Wink on the way to a bomb

Wink on the way to a bomb – Israel Opinion, Ynetnews.

Op-ed: Washington’s indecisiveness on Syria tells Israel its assurances regarding Iranian threat cannot be counted on

Yaron London

Published: 09.03.13, 10:25 / Israel Opinion

In the background of the debate regarding President Obama’s conduct during the Syrian crisis lies a more critical question: How will the US act when Iran edges toward a bomb? Can we count on the White House’s decisive statement assuring us that Iran will not obtain nuclear weapons? The period at the end of this firm statement is suspiciously similar to the red line Obama set for Syria just a year ago.

The evidence that will show Iran is close to a nuclear bomb will be similar to the evidence indicating that the Assad regime poisoned hundreds of its citizens. The evidence will be accompanied by a host of questions which will be logical, but their sole purpose will be to avoid a decision. The questions will deal with the conclusiveness or inconclusiveness of the evidence, the ruler with which the term “close to a bomb” will be measured and the intent and mental stability of Iran’s leaders. The questions will also deal with the effectiveness of a military strike and how such a strike may affect the American economy and public opinion.

And when it turns out, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Iran is a step away from nuclear capability, will the US decide that an Iranian bomb endangers its security to the point where it must immediately launch an operation whose consequences are unclear, or will the US – after months of hesitation – decide that the world can carry on just fine with a nuclear Iran? Experts at the National Security Council and American research institutes may say that if we can live with a nuclear Pakistan and North Korea, we can also live with a nuclear Iran.

PM Netanyahu and several strategists who hold his opinion are losing sleep thinking about this possibility. They are certain that an Iranian bomb is an existential threat, not because Iran will rush to fire missiles with nuclear warheads at us, but because an Iran equipped with doomsday weapons will further encourage elements that will provoke us without the fear of a massive response, and also because other Mideast countries will develop nuclear weapons to deter the Shiite superpower. They also fear that these weapons may fall into the hands of terrorists from groups such as al-Qaeda .

If we doubt Washington’s willingness to attack Iran when the moment of truth arrives, and if we are of the opinion that nuclear weapons in Iran’s hands will undermine Israel’s security to the point where its very existence will be threatened, then the conclusion is that Israel must attack, even if such an attack will only delay Iran’s nuclear program and result in severe Iranian counter-strikes. I suppose the political-security establishment in Israel is considering this option much more seriously following what has been described as indecisiveness in America’s policy. Many analysts will stress the differences between the decision the White House had to make with regards to Syria and the decision it will be faced with as Iran moves close to a nuclear bomb and say that there is no connection between the two, but no promise made by the White House can allay the concerns of Israel’s leaders or make them less suspicious.

On the other hand, there will be those who will say that attacking would be a gamble Israel cannot afford in any way. So what will happen if we don’t attack? The most likely scenario is the existence of a regime of nuclear deterrence and local wars in the Middle East. We must prepare for such a future.

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6 Comments on “Wink on the way to a bomb”

  1. boudicabpi Says:

    Reblogged this on BPI reblog and commented:
    Wink on the way to a bomb

  2. Luis Says:

    More in the spirit of the Holiday, check out this article which we don’t agree with, but I found it highly entertaining:

  3. artaxes Says:

    Let’s take a look at the possible decisions of the US and the implications for both Israel and America.

    Decision #1: No US-Strike
    Implications for USA:
    – Very bad.
    – Total loss of credibility.
    – Projects weakness and will invite further terrorist attacks
    as well as more agressiveness by enemies of the US.
    – Lack of trust in the US in the region will make a containment strategy
    vis a vis Iran impossible.
    – Because of this lack of trust the Saudis, Turks and others will work
    like crazy to get nukes themselves.
    – The whole region will become more dangerous.

    Implications for Israel:
    – Not so bad as it seems at first glance.
    – Because of this lack of trust the Saudis, Turks and others will work
    like crazy to get nukes themselves.
    – The whole region will become more dangerous.
    – BUT
    – Because of the total loss of credibility and untrustworhtyness by US,
    Israel has complete freedom of action.
    – US can’t say any longer: “No need for Israel to attack Iran.
    We won’t allow them to get nukes.”
    – Obavez also can’t argue against an Israeli strike because the arguments
    for or against an attack on Syria are almost the same as the arguments
    for or against an attack on Iran. Remember he himself argues for an attack.
    – Because of lack of trust in the US the Saudis and others will seek
    more cooperation with Israel to take out Iran.

    Decision #2: Symbolic US-Strike
    Implications for both are essentially the same as for #1

    Decision #3: Massive, substantial US-Strike
    Implications for USA:
    – Good.
    – Restores credibility.
    – Projects strength and sends a message to the enemies of US, paticularly Iran.
    – Increased trust in the US in the region will make a containment
    strategy vis a vis Iran more credible.
    – Iran will also take the military option of the US more seriously.

    Implications for Israel:
    – Both good and bad.
    – Iran’s proxy Syria and thus Iran itself is substantially weakened
    and their freedom of action further limited.
    – US can say: “No need for Israel to attack Iran. We won’t allow them
    to get nukes.”. This is an argument that can be used against Israeli action.
    – On the other hand the Israelis can use the same argument as Obavez
    vis a vis Syria to justify their attack on Iran.
    – In any case, this is bad for Iran which may be willing to reconsider.

    Bottom line:
    No matter what the decision of the US is, the implications for Israel are not so bad.
    The potential negative consequences for the US are much greater.

    • Luis Says:

      You got that right, Artaxes. Its a win – win situation for Israel. But war will come. There is no way out of it. Look at Obama: nobody can accuse him of being a warmonger and, still, even after trying, may be, to avoid war, he will have to came back, with the congress approval, and a deliver a much more strong hammer strike than he intended in the first place. This is the dynamics of the things now.
      And, between us, what we should expect from a conflict that is already here for more than two years and includes: Shiites, Sunnis, Alawites, Salafists and wait, it gets even better: Iranians, Russians, Saudis, Turks, Jordan and Israel. Sure I forgot somebody here, but I’ll apologize before hand and it wasn’t intentional. Syria is too a little country for containing such a war of such epic proportions. We all have wandered when it will happen?
      We all asked ourselves and each other, when the spillover of the conflict will ignite the entire region? I think Assad is celebrating to early his ”victory” in the face of the US postponing of the hostilities.
      I think Assad is in for a big surprise from the Nobel Peace Price holder, Obama who, right, now is looking in the mirror and saying:

      ”I’ll be back.”

  4. Thunderbunny Says:

    From Decision #2/3, you left out:

    – Syria or Iran retaliate against Israel (as they have threatened)
    – Israel responds (depending on what weapons are used)
    – If Israel is hit with WMD (chemical or otherwise- or hit by a massive barrage of missiles that cause far too much damage), Israel will unleash nukes taking out Syrian forces/cities and/or Iran’s at the same time.
    – Russia’s response to Israel’s nuclear attack, unknown- though the Russians claim that they would defend their “interests.”

    • Luis Says:

      I don’t agree that Armageddon will be unleashed right now, but for the sake of the conversation , I’ll play along with you :

      Completely agree with you that Israel will wipe off Iran if hit by WMD or even rain of conventional missiles but in a too much overwhelming mode.
      Russia will step aside, because Israel’s second strike capability with Jericho III type missiles, 5,000 km range and more nowadays,
      and because of the fact that Israel, by nuking Iran and Syria will only clean up the Russian mess here for the last 30 years or even more.
      But, again, I want to insists and to say that nothing of those extreme events are going to happen. It was only an intellectual exercise.

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