Group Writing: My Crazy Plan to Deal With Iran

 

I’m not saying we’re there now, but we could soon find ourselves in a situation where some kind of military action starts to look like the only possibility to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. If we get to that point, assuming that we’ve not yet reached the point where they have a deployable nuclear missile, I’m suggesting a plan that is a little off the beaten path … a little outside the box. Okay, I’m tearing up the box, setting it on fire, and dancing around it naked in a forest clearing with the rest of the coven.

First, some context. Iran is unique in several ways that I think makes it possible to use tactics that would be a horrible mistake in any other part of the Middle East.

To start with, while most of the Muslim world, including almost the entire remaining Middle East, is Sunni, Iran is Shia, and Sunni and Shia hate each other almost as much as they hate us. An attack on Iran would not be seen in the same way, or produce the same reaction, as a similar attack on, for example, Saudi Arabia.

Iran is Persian while most of the rest are Arab, and Arabs and Persians hate each other almost as much as they hate us. This would reinforce the dynamic produced by the Sunni/Shia split.

The rest of the Middle East is far from sanguine about the prospect of Iran becoming a nuclear power. Several of them already see themselves as being in the position where if the Iranians get the bomb, that they either nuke up or knuckle under. Given that they paid for Pakistan’s development, Saudi Arabia will have it immediately.

Finally, and most importantly, there is a completely different population dynamic in Iran than exists in any other Middle Eastern country. In the typical state, you have an overwhelming population of fundamentalist, terrorist-sympathizing crazies restrained by a government that is some degree less fFundamentalist, less terrorist-sympathizing, and less crazy. Iran is the opposite; a relatively secular, relatively pro-Western population with a fundamentalist, terror-supporting crazy government.

It isn’t even really the government, it’s the Mullah-based uber-government that sits above the government, deciding what laws can be passed, who can stand for office, and all the strategic policy for the state. Without the Mullahs, in a comparison with the rest of the Middle East, it would come across as a relative bright spot.

So, my idea is simple: kill the Mullahs. You know … all of them.

I don’t know the state of our intelligence in Iran, but these guys have to get together at some point: The Monthly Mullah Meeting; The Annual Mullah Performance Review; The Semi-Annual Mullah Pancake Breakfast … something. If you can get them all together, then it’s one and done. One bomb, that is.

If you can’t get them together, then get them apart, in a time-on-target salvo, so that no one has a chance to go to ground. The government would remain intact and completely functional, so there is no worry about nation-building. All the infrastructure would be similarly intact, because you’re just trying to kill about a dozen guys.

It may or may not also be advantageous to destroy some portion of the Iranian military to demonstrate how easy it would be to destroy the rest. Sink everything floating in the Persian Gulf, for example.

And that’s it. We’re done. The only thing left to do at that point is to tell them:

  • We’re done. We have no intention of taking further action. We have no ill will towards the Iranian people, which is why we chose an option with the lowest possible collateral damage. We only attacked the Mullahs, the ones who took our people hostage, who declared war against us, a declaration that has never been rescinded, and who have committed numerous acts of war against in the years since.
  • We will take an extremely dim view towards any attempt by anyone to set themselves up as new Mullahs.
  • We will take a similarly dim view towards any attempt by the military to take control.
  • We call for elections at the earliest opportunity, in which anyone who chooses to do so may run for office.

One obvious potential downside is that they retaliate through their various proxies but given that I stipulated at the start that we’ve reached the point of a military response, that worry would apply to any plan. And I would argue that the nature of this one might actually be less likely to produce that kind of retaliation.

Most of the remaining potential downside would tend to fall into the category of “they’re already crazy, so how much worse can it get?” The last way that Iran is unique is that it’s harder to make things worse than it would be for other states where the government is keeping a lid on a crazy population.

The potential upsides depend on asking what the Iranian people care about. Do the people want to support terrorist operations in other countries? Do they want to provide massive amounts of aid to Hezbollah in Lebanon? Do they want to ship men and material to Syria? Do the people even care about having a nuclear weapon, or do they want jobs and reasonable prices when they go to the grocery store? If we could put the power into the hands of the people, it would be hard to imagine them not being less crazy than the guys running the place now.

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  1. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    American Abroad (View Comment):

    I enjoyed reading this, Judge Mental. I would certainly shed no tears for the clerics, but assassination might be extreme and unnecessary. I would suggest that we infiltrate Iran with a Donald Trump like Manchurian Candidate with the slogan “Make Iran Persia Again.” If we had the Shah or Cyrus the Great back, Iran wouldn’t be such a problem.

    MIPA!!

    • #31
  2. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I think I’m enjoying the exchanges between you and @arahant as much as the post, @judgemental! All are very creative. Thanks!

    We were going to take the act on the road, but neither of us like to go outside.

    • #32
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Judge Mental (View Comment):
    We were going to take the act on the road, but neither of us like to go outside.

    hahahahaha! Perfect! Thanks for the smile.

    • #33
  4. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I think I’m enjoying the exchanges between you and @arahant as much as the post, @judgemental! All are very creative. Thanks!

