Friday, October 28, 2005

A Permanent Outcast

 
Well, at least it’s now out in the open, and even the Europeans will have to admit it: Iran wants to completely destroy Israel. We always knew it was true, but now it’s clearly stated Iranian government policy.

The Daily Telegraph outlines Israel’s options:
     Although Israel is widely believed to have its own nuclear arsenal, it fears such weapons falling into the hands of hostile states.
In 1981, when Saddam Hussein threatened to develop a nuclear capability, Israel launched a pre-emptive air strike to destroy Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor.
Unilateral military action by Israel would be much harder against Iran’s nuclear capability.
Military jets would have to fly much greater distances, and the Iranians have spread their nuclear programmes across a number of sites - some located under mountains.
However, Israeli military planners are believed to have a number of options including air strikes using American-designed bunker-busting munitions and commando raids.
Don’t expect the Europeans to support any action that Israel might take, and don’t expect them to do anything but condemn it afterwards. And, if the State Department and the Arabists and the Old Guard Republicans in this country have their way, the Jewish state will get no support from the USA, either.

There was a time when the Jews stood meekly on the railway platforms amid their meager belongings, boarded the freight cars, and departed docilely for their unspeakable destination. But the state of Israel is unwilling to go gentle into that not-so-good night. If necessary, the Jews will fight their enemies alone, since the alternative is national extermination.

Richard Baehr, in a recent speech in Los Angeles, said that
     Israel has never lived without a threat to its existence. The truth of the matter is that Israel has never been accepted as a permanent nation within the Middle East by the 22 Arab nations, and much of the broader Muslim world. First the Arabs fought to prevent Jewish settlement within Palestine, and then fought the UN partition plan to create two states within the British mandate territory. After the British left, and Israel declared its statehood in 1948, the war against it resumed. The history of Zionism is a history of terrorism and war, but through it all, the tenacity of a people building and defending their new state.
[…]
Western Europe’s governments have already effectively abandoned Israel, much as they did Czechoslovakia in 1938. It is too much of a burden for them to defend Israel, what with their surging Muslim immigrant populations to appease with the bone of hostility to Israel. And of course since Israel is a close ally of the United States, Europe’s envy of America and its power and world leadership works its way to the surface by confronting the US in the Middle East conflict, through support of the Palestinian side in international organizations, such as the UN.
If the United States abandons Israel, then the Israelis will have face the Iranian threat alone. But face it they will.

If I were one of the mullahs, I wouldn’t be sleeping well at night.


Update: From the Daily Telegraph again:
     Tony Blair delivered his strongest warning to Iran last night, saying Teheran would not be allowed to become a “threat to our world security”.
He hinted that the West might have to resort to force.
Well, good for him. Are we sure he’s a European?

Hat tip: Cuanas.

34 comments:

giant squid said...

I´m afraid Israel may be destroyed by Iran. It fits in with so many apocalyptic predictions.

Goesh said...

A preemptive strike on Iran's developing nukes is the only answer. Once they have nuke potential, there will be several suitcase nukes headed towards Israel. If this is allowed to happen, Israel will have no choice but to retaliate. They need to let the world know that they will also contaminate the gulf oil fields with enough radiation to shut down oil production for several hundred years and will eradicate mecca as well along with some major arab population centers. Does anyone really think that China, who has massive energy contracts with Iran, will agree to harsh sanctions? China is Iran's ace in the hole. We've seen the obscene profits of the oil industry and the obscene corruption of the UN, and there will be no corrective action taken. IF Israel did not have nukes, it would be sacrificed in a heart beat. Lock and load, IDF, lock and load your missles.

Baron Bodissey said...

squid -- the thing is, 1948 and 1967 and 1973 all fit in just as well with the apocalyptic predictions, but Israel refused to cooperate.

The apocalypse has been postponed now for almost 2,000 years. It may yet be postponed a while longer.

al fin said...

The defiance of the Iranian president is reminiscent of the defiance of Saddam Hussein, just before the invasion.

The USA is involved in what is more properly known as a "police action" in Iraq. That means that most of its military strategic assets are not being used in combat currently. Since we know that military strategic assets like to be used, there is no doubt very much planning going on behind the scenes.

El Jefe Maximo said...

The Israelis have three German-built submarines with nuclear-capable cruise missiles, as well as the Jericho 2/Shavit missile system, believed capable of carrying a nuclear weapon. (Jericho 2, an IRBM, comprises first two stages of Shavit, which is ostensibly a space launch booster). Not to mention their very capable airforce.

