Sunday, 12 February 2012

Should Israel Attack Iran?

Iran has on many occasions made it clear that the State of Israel should not and will not exist for much longer. They have supplied their proxies on Israel's borders, the Hamas and Hezbollah, with weapons and they now have a nuclear weapons programme that they will not give up.

We are currently in the midst of an increasingly heated psychological warfare campaign and disinformation effort of which it is impossible to make sense. However, it appears that Israel has failed in its attempts to prevent Iran from developing its nuclear capability.

Although, the idea of a nuclear Iran makes many very uncomfortable, the only country that is openly and aggressively being threatened by Iran is Israel.

There is some similarity to 1967, when Nasser moved his army into the Sinai, threw out the UN peacekeepers, closed the straits of Tiran and declared that finally Israel would be annihilated.

Should Israel go out on a pre-emptive strike?


  1. Auf keinen Fall angreifen! Ja, sich wehren, wenn Iran angreift. Aber nicht zuerst aktiv werden.

  2. It seems that Iran could have 1-3 nuclear weapons ready within a year. Israel is believed to have anywhere between 75-400 nuclear warheads and practice a policy of "strategic ambiguity" in hopes of psychologically deterring attacks. This policy/possession makes Israel seem both aggressive and a perfect target for attention seekers.
    Could Iran really stand a chance? (And that´s not even considering what the USA would do to Iran.)
    Should Israel strike "pre-emptively" it would be an act of aggression that would probably bring counter attacks not only from Iran, but many of its´other neighbors as well. Isreal would then certainly be annihilated.
    So what was your question? Who is more stupid?

  3. By all means, yes!

    We are being lured into believing that we would be dealing with a "responsible" nuclear power if Iran were to gain this capacity. Dream on or better still
    look back in history: had the Germans been faster at developping the bomb than the Manhattan Project, surely, WWII would have ended in a peace treaty with no blood, haha.

    We have 3 carriers in the Gulf at this point. Let the Israeli F16 and F15 run first strike and then call the cavallerie with the bunker breakers. Obama can´t say no or he´ll loose the election.

    1. You may be able to start a war. But you can't end it...
      Isn't there enough "trouble" going on in your country? The world would support Israel in a very hesitant way, if you started...

      Make peace - no war! We've had enough of wars in the past.

    2. There is time for Peace and time for War.
      Iran time bomb is ticking and it feels like any attempt for nagotiations is just helping Iran to get a bit closer to and actual working bomb.

  4. Suppose that instead of USA it would have been Israel who had attacked Iraq out of fear for nuclear war later on.. The whole world would have cried out against Israel, the more so as no nuclear weapons were found.

    The evidence against Iran now is flimsier than against Iraq then - or so we were made to believe. And the support for Israel with that Netanyahu has deteriorated in a heavy way. So israel has not much credit left in the (western) world and therefore I think it would be very unwise and very dangerous for Israel to start a war against Iraq. It would stand alone.

    On the other hand, if Israel were to be attacked by Iraq, it would in any case have the support of the UN , NATO and the western world and would not stand alone. i think Israel would have a better chance of surviving then. (if Iraq would drop nuclear bombs of course Israel would be destroyed rightaway).
    In both cases though I think it would really be a fight for survival for Israel, so I am very pessimistic right now.

    Holland has always supported Israel and our government still does, but the people now are almost uniformly against Israel and I fear the consequences of that attitude if it would come to a vote in parliament to yes or no send troops or airplanes and rockets in case of war to support Israel. And I also doubt that NATO would.

    I think Israel severely underestimates the effects of Israels years long disobedience to the United Nations Security Council's ordinances.

  5. My impression is that there are plenty of Iranians who hate their own government more than they hate Israel. If Israel is patient, Iran will probably self-implode.

  6. Leider kommentiere ich kaum Deine Berichte. Daß liegt nicht an Desinteresse, sondern daran, daß ich meistens die angesprochenen Themen zu wenig kenne.

