It's Not Just About Israel
Six more reasons why we can't let Iran get nukes.
4) The same powerful strategic ambiguity would apply in the case of any Iranian move on a neighboring Sunni Arab Gulf state, such as Bahrain. The more extreme of Iran's theocratic newspapers already gloat at such a prospect, which is why so many Arab regimes hope—sometimes publicly—that this "existential" threat to them also be removed.
5) There will never be a settlement of the Israel-Palestine dispute, because the rejectionist Palestinians will be even more a proxy of a regime that calls for Israel's elimination, and the rejectionist Jews will be vindicated in their belief that concessions are a waste of time, if not worse.
6) The concept of "nonproliferation," so dear to the heart of the right-thinking, will go straight into the history books along with the League of Nations.
These, then, are some of the prices to be paid for not disarming Iran. Is it not obvious that the international interest in facing this question squarely, and in considering it as "existential" for civilization, is far stronger than any political calculation to be made in Netanyahu's office?
Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) was a columnist for Vanity Fair and the author, most recently, of Arguably, a collection of essays.
Photograph of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.