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Jeffrey Goldberg on The Colbert Report: Israel Will Strike Iran

Posted on August 26 2010 10:00 am
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Jeffrey Goldberg’s report in The Atlantic that in his discussions with officials, “a consensus emerged that there is a better than 50 percent chance that Israel will launch a strike [on Iran] by next July” has received lots of attention. Tuesday night, Goldberg appeared on “The Colbert Report” to discuss it and he stated definitively that Israel will bomb Iran to prevent it from getting nuclear weapons.

Goldberg endorsed Obama’s strategy of sanctions and engagement with Iran to try to get them to give up nuclear weapons. Don’t get me wrong, a nuclear-armed Iran frightens the daylights out of me. But, there is more to the threat than nuclear weapons. It is the regime itself. Iran could decide against building nukes and allow full access to its nuclear sites and it wouldn’t much change the need to replace the regime.

Watch Goldberg’s interview after the jump:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Jeffrey Goldberg
Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election Fox News

The Iranian regime believes that we are living in the End Times and that during the final war against Islam’s enemies, the Hidden 12th Imam will come to bring victory. Deterrence doesn’t work against any enemy who believes God is going to rescue him. As I previously wrote, Ayatollah Khamenei is reportedly telling his inner circle that he’s actually met with the Hidden Imam, who promised to appear before Khamenei’s time as Supreme Leader ends.

The ideology of the Iranian regime and the actions in support of that ideology (such as waging proxy wars via Hezbollah, Hamas, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and the Houthi rebels in Yemen) means the regime, not its policy on nuclear weapons, is the problem we must tackle. The nuclear program only magnifies the threat.

And one more point: What sort of Iranian concession will the Obama administration accept? Are they focused only on stopping the construction of a nuclear weapon? What if Iran builds a massive infrastructure to quickly create nuclear weapons but suddenly declares all the sites, allows the inspectors in and perhaps even suspends uranium enrichment—knowing full-well the option still remains to make the bombs on short notice?

This latter scenario may be what we see in the next few years. The U.S. will consider it a “success” as Iran can’t build nuclear weapons. The Israelis will still tremble but may grudgingly accept it (under heavy U.S. pressure), believing that they can immediately strike if Iran kicks out the inspectors before the bomb can actually be constructed. And Khamenei and Ahmadinejad will laugh as they treasure their new nuclear weapon-capable regional hegemon status.

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