Israel has certainly proven the willingness to do this in the past. They stand more chance of attack by a nuclear Iran than any other nation, and I hope they go through with it. I used to think that Iran was just posturing and trying to use their program as an international negotiating tactic, but it's obvious they're desperate for a nuclear arsenal.
You know, I could have sworn the Iranians had already moved pretty much all of their significant nuclear operations completely underground. If this is true, what will an Israeli strike really do? I suppose it doesn't really matter at this point.
This whole thing really concerns me. An Israeli airstrike wouldn't be without precedent (June '67 vs. Egypt) but I think it's safe to say that this action would by far be the one in which the U.S. had the most riding on it. I get the whole "Israeli right to defend themselves from nuclear attack" argument and all that, but I think this might actually be an appropriate time for the U.S. to divorce themselves from the relationship we currently have with Israel.
That isn't to say that we should entirely abandon any notion of a relationship or an alliance with them. It's just that I really, really don't feel that this is a path the U.S. can go down with Israel if we want to advance our interests in the Middle East. This alleged airstrike may be advantageous to the U.S. in the short run, but I don't think it does anything to advance any long term goals of the U.S. in that region. Regardless of the terms in which someone wants to couch it, the bottom line is that we want the Middle East countries to hop to our tune when we say to, and to do it well. And we can't simply continue to say, "and if you don't we'll fucking bomb you and take out your govt", which for all intents and purposes is what we've done in Iraq and Afghanistan and to a much lesser extent, Libya.
I hate to say it, but the U.S. needs to start finding ways to get shit done in the Middle East that excludes the threat of armed action, and this necessarily entails increased diplomatic communication between all sorts of major players over there. I think if we go along with this potential Israeli strike we will seriously damage our credibility when or if we sit down at the table with some of these fuckers. And I'm not talking about terrorist organizations like al Qaeda; I'm talking about some of the new regimes that are coming into place. If we want to align ourselves in an advantageous way with a Syrian, Egyptian, Tunisian, Libyan, possibly Yemen, Iraqi, Afghani, Saudi and Jordanian revolutionary movement that will do our bidding in the area and in the fight against terror, how the fuck can we have influence over them, short of military action, if we support Israeli action against Iran?
Well, no shit it isn't going to change anytime soon. That's what worries me. I think it needs to and it won't, right here at a critical juncture in this fucking morbid menage a trois that we're in with Israel and the Arab/Persian world.
Let's face it though. The nature of the whole situation in the Middle East is such that at some point we're going to come to a crossroads. We see it in history all the time, moments where we can look back in hindsight and say, "fuck, they should have chosen Door #2 instead and their whole history might have been better." I think this may be a major intersection point in the history of our involvement in the Middle East, and while I agree that it seems natural, right now, in the moment, to lean toward Israel's proposed action being a good thing for U.S. interests in the Middle East, I think that a long-term perspective shows otherwise.
I hate to get so, uh.......ethereal about this, but I just really have this dark, foreboding sense of climax and doom about this whole general pseudo-standoff with Iran, be it by proxy via Israel or directly. I get this weird feeling of despair, as if I'm stuck in slow-motion in a violent car crash and I'm in the car and I feel like I can do something since everything's moving really slowly but I'm moving slowly too so I'm helpless as the car hurtles over the edge of the cliff and into the abyss every time I think about the possibility of a full-scale war in Iran, and probably the surrounding areas as well, including Iraq.
That's the centrifuges. There's plenty of other targets that they rely upon for their program - Arak heavy water reactor for example.
Syria 2007(Operation Orchard) and Iraq 1981(Operation Opera) are the precendents.
Denying nuclear weapons to an apocalyptic theocracy is a worthy goal and in the entire world's interests. Including the interests of Iranians.
Well you see ALL of the those regimes want to prevent Iran getting nuclear weapons also. Another thing that you don't seem to understand is that the entire world is waging war against the US whether economic/political/cyber/trade. Those countries, and China and Russia and Venezuela will only use any 'negotiating' process to further their war effort.