The Iranians are making a huge mistake baiting the Israelis. Perhaps the Iranians have a nuclear device, perhaps not, but building a nuclear device is a long way from having an actual deployable weapon. The Israelis, by contrast, can quite probably wipe Iran right off the map. Moreover, their submarine cruise missile capacity should be able to survive even the destruction of Israel itself.

This said, there remains the question of why the Iranian government is doing this. Iran has a reasonable intelligence apparatus, and the information I have set out is all in the public domain (see Global Security.org or the International Institute of Strategic Studies's publications for more). All I can come up with is that a domestic crackdown on enemies of the current mullah regime is imminent, (particularly those in the universities), and the targets are being set up as Zionist agents. There is some kind of Iranian website (see the photo on the Real Clear Politics Blog)which is apparently part of the campaign.

The Mullah regime is in serious economic trouble: the Shah's reign was a golden age in terms of wealth and liberty by comparison with this government.

Another possibility is to justify deeper Iranian involvement in Iraq -- the forward outpost of Zionists and Crusaders. But I think the other possibility (the domestic crackdown) is far more likely. Most Iranians require no justification for intervention in Iraq.

airforcewife said...

Foreign Policy magazine predicted that this year Isreal would take out the Iranian reactors. I concurred, but it's getting late in the day...

Perhaps it's just me, and I don't want to cast aspersions on Israel and her motivations as I am not there to judge, but Israel seemed to do better with their security when they just didn't care what the rest of the world thought and did what was necessary.

Shellback said...

Anyone interested in betting how many weeks it will be before Israel does what they are compelled to do? The issue of taking out their nuclear industry has been on the table for, say, 18 months or so now, and it was predicted that the matter would have to be settled just about now, i.e., taking them out.

Maybe the mullahs are as clueless as they appear, running their mouths like this. More Moslem bravado.

I were a Moslem and half-way serious student of history (oxymoron, I know), I would recognize the fact that Israel has always acted in its self-interest, and has no compunction about taking pre-emptive action. The 1967 war being the best example.

They'll do what needs to be done - they do not have the luxury of acting otherwise.

The apocalypse will have to wait...

Shellback said...

Ooops. I meant "If I were a Moslem..."

And I am not.

Andrew Scotia said...

The Big Boss, EJM, says;
This said, there remains the question of why the Iranian government is doing this. Iran has a reasonable intelligence apparatus, and the information I have set out is all in the public domain..."

I think there are several reasons they are fulminating. First, I believe that they think their dispersed program is safe from attack. Second, they really need the traditional "Evil Other" due to internal domestic issues. Lastly; I'm sure that others can come up with more I've missed; the Iranians are the odd men out in the ME because of their being Persian, as most will tell you proudly.

A Israeli preemptive strike, in their view, puts them in the the seat of the dunk tank clown; the worst that can happen is that they can get wet and insults are part of the game that increase the take.

Some analysts believe that factions in Israeli defense circles are urging a harsher response that will actually punish as much as remove the threat. This, of course, requires very good real time intelligence and a higher level of coordination due to the realities of the targeting issues.

al fin said...

"Outside agencies" have a large number of "deep assets" inside the Iranian government and security apparatus. These date back to the days of the Shah. When the time comes to act, it will happen from without and within simultaneously. The most trusted servants of the mullahs will cut their masters' throats and dance in the blood.

Pastorius said...

Let me commend you on the image of Jews standing among their baggage on the train platform. Such an image is a great way of illustrating why Israel behaves the way it does today.

There is no way Israel ought to take Almadinejad's statements as "bombast" or "playing to his constituency." Those were the same things that were said of Hitler. The lesson has been learned by the Jews. Do not believe, or accept excuses for the maniacal ravings of a dictator. Instead, take the power away from the dictator.

Baron Bodissey said...

Jefe, Andrew, Pastorius -- from what I've read, taking out the mullahs' nukes is going to be a lot tougher than taking out Osirak, possibly incurring serious casualties & loss of hardware.

Also, I read somewhere (might have been Debka, so it may not be reliable) that Israel has warned the US about what it intends to do, that it will do it no matter whether we approve or not, and that they expect that it will ignite a regional war.

But they also say that they have no choice.

Pastorius said...

Baron,
Yes, I expect that it would ignite a regional war. That will be horrifying, but it will also be the only thing that will draw us into a position where we can destroy the Iranian and Syrian regimes, which is what this war has been about the whole time.

I think this whole scenario has been on the table from the beginning.

El Jefe Maximo said...

Baron,

The US may be worried about taking out the mullahs nukes. However, like you, I am convinced that this is no longer possible, and the matter will have to be addressed, over the long run, politically, by the Iranian people via the replacement of the Iranian government with a more moderate garden variety Republic, or a restored constitutional monarchy.

