January 16, 2006

Shorter Niall Ferguson: If we don't attack Iran, There'll be Nuclear War

The Washington Monthly

Via the irreplacable Kevin Drum at the Washington Monthly, an op-ed by Historian (and sometime alternate historian) Niall Ferguson. He writes a looking backward history, of how the Bush administration's failure to use military force to stop Tehran from getting a nuclear weapon leads to a nuclear exchange between Iran and Israel, and the subsequent Decline of the West.

From the Op-ed:

The devastating nuclear exchange of August 2007 represented not only the failure of diplomacy, it marked the end of the oil age. Some even said it marked the twilight of the West. Certainly, that was one way of interpreting the subsequent spread of the conflict as Iraq's Shi'ite population overran the remaining American bases in their country and the Chinese threatened to intervene on the side of Teheran.

Yet the historian is bound to ask whether or not the true significance of the 2007-2011 war was to vindicate the Bush administration's original principle of pre-emption. For, if that principle had been adhered to in 2006, Iran's nuclear bid might have been thwarted at minimal cost. And the Great Gulf War might never have happened.

The Rise of China? The Rise of "Islamism"? Ferguson's message seems to be: Stay Militant, or the West will Decline.

I think he's been reading way too much Oswald Spengler, myself.

Posted by Jvstin at January 16, 2006 4:27 PM
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