Look, I get that denying nuclear weaponry to an apocalyptic theocracy is a high-priority issue. No argument from me there. What I have some doubts about revolves around just how apocalyptic this theocracy is and just how nuclear weapon-bent it is. I just can't help but be skeptical when the echo of the bullshit we had to listen to about Saddam Hussein's links to al Qaeda and, more pointedly, the massive stockpile of WMDs that he had is still so clear in my ears.
And I think this trepidation is justified to a certain extent. If this were some sort of major issue that did NOT involve the possibility of perhaps thousands or tens of thousands of American lives being lost in Iran in the process I'd be much more gung-ho about the anti-Iran rhetoric like a lot of other people seem to be. I just feel that this is one of those times in history where the U.S. REALLY needs to tread carefully, perhaps think outside its normal scope of operation, and ask some tough questions about itself and its role in the world.
Let's get down to brass tacks here. Like I said, I wholeheartedly agree with your statement about ridding the world of Strangelovian theocracies. But the next logical question that I don't see the right people in the right places asking is "is it best for the U.S. to be at the forefront of the movement to exterminate this threat?"
Think about it: We KNOW that Israel is going to act against Iran when the time calls for it, and most likely with great success barring some unforseeable reversal of circumstances, regardless of what we do about it. If we come out and publicly say, without ambiguity, that we are 100% against an Israeli airstrike of any kind against any targets inside Iran, they would still carry through with it if they thought Iran was a real threat. And they would eradicate that threat and any requisite threats stemming from it. Thy certainly wouldn't wait around for us to join the fray. So, in essence, there is every single likelihood that Iran and their nuclear threat could be wiped out without our involvement, support, blessing, whatever.
Now, who do you think would be better to have pissed off at us due to our involvement, or lack thereof, in this conflict when the Israelis and Iranians have run their course and Iran is potentially turned into fucking glass? Israel, or the entire remaining Muslim world? Which breakdown in relations do you think the U.S. is better-equipped to handle?
I don't think it's true to state "those regimes are at war with us already." There are certain elements within each of the countries I mentioned that are working against the U.S., and the leadership in some of those countries are either directly involved in these efforts or they are forced into an ignorance of these elements lest they risk their hold on power entirely. Most tend to lean toward the former, but in many of them there lies potential for change.
Think about it: this is a time right now in which there are more changes going on, or about to happen, involving the leadership of the Muslim/Middle Eastern world than there has been in decades, maybe longer. Some of the leaders that look ripe for fall or have fallen already were anti-American and we have yet to see any hint of permanency from their subsequent rulers. At the same time, there is this huge powder keg in the whole Iran/Israel conflict matter.
So the U.S. needs to think about how they want to position themselves for the way this massive changing of the guard is going to unfold in a way that is advantageous to it. I don't think that anyone would argue that Israel isn't pretty capable of handling the Iranian nuclear threat in a decisive manner without direct U.S. aid. So if the threat can be eradicated without our help, don't you think the fact that we would be able to say to any and all incoming OR sitting Muslim rulers, "hey, we weren't involved in that whole Israel/Iran thing at all so don't even bring that to the table," would be a positive in our move to try to mold Middle Eastern govts to our liking in the future?
I just worry that this unWAVERing support for Israel will eventually come at the expense of American interests more than democracy. I'm not sure a region with such rigid social stratification dating back thousands of years is going to wholeheartedly embrace democracy anytime soon, no matter what our stance toward Israel is. Why not try to come to terms with the fact that there may be a time when our interest in the preservation of democracy finds itself at odds with our interest in our own welfare as a nation and that the nation's welfare comes before the welfare of even a sole beacon of democracy in a region otherwise committed to its destruction? And that this may be that very time where we need to choose the course of action that is best for us even if it is at odds with the interest of the one democracy in a region otherwise devoid of them?
That doesn't mean that they were directly involved with Hussein. LA and NY were thick with crackhead gangbangers in the mid to late 80's, but that doesn't mean that Reagan was involved with any of them or their activities.