    We were going to take the act on the road, but neither of us like to go outside.

    How’s the booking in Tehran going?

    • #34
  5. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I think I’m enjoying the exchanges between you and @arahant as much as the post, @judgemental! All are very creative. Thanks!

    We were going to take the act on the road, but neither of us like to go outside.

    How’s the booking in Tehran going?

    I expect to be welcomed as a visionary.

    • #35
  6. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Judge Mental: Do the people even care about having a nuclear weapon, or do they want jobs and reasonable prices when they go to the grocery?

    With @zafar‘s onion theory and Erdogan’s winning in Turkey nonetheless, maybe the Iranians aren’t so interested in groceries. My theory on Iran is that we really don’t know very much about Iran.

    • #36
  7. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Judge Mental (View Comment):
    We were going to take the act on the road, but neither of us like to go outside.

    That and it doesn’t suit the hours we keep.

    • #37
  8. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Hang On (View Comment):
    My theory on Iran is that we really don’t know very much about Iran.

    That’s not a bad theory as a working theory. There are always unexpected connections among people.

    • #38
  9. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    The Shi’a idea of an imam is very different that the Sunni version. There have only been twelve imams according to the Shi’a Twelvers, who run Iran. The Twelfth is in hiding and will reveal himself at the end times.

    But your point was referring more to the Ayatollahs and Grand Ayatollahs, which I linked to their lists in my earlier comment.

    Fine, we’ll put you in charge of killing the right guys.

    I’m for killing every Imam, Dick and Harry. 

    • #39
  10. They call me PJ Boy or they ca… Inactive
    They call me PJ Boy or they ca…
    @SimonTemplar

    American Abroad (View Comment):
    Chile was better off without Allende.

    Took the words right out of my mouth!

    • #40
  11. Nanda Pajama-Tantrum Member
    Nanda Pajama-Tantrum
    @

    Does anyone recall the parody of the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann” (referencing Iran) that got a member of a previous administration’s staff in hot water?  I think its time has come…

    • #41
  12. JudithannCampbell Inactive
    JudithannCampbell
    @JudithannCampbell

    Nanda Pajama-Tantrum (View Comment):

    Does anyone recall the parody of the Beach Boys’ “Barbera Ann” (referencing Iran) that got a member of a previous administration’s staff in hot water? I think its time has come…

    “Bomb Iran” came out while I was in 3rd grade? I think? We would go around singing it, totally unaware of “Barbara Ann”: our parents tried to explain to us, with limited success :)

    • #42
  13. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    • #43
  14. Israel P. Inactive
    Israel P.
    @IsraelP

    Would you have the US outsource any of this targeted killing to another country? Frankly I hope not.

    But I fear they might ask and this “other country” just might agree.

     

    • #44
  15. Nanda Pajama-Tantrum Member
    Nanda Pajama-Tantrum
    @

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):

    Thanks, MLR…I wasn’t at my PC, so couldn’t link this…

    • #45
  16. Hypatia Inactive
    Hypatia
    @Hypatia

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    The Shi’a idea of an imam is very different that the Sunni version. There have only been twelve imams according to the Shi’a Twelvers, who run Iran. The Twelfth is in hiding and will reveal himself at the end times.

    But your point was referring more to the Ayatollahs and Grand Ayatollahs, which I linked to their lists in my earlier comment.

    Fine, we’ll put you in charge of killing the right guys.

    Yuh, right!  as the Pope famously said during the Albigensian crusade, “Kill’em all, Heaven will sort them out.”

    • #46
  17. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Hypatia (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    The Shi’a idea of an imam is very different that the Sunni version. There have only been twelve imams according to the Shi’a Twelvers, who run Iran. The Twelfth is in hiding and will reveal himself at the end times.

    But your point was referring more to the Ayatollahs and Grand Ayatollahs, which I linked to their lists in my earlier comment.

    Fine, we’ll put you in charge of killing the right guys.

    Yuh, right! as the Pope famously said during the Albigensian crusade, “Kill’em all, Heaven will sort them out.”

    That Francis is finally hitting his stride. ;) 

    • #47
  18. They call me PJ Boy or they ca… Inactive
    They call me PJ Boy or they ca…
    @SimonTemplar

    TBA (View Comment):
    The Shi’a idea of an imam is very different that the Sunni version. There have only been twelve imams according to the Shi’a Twelvers, who run Iran. The Twelfth is in hiding and will reveal himself at the end times.

    Which is why the Shi’a version is scarier.

    • #48
  19. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    They call me PJ Boy or they ca… (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):
    The Shi’a idea of an imam is very different that the Sunni version. There have only been twelve imams according to the Shi’a Twelvers, who run Iran. The Twelfth is in hiding and will reveal himself at the end times.

    Which is why the Shi’a version is scarier.

    A point of order; the comment was Ara’s, not mine. 

