Monday, September 6, 2010

Sabre-rattling by Iran against Israel, again

From MSNBC, September 6, 2010
Iran's president said Sunday that any Israeli attack against his nation would mean the destruction of the Jewish state.

The two nations have exchanged numerous threats and warnings in the confrontation over Iran's nuclear program, which Israel, the United States and other countries believe is aimed at developing weapons, despite Tehran's denials.
"Any offensive against Iran means the annihilation of the Zionist entity," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said during a visit to the Persian Gulf nation of Qatar. "Iran does not care much about this entity because it is on its way to decay."
He said he doubted Israel or the U.S. would dare to stage such an attack because "they know that Iran is ready and has the potential for a decisive and wide-scale response."
Everyone, everywhere realizes that this man, while apparently speaking for the regime in Iran, is bent on the destruction of the state of Israel. This is just another of his many threats against the country. Listening, yesterday to a different voice, a radical Islamic cleric in London, in an interview with Fareed Zakaria on CNN's GPS, I witnessed the same kind of contempt for the existence of the state of Israel.
Tony Blair, in his recent interviews with both Christiane Amanpour (ABC's This Week) and Peter Mansbridge (CBC's The National) commented that the balance of power in the Middle East would be forever altered if and when Iran acquires  nuclear capability. Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic poses a rather impending time line for an attack by Israel against Iran, should all other attempts to move Iran away from development of a nuclear weapon fail, probably sometime around May, 2011.
There are those in the U.S. who speak of "war fatigue" among the American people, thereby reducing the coverage of the termination of "the war footing" in Iraq to a minor blip; however, one has to wonder if, given  credibile evidence of the actual development of those nuclear weapons by the Iranians, coupled with the urging of several of the Arab states in the Middle East for the Americans to "do it" (to undertake the strike against Iran) if those same American people would not accept a U.S. military offensive against Iran.
There are certainly those in the Jewish community who believe that, after all the attempts to stop Iran from nuclear capability fail, the Jewish government will itself take the necessary step of "self-defense" and strike Iran.
That poses a dubious, perplexing conundrum for the U.S. president. If he does not declare war on Iran's nuclear installations, Israel most likely will. If he does make the decision to attack Iran, the blood of the attack will be on his hands and on the hands of the American people. Wiping Israel off the map, the declared intention of the Iranian leader, is not an option for the West, particularly for the U.S., Israel's strongest ally.
Would Canada be asked, and if so, would we agree, to join in a U.S. attack against Iran?
Will the sanctions, albeit more stringent than those of the past, be effective against Iran? There is much legitimate skepticism about their potential effectiveness.
Will Iran see the "insanity" of its position? Not likely.
Will the Israeli's step down from their "self-defense" posture? Unlikely.
Will the U.S. step into the breach? Given the long history of the U.S. favouring military action on so many fronts? Highly likely.
Will the rest of the world sit on its hands, and let the U.S. act alone? Once again, highly likely.
Will  the U.N., including the IAEA, find an acceptable solution to the potential for war over Iran's nuclear capability? Again, unlikely.
Is military action (whether nuclear itself or more likely conventional) the only way for this dilemma to be resolved? And, will such action truly "resolve" the problem of the hatred of the Iranian government for the state of Israel? NO!
What can the ordinary people of the world do in the face of such heinous prospects? Very little, it seems.
What will be the geopolitical, military, economic consequences of such an attack on Iran, or of Iran's potential attack on Israel?
What will be the account in history, if either, or both attacks actually occurs? Who knows?
This is not a precipice from which there is an open, visible path back...UGH!

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