I wonder if in the next national security debate, there may not be some on the left who favor a harder line against Iran than some on the right. Iran, after all, is the ultimate exemplar of fundamentalist religious right government. Its regime is brutal toward women and gays and Jews. If you distrust American Christian fundamentalists, who do not condone violence or terrorism, and who are restrained by something called the Constititution, how can you not be horrified by Tehran? Rod Liddle has been a Guardian columnist, and editor of the highly influential BCC Radio Four Today program for several years. He shouldn't be pigeonholed ideologically; but he sure isn't a conservative. He hired Andrew Gilligan, of "dodgy dossier" fame. And he's hawkish on nuclear mullahs:

Never mind such niceties as verifying Iran’s nuclear aims: there is still a large tranche of the western world that believes with bovine obduracy that because we and the Americans and the French and the Israelis have nukes, why shouldn’t poor old Third World Iran? Fair play to the burka boys, don’t you think? The answer is simple and yet — in some quarters — quite unsayable: because it is Iran.

I think we have more time to exhaust every other option against Tehran; and I suspect that Ahmadinejad is deliberately trying to provoke reaction right now for domestic reasons. But in the end, I agree with Liddle. Giving eschatological, anti-Semitic religious fanatics a nuclear capacity is not an option. It cannot be allowed to happen.

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