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Strange Daily News editorial calls for tracking of everyone in US and war with Iran

Prisonplanet.com | August 30 2006

A very strange editorial appears today in the New York Daily News. Entitled To stop terror, track everyone in U.S. - Be Our Guest, the piece has nothing to do with terrorism in the US or surveillance as the title suggests, but instead calls for a preemptive attack on Iran.

Clearly this is a feeble and bizarre attempt to associate Iran's enrichment program with the war on terror and the "necessary" surveillance of US citizens.

The piece states:

Let's stop kidding ourselves. Iran must be stopped immediately from acquiring atomic arms, and this can only be accomplished through what international law calls "anticipatory self-defense."

Yes, it's true that, given the terrible mess in Iraq, many are queasy about such terms. But we must not shy away from tomorrow's threat because of mistakes we may have made yesterday.

Below is the full editorial:

To stop terror, track everyone in U.S.
Be Our Guest

New York Daily News / ROBERT BAER | August 30 2006

From the start, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been perfectly clear about one thing: He has absolutely no plans to comply with international law and stop the rush to arm his country with nuclear weapons. The UN Security Council has given Iran until Thursday - tomorrow - to suspend uranium enrichment. Completely ignoring this mandate at every turn, Ahmadinejad's latest response has been to call for a debate with President Bush on world affairs.

The silliness of that offer is trumped only by the weakness, to date, of the United Nations' reaction. The toughest proposal before the UN is to force serious sanctions upon Iran. But anyone who understands the Iranian regime knows that sanctions will have no real effect on the pace of Iranian nuclearization. Sanctions won't work on this oil-rich nation that obviously has no need for peaceful nuclear energy and that still displays an all-consuming drive to acquire nuclear weapons.

This leads to an unavoidable conclusion: if Iran stalls instead of dealing - and all indications are that this is exactly what they are going to do - the world is wasting time with anything short of a military strike aimed at Iran's growing nuclear infrastructure.

Otherwise, we will be complicit in welcoming Ahmadinejad's regime into the nuclear club. Exactly how soon that will happen, no one knows - but no one who cares about the region's security should be content to wait and find out.

Why? Because a nuclear Iran would pose a genuinely apocalyptic hazard to the world. In Washington today, it is fashionable to pay this notion lip service - but few people seem to genuinely believe it.

Deterrence worked during the Cold War because both the United States and the Soviet Union were governed by common assumptions of rationality. Iran, to the contrary, flatly calls for "wiping Israel off the map" - a call that itself is a violation of the Genocide Convention of 1948. Given Iran's recent actions - arming Hezbollah and fomenting sectarian murder in Iraq - we can only imagine how they would throw their weight around the region with a nuclear weapon in their arsenal.

Let's stop kidding ourselves. Iran must be stopped immediately from acquiring atomic arms, and this can only be accomplished through what international law calls "anticipatory self-defense."

Yes, it's true that, given the terrible mess in Iraq, many are queasy about such terms. But we must not shy away from tomorrow's threat because of mistakes we may have made yesterday.

I acknowledge that even the most successful act of military preemption against Iran would result in large numbers of civilian casualties (because of the deliberate Iranian policy of placing military assets in the midst of civilian populations). But further postponements will only multiply the number of casualties from any future preemption, or - in the worst-case scenario - even permit Iran to become fully nuclear. In that eventuality, a vast region could then face the prospect of literally millions of fatalities.

In the best-of-all-possible worlds, diplomacy could be taken seriously, and discussions of military solutions would be premature. But we don't live in such a world. All available options are going to be costly. Putting our heads in the sand will only make us blind as well as dead.

Beres is professor of political science at Purdue University and is chair of Project Daniel, a group advising Israel's prime minister on nuclear matters.

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