  7. Replies
    1. My reasons:
      (1) It will only further inflame the situation in the region.
      (2) Israel acquired nuclear weapons clandestinely and so lacks the moral authority to act against other nations that do the same. Perhaps international, collective action should be taken against certain states aiming to acquire such weapons, but the suggestion that Israel should unilaterally take such action, or is justified in doing so, is unacceptable to me.

      Of course, I don't want to see new nuclear powers, and I do recognize the dangers in there being a rival power to Israel in the region (particularly religious nutters on either side who may gain control of the weapons and who may not be so bothered by the prospect of mutually assured destruction).

  8. L'ultima domanda che poni e' cosi' drammatica che non sono capace di dare una risposta. Vorrei vederti.

  9. As you say, Israel is Iran's only declared target, so the answer really is for Israelis. What I would say is that if Israel believes the threat is real (ie Iran is close to having bombs and a delivery system), it cannot rely on global diplomacy to rein Iran in.
    The calculation then is whether a (successful non nuclear) strike would cost Israel further disproportionate diplomatic capital. My guess is not: the conventional West would be more or less secretly grateful, the Russians and Chinese would probably make noises but turn a blind eye, and even some in the arab world (eg the Saudis) might like to see Iran cut down to size.
    Who knows whether or not a strike would impede the replacement of the Ayatollahs with more amenable Iranian leadership - that has been predicted for some time, it has not happened and the prospects do not seem to be improving. As for Syria and its local clones....

    Of course there may still be more cunning options like dispatching more of the key technical players in Iran's nuclear programme, and their sponsors in other countries, but the tactics are the province of those who have the intelligence - I do not.

    For the rest of the world, the issue is one of nuclear proliferation. If we blast Iran, why not Pakistan, North Korea, India, Israel itself of course, and whoever else is next in line? I fear we are going to have to live with a lot more 'unpredictable' countries, or factions, with the odd nuke or two and that may make people reflect on the merits of the relatively predictable US/USSR post war monopoly - with the Brits and the French merely symbolic players with a historical legacy to uphold. Predictable, because they played the conventional power politics game which meant that nukes were of more value as a perceived threat against others than a reality, and MAD saw to it that they never used them on each other. In fact, I don't recall that nuclear weapons gained the US/USSR much real political power over others, or at least it does not seem to have bothered Ho Chi Minh, Castro (even after 1962) etc....

    That reflection might prompt overdue focus on alternative forms of global governance of nuclear power for military use.
    If USA and Russia realise that their ownership of most nuclear weapons is of scant value, when faced with an Iran etc with but a few, and the real threat to them comes, not from each other, but from proliferation, which they do not have the global legitimacy to control, then they might conclude that a legitimised global authority with teeth is the only way to manage that threat. Of course, that might pose a problem for Israel, or any other country which values its nukes as a doomsday trump card.

  10. It is absolute insanity for Israel to even consider attacking

  11. certainly not now.

  12. A nuclear armed country attacking a country soon to be nuclear armed, does not seem to me to be a route to peace. If I lived in Israel I might think differently, I hope not. A lasting peace cannot be bought about by aggression. Both Iran and Israel ought to have learned that lesson many times over. P

  13. Ich halte die Idee eines israelischen Angriffs auf den Iran für eine irrationale Panikreaktion.
    Die Zwangsvorstellung, ein Präventivschlag sei im Wettlauf mit der Zeit notwendig, weil Israel sich angesichts der atomaren Rüstung des Iran zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt eines iranischen Atomangriffs nicht mehr erwehren könne, ist zwar aus der Lage Israels verständlich, aber dennoch falsch.
    Es war ein ganz analoges Denken, das die deutschen Militärs vor dem ersten Weltkrieg zu einem Präventivkrieg drängte, weil sie annahmen, der Rüstungswettlauf mit England, Frankreich und Russland sei nicht zu gewinnen und führe dazu, dass diese Gegner in wenigen Jahren nicht mehr zu schlagen seien. Dieser Krieg wurde dann zur europäischen Initial-Katastrophe des zurückliegenden Jahrhunderts.

