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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Time for Choosing: Middle East policy from the pro-defense libertarian viewpoint

By Kevin Bjornson, Libertarian Defense Caucus

Previously I have suggested that Israel depose the Syrian regime (but not nation-build a new one), on the way to retrieving Saddam's WMD in Bekaa, thence to attacking Hezb (in S. Lebanon) from their North (a less protected direction) while blocking escape routes through Beirut. The logic was, sooner or later Israel would have to attack Iran over the nuclear issue, Iran would retaliate through it's proxies in Syria and S. Lebanon, so those should be neutralized beforehand.

Recent developments have rendered my previous advice obsolete. Now that Muslim factions are fighting each other in Syria, neither Israel nor the US nor NATO should intervene. When enemies fight each other, best to stay out of the way. Also, Gaza has emerged as a more serious threat, so should be neutralized prior to deposing the Iran regime.

Humanistic liberals are a small faction of the Muslim world, almost non-existent. Certainly they have no political influence. Bringing democracy to an enraged ignorant belligerent mob does not bring improvement.

Ghadaffi should not have been overthrown. He was reforming, paid reparations for his past terrorism, gave up his WMD, stopped his nuclear program and allowed inspectors in.

As people approach the good, they should be rewarded for their improvements, instead of being punished for their continuously-diminishing shortcomings. Now, terrorists roam Libya freely, seizing weapons and assassinating US diplomats.

In Egypt, the transition to mob rule occurred democratically, but the end result is similar. The new Egyptian rulers have indirectly repudiated the peace treaty with Israel, and are playing a deception game in order to receive desperately needed foreign aid.

Generally foreign aid should be stopped, especially to enemies. Israel would be within it's rights to re-take Sinai, and at some point this may have to be done. If Egypt attacks Israel, the high Aswan Dam could easily be taken out with a single bunker-busting missile. That should keep them busy, while Israel re-takes Sinai.

To prevent Syria's WMD from falling into the hands of Al Qaeda, perhaps the stockpiles should be destroyed from the air. The situation should be monitored closely and a decision to intervene should take current facts into account.

Still the problem of Iran building nukes remains. Suppose that by some miracle, Israel gets big enough bunker busters and large enough aircraft to deliver them. Further suppose that Iran's nuclear facilities were destroyed 100%. Still, so long as the regime and it's nationalized oil infrastructure remain, they will simply rebuild and in more secure facilities.

Now suppose that the attack only partially destroyed Iran's nuclear facilities and set back their program by a few years. Further suppose that Iran no longer received money from nationalized oil. In this case, the regime would quickly fall. Likely a new government would be less threatening, but even if they had the worst intentions they would still lack the means to carry them out. Because the nuclear program is very expensive, and so is maintaining a regime.

The Iran regime could quickly be disabled by a simple attack on their oil export facilities. After all, the purpose of the (leaking) sanctions is to prevent Iran from selling oil. However Obama has granted so many exemptions, Iran is still able to sell, albeit at reduced levels with increased costs. This is enough to hurt the regime, but has not affected their production of the fissionable materials. The objective of the sanctions could easily and completely be achieved, by a few missiles directed at their oil terminals, which cannot be buried beyond reach of existing bunker-busting bombs.

If Iran escalates by sending chemical/biological tipped missiles, Israel should retaliate with nuclear bursts at high altitude, which would disable Iran's electrical power grid. This would prevent them from building anything beyond 19th century technology.

Survival of Israel and western civilization is at stake. Two decisions need to be made. First, is civilization worth saving; and second, does the US or Israel have the guts to do what needs to be done to prevent a new Dark Age.

Kevin Bjornson is a member of the Libertarian Party of Washington State. He is an original Libertarian who attended the very first Libertarian Convention in Denver in 1972 that nominated the Dr. John Hospers/Toni Nathan presidential ticket.