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Posted by on Jun 29, 2008 in Politics, War | 6 comments

How Not to Deal with Iran

When I first saw this story on the news this morning I got that same old sinking feeling.

Iran ready to strike at Israel’s nuclear heart

Iran has moved ballistic missiles into launch positions, with Israel’s Dimona nuclear plant among the possible targets, defence sources said last week.

The movement of Shahab-3B missiles, which have an estimated range of more than 1,250 miles, followed a large-scale exercise earlier this month in which the Israeli air force flew en masse over the Mediterranean in an apparent rehearsal for a threatened attack on Iran’s nuclear installations. Israel believes Iran’s nuclear programme is aimed at acquiring nuclear weapons.

The sources said Iran was preparing to retaliate for any onslaught by firing missiles at Dimona, where Israel’s own nuclear weapons are believed to be made.

Just a brief review… North Korea was a member of the “Axis of Evil” during this decade. (Of course, the odds of us actually attacking somebody who really does have nukes was pretty low.) The original policy toward the North Koreans by the current administration was to refuse to have any direct negotiations with them nor even take party in multi-lateral talks as equals. It was “our way or the highway” squared. The result? North Korea detonated a nuke. It finally took China along with the other parties in the six-way talks to make some ground, resuling in North Korea finally opening up a bit and destroying the cooling tower of their nuke plant. (A move which, even now, the Bush administration will still only give a grudging nod of the head to, while continuing to rattle our swords.)

Iran, by all accounts, has no nukes at this time and remains a target of aggressive diplomacy. (To use the word in the very loosest sense.) Clearly they anticipate an attack on their facilities by either the United States or, via our proxy, Israel. Seeing them move long range missles into position like this – some of which are multiple warhead with the ability to strike five targets – seems to be a fairly clear message.

We’ve gotten fairly spoiled these last few decades with the concept that we can launch long range missiles at targets around the world with impunity, since nobody would dare strike back at us. The Iranians don’t seem to buy into this theory. They have the ability to – at a minimum- strike back directly at Israel. The United States is already stretched across a war on two fronts, the Iran knows that China and Russia will be more sympathetic to them than to us or Israel. They also have a ready supply of potential forces inside of Iraq who are more than cozy with the Iranian regime, combined with a large supply of United States soft targets right over their border.

While there are a number of policy positions held by John McCain which I admire, (particularly his energy policy) his continuation of the Bush administration’s policies toward Iran are a reminder of my concerns regarding a potential McCain administration. The continued “Bomb, bomb Iran” attitude of arrogance only feeds into this potential crisis. And if Israel truly harbors plans to start a war with Iran that we would have to go in and finish, we are far past the time when we should be taking a fresh look at our policy toward Israel.

If there is anyone remaining in Washington who can get a leash on Israel’s military plans, the time is fast approaching for us to do this. We simply can not afford this sort of madness.

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Copyright 2008 The Moderate Voice
  • StockBoySF

    Hey there, Jazz.

    First of all I’m convinced given his posturing that Bush is stoking the fire to get Israel to strike Iran. Bad president, bad.

    Second of all, with regards to your comment that the US feels that we can strike at targets without fear of reprisal… But as you pointed out Iran can retaliate- by striking Israel. The Iranians can also disrupt the oil supply so prices go skyrocketing… They can meddle even more in countries in the ME causing even more problems. The Iranians have other options across the world, too.

    Bush may have had the executive type “experience” to be president when he first took office, but he hasn’t shown any judgement and he certainly hasn’t learned from his mistakes.

    My feeling is that if Bush attacks (or has Israel attack) Iran it will be after the election. Bush wouldn’t want any potential backlash from his decision to affect McCain’s chances of winning the election.

    Call me a cynic, but this is Bush we’re talking about…

  • Jazz, chill. It’s a story by serial fabulist Uzi Mahnaimi.

    Why the London Times gives him any space for his delusions is beyond me.

    Regards, C

  • runasim

    There is also Seymour Hersch saying that US clandestine operations are causing havoc in Iran.
    That brings up the question of retaliation.

    There is just too much talk about Iran for comfort.

    Gates seems to be a voice of sanity (at least in public), and I hope Obama can recruit him.

  • Holly_in_Cincinnati

    Excuse me? If the Government of Israel were not taking these actions, it would be criminally negligent in protecting its citizens (many of whom are also US citizens).

  • Holly,
    What actions?

  • runasim

    Holly,
    As we see in the US, some actions intended to protect US citizens by preventing attacks can actually provoke the very attack they were intended to prevent.
    The invasion of Iraq and Gitmo have been a boon for jihadi recruiters, for example.

    Re israel, then, it is equally a question to consider, Which actions will truly prevent attacks and which will provoke them?

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