Sunday, August 08, 2004

Why Israel Won't Attack Iran

"Why Israel won’t attack Iran" is an opinion piece in the Lebanese Daily Star by Mahan Abedin. Mr. Abedin's piece focuses on 4 reasons why Israel will not take offensive action against Iran if Iranian reactors go critical.

He contends that there is no guarantee that any military option will necessarily achieve its objective as "Iran has developed robust defensive capabilities in recent years against any potential attack.", and refers to the distances involved in striking Iranian nuclear facilities and reminds readers of the "last time a foreign power attempted a raid of this kind was back in 1980, when the American plan to rescue its embassy hostages ended in failure."

The second and third reasons focus on variations of the MAD theory and geopolitical ramifications to Israel if the Israelis used the military option e.g. the Israelis would face military strikes via the neighborhood on its homefront and at Jewish interests in the Diaspora.

The 4th and final reason that the Israelis won't use the military option:

"Fourth, an attack is unlikely for it would seriously undermine both American and Israeli predictions of long-term political trends in Iran. There is a near-consensus in the intelligence circles of both countries that the current Iranian regime will likely reform itself beyond recognition in the next 15-20 years. Therefore, any military strike would probably prolong the life span of the regime by creating a nationalist backlash. The regime would capitalize on this and claim that its suspicions regarding American and Israeli motives have been vindicated."

Mr. Abedin concludes:
"Ultimately the Israeli threats do not constitute a rational solution to the dispute. The optimum forum for containing and solving the Iranian nuclear issue is the International Atomic Energy Agency. The US can ensure Iranian compliance by applying pressure at opportune moments, but it must also ensure that Israel not undertake a military adventure that would seriously complicate political developments in an already troubled region."

Ask yourself this:

To date, how effective has the IAEA been in monitoring and curtailing Iranian nuclear aspirations? To what lengths have the Mullahs gone in disguising their nuclear aspirations from the IAEA? How much influence do the Americans (or the Great Satan as the Mullahs affectionately refer to the Americans) really have over the Mullahs? Do the Mullahs have ambitions to increase their influence over the neighborhood and do they want to export their version of the Islamic revolution to the neighbors? Have the Mullahs supported and exported terrorists in the past? Can the West and Israel afford to wait 15-20 years for the nuclear mullahs to become a foot note in the Iranian history? Have the Mullahs issued credible threats to the existence of Israel and her people?

The problem with this kind of analysis is that it fails to take into account those kinds of questions. Nor does it even attempt to acknowledge the character of the Israeli people or the expertise and innovation of the Israeli military. Bush did not invent the doctrine of Pre-emption. Furthermore, it rests on the theory that the Americans would stand idly by in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Persian Gulf and not take sides and that the neighbors as repugnant as they find the Israelis to be, may view the nuclearization of the Mullahs as a potential threat to their own sovereignty and might just be inclined to sit this one out and limit their actions to voting for a condemnation of Israel in a UN resolution and increase funding to Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

If you were an Israeli, would you hide your head in the sand and wait for an incoming missile to destroy you or would you take a chance to act, albeit a desperate gambit before the incoming warhead faced you with certain annilation? Long before Ariel Sharon was Prime Minister Sharon, he was General "Bulldozer" Sharon.

The Jerusalem Post announced today that:

"The Homefront Command will start distributing to the local population living in close proximity to nuclear or 'research' facilities Logol tablets against radiation. In accordance with a government decision, soldiers will distribute the tablets directly to the homes of civilians living in the areas that are considered to be under threat in the event that any of the 'research' facilities are harmed."

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