The New York Times' Bill Keller discusses why a hawkish position concerning Iran is the most abused foreign policy issue in this presidential campaign year, and why a military option may be the best way to guarantee exactly what we are trying to prevent.
O.K., Mr. President, here's the plan. Sometime in the next few months you order the Department of Defense to destroy Iran's nuclear capacity. Yes, I know it's an election year, and some people will say this is a cynical rally-round-the-flag move on your part, but a nuclear Iran is a problem that just won't wait.
Our pre-emptive strike, designated Operation Yes We Can, will entail bombing the yellowcake-conversion plant at Isfahan, the uranium enrichment facilities at Natanz and Fordo, the heavy-water reactor at Arak, and various centrifuge-manufacturing sites near Natanz and Tehran. True, the Natanz facility is buried under 30 feet of reinforced concrete and surrounded by air defenses, but our new bunker-buster, the 30,000-pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator, will turn the place into bouncing rubble. Fordo is more problematic, built into the side of a mountain, but with enough sorties we can rattle those centrifuges. Excuse me? Does that take care of everything? Um, that we know of.