Thomas Sowell writing in National Review.
Members of the Obama administration have been pointing out how hard it would be to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities, now that they have been built deep underground and dispersed.
That would have been something to consider during the time when President Obama was taking leisurely and half-hearted measures to create the appearance of trying to stop the Iranian nuclear program, while vigorously warning Israel not to take military action.
Time was never on our side. The risks go up exponentially the longer we wait. When the Iranian nuclear program was just getting started, it could have been destroyed before it became so big, so dispersed, and so deeply dug in underground. Now, if we wait till they actually have nuclear bombs, the same kinds of arguments for inaction will carry even more weight, when the price of an attack on Iran could be the start of a nuclear Holocaust.
Nor should we assume that we can remain safe by throwing Israel to the wolves, once the election is over, as might well happen if Obama is reelected and no longer has any political reasons to pretend to be Israel’s friend.
That kind of cynical miscalculation was made by France back in 1938, when it threw its ally, Czechoslovakia, to the wolves by refusing to defend it against Hitler’s demands, despite the mutual defense treaty between the two countries. Less than two years later, Hitler’s armies were invading France — using, among other things, tanks manufactured in Czechoslovakia.
This was just one of the expedient miscalculations that helped bring on the bloodiest and most destructive war the world has ever known. Dare we repeat such miscalculations in a nuclear age?
At the end of the Second World War, Winston Churchill said, “There never was in all history a war easier to prevent by timely action than the one which has just desolated such great areas of the globe.” It might even have been prevented “without the firing of a single shot,” Churchill said.
Those who do not learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.