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What Happened to Bombing Iran?

How the “hardline” American position on the Islamic Republic got farmed out to Israel.

12:12 PM, Nov 19, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
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From this perspective, bombing the regime is the humane alternative to sanctions, and the only sane strategic alternative to a nuclear breakout. The White House may believe that it can contain a nuclear Iran. But once Tehran has the bomb it will own the means of destabilizing the Persian Gulf and driving up energy prices at will, a concern that is magnified if Saudi Arabia makes good on its threats to secure a bomb of its own.

But Americans will not own up to their own interests—certainly not the White House and now not even the hawks. Instead we’ve handed U.S. concerns over Gulf security off to the Israelis, like a charwoman tasked with menial, filthy work. Let Bibi scream on the sidelines that Israel is not bound by the administration’s absurd agreement, and threaten implicitly to attack Iran. After all, with the Islamic Republic saying it will wipe the Zionist entity off the map, it’s Israel that is most concerned about the Iranian nuclear program. The Saudis and the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council states have reason to be scared, too. OK, sure, the fact that Obama is forsaking America’s 60-year-old patrimony in the Persian Gulf that ensures the stability of the global oil market and thereby the prosperity and security of America and its allies is a matter of some worry, but this is really about Israel and the Saudis. They’re the ones who are coordinating on Iran attack scenarios. Our military can only set the Iranians back a few years. We just want more sanctions.

It’s time to take back the hawkish position, what used to be the mainstream U.S. foreign policy position, and to own it. If negotiations to make Iran comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions and stop enriching uranium come up short, as they almost surely will, Iranian nuclear facilities should be targeted. If all else fails, bomb Iran.

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