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Iran Quickly Closing The Window To Avoid Military Conflict With Israel

No one can ever accuse Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of being a skillful or wise politician. And his dumb and racist anti-Israel rant at the UN conference on racism in Geneva was a pretty good example of Ahmadinejad at his very worst. Today, Iran sought to further raise tensions with Israel by threatening them with military action if Israel should attack nuclear sites in Iran. Some military reports claim that Israel has acquired special aircraft and weapons and is involved in training efforts to hit a number of Iranian nuclear program sites. Also today, in Tehran, a large crowd welcomed back the Iranian President today with shouts of "Death To Israel".

The fact of the matter is that President Obama's Administration has laid out something of an olive branch to Iran to act more cooperative about better relations with the world community to avoid a future military confrontation with Israel over their nuclear program. The U.S. was quietly hoping that Iran would want to better join the world community and avoid this possible military conflict with Israel. But Iran does little but fan the flames for a future military battle with Israel where the Iranian President's UN speech only serves to spur hawks within the Israeli government to justify military action against the Iranian nuclear program.

Israeli bombers have already gotten some precise bombing practice when they had to hit Gaza arms smuggling tunnels recently. However, it is pretty unclear how Israel hopes to strike some Iranian nuclear program sites buried in 75 foot deep bunkers without using nuclear weapons themselves. Israel isn't really know to possess deep bunker buster military technology of the sort really needed to precisely hit just the Iranian targets. Israeli fighters.jpg

The Obama Administration is highly unlikely to give the Israeli military the "green light" to proceed with military action against Iran. However, that likely means that Israel might just chose to act on their own at some point. And if Israel is unable to be successful in efforts to control the large Iranian military, then Israel could leave the United States with a major mess to clean up. These are all problems that the Obama Administration would sure like to avoid. However, when Iran only continues to fan conflict with Israel rather than join the world community concern's about their nuclear program, then the worst possible outcome, war, might be the most likely outcome.

The Obama Administration could potentially face a huge foreign policy crisis here unless they can successfully defuse this recent new heightening of tensions between Israel and Iran.


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Comments (15)

ke_future:

interesting post, paul. so if iran continues down the path that is taking, do you think that israel would be justified in taking action agains iranian nuclear targets pre-emptively? even if opposed by the obama administration (given obama's statements i would take this as a given). if not, what do you think would be the proper actions to take to keep iran from taking action against isreal? what actions do you think that israel can take?

this gets right to heart of my disagreement with obama's foreign policy strategy. he thinks that by being nice to everybody else, and by saying what a bad actor the US has been, that he can get these other nations, that really are bad actors, to change their ways. i just don't see that happening. when you look at history, every time anyone has tried to make peace with someone like Ahmadinejad it has come back to haunt them.

Paul Hooson:

Hello, Ke. This situation indeed worries me. Iran seems to be ignoring the hand of President Obama to act responsibly like a normal world community state on this nuclear issue and clearly stokes the flames of war with Israel by calling for the destruction of this tiny Jewish state.

Israel has also proven that it believes that it's military is strong enough to act on it's own regardless of what the U.S. thinks in recent years, even though military action in both Lebanon and Gaza has been far less than fully successful. I personally doubt that Israel is able to really take out this Iranian nuclear program with their present military hardware, if they only use conventional weapons. This could certainly set a serious military mess for the U.S. to cleanup. And we certainly don't want this to become a NATO vs. Russia and China situation either.

Diplomacy with Iran would be the correct way to resolve this nuclear situation. But I doubt that Iran will ever cooperate enough to prevent Israel from pulling the trigger and acting on it's own and creating serious world consequences as well.

Even more creepy is the account by Old Testament Jewish historian, Ezekiel, who wrote the entire past, present and future history for Israel including the 1948 re-establishment of this Jewish state and a huge future war with Persia(Iran) and a number of allies that some believe may include Russia among other states. If you want to read a real horror tale read Ezekiel 37-40. So far this Jewish historian has never been wrong.

I seriously believe that a huge war with Iran, probably started by Israel acting in it's own defense at some point, is a near certainty at some point in our near lifetimes.

ke_future:

i'm curious. on the one hand you say that diplomacy is the right tack to take. then you turn around and say that you don't think it will work. at what point do you take the next step beyond diplomacy? this is a discussion i've been wanting to have with someone on the left for a while. i keep hearing that diplomacy is the end all be all of foreign policy. yet history shows us that sometimes diplomacy doesn't work.

for you, when do you decide that diplomacy is a lost cause? when do you move on to the next stage? and what do you think that should be?

