HOW LIKELY IS A MILITARY STRIKE AGAINST IRAN?….I was up in Los Angeles today, and along with a dozen other bloggers I spent about an hour chatting with Wes Clark, who was in town for a political rally. Clark had some provocative things to say about Iran and its nuclear program, especially in light of today’s news that the IAEA has reported Iran to the UN Security Council because of concerns that they’re developing nuclear weapons.
Here’s what he said. Contrary to conventional wisdom, which suggests that Iran’s research sites are too widespread to be destroyed via bombing, Clark believes that a military strike on Iran could wipe out its nuclear program very effectively indeed. He figures that a 14-day bombing campaign plus a few special-ops missions ? which he described in some detail ? would pretty much put them out of business. What’s more, he also seems to believe that an operation like this is very much under active consideration within the White House and the Pentagon.
I have no idea what his sources are for this, of course, so take it for what it’s worth. However, it does suggest that Democrats ought to figure out now what they think about Iran. After all, we’ve got the Ken Pollack book, we’ve got the referral to the Security Council, we’ve got the slam dunk intelligence, and we’ve got the lunatic leader screaming insults at the United States. Remember what happened the last time all the stars aligned like that?
So: What would be the Democratic response if (a) Bush asked for an authorization of force against Iran or (b) simply launched an assault without asking Congress? The chances of this coming up as an issue this year are strong enough that it would be foolish not to be prepared to deal with it.
UPDATE: Apparently some commenters are reading more into this than is there. For the record: Clark didn’t say he thought a military strike against Iran was a good idea. He just said it was entirely feasible and that the White House considers it a serious option.