MAD, mad, I tell you

Post of the day, don't bomb Iran division: Publius1 ably points out that John Bolton's argument for bombing Iran relies on internally inconsistent premises. To wit, the supposed reason to bomb Iran before they can develop nuclear weapons is that normal deterrence, in which countries don't launch nuclear first strikes because they would in turn be destroyed, doesn't apply to Iran because it values destroying Israel (the presumed target of its nuclear weapons) more than national survival. Now comes Bolton to argue that Iran wouldn't seriously retaliate against bombings to destroy their uranium enrichment program (my understanding of the National Intelligence Estimate is that they don't have a nuclear weapons program besides this) because they'd be too afraid of further attacks if they did. Apparently because they're subject to deterrence by minor threats2, but not by major ones.

1. I considered following Bluebook rule 15.8(c)(i) in citing to this post. I think this means I've lost my mind.
2. Pun intended.