiction must be faced by those of us who don’t especially like the propaganda name neoconservative but who wish that there was a useful term for someone who favors a robust American attitude toward totalitarian and aggressive states. This contradiction often takes the form of wanting to emphasize a threat without overstating it. One can begin by viewing this argument from its opposite side. In the recent past, extremely nasty and dangerous one-party or one-man regimes in Serbia and Iraq have made real trouble for their neighbors and been a nightmare to their “own” people and have mocked all the canons of international law but have been considered by many commentators as too risky to confront. Go look this up, and you will discover that those who didn’t want to confront Slobodan Milosevic or Saddam Hussein would always stress the awesome power of violence that they had at their command. If NATO bombed the Serbian positions around Sarajevo, say, it would unleash a monster of reaction that would draw a Russian intervention on the side of Belgrade, trigger a massive backlash throughout the Balkans, drown the region in bloodshed and “a wider war,” and all that. Likewise, a military move against Saddam Hussein would incite him to saturate our troops with chemical weapons, ignite the oilfields, destroy Israel, inflame the “Arab street,” and overthrow every friendly Middle Eastern government, etc., etc. Those of us who wanted to get rid of these hideous governments were bombarded with arguments that said, in effect, they are not only a threat but actually a lethal threat, and their forces are made up of people who are 10 feet tall. The contradiction cut both ways, in other words.