If Israel attacks Iran

There’s much speculation over whether or not Israel will attempt to attack Iran’s nuclear program. I think the odds of that happening are relatively high. After all, Iraq and Syria both attempted to establish nuclear programs in the past, and Israel successfully attacked both nations’ programs. I’m sure there are many in Israel who want to build on those past successes.

However, the political ramifications of such a strike would be enormously complicated. The Council on Foreign Relations, which I don’t particularly trust as an impartial source (it’s too well connected to the US ‘establishment’ for that), has nevertheless published a useful collection of perspectives in its journal, Foreign Affairs, under the title ‘The Iran Debate: To Strike or Not to Strike‘. I recommend that you click over there and read some of their articles for yourself. They make useful food for thought.

My biggest fear is that it may no longer be possible for Israel to neutralize Iran’s nuclear program with a conventional military strike. The latter country is believed to be planning to move critical components of its program to a newly-prepared underground site, which it hopes will be relatively impervious to aerial interdiction. It’s also separated different elements of its nuclear program to widely-dispersed locations, and tried to keep many of them secret, making targeting difficult. Even the USA, with its comparatively large air force, might find it hard to target every site simultaneously – and unless that’s done, the first strikes on some sites would be a warning to Iran to move other sites’ contents out of danger very quickly, before follow-up strikes are launched, and/or to move anti-aircraft defenses to the latter sites to make the job of attacking aircraft much more difficult and dangerous.

If Israel mounts a less-than-fully-successful air strike against Iran’s nuclear program, I believe Iran will go all-out to produce and test a nuclear warhead as fast as possible, as an ‘in-your-face’ response to Israel and the rest of the world. That, in turn, may (probably will) trigger an Israeli nuclear attack against Iran. I don’t think Israel will hesitate for a moment to do that. The Holocaust is history to the rest of the world, but to Israel, it’s living memory. They won’t permit a country that so openly threatens them, and boasts of Israel’s coming destruction, to acquire such a capability. However, if they do launch a nuclear attack on Iran, that in turn will trigger an all-out rush to acquire nuclear weapons by almost every Muslim country in the Middle East. Pakistan is likely to be willing to help them do so.

Any such attack will also destabilize the international economy. A third of the world’s oil supply flows through the Strait of Hormuz. An attack on Iran would shut that down for at least a short period, and more likely considerably longer. With world economies already balanced on a knife-edge of uncertainty, that would be just about all she wrote. We’d be back into a full-blown international depression and recession before you could blink. Ongoing instability in the Middle East and the Muslim world might keep us there almost indefinitely.

It worries me to read so many speaking glibly about Israel attacking Iran, claiming that it’s both necessary and inevitable. It may be both . . . but in that case, the consequences will be just as inevitable, and we’ll all be hurt by them. I don’t have an answer to the situation, but I suggest we keep a very wary eye on developments.



  1. The only things that are inevitable is our greed and religious bigotry will in the end doom us.
    Get the hell out of the middle east, and stop meddling in their internal affairs. Israel either stands on her own or is not worthy of nation status

    Probably sell us the oil for less too

  2. The obvious questions concern just what is likely to happen if Israel and the US let Iran alone. Balance that against the probable events (and fallout) if Israel does what it is likely to do.

    This is the classic least of multiple evils situation. Barring Divine intervention, I don't expect anything good will come out of this situation in the next 100 years or so.

  3. Israel has no choice. They cannot allow Iran to become a nuclear power and survive. A nuclear Iran is unthinkable. I personally thought they would have struck before Obama took office but they didn't.

  4. I think what makes this situation so volatile is our current President. Since his loyalty lies not with Israel, but with the Muslim countries, Israel feels isolated and not certain of our commitment to their longevity.
    On March 5th Stratfor Global Intelligence ran a three-part article which included the Geopolitics of America, Russia and Israel. The Israeli segment pointed out why we are allies: for the simple reason that the United States needs access to the Eastern Mediterranean! I believe right about now, the President is cursing this need. He does not know which way to turn – either insult his Middle East friends, and commit to Israel's problems, or let Israel languish until the very last moment, and then step in.
    This is an election year, and as Peter pointed out several months ago, if the President commits and helps Israel now, he could very well lose this election.
    He is hoping that he can calm Israel down long enough to win this election, and then make a decision. Tough either way.

  5. I think Google has a feature where you can select many different nuclear weapons and drop them on a geographical location. It tells you the immediate destruction and a fallout cloud. I wonder just what the repercussions will be if we have a domino effect of multiple nuclear attacks in the area.

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