Thursday, February 02, 2006

Lellouche and Guetta on Iran

Fascinating exchanges on France Inter this morning. Pierre Lellouche talked about Iran becoming a sanctuary, protected behind nuclear weapons, for radical islamism. Bernard Guetta focused more on the threat to Shi'a Iran from radical Sunni movements and thought that Iran might be bluffing anyway.

(Transcript:  La drôle de crise iranienne .

Pierre Lellouche - député UMP de PAris, secrétaire national de l'UMP chargé de la Défense et Président de l'assemblée parlementaire de l'OTAN. Pierre Lellouche, Illusions gauloises,  Grasset (25 janvier 2006). Interview this morning on podcast. followed by discussion. )

Here is a  link to another key article: Prepare yourself for the Unthinkable: War Against Iran May be a Necessity, January 26, 2006, The Times, Gerard Baker.  Some extracts:
Confronted with nightmarish perils we instinctively choose to seize the opportunity to blame each other [...] but it is important for all of us to understand that this debate is now for the birds. All that matters now is what we do.
Those who say war is unthinkable are right. Military strikes, even limited, targeted and accurate ones, will have devastating consequences for the region and for the world. [...]  A war, even a limited one, will almost certainly raise oil prices to recession-inducing levels, as Iran cuts itself off from global markets. The loss of Iranian supply and the already stretched nature of production in the Arab world and elsewhere means prices of $150 per barrel are easily imaginable.
All fearfully powerful arguments against the use of the military option. But multiplied together, squared, and then cubed, the weight of these arguments does not come close to matching the case for us to stop, by whatever means may be necessary, Iran from becoming a nuclear power.
Something short of military action may yet prevail on Iran. [...] But we can’t count on this optimistic scenario now. And so we must ready ourselves for what may be the unthinkable necessity.

Because in the end, preparation for war, by which I mean not military feasibility planning, or political and diplomatic manoeuvres but a psychological readiness, a personal willingness on all our parts to bear the terrible burdens that it will surely impose, may be our last real chance to ensure that we can avoid one.


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