Iranian Nukes?

Michael J. Totten interviews Martin Kramer about the prospect of a nuclear Iran. It’s a deep discussion of the entire situation in the Middle East; read it all. Kramer concentrates especially on the division between problems in the Levant (Israel, Lebanon, Syria) and problems in and around the Persian Gulf. The conclusion:

Martin Kramer: It’s absolutely central to the strategy to maintain this division. And the only way to maintain it is for the United States to demonstrate tomorrow that it will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons or to allow Israel to act unilaterally. The Gulf is a zone of American dominance, and the only way to assert that is to do what Carter did with the Carter Doctrine, when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. He said there should be no outside power or local power that is allowed to challenge the United States in the Gulf. And a nuclear Iran clearly crosses that line.

If even Jimmy Carter was compelled to issue a doctrinal statement in the wake of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan about the Persian Gulf, one would think that Barack Obama would see the need to do something similar. Obama should especially feel compelled to do so because there’s a question mark there. He should declare the Persian Gulf a nuclear-free zone. It’s too much to talk about the Middle East as a nuclear-free zone at this time, but the Persian Gulf is nuclear-free now, and it’s time for the United States to come out and say it should remain nuclear-free.


MJT: I have a hard time imaging Obama doing anything of the sort.

Martin Kramer: Yeah. Well.

MJT: But I suppose one never knows.

Martin Kramer: It would be an astonishing lapse if a man who promised to roll back nuclear proliferation watched proliferation develop in one of the least stable parts of the world, a place where the United States has only been able to maintain even a modicum of stability by a massive projection of its own forces. The region is of prime interest to the entire world for its energy resources. If it becomes nuclearized, it will be the one thing for which Barack Obama would always be remembered by history, and he would be remembered by history as a failure.

One thought on “Iranian Nukes?

  1. “and he would be remembered by history as a failure.”

    I suspect any change in that assessment is already behind him.
    I think that telling Israel not to act unilaterally if Iran goes nuclear is wishful thinking. It is akin to telling someone who has just been slapped in the face several times to continue to turn the other cheek. Eventually they will defend themselves against it.
    Israel would have little choice since they are the primary target in Iran’s rhetoric. Do they decide that all of the rhetoric is just that if Iran actually does go nuclear? Tough choice.
    Besides all of that, the US is loosing it’s influence in the area due mostly to the failures in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have not shown that they can control the radicalized elements of Islam and have, in fact, caused a greater radicalization through their “miscalculation” of trying to convince the majority of Iraqis or Afghans that the US’s form of democracy is best for them.
    This government and, unfortunately, many Americans think that the world should embrace our ways within cultures that are vastly different than our own. My hope is that the lesson is learned before it is too late to stop the backlash that is very obviously building against us.
    We need to leave other countries alone to decide their own fate and deal only with them militarily when they attack us directly. The Afghans and Iraqis never did.

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