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Unformatted text preview: IRAN STRIKES --> GOV SHIFT Strikes would be a catalyst for internal political shift within Iran Gerecht 6 , resident fellow @ American Enterprise Institute, (Reuel Marc, 4-14-2006, To Bomb, or Not to Bomb: That is the Iran Question, the Weekly Standard, http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.24230,filter.all/pub_detail.asp If we bomb, we will kill off the internal Iranian opposition. This is perhaps the weakest argument against a preventive strike. Although it would be nice to have Iranian society evolve quickly into something more democratic than theocracy , the odds of this happening before the regime gets a nuke aren't good. It could be decades before this happens; preventive military strikes would have the immediate benefit of delaying Iran's possession of nuclear arms for a few, perhaps several, years. In any case, it is highly unlikely that an American strike would arrest Iran's intellectual progress away from theocracy. This process has been going on since the 1980s--Iran's loss to Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war was an important catalyst to questioning and dissent. It's much more reasonable to assume that the Islamic Republic's loss to America-- and having your nuclear facilities destroyed would be hard to depict as a victory--would actually accelerate internal debate and soul-searching. It's unlikely that many Iranians would feel any affection for an American attack--we would certainly see rampant nationalist and Muslim indignation from many quarters--but the discussion would be much more complicated than just anti- Americanism. It would be, as it was during and after the Iran-Iraq war, double-edged, and probably painful for the ruling clergy, who have not been beloved for a very long time. And the reasons they are not liked are felt each day. This would not change with an American attack against nuclear facilities. Iranians' growing criticisms of their own society, especially those criticisms advanced by folks who were, or still are, loyal to the revolution-- most famously Grand Ayatollah Ali Montazeri, the "defrocked" onetime successor to Khomeini--simply cannot be blown away by foreigners' actions, any more than, in an American context, left-wing intellectuals' concern about social justice, or American blacks' revulsion at the indignities of state-sanctioned racism, could have been stopped by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor . It's likely that an American attack on the clerical regime's nuclear facilities would, within a short period of time, produce burning criticism of the ruling mullahs, as hot for them as it would be for us...
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- Spring '12