If the Iranians had a civlized government, I do not think we would have a basis on which to quarrel with Iran having nuclear weapons. This is already virtually an accomplished fact anyway, and is desired by all political factions within Iran, whatever they think of the Islamic so-called Republic.

The mullah government is the problem, not the nuclear weapons program.

However, the real question here concerns Israel's intentions pending the end of the Islamic regime. The Israelis aren't going to wait around. My interpretation, which certainly is open to doubt, is that the Israelis, if they feel they must take steps, will probably be going a lot further than a discrete action to "take out the nukes." Given their recognition that a regional war would result, I suspect that Israeli action against Iran would be all-out; an effort to fully collapse the Iranian state, and that at least some of the Iranian cities might be targets.

The Iranian program is simply too dispersed to be targeted effectively, even if the Israelis had the military means to try a more narrowly targeted attack, which it is not clear to me that they do.

I hope this doesn't come to pass, but the Mullah regime is quite literally playing with fire.

Baron Bodissey said...

Pastorius -- You may be right.

(Speculation) I'm thinking that Israel might be holding on, hoping for the fall of the House of Assad, so that their air assets will be safer crossing Syrian airspace.

Pastorius said...

El Jefe Maximo,
Are you saying you think Israel will wage a preemptive nuclear strike against Iranian cities?

I have never given that idea any consideration. Do you base that on anything specific that you have read. I know that it is the policy of the U.S. Government that, if we felt we were in danger of imminent attack by WMD's, that we will wage a preemptive strike, but I've always figured that policy is more threat than reality.

What do you think, Baron? Do you think it's possible the U.S. or Israel would use nukes preemptively against Iran?

Baron Bodissey said...

Pastorius -- I don't think the USA would ever use first-strike nukes. Maybe if somebody detonated a nuclear device in the USA we would use nukes in response -- but I'm not even sure of that. This country has been so successfully neutered by the left/PC grievance industry over the last 40 years that we can't effectively defend ourselves even under dire circumstances. Go to yesterday's thread and read what Papa Ray has to say (way down at the bottom).

You know the drill -- "we don't know for certain that Iran is responsible", "irresponsible use of American imperial power", etc blah yak.

However, that said -- if we suffer a major attack, then the rules may change. It's hard to predict, because the system becomes chaotic (in the mathematical sense) at that point.

I'm mulling this over for my response post to yesterday's thread. I hope Jefe's still around, because I want to hear his opinion.

Pastorius said...

Well, as long as we're on the subject, I think everyone ought to be reminded that Hugh Hewitt and Ed Morrisey took it upon themselves to inform all of us that if we are to suffer an "American Hiroshima" type of attack (nuclear weapons detonated in seven largest American cities), it would be wrong for us to retaliate against Middle Eastern capitols.

Shortly after their ever-so-enlightened pronouncement, I removed both of them from my blogroll. (Not that either of them have taken a cut in hits.)

:)

But, the point is, Baron, you are correct. We have neutered ourselves, when even "hawks" like Hewitt and Morrisey think we ought to eliminate the Mutual-Assured-Destruction policy which got us through the Cold War alive.

Man, I just can't get over that, can I? I'll keep bringing it up until ... well, you know.

El Jefe Maximo said...

Pastorius:

No specific information...but I'm thinking about the nature of the Israeli military problem.

The Iranians, as has been pointed out in open source media for months, have dispersed their program. It's not one or two targets to take out, like Osirsk, but possibly hundreds.

The Israelis certainly have warheads, a capable air force, and some missiles, but it's a tactical air force. Iran is at extreme range for the air force, even with a one way mission profile. As for the missiles, the issue becomes the locations of the targets, the need to be sure that they are taken down, and the number of targets. All this mitigates towards the use of nuclear weapons, and in some cases, in or in proximity to, large cities.

Finally, the Iranian command and control apparatus, and the Iranian government, are more vulnerable and easier, for the Israelis, to get to.

I don't see any realistic military option for Israel -- barring an all out, general war from the outset. Really, I don't see a military option for them.

Unless they're bluffing...and they have a tendency not to do that, I can't think what other option they can have but trying to take down Iran altogether.

I hope somebody sees something I'm missing.

Pastorius said...

El Jefe Maximo,
I see how you are thinking now, and it's makes sense. I didn't realize Iran was such a reach for Israeli jets that they would even have trouble with a one-way mission. So, I guess, if what you are saying is true, then the discussion between Sharon and Bush would be something along the lines of,

Sharon: It's up to you. Either you guys do it clean, or we'll have to do it dirty.

Bush: Lord Have Mercy.

