John: Perplex away. As I said in my earlier posting, there is substantial popular support for the Iranian nuclear weapons program. No matter who knocks it off, there will be a substantial backlash that -- by covert action -- we can help redirect against the mullahs.
And there is nothing about the existence of any regime that threatens the USA. It is not existence or even policy but only intent and capabilities that turn a loud noise into a threat. Iran's intent is to restore, by violence, their idealized Muslim caliphate. Its capabilities -- by the oil it sells to fund terrorism -- is one kind of threat. It is another entirely if it achieves its nuclear weapons ambitions.
There would be no lessening of anti-American feeling in Iran or anywhere else in the Muslim world if Israel were to make an attack. In fact, it might actually be worse if the Israelis did it than if we did. They are regarded as our proxy in the Middle East. At least when they are not merely labeled the Zionist enemy by the arabs and others.
There should be no tension, from our standpoint, between preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and toppling the regime. It's a case of priorities, and what can be done when. We can, and must, stop them from obtaining nuclear weapons. There is no higher priority in the war against terrorism. None.
By el-Baradei's statements today, we have only months to do that. Once that is accomplished, we can take whatever time it may take -- years, as it will inevitably -- to destabilize the regime and eventually enable the Iranians to topple it. First things first. Nuclear weapons in Iran's hands change the entire geopolitical equation. Not just in the Middle East, but in the West, the South, and the Far East. And once it is changed, the world will be safe for nothing except Islamic terrorism.
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