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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Where are things headed with Iran?

Following up on war games that show the US and Israel not stopping Iran's development of nuclear weapons, Rick Richman passes on an exchange that took place with Assistant Secretary of State PJ Crowley on Friday and concludes
Nine months past Clinton’s assurance, two months past the “deadline,” it is apparent that no groundwork has been laid. The discussions are just beginning; it will be a “very long process”; the administration is unenthusiastic about pending legislation authorizing “crippling” sanctions.

You don’t have to be part of a Harvard think tank to see where this is headed.
I'd like to hear where you all think things are heading. As I see it, there are only two possibilities: (a) Iran develops a nuclear weapon and the world either 'learns to live with it' or doesn't and Iran either attacks Israel and some other countries or doesn't; or (b) Israel attacks Iran and at least sets back the nuclear capability (hopefully) and all hell breaks loose or it doesn't.

My view is that (b) - Israel attacks Iran - is the far more likely scenario. What do you all think? Do any of you see other possibilities? (And for those of you pushing for an EMP attack - I view EMP as a part of (b)).

And since it will be the middle of the night here when this post goes up, you all have at least an hour or two to think about it before I release the comments - but I will try to get to it before I run off to synagogue at 5:55 am.


At 5:19 AM, Blogger oxothnk said...

Carl, I agree (and hope and pray) that (b) is the more likely scenario.
I have to believe that Iran is farther along in the development process than publicly-available information suggests, but I also have to believe that Israeli intelligence is on top of things. I assume Israel will make the right decision before it's too late.

But if (a), and Iran does NOT use the weapon, Israel may still be in peril. What happens when Iran calls up Lebanon/Hezbollah/Syria/Hamas to wage conventional war on Israel, all the while holding their finger on the button as a deterrent to Israel?

At 5:31 AM, Blogger nomatter said...

Iran will use their nukes as
a very lethal trump card in the form of a warning.

If any country does not march accordingly as Iran sees fit they will use the bomb on Israel to prove their point.

Not one president thus far has done a thing to stop Iran. For sure Obama will do nothing.

The fact Israel would need to re-fuel in a hostile country in my book all bets are off Israel could act without co-operation.

At 5:47 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

As I see it, the Iranian goal is to encourage an Israeli attack, by placating Obama and the West with enough concessions to appear less belligerent (uranium swaps, etc). All the while, the Iranians will continue to send bellicose signals to Israel, taunting them to action. The Iranians are creating a lose-lose situation for Israel: attack unilaterally, and unite the iranian people around the mullahs, unleash hizballah/hamas, earn opprobrium in international flora; or let Iran go nuclear and live in constant fear of nuclear hostage. The Iranians will take a cue out of the Arab playbook, speaking out of both sides of their mount: court the West, while continuing to develop nuclear weapons, and taunting Israel - while Western countries ignore the rhetoric. Whether it is still possible to court the West remains to be seen - but my guess is that with the obama shills in the media, this can be accomplished.

The strategic response for Israel thusly hinges on how effective an Israeli offensive would be. I judge success as: setting back the nuclear program a couple of years without rallying the Iranian public around the mullahs. If Israel can set the program back but cause Iranians to rally around the flag, then the prospect of regime change would be undermined, and what would the few years buy really?

As we all know - this is a really complicated situation. Ultimately, the fearful West will probably (has already) resigned itself to a nuclear Iran, preferring wishful thinking to calculated realistic thinking. Netanyahu is the de facto leader of the Western world today, and that is really no hyperbole.

To answer Carl's question, the moment or reckoning is here. Israel cannot afford to wait around while Obama and his feckless minions waddle about. A swift devastating blow of Israeli force (hopefully implicitly supported by US presence) is the only solution.

At 7:27 AM, Blogger Mike Dugas said...

I'd prefer a mysterious untraceable nuclear accident that left their scientists and possibly some "leaders" unavailable and their facilities unusable. Barring that fantasy I think Israel has no choice but to act in self preservation. You have an Iranian leader bent on starting WW3 for religious reasons(Hidden Imam). And my country's current President, Obama, is not on our side and is useless as far as leadership goes. Targeted strikes on their facilities with every bit of ground penetrating ordinance you can muster, shy of nukes, will do the job. And the fear in the region, by other Muslim country's, of a nuclear Iran will probably keep them at bay. If there are not a bunch of civilian deaths it may not drive the Iranian people to hyper-nationalism. Even if it were to get the populace riled up I don't think, if Israel wishes to survive, that they have a choice. How many times can Iranian leaders say they are going to destroy Israel before you take them at their word?

At 7:32 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I've advocated EMP because it has high probability of success with a low cost in lives. It basically knocks out everything that makes Iran function and sets it back a century. It would take decades and billions of dollars for Iran to recover but the alternative is quite literally unthinkable. Its a less cruel option than bombing and I'm sure even Goldstone could live with it.

At 7:38 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Carl.
I also think that Iran is farther along in the development process than publicly-available information suggests.
Lets hope you gus are on top of things.
Have a great day!


At 8:18 AM, Blogger oxothnk said...

One more thing to add. I just saw this today:
"Iranian and Russian officials last Thursday confirmed that Moscow...will honor its contract to deliver the S-300 missile systems...very soon."

From Israel Today.

I don't know what 'very soon' means, but if true, that should nail the coffin closed on more diplomacy and sanctions (not that the US won't keep trying).

Israel, it is in your hands.

At 2:56 PM, Blogger MUSHI said...

success to israel:

- COMPLETE DESTROY of HAMAS and HIZBALLAH infraestructure, meaning no retalation for future attacks to iran or syria.

- take back the nuclear aspriation of IRAN a decade.

failure: i don't want to speculate a failure.

At 5:04 PM, Blogger joe six-pack said...

Israel may attack Iran, but the nuclear facilities are so spread out that I doubt that any attack will do more than just buy some time. The problem is that time is NOT on our side.

When Iran gets the bomb, I believe that other countries in the region will move toward obtaining them as well, if anything just for defense. The problem here is that the Middle East is so unstable to begin with.

It is only a matter of time before an Islamic terrorist organization obtains and deploys an effective WMD. Then all of the minor wars that are going on today will be small by comparision to what will most likely come next.


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