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Israeli Jets vs. Iranian Nukes

Reader comment on item: Israeli Jets vs. Iranian Nukes
in response to reader comment: What Will Iran Do In Response To An Israeli Attack?

Submitted by Ed Melik, Esq. (United States), Jun 13, 2007 at 03:14

Mr. Silverman's point deserve serious consideration. However, once Israel finishes its bombing of the nuclear facilities in Iran (big if!), a strong US concession will be offered to Iran along with a very stern warning that if Iran strikes Israel with any missiles, Israel will immediately nuke Tehran. Under a very serious nuclear threat along with regional pressure from all those concerned, would certainly control the predictable Irani actions. This would accomplish Israel's mission of destroying Iran's negligible and overly exaggerated self serving threat fanned by the subservient US mainstream media to mind manage the American masses with certain amount confidence while the scripts already in works by the PR manipulators to make certain that the American masses in particular, and the rest of the world in general, will buy all the stories coming out from the network of American television, radio shows and the mainstream print media.

However, a smaller and insignificant military success of Israel/USA/UK against Iran would certainly not contribute to any positive or productive results as far as pacifying the Islamic world is concerned considering the following facts as discussed by Mr. Hirsch and others earlier.

Iran has denied most of the allegations listed above. However, the accusations are widely reported in the Western press as facts, and most Americans have accepted them as such.

Consider the following: if the Bush administration knew that it was misusing and manipulating faulty intelligence to justify the Iraq invasion, as most Americans now believe, it also knew that the truth about nonexistent Iraqi WMD would come out after the fact. Whether the American people interpreted it as incompetence or deliberate deception, the administration's decision to go to war would eventually be subject to widespread criticism on either ground. Why did the administration choose to build up a case for invading Iraq out of thin air, knowing full well it was destined to fall apart in the aftermath?

I believe there are two complementary reasons. (1) The faulty arguments to attack Iraq provide an even stronger justification to attack Iran, as explained above. Since the country has already accepted that line of argument, the administration can argue after the attack on Iran that it did not need to go to Congress or the American people to ask for their support again. (2) The real, ultimate goal was always to attack Iran, but the Iraq invasion was a necessary intermediate step.

The United States used diplomacy, in particular UN resolution 1441 of November 2002, which was supported unanimously by the Security Council, as a cover to justify its military action against Iraq, and it is using the same strategy again. Europe is enabling the U.S. strategy by pushing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to refer Iran to the Security Council. When the process reaches a dead end at the Security Council, or even if it never gets there, the U.S. will argue that the international community, especially Europe, "share[s] our assessment of the danger, but not our resolve to meet it." Depending on whether diplomatic action stalls at the Security Council or before that at the IAEA, the U.S. will argue that each entity "has not lived up to its responsibilities, so we will rise to ours." Russia and China oppose placing sanctions on Iran, but they are not taking a strong stand against U.S. aggression.

Why nuclear attack on Iran is a bad idea:

Now that we have outlined what is very close to happening, let us discuss briefly why everything possible should be done to prevent it.

In a worst-case scenario, the attack will cause a violent reaction from Iran. Millions of "human wave" Iranian militias will storm into Iraq, and just as Saddam stopped them with chemical weapons, the U.S. will stop them with nuclear weapons, resulting potentially in hundreds of thousands of casualties. The Middle East will explode, and popular uprisings in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and other countries with pro-Western governments could be overtaken by radical regimes. Pakistan already has nuclear weapons, and a nuclear conflict could even lead to Russia's and Israel's involvement using nuclear weapons.

In a best-case scenario, the U.S. will destroy all nuclear, chemical, and missile facilities in Iran with conventional and low-yield nuclear weapons in a lightning surprise attack, and Iran will be paralyzed and decide not to retaliate for fear of a vastly more devastating nuclear attack. In the short term, the U.S. will succeed, leaving no Iranian nuclear program, civilian or otherwise. Iran will no longer threaten Israel, a regime change will ensue, and a pro-Western government will emerge.

However, even in the best-case scenario, the long-term consequences are dire. The nuclear threshold will have been crossed by a nuclear superpower against a non-nuclear country. Many more countries will rush to get their own nuclear weapons as a deterrent. With no taboo against the use of nuclear weapons, they will certainly be used again. Nuclear conflicts will occur within the next 10 to 20 years, and will escalate until much of the world is destroyed. Let us remember that the destructive power of existing nuclear arsenals is approximately one million times that of the Hiroshima bomb, enough to erase Earth's population many times over.

Furthermore, despite all the U.S. and Israeli allegations, there is not a shred of real evidence that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons. The fact that it hid its nuclear program for many years is understandable, given that the U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran and first accused it of pursuing nuclear weapons many years ago. Since 2003, all Iranian nuclear activities have been open and accessible to the IAEA, and Iran has signed an additional protocol that allows unannounced inspections of all its facilities. Iran would not be able to develop nuclear weapons under these conditions even if it wanted to. Finally, Iran has offered to enter into partnerships with foreign companies to provide additional assurances that its uranium enrichment is devoted solely to civilian purposes. Recall that uranium enrichment for reactors is at 3-5 percent levels, while weapons require 90 percent levels, which demands a qualitatively different effort.

Because the United States is counting on the "nuclear option" to ensure the success of military action against Iran, it is not seriously pursuing diplomatic alternatives, such as negotiating directly with Iran to reach an agreement on a civilian nuclear program under strict international supervision.

It is essential to debate whether the U.S. should use nuclear weapons against Iran before it happens rather than after. In the case of Hiroshima, because the existence of nuclear bombs was classified information, a public discussion on whether nuclear bombs should have been used against Japan to end World War II could not occur. Many physicists who were part of the Manhattan Project in 1945 urged the government not to use the newly developed weapons, but their calls went unheeded.

Today, a public debate can occur. The scenarios described in the Pentagon document [.pdf] in which the U.S. would use nuclear weapons include "for rapid and favorable war termination on U.S. terms," against "an adversary intending to use WMD against U.S., multinational, or alliance forces," and "to demonstrate U.S. intent and capability to use nuclear weapons." These are not acceptable scenarios. It is not in the best interests of the United States nor the rest of the world for the U.S. to base its military planning on such policies, because if it does so a situation will inevitably arise in which no alternative will be left, as in the case considered here. There has to be a public discussion in the media, online, and in Congress. Unless there is an extraordinary outcry of opposition against such policies, they are bound to be implemented in the very near future.


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