Israeli Military Response to Iran: Good or Bad?

Jason Cousineau -  August 21st, 2010  Bookmark and Share

Cousineau ReportThe prospect of a nuclear Iran is something that I've spoke of before but only in the most vague terms. Long-time regular visitors to the Speakeasy know that I've outlined before how I believe World War III will start and what the sides will be. To recap for those who arrived after last call:

On the side of angels: US, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Australia, UK and the new addition of France

On the other side: Iran, Afghanistan, Russia, China, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and the rest of OPEC

What future historians will call the spark that started it may be Iraq's invasion of Kuait or perhaps the US demolishing Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. September 11, 2001 will be mentioned but only as a 'lead up' much like the Great Depression is considered a 'lead up' to World War II. 

Regardless, that's how the lines are drawn at this moment as I understand international politics. I will freely admit to having no more information that is available to anyone with access to the internet. Then I read this article from the Atlantic by Jeffrey Goldberg. I realize that the game changed as of January 2009 with the swearing in of Barak Obama.

I have made no secret of my dislike for our President. I think his economic and domestic policies are abyssal failures the like of which has almost never been seen. What truly concerns me, as a husband and father, as a religious man and as a rabid news-hound with opinions to spare is his failures on foreign agenda. He has either underestimated our allies, overestimated our enemies or willingly turned a blind eye to both. In the past year he has succeeded in not only alienating England, Columbia and Japan, annoying Australia, and set South Korea into a hand-wringing episode to make Lady MacBeth jealous, but he has also managed to get President Zarkozy of France to consider him weak. His ambivalence in Afghanistan has sent major ripples through the international community; this guy has no idea what he's doing.

Regarding Mr Goldberg's article, I would like to show some quotes that caught my eye

Jeffrey Goldberg wrote:

“You don’t want a messianic apocalyptic cult controlling atomic bombs,” he (Netanyahu) said. “When the wide-eyed believer gets hold of the reins of power and the weapons of mass death, then the world should start worrying, and that’s what is happening in Iran.”

A few weeks ago, in uncommonly direct remarks, the ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States, Yousef al-Otaiba, told me—in a public forum at the Aspen Ideas Festival—that his country would support a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. He also said that if America allowed Iran to cross the nuclear threshold, the small Arab countries of the Gulf would have no choice but to leave the American orbit and ally themselves with Iran, out of self-protection. “There are many countries in the region who, if they lack the assurance the U.S. is willing to confront Iran, they will start running for cover towards Iran,” he said. “Small, rich, vulnerable countries in the region do not want to be the ones who stick their finger in the big bully’s eye, if nobody’s going to come to their support.”

Several Arab leaders have suggested that America’s standing in the Middle East depends on its willingness to confront Iran.

Barack Obama has said any number of times that he would find a nuclear Iran “unacceptable.” ... “The world must prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” he said. “I will take no options off the table in dealing with this potential Iranian threat. And understand part of my reasoning here. A nuclear Iran would be a game-changing situation, not just in the Middle East, but around the world. Whatever remains of our nuclear nonproliferation framework, I think, would begin to disintegrate. You would have countries in the Middle East who would see the potential need to also obtain nuclear weapons.”

“We all watched his speech in Cairo,” a senior Israeli official told me, referring to the June 2009 speech in which Obama attempted to reset relations with Muslims by stressing American cooperativeness and respect for Islam. “We don’t believe that he is the sort of person who would launch a daring strike on Iran. We are afraid he would see a policy of containing a nuclear Iran rather than attacking it.”

If the Israelis reach the firm conclusion that Obama will not, under any circumstances, launch a strike on Iran, then the countdown will begin for a unilateral Israeli attack.

Netanyahu would be risking more than his relationship with the United States: a strike on Iran, Israeli intelligence officials believe, could provoke all-out retaliation by Iran’s Lebanese subsidiary, Hezbollah, which now possesses, by most intelligence estimates, as many as 45,000 rockets—at least three times as many as it had in the summer of 2006, during the last round of fighting between the group and Israel.

an Israeli official who spends considerable time with the prime minister told me. “In World War II, the Jews had no power to stop Hitler from annihilating us. Six million were slaughtered. Today, 6 million Jews live in Israel, and someone is threatening them with annihilation. But now we have the power to stop them. Bibi knows that this is the choice.”

Taken altogether like this, it seems that its just a matter of time before Israel attacks the sites of Iran's nuclear weapons. As the article points out; Israel has done so before with much success. What really interests me is that there are members of the Arabic world who, for cultural reasons, cannot publicly condemn Iran and would like to see US or Israeli strategic attacks on those nuclear facilities.

This could very well be the opening of the outright final battle for our planet: World War III. On a religious standpoint, we're living in Biblical times; the End Days. This is the time that is spoken of by Daniel, Isaiah and John in Revelations. Israel may end up being forced into a corner by the inaction, ambivalence or ineptitude of our President. Depending on your understanding and interpretation of the Scriptures, this could be either a scary time or a wonderful time. If you're not religious you cannot deny that the consequences of military action by Israel in a time when the US appears weak could have world-changing consequences. Perhaps not a full-on World War - I pray not! - but certainly many deaths could result. [Continued]

This is very dangerous ground that Israel walks. President Obama has demostrated that should Israel act it will likely act alone for he and/or his administration lacks the will to back them up. If Israel attacks, the most likely response will be military action by Hezbolla. Perceived weakness on the part of the US would cause more economic woes - China could call in our massive debt which we frankly cannot pay. As retaliation, they may just let their rabid dog off the leash and we will see North Korea attack South Korea in an open land war. The administration will likely pull our military out of there. Japan right now is weak (or appears to be) which would only encourage North Korea. With lack of backbone being demonstrated on now two fronts, the US will be considered no longer worthy of consideration. The Middle East and the Far East will be engaged in outright wars. 

Venezuela, likely encouraged by both the lack of action by the US and urged by China, could outright attack Columbia, launching South America into war. Venezuela and her allies, Cuba, Ecuador, Argentina and possibly Brasil would unite under Chavez's banner to annihilate Columbia. Chavez would use this alliance to try to unite his 'allies' under his rule and considering the somewhat strained relations with those countries, all of South America (with the possibly exception of Chile) could soon be embroiled in war.

That leaves only North America, Europe and Africa. If the Obama Administration wins a second election, I predict the economic failures would only get worse. Europe and the US would be drawn into the conflict in the Middle East due to our dependence on oil. We would be forced to abandon our allies in the far East and we would be fighting a war without any real desire or stakes in it. It truly would be "Blood for Oil" as was accused so many times against Bush by the American Left, but we would have no choice in the matter.

All of this could be avoided and this is by no means an all or nothing situation; what I outline above is a worst-case scenario. Israel might very well strategically annihilate the Iranian nuclear program (they succeeded with Iraq) with nothing more being said by anyone beyond empty condemnation and an increase in attacks by Hezbollah - certainly not news to any of us here in the United States. The economy might plod along with a slight uptick in oil prices that we all would mutter, grumble and gripe about without any venom.

All it takes in the right word at the right time and we either continue on with the status-quo or plummet into all-out, full-scale global war for the first time in recorded history. These are the times in which we live.

"My soul is prepared, Dr Jones. How's yours?"  Bookmark and Share

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