Should we let Iran go nuclear?

Incredibly, a growing chorus of “experts” says yes.

By Joel C. Rosenberg

Inside the Revolution: How the Followers of Jihad, Jefferson & Jesus Are Battling to Dominate...

U.S. and Israeli experts increasingly believe Iran could have its first nuclear weapon by the end of 2009 or early 2010. President Barack Obama has all but ruled out military force to stop Iran, preferring instead to pursue direct negotiations with Tehran.

Last week, however, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini, dismissed such talk. “Negotiations with whom?” asked Khameini. “With an occupying and bullying regime [Israel], who does not believe in any other principle other than force?....Or negotiations with America and Britain who committed the biggest sin in creating and supporting this cancerous tumor [the Jewish State]?”

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also dismissed his American counterpart’s desire for direct talks, saying they could only happen if the U.S. abandons her “satanic, coercive and aggressive ways.”

Yet even as the leaders of Iran talk about annihilating Israel and the U.S., and feverishly try to build, buy or steal nuclear weapons, a growing chorus of “experts” in the U.S. foreign policy community are actually suggesting a nuclear-armed Iran might not be such a terrible thing.

Barry R. Posen of the MIT Center for International Studies wrote an op-ed for the New York Times on February 27, 2006, entitled, “We Can Live with a Nuclear Iran.”

Journalist Paul Starobin, in a column published in National Journal on May 19, 2006, argued that “Iran’s acquisition of a bomb would probably improve the chances of the U.S. and Iran renewing a dialogue after all these years” because, as one Mideast analyst told him, “they see acquisition of a nuclear weapon as a precondition of having talks with the U.S.” (emphasis added)

Ted Koppel, the former host of ABC’s Nightline, suggested in a 2006 op-ed in the New York Times that the world should allow Iran to get the Bomb. “Washington should instead bow to the inevitable,” he insisted. “If Iran is bound and determined to have nuclear weapons, let it.”

CNN founder Ted Turner went even further. “They [Iran] are a sovereign state—we have 28,000 [nuclear warheads]—why can't they have 10?” he argued in 2006. “They aren’t usable by any sane person.”

In the fall of 2007, former CENTCOM commander John Abizaid said publicly, “There are ways to live with a nuclear Iran. I believe we have the power to deter Iran if they go nuclear,” just as we deterred the Soviet Union and China. “Iran is not a suicidal nation,” he added. “Nuclear deterrence would work with Iran.”

Throughout the 2008 presidential primaries, deterrence and containment were the themes of the Democratic contenders. Then-Senator Barack Obama dismissed the seriousness of the Iranian threat during his campaign, saying it was nothing compared to the threat the Soviet Union posed during the Cold War. Former U.N.

Then-Senator Hillary Clinton was even more explicit during an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America on the morning of the Pennsylvania primaries. She threatened to wipe Iran out after an Iranian nuclear attack, hoping that such strong language would deter the Iranian regime from launching such an attack.

“You said, ‘If Iran were to strike Israel, there would be a massive retaliation,’” noted host Chris Cuomo. “Scary words, Mrs. Clinton. Does ‘massive retaliation’ mean you go into Iran, you would bomb Iran? Is that what that’s supposed to suggest?”

“Well, the question was if Iran were to launch a nuclear attack on Israel, what would our response be?” Clinton replied. “And I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president, we will attack Iran, and I want them to understand that, because it does mean that they have to look very carefully at their society. Because at whatever stage of development they might be in their nuclear weapons program, in the next ten years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them. That’s like a terrible thing to say, but those people who run Iran need to understand that because that perhaps will deter them from doing something that would be reckless, foolish, and tragic.”

Clinton is now the Secretary of State, responsible for orchestrating direct negotiations. But there are two serious flaws in Clinton’s thinking.

First, by offering a reactive rather than a proactive military strategy vis-à-vis Iran, she is allowing for the possibility of another Holocaust. If Iranian leaders acquire nuclear warheads and can attach them to the high-speed ballistic missiles they already have, Ahmadinejad could kill some six million Jews in about six minutes. What good would it then be to say that the U.S. would obliterate Iran after Ahmadinejad or a successor accomplishes another Holocaust?

Second, Clinton and her like-minded colleagues hope their tough talk will deter Iran’s leaders from launching a nuclear attack against Israel. But will it?

Consider events through the lens of Shia eschatology, or End Times theology. Ahmadinejad and his colleagues have publicly stated that the end of the world is near and that the return of the Islamic Messiah known as the “Mahdi” or the “Twelfth Imam” is “imminent.” To bring about the conditions optimal for the Mahdi’s return, Iran’s leaders must – according to Shia scholars – create global chaos and carnage.

As I document in my new non-fiction book, Inside The Revolution, Ahmadinejad believes he has been chosen by Allah to annihilate the U.S. and Israel and export the Islamic Revolution. The only way that is remotely possible, humanly speaking, is for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them against America and Israel. How then could the West successfully deter or contain Iran’s messianic, apocalyptic leaders? If they die, these Radicals believe they are going directly to Paradise. What could we possibly offer them as either carrots or sticks that would keep them from what they see as their God-given duty when their failure to obey could be, in their minds, disobedience punishable by an eternity in the fires of hell?

Yet many in Washington do not see the problem. Vice President Joe Biden, for example, said during the campaign, “My concern is not that a nuclear Iran some day would be moved by messianic fervor to use a nuclear weapon as an Armageddon device and commit national suicide in order to hasten the return of the Hidden Imam. My worry is that the fear of a nuclear Iran could spark an arms race in the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, and others joining in.”

A nuclear arms race is certainly a very real concern. But based on the evidence, why would Biden be so quick to dismiss the messianic fervor of Iran’s leadership? Ahmadinejad, after all, is not just another power-hungry dictator in the mold of the Soviet or Chinese leaders of yore. Neither is Khamenei. They are not Communists. They are not atheists. They do not believe that this world is all there is. They are devout Shia Islamic extremists. They believe they are Shia “John the Baptists,” forerunners of the soon-coming Islamic messiah. They believe their life mission is to kill millions of Jews and Christians and usher in an Islamic caliphate. If they die, they are convinced they know where they are going.

But they do not really believe they are going to die—not at the hand of the infidels, at any rate. They believe instead that they have been chosen for a divine appointment and that nothing can stop them. That is what makes them so dangerous. Unfortunately, too many Washington politicians—Obama, Clinton, and Biden included—do not yet understand this.

To misunderstand the nature and threat of evil is to risk being blindsided by it. To misunderstand the nature and threat of Iran’s End Times theology could be the prelude to genocide. Dare we be blindsided?

-----------------------

Joel C. Rosenberg is the New York Times best-selling author of books about the Middle East such as Epicenter and The Last Jihad. This article is adapted from his new non-fiction book, Inside The Revolution (Tyndale House Publishers), releasing Tuesday, March 10, 2009.

Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.


It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.