Baron Bodissey said...

Jefe, one possibility --

Based on what Pres. Bush & Tony Blair said today, the Anglosphere may be approaching the time when they are ready to co-ordinate with Israel on Iran's southwestern frontier. See Regime Change Iran for links. Also, Amir Taheri.

Russia rolled over -- that's significant. Putin is usually very good at seeing which way the wind is blowing.

We do indeed live in interesting times.

Mussolini said...

Headlines:

ISRAEL NUKES IRANIAN CITIES, IGNITES MIDDLE EASTERN WAR!

I'll stand and cheer at that point.

Why? Because I'm a sicko-war monger?

Nah. Like others have been saying, and everyone admitting, it's either Israel or Iran, and we all know that as soon as Iran gets a bomb, it's on its way to Israel.

No platitude will stop the Iranians.

So, I'm going to be cheering because the politically incorrect underdog in this struggle between modern democratic society and Islamo-murder will have defied the UN, stood up, and wiped out the smug bastards that know nothing but hate.

With luck, the ACLU and CAIR will die of apoplexy that they can't sue Israel.

As a serious nugget of consideration; I do not believe Israel has any other choice. They cannot send conventional forces in an offensive action without stripping everything they have and leaving Israel defenseless. Their army, by handicap of its size, is strictly a local, defensive force.

The nuclear option against something the size of the Iranian army and the potential of Iranian nukes is really the only viable choice.

Forza Israel!

Shellback said...

Pastorius,
Talking about how we will or won't respond if we have an "American Hiroshima" is just an academic exercise for most, until it happens.

Even as enlightened as I consider Hugh Hewitt, if a nuke were actually detonated in America, I scoff at the idea he would not be calling for retaliation in kind. And besides, he's irrelevant, not ever being the one to actually make the decision of which weapon to use in retaliation.

I believe that detonation of such a device here in America would unleash an incandescent rage possessing amazing transformational powers. The first transformation will be in the utter repudiation of political correctness. Never again will a politician utter the idiocy "Religion of Peace".

The second transformation will be for taking whatever actions needed to round up real or perceived internal "threats". Those are frighteningly uncharted waters, notwithstanding our experience in WWII with the Japanese on the West coast. If one nuke were detonated, how many others are waiting to go off? So Transformation #2 may be of incredible breadth and depth. That scares the beeejeesus out of me.

Seeing an American city a smoking hole emitting an unholy trinity of alpha, beta, and gamma particles would focus the American psyche in ways hitherto unknown.

Count on it.

Pastorius said...

Shellback,
I agree with you. And, of course, Hewitt is irrelevant in the sense that he is not the decisionmaker. However, being that he is a respected voice on the American political scene, when he makes such a pronouncement it is considered worthy. And it helps push the momentum in the direction of pacifism in this country. It is such momentum which is causing us to put ourselves in peril at this very hour, when we ought to be seriously considering what to do about Iran.

If Bush went on TV tonight and told the American people that we have decided to make war on Iran, it would come as an utter shock to the American people. They have no idea of what is going on, or the serious trouble we are in. Why? Because the pacifist media is hiding the truth from them.

Do you see what I mean?

Papa Ray said...

I won't assume everyone has read this:

In the past few weeks, the regime has been massively militarized with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

Also here is a discussion everyone needs to get in on.

Meanwhile We will use force, Blair warns Iranians. I'm sure he means it but he has no more support for military action than President Bush has.

A run through the blogs shows that the almost all the American bloggers are focused on the circus that our government has become.

Meanwhile the midnight lamps are burning at the largest building in the world.

Scary isn't it.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

Papa Ray said...

Oh, I forgot this:

This is Ahmadinejad's hero.

Papa Ray

hank_F_M said...

Some thoughts.

Would the US use nuclear weapons first? The US policy has been consistent for over 50 years, yes are extreme circumstances. About the only thing that can meet this requirement would be a major threat to our forces in Iraq. Well aimed smart bombs would suffice, I think to take the program out of production for at least 10 years.

El Jefe has a good point, the Iranian leaders are probably thinking in terms of providing an excuse for a domestic crackdown. The problem is with this scenario is it can’t be assumed. This would be not the first time a regime in trouble at home, tries to build unity by invoking foreign devils and ends up with foreign military taking action against it.

I have been of the opinion that there are several counties with interests in the Middle East that would have motivation to take out Iranian nuclear capability, (China, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel Egypt, Europe collectivity, and the US. Most could not do it alone, but some have a lot more ability than is generally assumed.) These are countries that cannot afford to have the oil flow interrupted, or the instability that this would cause, or are down wind of the radiation patterns from destroying Israel with nukes. I think most of these are waiting, for the US or Israel to solve the problem for them.

