One Question Among Many, Re: Is Ahmadinejad a Real Threat?, International Herald Tribune/New York Times, October 24, 2010

One of the many questions related to foreign policy that American voters have to ask themselves heading into next week’s mid-term elections is ‘what will we do when Iran attacks us militarily’? To be even more explicit, voters should ask themselves ‘what will we do when Iran bombs one of our bases or attacks one of our ships or shoots down one of our planes or blows up a building full of our citizens’? Notice the use of the word when… it’s not a question of if something like that will happen on President Obama’s watch, it’s a question of when.

Lunatics and atavists though they are, Iran’s leaders have taken the measure of the man and concluded that they would be virtually immune from real retaliation no matter what they did. Since their hatred and disgust for America is palpable, it is after all the Great Satan, and since they have been emminently successful in manipulating Obama to their advantage since he took office, there is every reason to expect that they will up the ante, manufacture some pretext and attack something American somewhere on the planet, size and scope to be determined. In the last two years they have become more and more emboldened every day and an attack is nothing more than the logical next step for them.

So what will America’s response be? Remember, we’re not talking about Iran attacking one of our allies or setting up proxy armies and regimes in the Middle East or relentlessly pursuing nuclear weapons or funding anti-American activities throughout the world (including in the United States itself) or carrying out any number of other activities which directly threaten our national security, all of which are bad enough and all of which voters should be asking serious questions about as well…we’re talking about the direct shedding of American blood and treasure by Iran’s military. What then?

Over to you Mr. President.

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