We stand at the dawn of history, you and I.
Well, not exactly dawn. Not if we want to be completely honest. It's just after noon, mountain standard time, here in Utah. That doesn't change the fact that what happened five minutes back (sausage, eggs, toast, and coffee, if you must know) is immutable fact and unchangeable as far as it is in our power to change anything.
One of the ongoing crises taking up bandwidth these days revolves around the Iranian march to offensive nuclear capability:
"Iran's "red line" step in Western eyes was removing IAEA seals to access equipment that purifies uranium, a key component in nuclear power or, if enriched to a higher level, in weaponry."
The mullahs and their hand-picked "president" are intent on pulling out every stop to give progressive multiculturalist westerners a chance to assist in their own annihilation:
"Why are you damaging the good name of the security council and IAEA for you own political purposes?' he asked. 'Don't take away the credibility of legitimate forums. Your arsenals are full to the brim, yet when it's the turn of a nation such as mine to develop peaceful nuclear technology you object and resort to threats."
Our weapons have been on the shelf for fifty years, with two exceptions of combat that ended a world war and others for testing.
If somebody - specifically the french - had exercised force on a bullet/infantry scale in 1936 when Hitler reoccupied Rhineland, there probably wouldn't have been a mushroom cloud over Trinity site in 1945. Probably is as close as I can say - history takes many paths. But without a megalomaniac like Hitler the leadership of Nazi Germany would certainly have dissolved into bickering criminal fiefdoms.
Consider the situation in Iran. Their president is merely the figurehead chosen by the mullahs. There is no popular majority support for either him or the mullahs, nor is their much pretence of one. What to do...what to do?
Kicking the Wehrmacht out of the Rhur would have destroyed Hitler's facade of invulnerability in 1936. The failure on the part of france (possessor of the largest army on the planet at that time) to crush what amounted to battalion-sized military invasion was the top step of the rapid descent into appeasement, paralysis, and complacency that marked the beginning of the German march to World War II: involvement in the Spanish Civil War, Krystal Nacht, occupation of Austria, "Peace in our time" at Munich, the von Ribbentrop/Molotov non-aggression pact with the Soviets, the invasion of Czechoslovakia (violating the Munich agreement), and finally the invasion of Poland... which triggered mutual assistance treaties ala 1914.
Jeff Goldstein posts on an article speculating on a possible 2007 war.
Belmont Club weighs in as well:
"Both the regime in Teheran and Washington are like Olympic wrestlers grappling within a narrowly bounded mat. The instant anyone should step or be forced outside the mat the buzzer will sound and a new and deadlier match will begin. Unfortunately the boundaries of the arena are invisible to both sides. How far can America push Iran? How far can Iran push America? Iran has the advantage of knowing that the US will stop short of overt military action against them -- for the time being. But it has the disadvantage of not knowing how far it can let Al Qaeda and Hezbollah go without bringing down the spectators from the stands."
And lastly, but closest to my own take, is Victor Davis Hanson:
"Finally, the public must be warned that dealing with a nuclear Iran is not a matter of a good versus a bad choice, but between a very bad one now and something far, far worse to come."
I believe that history pivots on the actions of individuals. The "Great Man" theory is mentioned as being out of favor in the linked Wiki entry... but they explain "out of favor" being based on:
"In general there is a belief that history which only follows around "great men", especially when "greatness" is determined primarily by political status, is a shallow view of the past, and additionally one which excludes entire groups of people from being part of "history", including labor forces, ethnic minorities, cultural minorities, and, as the name "Great men" would suggest, women. As such, "Great man history" is, within the historical profession today, usually used as a pejorative term."
Just because they don't like the implications or possible focus of the Great Man school doesn't make them right. Societies move on inertia.
Only individuals take the hard roads as a wilfull act.
In my opinion, George W. Bush is one of history's great men. The conventional wisdoms that run behind or through the above linked articles seems to range from "Iran won't act until after 2008" - thus begging the question "what then?" to "Military action is physically/politically impossible at this time" to which I say bullshit.
On one side we have a mullahocracy figureheaded by a suicide bomber waiting only for his special bomb. On the other we have the elected representative of the world's foremost republic, a leader already on record as stating that there will not be a nuclear armed Iran.
(UPDATE:) We have the history of missed opportunities of the twentieth century, and the subsequent costs, as a backdrop. Hitler wrote Mein Kampf. Mohammed wrote the Koran. RTFM, as they say in customer support...(end UPDATE).
I am convinced that we will move militarily against Iran before the end of this spring. The targets will be leadership and military infrastructure. We will occupy key sites within Iran. Beyond that, I don't have a clue.
Discuss? All one or two of you, I mean. Lol...