September 26, 2004

Prepare for War

I don’t pretend to have any tactical expertise when it comes to politics (economics is another matter). Though I do have strategic opinions, e.g. that the war in Iraq is a good thing – much better than the alternative – you won’t hear me saying that it should be fought differently. But you don’t see any subtitles up there at the top of this blog. That’s because its only theme is: whatever I want to write about.

I expect there to be a war after the US elections. And it doesn’t matter whether Bush or Kerry is president. That’s not a prediction, it’s a fact: that’s what I expect. Here’s why: Iran is going to have nuclear weapons soon. Israelis have been watching this happen for something like twenty years, maybe more. It was one of the factors that pushed Rabin into the Oslo accords – he wanted there to be peace before that happened.

Well, with or without Oslo, doomsday has arrived. Iran is months away from nuclear capability, and Rahim Safavi, commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards proclaims: "The time has come to wipe Israel off the map of the world."

Do you think Israel will sit idly by?

The most farcical thing I keep hearing on this subject is the claim that Israel can’t do anything, because unlike Iraq (whose French-provided nuclear capability was destroyed by Israel in 1981, to the condemnation of the world) Iran has spread out its program over 25 different sites. Well, even if they can’t destroy the program completely, they might be able to destroy enough of it to make producing a bomb at least temporarily impossible.

But I don’t think it will come to that, at least not if Bush is president, and probably not if Kerry is (he can’t be that stupid, can he?) either. The US is well aware the Israel simply can’t let this happen, and no amount of pressure will hold Israel back. On the other hand, letting Israel go though with the attack would be catastrophic to the War on Terror – it would enable Islamists to portray it to the Moslem world (and gullible leftists) as a war in support of the Israelis (an eerie reminder of World War II, when Roosevelt did all he could to prevent appearances that the US entered the war to support the Jews – to the point of bombing railroads all over Europe, but not the ones that lead to concentration camps). Therefore, the US will attack. The US is certainly capable of taking out 25 sites in Iran from next-door Iraq.

David Warren thinks Bush might be forced to act even before the election.

Posted by David Boxenhorn at September 26, 2004 11:25 PM
Comments & Trackbacks

I don't think so. To shutdown Iraq's nuclear build capacity would be hard even for the USA. It would take a sustained air campaign over many weeks. Unpopular right now with everyone. Israel could do it but only if the USA allows overflight over Iraq.
The reported sales of S300 surface-to-air missiles from Russia would make any air commander think hard about this. Cruise missiles would be the best bet but you'd need a lot of them.
What about afterwards? The political row would be enormous and hard to predict. Certianly Iran, plus a few other countries would withdraw from the NPT and work even harder at getting WMDs. In conclusion, I find it amusing that whilst it was Israel who demolished Iraqs reactor, it was Iraq who did the same to Iran. Where's Saddam when you need him eh?

Posted by: ExpatEgghead at September 27, 2004 08:42 AM Permalink

Expat:

The problems you raise are genuine, but think of the alternative. The title of this post is not: prepare for a surgical operation!

Posted by: David Boxenhorn at September 27, 2004 09:03 AM Permalink

I hope that your right but it's another huge commitment for Bush to make and I have my doubts about Kerry.
Chag Sameach
Gilly

Posted by: Gil Ben Mori at September 27, 2004 01:40 PM Permalink

Well reasoned, and well said. However,I fear Kerry (if elected) won't act against Iran early enough in his term for fear of looking like he lied to a big bunch of his supporters (the stop making enemies abroad camp). By the time he would feel free/justified to act, it would be much too late!

Posted by: David at September 27, 2004 04:49 PM Permalink

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