The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Iran’s Last Chance

The Bush administration has done right in its efforts to correct the diplomatic crisis with Iran, exhausting most non-violent options through our allies, the United Nations (U.N.), and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA.) However, in spite of these positive actions, two questions still remain: what is the bottom line, and what are the consequences for not meeting it?

Thus far Iran, has been two-sided. First accepting a deal to enrich limited amounts of uranium on Russian soil. Then rejecting it, and recently accepting it once again (with no guarantee it will be carried out). Their President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an Islamic extremist favored by the country’s ruling mullahs, is as foolishly belligerent in the diplomatic setting as was Adolf Hitler pre-World War II. Openly defiant in his quest to push Iran’s nuclear program to its furthest possible reaches, he regularly denies that the Holocaust ever occurred, and has on more than one occasion called for the complete destruction of the state of Israel. Ahmadinejad has also threatened that if the U.S. attempts any hostile action toward Iran, he will send over 50,000 armed-and-ready suicide bombers (who are supposedly amassed on the Iraq border) into Iraq and Israel to carry out attacks. It is also a known fact within our military apparatus in Iraq and at the Pentagon that Iran is supporting insurgent attacks in the country as well.

In a situation such as this, the bottom line objective must be that Iran fully cease all military operations in Iraq, and most importantly, halt their nuclear program. Our top military officials predict that Iran could have nuclear weapons within the next few years, and that as time goes on, their development facilities will be moved further underground, therefore becoming immune to any air-strikes.

This must not be tolerated by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union (E.U.) or the U.N. Surprisingly, the E.U. particularly France and Germany, has allied with the U.S. in its attitude toward Iran. The U.S. and its Western allies should seriously consider invading Iran with a powerful military force with the goal of simply forcing the current Tehran administration into accepting our diplomatic terms.

The U.S. military is also uniquely positioned to carry out successful strikes against Iran, since the U.S. now has major bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, both of which border Iran. Another positive is that we are conducting operations in Iraq with only half of the military man-power the U.S. went into the first Gulf War with (the first war involved over 500,000 U.S. troops, compared to a little over 200,000 now). Despite those critics who claim that the U.S. military has been “depleted” the reverse is actually true. We have resisted the temptation to send a massive amount of troops into Iraq. This is part of the Pentagon’s new vision for the army: a light force which can carry out operations around the world, if needed, in a short amount of time. It would be costly, but we could certainly strike Iran without any major problems.

The mission this time would be much simpler than the situation with Iraq, and would result in a very low amount of casualties for coalition troops; no attempts to spread freedom and democracy through regime change, just a blitzkrieg-style operation designed to knock out as much of the Iranian military infrastructure as possible until our terms are accepted. This would be close in nature to the first Gulf War.

Understandably, the military option, may not look desirable to the majority right now, but there is no denying that Iran is the greatest threat to the U.S. and indeed the world today. The alternative is a nuclear-armed Iran, led by a regime that actively promotes the destruction of the U.S., Israel, and all its cooperatives. In a post-Sept. 11 world, such a scenario cannot be tolerated.

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