    Im Fall Iran ist ja durchaus vorstellbar, dass Achmadineschad den Besitz der Atombombe als enormen Prestigegewinn feiern wird, ohne aber die Bombe je einzusetzen. Schließlich existieren die verfeindeten Atommächte Pakistan und Indien auch nebeneinander, ohne dass es knallt. Achmadineschad kennt ja auch die Risiken eines Atomangriffs angesichts der Schutzmachtrolle der USA. Andererseits würde ein israelischer Angriff Israel politisch in der ganzen Region ins Unrecht setzen, zum entscheidenden Vorteil des Iran.
    Bleibt es beim Status quo, hat Achmadineschads Regime keine Ewigkeitsgarantie angesichts der inneren Opposition gegen sein Regime und der Altersstruktur in der iranischen Bevölkerung.
    Ich hoffe, mit diesen Argumenten bestätige ich Deine Haltung in dieser weltpolitisch höchst gefährlichen Situation.

  14. Probably not, because, first, of the security provided by MAD; second, a military strike may be in effective; and, third, the diplomatic and political consequences would be negative.

  15. I would first exhaust any other method or means to topple the present government, even pumping enough money to opposition groups, subversive organizations etc etc. Training Iranians in the diaspora properly and infiltrating them (should have been started ages ago).
    The people of Iran are against their government. Why should they get killed too and turn into additional enemies of Israel forever. You then have Palestinian and Arab and Persian majorities against Israel. Look at the south of Lebanon. Another generation of youngsters is filled with hatred. This has to stop. Or else one day the perpetual enemy will get his chance and use it brutally…

    On the other hand, one has to try and stop Iran from developing atomic bombs. Why doesn’t the international community decide and execute ever harder measures together, leaving Israel out of the action.

  16. Israel has no mandate to act on behalf of the UN and would be ill advised to make a unilateral first step in a conflict with a desastrous outcome for Israel, if not in military than definitely in moral terms.

    Verbal attacks of Iran cannot justify self-defence at a time when there is no clear evidence of nuclear weapons in Iran. The policy for Israel must be to isolate Iran and to secure the unanimous solidarity and support of the UN.

  17. This is the subject of the moment!

    I see no merit and lots of downside to military action. For at best the gain of a few years' delay in Iran's acquisition of a nuclear weapon, it would trigger serious tension and instabiliy in he region and moe widely, and Israel's leaders might pause to reflect that an attack is exactly what the Tehran hardliners want, and that nothing would do more to consolidate their hold on power (as Saddam Hussein did for Ayatollah Khomeini in 1980), or reinforce their determination to acquire a nuclear weapon. Whereas I believe there is still scope for averting this by oher means.

    Hopes that the main purpose of Israeli rhetoric on this subject was to encourage further toughening of international sanctions (quite effectively) is starting to fade! But I hope wiser counsels will prevail

  18. אני חושב שישראל לא צריכה לתקוף באירן, כי זו תהיה תחילתה של מלחמה קשה, אבל היא צריכה לקדם את הפסקת פרוייקט הגרעין האירני, אם ע"י סנקציות או ע"י תקיפה אמריקאית

  19. Is there an acceptable answer to the question? I remember being in London in 1967 and the, one can almost say euphoria, that greeted Israels `Blitzkrieg´ The admiration for the quick and effective attack was loud to be heard through the entire spectrum of the London that I then knew , however I am not at all sure that there would be a great deal of support at present for an attack on the part of Israel, even if Iran`s nuclear activities are disturbing. Remember Pandora`s box ! It took along time for the butterfly to emerge and who was still around to witness that !!!
    My hope is that war can be avoided and a peaceful ,if uneasy, solution found. Perhaps if the state Israel could reach an amicable arrangement with its neighbours
    Irans leaders would have a healthy respect for such a power block. In a direct confrontation at the moment I fear there would be little open support for such a move
    and there are great powers far enough away from the dangers of nuclear effects who could be aware of resulting economic benefits for themselves. Let others do the dirty work and see who cleans-up.

