Magazine article The Christian Century

Talk to Iran

Magazine article The Christian Century

Talk to Iran

Article excerpt

Areport emerged from President Bush's visit to Israel saying that Bush told Israeli leaders he intends to launch a military strike against Iran before he leaves office. The president is reported to have said that Hezbollah's recent show of military strength in Lebanon proves that Iran's influence in the Middle East is growing and that "the disease must be treated--not the symptoms."

The White House denied that there is any truth to the report. We can only hope this is so. Suppose the U.S. were to strike Iran and knock out whatever nuclear program it has. It would postpone the Iranians' development of a weapon of mass destruction, but it certainly wouldn't end their pursuit of one. In fact, it would only strengthen their resolve to develop such a weapon. And Iran would likely retaliate by making life more miserable for U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. A strike against Iran would also harden the hold that radical Islamists have on the country and set back democratic reform for decades to come, leading to further clampdowns on pro-democracy activists and dissidents and more recruits for terrorist extremism.

Because a military strike would be disastrous and economic sanctions don't seem to be working, now is a logical time to open negotiations between the U. …

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