Monday, January 16, 2012

Iran's bomb... the bottom line

Here’s the bottom line: an Israeli attack unites Iran in fury, locks in the Islamic Republic for a generation, cements the Syrian regime, radicalizes the Arab world at a moment of delicate transition, ignites Hezbollah on the Lebanese border, boosts Hamas, endangers U.S. troops in the region, sparks terrorism, propels oil skyward, triggers a possible regional war, offers a lifeline to Iran just as Europe is about to stop buying its oil, adds a Persian to the Arab vendetta against Israel, and may at best set back Iran’s nuclear ambitions a couple of years. Roger Cohen - NYT
David Seaton's News Links
The selling point of starving or beating Iran into submission is that if they had an atomic bomb they would use it to attack Israel, who has at least 200 such weapons. The idea being that Iran is planning to turn Israel, its Jewish inhabitants and a considerable number of Palestinian Muslims into a radioactive Auschwitz.
The Persians, though notably strict in their religious practice, are eminently rational. They are just as rational as Khrushchev's USSR. They would not start an atomic exchange that would mean the annihilation of their country. The biggest problem brought on by the Iranians having a bomb would be that all the other countries in the region would want one too.
An atomic-weaponized Middle East would not mean a nuclear free for all, but it would mean that Israel's and America's freedom of action to behave like a colonial power "punishing the natives", would be forever curtailed.

It would be impossible for the USA to encourage Israel to continue a war like the one against Hezbollah in 2006 until it "finished the the job" or to have invaded Iraq for that matter either.
With atomic weapons in the mix, any action by Israel that could remotely set off to a general war in the Middle East, one with even the remotest possibility of an atomic exchange, would have to be snuffed out at the first whiff of smoke.
Lobby or no lobby, the USA would have to keep Israel on a very tight leash and Israel and their lobby know that. This would certainly cramp Israel's style, and many Israelis would find that restraint intolerable and a significant number of the "best and the brightest" of Israel's technological elite, who could find work anywhere in the world on 24 hours notice, might possibly take their families and head out for safer climes.
The fear of not being able to sufficiently intimidate the Muslim population of the Middle East, not any fear of Israel's perishing in a nuclear holocaust, is at the bottom of America and Israel's drive to eliminate Iran's nuclear program. DS


bailey said...

Really solid points and interesting perspective David.
Many thanks for that....

Anonymous said...