Let me expand on my thoughts on last night's State of the Union speech on go from there.
First, I was suprised by Bush's mention of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, especially the latter. Democracy is dangerous for the Islamic kingdom, because you may very well have the equivalent of Osama bin Laden as Prime Minister. Soon after that you'll have oil prices in triple digits. The radical Islamicists only have another decade or so to use the "oil weapon" effectively. By 2020, the United States and the rest of the world, will, hopefully, be coverting the economy from oil-based to hydrogen-based. The conversion will take multiple decades. I would personally like to see some sort of democratic Saudi Arabia where the royal family, or some segment of it, retains power. Far from ideal, I know. Despite Saudi support for terrorism, and their atrocious treatment of their own people, today's government is better than what might happen. The fear is that Al-Queda might topple the regime. The question is, what would be left of the world economy at the point?
I wasn't really surprised with what Bush said about Iran. I mean, he had to say that. My very first thought was - that's all??? To be honest, I've been disappointed with the White House on the Iranian issue. Never mind when I hear the administration seeming confident about diplomacy resolving the nulcear issue. I mean, how many times does Iran need to say that they aren't giving up their nukes? And it's bordering on idiocy to think that you can get Iran to give it all up. If we are going diplomatic with Iran, then why not with bin Laden? Or Zarqawi?
I suppose there may be a justified fear that if we push the mullahs too hard too fast, they may do something rash like invade Iraq and slaughter thousands of American troops. I fully expect Iran to go all-out before their end comes. They saw what happened to Saddam. Saddam's only chance was WMD attacks on coalition forces before the war started or in the first few days. But for some reason that is still difficult to understand, he sent all the nasty stuff to Syria.
But one thing that was highly accurate and very good to hear was Bush saying that Iran is the #1 terrorist state. Syria is Iran's subsidary, in effect.
DoctorZin, as far as the hope that Europe would sever in fairly quick order most/all commerical contacts with Iran is very doubtful in my opinion. Consider that Europe gets a lot of oil from Iran. China gets even more. China would never go along with any UN action, and would stop it, thanks to their veto power. Any interruption in the Iranian oil supply would have drastic effects on their economy. We could single-handedly destroy China's economy, but I'll save that for another time. Hint: think Cuba.
The most effective thing we can do is to place an oil embargo around Iran. John Loftus says the regime would collapse within 3 weeks. 3 weeks or not, the regime can't stay afloat for long without their oil revenues. I'm hoping that's one of the main purposes of Rice's and Bush's trips to Europe. The embargo can't work without Europe (the UN will never approve it), and if Europe says no, then it's probably mid-2005 by then. Israel will be living in terror. It's widely believed that by the end of 2005, Iran will be very close to a nuclear weapon, if they've don't have one by then.
The White House gives the impression that they don't think that this is a critical, time-sensitive issue. We can't keep waiting. This isn't Ukraine. And American troops can't leave Iraq until Iran and Syria are neutralized.
Regime change in 16 months or so is terrifying. We can't wait that long.
The very best option is the oil embargo. The only problem is that Euros probably won't sign on to the plan. And call me cynical if you wish, but I bet most, if not all, of the companies that were doing business with Iran and are now, or will, pull out of Iran, aren't doing so because they feel guilty about the human rights abuses going in in that country. They are doing it, I think, to perserve future profitable opportunities. It's doesn't look good to be doing business with Iran. It may very well be an afteraffect of the Oil-for-Food scandal, even though this situation is completely different.
We can wait for democracy, like Ukraine. But when we are dealing with hostile regimes, waiting too long can be very costly. Take Hitler's Germany, for instance. The horrors of World War II did NOT have to happen.
Nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists is unacceptable.
Whatever it takes.