    Wish I could have said something more positive.

  20. Es bleibt nur der Weg über diplomatischen Druck und die Hoffnung auf den wachsenden Widerstand der iranischen Jugend.

  21. No preventive attack by Israel necessary, Iran is just showing off.

  22. Die Bedrohung durch den Iran ist zwar sehr ernst zu nehmen; es sprechen aber folgende Punkte dagegen:
    1. Ein militärischer Angriff gegen 8 bis 10 Bunkeranlagen über das ganze Land verstreut, wäre sehr aufwendig. Die „Kollateralschäden“ in der Bevölkerung sind ethisch nicht zu vertreten.
    2. Ein präemptiver Angriff führt zwangsläufig zu einem Flächenbrand in der Region mit großen Risiken für Israel-
    3. Ahmadinejad ist ein gefährlicher „ Spinner“, dessen Zeit aber innenpolitisch bald abgelaufen ist.
    So hart das klingt: Israel sollte Frieden mit den Paästinensern machen, sich aus den besetzten Gebieten zurückziehen und damit Angriffsgründe von außen reduzieren.

  23. There are a number of questions really:
    1. Has Israel a genuine chance of destroying - or at least delaying by a good few years - Iran`s nuclear armament program?
    2. What are the consequences of Iran`s retaliation (not just directly, but also via Hamas and Hizbollah)?
    3. How would America react, how Russia (or indeed China, India and Pakistan)? - note the absence of Europe in this question.

    A fourth question must be asked also:
    Even when they do become a nuclear power, how probable is it that Iran will indeed attack Israel by nuclear means?
    After all this would entail fearsome consequences for them as well - and they know it.

    I don`t envy the Israeli prime minister.

  24. I don't know about the real Iranian potential and will to do damage and about Irans opposition. Their last revolt was crushed, but since then a lot has happened. "Real and true" insights are hard to get. Certainly Iran has a tradition of not being an admirer of Israel, but I think the last lost war and the Arab Spring would be quite the deterrent for the leaders. Israel will have more international problems as before if it strikes pre-emptive- not under UNO-mandate and with a history of leaving UN-resolutions unfulfilled. The PLO at last has presented itself as a diplomatic force, Mahmud Abbas as the "voice of reason" hampered and obstructed by the biased, muleheaded and lying Netanjahu (Palestinian land still taken without recompense contrary to the old Roadmap to peace of 1993- a road paved by broken promises), who even now does nothing to stop the "conquering settlers" who even deem their own soldiers the enemy if it suits them.
    The situation is complicated, but Netanjahus and Liebermanns Israel has lost many of its sympathies and benevolence. I think they did wrong by their people!
    And about pre-emptive striking: Since the dawn of civilization man has waged war. Egyptians for example did the deed for Maat (order) and waged war against chaos, Assyrians against all those who disagreed to god Assurs absolute reign, Persians for truth against lie. Romans and scholasts introduced the concept of bellum iustum, and pre-emptive strikes are mostly not considered just. So here we have something that might/will bring the boiling pot to explode.
    So I really, really hope (hope is eternal) that on both sides the moderate and humane will get to voice their opinions and not some high of themselves men who aren't able to see more than their own personal profits, keeping their power the most obvious. Is there anyone that still talks about the social situation in Israel? Where are the protesters? Does anyone still speak of the miracle of the Land for all changing to being in the hands of (no guarantee for the numbers as I just happened upon them in one little newsarticle) twenty families? Defy inner opponents by uniting the people against outer enemies is also a scheme old as man (divide et impera). So, like I said, still hoping...