Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Israel and Iran
"The fact that Ha'aretz, Israel's left-leaning daily, found it necessary on February 17 to warn the Benjamin Netenyahu government not to attack Iran strongly suggests that the option is on the table. ... Hillary ... Clinton was quoted as saying that the 'evidence doesn't support' Iran's claim it is pursuing a peaceful nuclear program. ... Israel ... can act like an American client state, or a regional superpower. Either decision would have substantial costs. ... That is the concern of the editors of Ha'aretz: 'The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, warned in Tel Aviv on Sunday of the unepected consequences of an Israeli attack on Iran, just as he did during the days of the [George W] Bush administration. ... No matter how much 'intelligence help' and diplomatic support' Israel might get from the [US], Israel's capacity to deliver conventional munitions at a distance of 1,250 miles (2012 kilometers) could not eradicate the Iranian nuclear program, which is located in hardened underground facilities. ... Iran's perceived attempt to acquire nuclear weapons, though, is not Israel's problem as such; the problem is that Israel is the ally of a superpower that does not want to be a superpower, headed by a president with a profound emotional attachment to a nostalgic image of the Third World. If America were in fact acting like a superpower, the problem would not have arisen in the first place, for the [US] would use its considerably greater resources to destroy Iran's nuclear program. Rather than focus on the second-order effect--the consequences of Iran's possible acquisition of nuclear weapons--Israeli analysts should consider the primary issue, namely the strategic zimzum of the [US]. The correct questions are: 1) can Israel act as a regional superpower independently of the [US], and 2) what would Israel do to establish its regional superpower status? ... To act as a regional superpower, Israel would have to take actions that shift the configuration of forces in its favor. ... First, the Sunni Arab states have a stronger interest than Israel's to stop Iran from possibly going nuclear. ... The Saudis have done everything but take out a full-page ad in the Washington Post to encourage the Obama adminstration to attack Iran. Prince Saud al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, warned on February 15 that sanctions were a long-term measure while the world faces a short-term threat from Iran. Egypt reportedly has allowed Israeli missile ships to pass through the Suez Canal en route to the Persian Gulf. Secondly, Russia might well prefer to deal with Israel as an independent regional power than as an ally of the [US]. ... Russian-Israeli cooperation in a number of military fields has improved markedly during the past year, including the first-ever sale of Israeli weapons to Russia (drones) and Israeli help for the Russian-Indian 'fifth generation' fighter project", my emphasis, Spengler at the Asia Times, 17 February 2010, link: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/LB18Ak01.html.
I think Spengler has this knocked. Israel fought the Arabs in 1948 using Czech weapons. Huh? Did Stalin supply those? Yes.