Chad:

Paul, I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the idea that Israel would use nukes. Israel's government has ONE purpose. The Security of the state of Israel. All policies, programs, and departments regard Israel's security as the first priority. After being surrounded by hostile neighbors for 61 years, do you really feel that they wouldn't use nukes against the crazies in charge of Iran? If they thought that was the optimal way to secure their people and nation, you bet they would. President Obama needs to start manning up and abiding by our agreements with our allies. If you are friends of the Colombian government, you don't go shaking hands with Chavez (the #1 supporter of FARC) while his minions try to destabilize Colombia. I'd love to see diplomacy work with Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Somalia, but when you have irrational, illogical monomaniacal egotists in charge, it isn't going to work.

Paul Hooson:

Hello, Ke. This Iran situation is unique here in that military action may seem like the only path to stopping Iran's nuclear program. Yet I strongly doubt that Israel has conventional weapons powerful enough to penetrate 75 foot or deeper hardened bunkers to stop the program. A failed military raid by Israel using conventional weapons would mean that Iran would still have their nuclear program, plus added fuel anger over the military raid in their nation and would eventually use nuclear weapons on Israel once they were available. Without nuclear arms used against the hardened bunkers in Iran, Israel likely fails to even make a dent in their program. And an Israeli nuclear attack against Iran would incite a terrible response from Russia, North Korea, if not China and other states with strong ties to Iran. The U.S. could be forced to clean up major mess wrought by a failed Israeli military raid.

Is diplomacy with Iran on this nuclear issue the best path? Certainly. Will diplomacy with Iran work? Likely not. Will military action short of using nuclear direct strikes on Iran's hardened bunkers work? Likely not. Will military action using conventional weapons work? Almost certainly not. Could this all cause a world crisis close enough to a World War Three scenario? Highly Likely.

Unlike so many other foreign policy situations, including the close proximity of Israel surrounded by many less than friendly neighbors, tiny Israel which is only 11 miles wide in one area could invite a huge war that makes it difficult to defend that nation.

There was a book written a few years ago about Israel's military strategy if Arab neighbors were to over run the nation called THE SAMSON OPTION. Israel has nuclear land mines and other nuclear weapons, where much like Samson, the final defense strategy is to blow up both Israel's enemies as well as Israel itself, if not the entire MidEast with nuclear weapons, where no one gets Israel. That's not the very best plan to win a war that I've ever heard, mass suicide by a nation, killing friend and enemy alike.

I just don't envision a conventional arms military raid headed by Israel alone against Iran succeeding. And when it fails, the U.S. could get drug into a terrible military mess. There is no good military option here. Attempt after attempt at diplomacy is the best path, but also very likely to fail as well. Then it is hoped that MAD(Mutually Assured Destruction) would be the only thing preventing a nuclear Israel and Iran from facing off against each other much like the old Soviet Union and the United States once did.

In short, this mess has no good options. This is a real serious foreign policy problem, this Iranian nuclear program. One heck of a problem.

Paul Hooson:

Hello, Chad. Certainly Israel could choose to use nukes to get at those hardened Iranian nuclear program bunkers. My letter to Ke above dealt with that scenario and what I believe could result from this. This could create a serious military problem dragging in the U.S.

One nation like Israel suddenly nuking a neighbor like Iran would certainly be more than a minor event.

bryanD:

Israel will toot its horn (as usual) and continue accepting welfare from the US taxpayer.

Despite its druthers, bombing an open society like Iran in the name of anti-Hitlerism runs the distinct risk of Israel alienating the US mama while inviting concerted reprisals from an upset nuclear Pakistan (after the coup d'etat) and war with Iran.

Israel's gambit always relies on strong allies to bail it out after quick gains(France and UK in 1956(aborted), USA in 1973). 1967 was lucky. 1982 and since have taught hard lessons despite tiny foes. Iran is not tiny and Pakistan is ferocious.

To give credit to Israel, Israeli citizens tend to dump their war-mongering governments, so politicians there must consider the net value. A good thing.

Chad:

How is Iran an open society? It's a highly restrictive theocracy. I'd say Israel has a very valid concern in Iran's nuclear policy. When the leaders of a country claim that you have no right to exist, and that you as a people should be exterminated, then you have no choice but to fight. Pakistan doesn't have the capability to get a nuke through to Israel, and neither will most of the rest of the world once "the iron shield" is fully operational.

