Gates: Bombing Iran won't stop them from getting nukes

It’s too late. And probably has been for a long time.

Gates told a Senate panel that a military option would only delay Iran’s nuclear ambitions and drive the program further underground, making it more difficult to monitor, he said.

He said the better option would be for the United States and its allies to convince Iran that building a nuclear program would start an arms race that would leave the country less secure.

“Their security interests are actually badly served by trying to have nuclear weapons,” Gates said. “They will start a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and they will be less secure at the end than they are now.”…

Clinton and Gates told the panel the United States and its allies should pressure Iran with tougher sanctions.

Reminds me of that DA in California announcing publicly that he won’t prosecute people for misdemeanors anymore. I’m sitting here trying to figure out how it’s a good idea for Gates to admit this, but I’m stumped: Even if it’s a bluff and the Pentagon does think it can stop the program, what do we gain by telling Iran we can’t? It doesn’t give us any extra leverage during negotiations. And is he kidding about convincing them that nukes aren’t in their best interest? The risk of a Middle East arms race was long ago priced into their decision to go nuclear, as was the endless sanctions dance in the UN. Short of Obama threatening to actually give nuclear weapons to Saudi Arabia and Iraq to check the Iranian threat, what’s left to discuss except buying them off somehow? It’s all carrot, no stick.

Speaking of negotiating with enemies, see for yourself how much the big photo op with Chavez did to change his disposition towards us.