To Tame Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions, Look to Reagan and George W. Bush

These two former presidents knew what it took to make the U.S. a world leader.

Editor’s Note: This post is a follow-up piece to Chris Freind’s “How to Attack Iran and Get Away With It.

Achieving a 99 on a test is fantastic, but that same score, applied to stopping nuclear-armed terrorists, would be a catastrophic failure. As Coach Boone said in Remember the Titans, “We will be perfect in every aspect of the game.” Because if we aren’t perfect, it’s game over.

The problem isn’t al-Qaeda developing the bomb, since more often than not, those ass-clowns accidentally blow themselves up while handling even the simplest explosives.

The clear and present danger is a rogue nation such as Iran developing the bomb. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is way too smart to launch nukes against Israel, for he innately understands that doing so would make his country the world’s largest piece of glass.

So the issue is Iran funneling nuclear weapons to terrorists, a possibility that grows as Iran’s march toward nuclear statehood continues. So how do we stop that?

1. Stop making idle threats. Nothing is more counterproductive than a war of rhetoric with no hammer to back up those words. Unfortunately, this is nothing new, as all recent administrations have made this their de facto policy. It is only when a strong leader with a clear policy—and the resolve to execute it—comes along, that things change.

2. Sanctions are a solid step, but many countries cheat with no repercussions. If nuclear technology and supplies continue to circumvent the sanctions, what’s the point? It’s time to call out the offenders for their unjustifiable actions in front of the global community and cut them off. We have the biggest stick. Time to use it.

3. U.N. weapons inspections sound nice, but are worthless since they have no teeth. Saddam Hussein played the U.N “inspection” game masterfully, stringing out the process and turning it into a laughingstock. We got lucky, since he had no nuclear program. Not the case with Iran.

4. Deal with the Muslim world in the only language they understand: ultimatums backed up by a massive sledge hammer to the testicles for noncompliance.

A look at history shows the inarguable success of decisive leadership. After Libya masterminded bombings at the Rome and Vienna airports, and the German discotheque, Ronald Reagan launched comprehensive air strikes, missing Gaddafi by mere minutes. And the Achille Lauro highjackers? Nailed.

The message was unmistakable: With Reagan calling the shots, Libya would face increasingly severe consequences for each terrorist act. Keep in mind that Gaddafi, much like Ahmadinejad, was portrayed as a “mad man” with whom one could not reason. Reagan proved that incorrect, as Gaddafi virtually disappeared during the remainder of the Gipper’s term.

Gaddafi once again played ball when George W. Bush threatened regime change, correctly calculating that keeping his WMD program wasn’t worth risking a wounded but ferocious American tiger coming at him. Hussein, on the other hand, responded with his middle finger—and that didn’t work out too well for him.

Those successes should be built upon, as all are rooted in sound policy backed up by iron-fisted force. How about this for a New American Doctrine?

1. Civis Romanis (I am a citizen of Rome). Rome’s policy was unmistakably effective: If harm should come to even one citizen, Rome’s retribution would be on a scale never before seen. Marauders got the message loud and clear, and Romans traveled the breadth of the Empire free of worry, confident in their safety.

2. Properly assume the role of the world’s only superpower. Stop appeasing—and apologizing to—those who threaten our physical and economic security.

3. No nuclear weapons for any more countries. Institute a global ban on any more nations developing nuclear weapons. Period. Any country pursuing a peaceful nuclear program, but not allowing American weapons inspectors total access, at all times, will have all of their nuclear facilities, and their defense fepartment, flattened.

Some will label this a reckless policy that would destabilize the Middle East (isn’t it already?), but look to history. When Israel took out Iraq’s nuclear facilities at Osirak in 1981, what happened? The world feigned disapproval, but every nation breathed a huge sigh of relief. Israel is still in existence; Iraq became a nuclear eunuch; and the world is undoubtedly a safer place.

If our resolve does not weaken, and if we are diligent about respecting the sovereignty of other nations (with the exception of a nuclear weapons ban), the United States will once again stand proud as the world leader representing peace through strength.