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THE U.S. WOULD NOT PROTECT ISRAEL
Even if Iran never used a nuclear bomb, one of the key dangers of Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons is nuclear proliferation! A Nuclear Iran will force several Arab states to develop/buy their own nuclear weapons, which the Saudis can do with ease. Nuclear weapon proliferation in the highly volatile Middle East with its sectarian and tribal hate would be uncontrollable.
Yes, it is drastically different to have nuclear weapons by a Western country, like England, France, or Russia, than an Arab country. The reverence for life of their own citizens is so drastically different.
To stop Iran’s rapidly advancing nuclear weapons program, I believe that the best way now, so late in the game, is for the US and Europe to severely attack Syria’s military ASAP. It would be so much easier, even with their Russian air-defense system, compare to attacking Iran’s hidden installations and massive, advanced Russian air-defense systems. Attacking Syria would send a powerful signal to Iran that the World means business, and it could be better for Iran to stop its nuclear weapon program before it is being attacked.
If the danger from Iran was only to Israel, the recent promises of president Obama not withstanding, Israel could not depend on the US to stop Iran’s nuclear weapon’s program. What leaders say and do are two different things much of the time. Not only that, there is some possibility that the US may try to stop Israeli’ attack on Iran’s nuclear installations. It may not suite the President’s reelection plans, or another reasons. It is doing it now verbally; note all the trips to Israel of top U.S. officials, from the previous US Chief of Staff, to current US Chief of Staff, and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. More over, why is it the responsibility of the US to protect Israel unless it is in the interest of the U.S? However, the danger is much larger, not only to the total Middle East and the global oil supply, but to Europe and the US too.
Because of the different levels of risk, and the immense capabilities of the US military, Israel and the US naturally view the situation very differently. Israel may be able to destroy some critical portions of Iran’s nuclear fabrication system that may take a relatively short time to rebuild. The US can inflict significantly larger damage that may take years to rebuild.
The US could wait; however Israel is under the gun and can’t wait too long. The risk that Israel, such a miniature country, is facing is almost a national destruction, a second holocaust. The risk to the US in the coming years from Iran with full nuclear weapon capability is considerably smaller, but also very real. To name just one: Iran supplying nuclear weapons to terrorists who ship it to a US harbor destroying one of our cities. There is no way to stop that relatively easy attack, while Iran would seem innocent.
Israel’s urgency also stems from a different grasp of reality. The Israelis can understand the unique mentality, the danger emanating from the deeply religiously grounded Iran’s leadership and its many supporters. As ex. Mosad head Daggan just said, Iran’s leadership is very smart and calculating, able to outsmart the West for many years. They are not fanatically erratic; they know what they are doing. But, the majority of Western leadership and people, especially the less realistic US Left, are unable to grasp the danger from all the various leaders of Iran. It is not just President Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who want to menace the world; they have huge support from the vast military and significant portion of the residents, especially the conservative rural population. Their desire for supremacy is based also on their ancient historical power, an attitude held by a great portion of Iranians.
The U.S. promise of American military support has no security value. Israel history is full of false promises and pressure on Israel by different US Administrations. Here are some examples:
1. The State Dept. under General Marshal was dead set against the creation of the State of Israel. And for many decades the State Department continue to support Arab states and against Israel on many occasions.
2. The US embargoed all military supply to the Middle East during the 1947-8 Arab/Israel war was one sided: the US refused to supply even steal plates to protect Israeli buses from sniper attacks. At the same time Syria, Egypt, Iraq and the Saudis had their huge national resources to support their attack on Israel.
3. President Eisenhower stopped the England/France/Israel coalition effort to regain international control of the Sues Canal during the 1956 war after Egypt confiscated it from its owners and stopped Israeli shipping.
4. US pressure on Israel. Israel is a very small country, 20 Israel’s can fit into California. Therefore Israel can not fight effectively a defensive war-- there is no safe place for the population, no place to hide military industry, no place to maneuver. Therefore when Israel is about to be attacked, Israel must start a preemptive war whenever possible. Just a day or two can make a significant impact. It did so in 1967 and won in six days. However, in 1973 Prime Minister Golda Meir succumbed to US Secretary of State Kissinger’s pressure that warned Israel not to initiate a preemptive attack before the Arab attacks. Israel was very close to a defeat at in that war, it prevailed almost by luck. The help from President Nixon, against the advice of Kissinger, was too late to help the war effort, since it came after the bloody Israeli victory. That Yom Kippur war was won with considerably more risk and more Israeli’ bloodshed than was necessary if Israel had a preemptive strike. Note also that the Arab casualties would have been much lower if Israel attacked first, because the battles would have been won faster and with less bloodshed.
5. During the1991 First Gulf War, the US asked Israel not to respond to Iraqi’ rockets and promised Israel that the US would do all it could to protect Israel from Sadam. Prime Minister Shamir promised President Bush not to interfere in the war, and kept it despite considerable internal pressure to destroy Sadam’s rocket launchers. It was determined later that the US did very little to protect Israel from Sadam’s rockets. The US had explained that it would have taken too much military power away from the war. An unjustified excuse, many believed, since Saddam capitulated in a very short time and with minimal effort. US inaction was covered up to minimize conflict with a very hostile US Administration. The Israeli’ population was very upset and stressed at that period counting on false US promises.
The main interest of the US is to achieve its own goals and aspirations. We have many good attributes, but like all nations we are NOT an idealistic, benevolent country willing to help others at high costs to our own interests. This should not be a surprise to us, that is the global reality! This is a normal direction that most governments take. In the same way Israel must pursue its own best path to protect itself. And the current vital issue is how to stop Iran’s nuclear weapon program in time.
I do not know many military facts, but there is only one way I can see and it is a powerful Israeli air attack only on a select set of nuclear targets that would cause the maximum long term impact. The Iranian’ people would be barely impacted and the embargo imposed on Iran could be then lifted, depending on Iran’s support of terrorism. To overcome Israel’s lack of massive earth-penetrating bombs, there is a possibility that Israel could use miniature/tactical nuclear weapons with low radiation similar to the ones the US developed several decades ago. The propaganda damage to Israel would be high, but the survival of Iran’s facilities is not acceptable.
Obviously the US, the strongest military force in the world now, is capable with ease, to destroy all the Iranian nuclear facilities of significance, and relevant military installations too. The US military has immense amount of resources, especially for such a short term operation that would take a week or so.
The Iranian's response would be mostly terrorism by forcing Hizbullah and Hamas to attack Israeli civilians to the maximum extent possible irrespective of risk to them. That would cause tremendous loss of life and property across much of Israel. There would be very few safe places to hide for the majority of the population. But it is far superior than to be under a nuclear attack!
The recent attacks from Gaza, sending over 100 rockets into Israel in a few days, may be a trial run, or an attempt to warn Israel what could happen if Iran gives the order.
Any way we look at it, it is an intolerable situation. A political solution would be the best, but it is not possible, I believe. All options are very difficult. It is a selection between several unwanted options.
p.s. The pentagon just issued serious reservations about attacking Syria. The Iranians can only laugh at our threat of military action when we are unwilling to take on Syria, a much easier target.
A comment received:
Dear Dr. Ginosar
Now your talking realpolitic. We Jews have a sentimental and emotional attachment to Israel that can blind us to the realities of international relations. Friend and foe can change overnight and I am glad you wrote this realistic assessment of the situation. Most people make the mistake of seeing nation states as people. I know most Jews would find your conclusions shocking and I hope, "THE US WOULD NOT PROTECT ISRAEL" should be distributed as widely as possible.