I met this week with a Member of Congress who is a great friend of Israel and a passionate, faithful supporter of the strong alliance between our country and the Jewish state. At one point, I asked him a question to which I already knew the answer and he was gracious and honest enough to tell me what I already knew: there simply is not the stomach in the United States for a military conflict with Iran. Republicans and Democrats broadly agree on this point. And Iran knows it. Those of us who are active in pro-Israel politics have known this for many years – that the U.S. would not come to the rescue on Iran. As David Wurmser, former Middle East adviser to former Vice President Cheney, writes in an upcoming article for Israel Hayom, “the cavalry is not going to ride to Israel’s side.”
We should be clear on two points:
First, this is not a failure solely of the Obama Administration. The Iranian nuclear program has been ongoing since the late 80s and finally came to light in 2002 – although it is probable that our intelligence community knew about at least the existence of the reactor at Natanz before that.
Second, this is not just Israel’s problem. A nuclear Iran is a nightmare – and I use that word advisedly – for the entire world. Iran is an international bad actor in a category by itself. It is the world’s largest state-sponsor of terrorism; guilty of murdering civilians in places far away from its own shores. A nuclear Iran will begin a nuclear arms race in the region. It will provide Iran carte blanche to export terrorism, disrupt international markets, and trade in nuclear technology and weapons. It will end the nuclear weapons control regime that has been in place since the end of World War II. It will change the security and stability of the world in which we live. Our children and grandchildren may one day condemn us for allowing it to happen. It’s that bad.
But, at this point, I believe it is going to happen. Our sanctions are insufficient and, even if they were fully applied and the Iranian economy shut down, I believe that the mullahs have decided to develop a nuclear weapon come hell or high water. The United States is not going to attack Iran. And I no longer believe that Israel believes she has military or political ability to do what needs to be done. I hope I’m wrong. I would love to be wrong. But I don’t think I’m wrong.
Which means that, in relatively short order, we’ll be living in a world in which one of the world’s worst regimes has the ability to vaporize a city. And with Iranian missile technology and its vast terror networks, it will soon be any city.
May our children forgive us.