    • #49
  20. Nanda Pajama-Tantrum Member
    Nanda Pajama-Tantrum
    @

    R>’s been making attributive mistakes, lately…Curiouser and curiouser, eh, TBA? (Bug Reports time, yes?)

    • #50
  21. Matt Balzer Member
    Matt Balzer
    @MattBalzer

    TBA (View Comment):
    R>’s been making attributive mistakes, lately…Curiouser and curiouser, eh, TBA? (Bug Reports time, yes?)

    It could be the commenter; if you select text in one comment and then ‘quote’ from someone else’s it’ll use the latter person as the name.

     

    • #51
  22. They call me PJ Boy or they ca… Inactive
    They call me PJ Boy or they ca…
    @SimonTemplar

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):
    R>’s been making attributive mistakes, lately…Curiouser and curiouser, eh, TBA? (Bug Reports time, yes?)

    It could be the commenter; if you select text in one comment and then ‘quote’ from someone else’s it’ll use the latter person as the name.

    Never bet your life (or soul for that matter) on my computer skills.

    • #52
  23. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Nanda Pajama-Tantrum (View Comment):
    A point of order; the comment was Ara’s, not mine. 

    Known bug. If you highlight text to be quoted, and then click on quote from someone else’s comment, it will attribute the quote to the individual who had the comment where the Quote button was.

    • #53
  24. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):
    R>’s been making attributive mistakes, lately…Curiouser and curiouser, eh, TBA? (Bug Reports time, yes?)

    It could be the commenter; if you select text in one comment and then ‘quote’ from someone else’s it’ll use the latter person as the name.

    I like how you work, Balzer.

    • #54
  25. Nanda Pajama-Tantrum Member
    Nanda Pajama-Tantrum
    @

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):
    R>’s been making attributive mistakes, lately…Curiouser and curiouser, eh, TBA? (Bug Reports time, yes?)

    It could be the commenter; if you select text in one comment and then ‘quote’ from someone else’s it’ll use the latter person as the name.

    I like how you work, Balzer.

    Yeah, yeah, AI meets R>; R> likes some of us more than others…I knew it!

    • #55
  26. Matt Balzer Member
    Matt Balzer
    @MattBalzer

    Nanda Pajama-Tantrum (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):
    R>’s been making attributive mistakes, lately…Curiouser and curiouser, eh, TBA? (Bug Reports time, yes?)

    It could be the commenter; if you select text in one comment and then ‘quote’ from someone else’s it’ll use the latter person as the name.

    I like how you work, Balzer.

    Yeah, yeah, AI meets R>; R> likes some of us more than others…I knew it!

    Well, that or, like me, you start quoting something, get distracted, and then forget what you were already responding to.

    • #56
  27. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):

    Nanda Pajama-Tantrum (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):
    R>’s been making attributive mistakes, lately…Curiouser and curiouser, eh, TBA? (Bug Reports time, yes?)

    It could be the commenter; if you select text in one comment and then ‘quote’ from someone else’s it’ll use the latter person as the name.

    I like how you work, Balzer.

    Yeah, yeah, AI meets R>; R> likes some of us more than others…I knew it!

    Well, that or, like me, you start quoting something, get distracted, and then forget what you were already responding to.

    Or two comments in a row.  You quote someone for the first one, and the lack of page reload means the highlighting is still there with you click ‘quote’ on someone else’s comment.

    • #57
  28. They call me PJ Boy or they ca… Inactive
    They call me PJ Boy or they ca…
    @SimonTemplar

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):

    Nanda Pajama-Tantrum (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):
    R>’s been making attributive mistakes, lately…Curiouser and curiouser, eh, TBA? (Bug Reports time, yes?)

    It could be the commenter; if you select text in one comment and then ‘quote’ from someone else’s it’ll use the latter person as the name.

    I like how you work, Balzer.

    Yeah, yeah, AI meets R>; R> likes some of us more than others…I knew it!

    Well, that or, like me, you start quoting something, get distracted, and then forget what you were already responding to.

    Dude, ever try posting while blind drunk?  It’s the best!

    • #58
  29. JudithannCampbell Inactive
    JudithannCampbell
    @JudithannCampbell

    They call me PJ Boy or they ca… (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):

    Nanda Pajama-Tantrum (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):
    R>’s been making attributive mistakes, lately…Curiouser and curiouser, eh, TBA? (Bug Reports time, yes?)

    It could be the commenter; if you select text in one comment and then ‘quote’ from someone else’s it’ll use the latter person as the name.

    I like how you work, Balzer.

    Yeah, yeah, AI meets R>; R> likes some of us more than others…I knew it!

    Well, that or, like me, you start quoting something, get distracted, and then forget what you were already responding to.

    Dude, ever try posting while blind drunk? It’s the best!

    lol :)

    • #59
  30. Nanda Pajama-Tantrum Member
    Nanda Pajama-Tantrum
    @

    They call me PJ Boy or they ca… (View Comment):
    Dude, ever try posting while blind drunk? It’s the best!

    Of course, you only know about this phenomenon through hearsay, Sñr. Caballero, yes? :-) 

    • #60
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