I’m not sure but I think we should give the European leaders credit for a little more pragmatic self interest than the discussion so for would indicate. They are far more dependent on Mid East oil than we are; the European welfare state depends on cheap oil. To Europe collectively not the final consumer.) They would be down wind of radiation patterns. They have been for the last several months been threatening Iran with, and working on taking Iran to the Security Council. I can here the snickering “what can the SC do?” It can really do only one thing; pass a “1441 type” resolution authorizing force or some sort of serious action if Iran does not desist. They could use this to claim, in their world view, to say they were not acting “unilaterally” a la Bush. While the European leadership has been very “bleeding heart” when their interests are not at stake or they have the US carrying the ball, they are also very tough and forceful when they have to be.

They claimed the leadership I solving the problem with the negotiations that broke down. I hope some one in Washington is telling them that if they are in for the fun part they are in for the dirty part.

A high stakes game of chicken, let’s hope Iran dodge first.

(And of course I could be completely wrong.)

Andrew Scotia said...

I sense a tendency here to assume that a Israeli take out attack would have to be by aerial means.

Recall that as early as the 1950's the US had developed the W54 nuclear warhead which was integrated into the Special Atomic Demolition Device(SADM) that had a dial-a-yield of between 10-250 tons of TNT. It was designed to be delivered by two man teams either by swimming or by parachute. It weighed, all up, in the neighborhood of 150 pounds. The Special Forces exercised using a disarmed or dummy device and had developed a whole manual for deployment of the device.

If a device such as this was used to neutralize X number of nuclear installations, how do you determine, post hoc, accurately that the resulting radiation signature did not result from conventional weapons scattering/incinerating the contents of the facilities? I do not know what advances have been made in nuclear warhead design since the 1950's but I would imagine that they have been substantial as far as size weight, yield and radiation reduction.

A combined arms, covert strike such as this is well within Israeli achievable. And, it would be a case where everyone would know but no one would really know. Five or six of these devices would fit in a standard commercial dumpster with room to cover them with trash. That is posited only to give readers some sense of the package that would need to get into the target country for any number of transport means and target scenarios.

I can imagine that after such a strike, there would be a palpable period of silent comtemplation in a number of capitals.

Andrew Scotia said...

If you sensed a hole in the previous post, it is because I removed a section until I could verify that it was in Open Source literature. I have, so I will briefly summarize what I took out.

Anti-armor weapons are not the only weapons that can use shaped or focused warheads. It is not out of the realm of possibility to imagine a man portable device with these characteristics. That is, focused blast effect, low radiation and variable yield using certain gasses in the warhead. What you have is a small bunker blaster that can be used to snuggle up to hardened targets with the focused blast/radiation making the facility unusable for X years with no possibility of equipment salvage. You don't have to take out all the facilities just the ones that are key and where, with luck, the key personnel assets lay their heads down.

The US would cover for Israel for no other reason than to keep its' own capabilities in this area classified.

Somewhere in the world right now, someone is updating the "Book" with current intelligence and there are people training; waiting for the go. Don't you love it when a plan comes together?

Kirk Parker said...

"Are we sure [Tony Blair]’s a European?"

Holy transatlantic culture wars, Baron! Give up what you're smoking and go back to your usual good stuff. Blair isn't European--he's British!

:-)

Baron Bodissey said...

Kirk, you're right! It was that big, wet kiss he lavished on Jacques Chirac that had me fooled -- made me think he was one of them.

El Jefe Maximo said...

Andrew's point about automatically assuming an aerial assault is well taken, and his plan is interesting, the weapons exist, and can work as long as we, or the Israelis, have the agents, are sure we have an accurate target catalogue, and are sure of the agents' ability to penetrate to the targets. At least, if successful, it buys us a few years.

Covert insertion of exotic weapons on multiple targets -- in a very foreign place, with a secret police organization and the Revolutionary Guard paranoid about spies to begin with, could make this a little dicey though. Wouldn't it be lovely to have show trials for "foreign crusader agents of the great satan, here to vaporize the Iranian people ?" Almost have to have some inside help for this to work.

Also, unless we kill the scientists and the operating personnel as well, we're only kicking the can down the road

Baron Bodissey said...

Jefe -- just in case you didn't know, we borrowed from your comments here for our latest post.

Mussolini said...

I wonder why America has fallen to such a state to where we are even reluctant to "buy a few years" instead of pursuing a better answer.

Allying with Israel and Iraq to crush the Mullaocracy in Iran would be preferable to just "buying a few years."

That term just makes my privates itch.