FNC
Jonathan Hoenig
The troubling reality is that Iran is a clear and obvious threat to the safety of the United States. Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism, funding terrorist organizations such as Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and Hezbollah. Senior Al Qaeda leaders are provided refuge in Iran, and the country continues to support the insurgency in Iraq. Iran has broken a previous agreement to stop enriching uranium, and their government officials regularly chant “Death to America” while proclaiming that Israel, our democratic ally, “should be wiped off the map.”

Given the fact that the role of the government is to protect the rights of its citizens, debate now centers around how to deal with such a looming danger. Many have suggested that we should work within the framework of the United Nations in confronting Iran. Yet time and time again, the U.N. has shown itself as impotent in challenging militant dictators. In fact, the U.N. legitimizes dictatorships by granting them membership, even inviting countries like Libya to sit on their Human Rights Commission. Besides, you've got to wonder how much respect Iran affords the U.N., given the fact they removed U.N. seals at many of their atomic research sites and continued with their program to develop nuclear weapons.

News from Iran has been moving the oil market, with any word out of Tehran having a direct effect on the daily price of crude. The price of oil, however, should not govern our international agenda, nor should our interest in appeasing the global community in lieu of protecting us from this dangerous and growing threat. Although oil prices are moved by our actions in Iran, national security should never be dictated by the price of any commodity or stock market. The issue here is American self-interest against a state that sponsors terrorism. Our government should engage in a military strike against Iran, not to liberate the people or create a democracy, but to protect American lives by eliminating their potential to do us harm.

Or course, Iran claims their interest isn't in developing a nuclear bomb, but rather in nuclear energy. In a country that's literally spilling over with oil, that's quite a dubious claim. Our willingness to engage in months of diplomacy only buys them more time to achieve their goal of becoming a nuclear power. Moreover, it demonstrates our lack of moral conviction to act aggressively in protecting American lives from those who openly proclaim their interest in doing us harm.

During a 2004 state parade, a missile was draped with a banner that declared, “We will crush America under our feet." Our own government classifies Iran as a major sponsor of Islamic terrorism. You can't negotiate with an enemy who wants you dead. A firm, resolute military strike that eliminates Iran's ability to achieve nuclear weapons is precisely what's needed to neutralize this growing threat.

Jonathan Hoenig is managing member at Capitalistpig Hedge Fund LLC and is a markets columnist for Smartmoney.com. He appears regularly on FNC's business program Cashin' In.