Rich Fader:

So despite Barry being nice to the Iranian government, not like mean old Bush was, Mahmoud and company are still the same delightful "Death to America! Death to Israel!"-shrieking festering hemorrhoids they were before the election, still the same they were, in fact, thirty years ago? Shocka. Never could have seen that coming. Never ever.

Barack Obama. Smartest. Administration. Ever.

Lee Ward:

Undoing the Republican shit-fest will take more a couple of months, Rich. It may 20 years. Hope you enjoy having a couple of decades of Democratic administration in the White House.

Rich Fader:

Lee, again, they've been like this since the '79 revolution, no matter who was in the White House. The behavior of the Iranian Revolutionary government is not the product of a Republican shit-fest, or even a Democratic shit-fest. This is how they are. This is how they're going to be, unless somebody, whether it's us, Israel or somebody else, makes it clear to them that stupidity is going to cause serious and perhaps fatal pain to them and their regime. Thinking happy thoughts, talking happy talk, speaking sweet reason and chirping "Mahmoud, can't, can't we all just get along?" is, as much as you would like to believe otherwise, not going to do that. No, we can't all get along. They don't want to. They don't care. Understand that reality, or suffer the consequences of refusing to understand it.

Lee Ward:

Iran's progression into the nuclear club occurred under the shit-fest administered by George W. Bush. Bush didn't make things better, he made things demonstrably worse - destabilizing the region and jeopardizing Iran.

It was all part of the neocon agenda - destabilize the mid-east as a an excuse to go in and wipe out Iran.

Iran responded by ratcheting up their nuclear program, and ratcheting up the anti-israel rheteric.

Bush had 8 years. Obama has had 8 weeks. My money says Obama will do a lot better than Bush.

ke_future:

lee, that was an incredible ignorant post.

iran has been working on nuclear potential for a long, long time. if they were able to progess during the past eight years, it was not because of anything that bush did, but because the international community has nto been consistent and coherent on trying to stop them. how many times did the USSR or China oppose any UN action to try to contain Iran's nuclear ambition for instance?

and the middle east is not less stable now. did you ever take a look at all the crap saddam pulled when he was leading iraq? did you not know that he invaded his neighbors, that he started wars, that he exterminated his own people? to say that the middle east today is worse because of bush is to only show that you really don't know what you are talking about.

neocon agend to destablize the middle east? where do you dream up this crap, lee? the neocon agenda, if there is one, is to expand the reach of democracy, by forcibly removing dictators and other democracy foes if necessary.

i've asked before, and you've never ansered, do you actually pay attention to what happens in the world? iran has espouced anti-isreali rhetoric since 1979. jeez.

you can think that obama will do a lot better than bush, if you want. for my money, he's pretty bad. not as bad as carter, but getting there in a hurry.

Arif:

Interesting,I feel that it is not right for Israel to bomb Iran either any of them. Using war word and fighting physiologic war is ok. Because the moment war breaks, Israel cannot survive. When American Inter vine mean then Russia and other will involve the war it will be world war. What can Israel do with Iran with massive population huge force. On Naval ground even USA is worried due Russia build Torpedoes are with Iran. 10% ship can escape from the this weapon. If you think in this war Indian, Russian, Chinese, with number of population will not be matched with USA, Israel, UK, French and Spanish. German will not join the War. Again the Problem will be Energy Russian will stop to supply Europe so They need to be more neutral ground specially countries Germany East Europe. I feel the best is to talk for peace.
Do not be foolish gold Idea that you will win NO.

Well it look's as if the Obama administration is getting ready to dump Israel.Those USA Jews around 75% of them were stupid enough to vote for him, they must have been doubly stupid when they were taken in by his mesmeric powers of speech, they the liberal jews of the USA prefer to be accepted by other liberals, than care about the fate of Israel. One moment he said that jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel and the next minute he want's them to surrender east jerusalem to the Palis. it took nineteen years from 1948-1967 for any jew let alone israel nationals to be able once again to pray at the holiest site of Judaism, The last remaining wall of the 2nd Temple, The jordanians reneged on the 1949 armistice agreement whereby citizens of israel and world jewry could pray at the wall. Do you honestly think that Israel will agree to obama's demand. It's about now that Israel thinks deeply about what their future holds for them, maybe they should join forces with Russia,and between them they can both sort out Iran and the rest of the arab world. That would give Obama something to think about, he would be finished.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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