Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Death, Blood, and Glory

Bibi Netanyahu, just hours before taking the helm of Israel's new coaltion government, told The Atlantic magazine that Israel might put a military stop to nuke production in Iran if the United States isn't going to do anything about it. Echoing my chief concern, the new prime minister said:

“You don’t want a messianic apocalyptic cult controlling atomic bombs.”

No, Bibi, I sure as hell do not want that. That is the last thing I want. It is an actual danger. A mushroom cloud over Jerusalem courtesy of The Islamic Republic of Iran? Not so much. For once the religious miasma that hangs over the region sheds a bit of grace: although sacred to Jews and Christians, Jerusalem is far too holy a city in Islam also for any Muslim front to make it a glass parking lot, as one of Andrew Sullivan's readers points out. But Netanyahu, as if his remarks were not chilling enough already, goes on to say:

"When the wide-eyed believer gets hold of the reins of power and the weapons of mass death, then the entire world should start worrying, and that is what is happening in Iran...

"Since the dawn of the nuclear age, we have not had a fanatic regime that might put its zealotry above its self-interest. People say that they’ll behave like any other nuclear power. Can you take the risk? Can you assume that?”

The prime minister sends a message to the president that he's going to be a hardass, whatever accomodationist kabuki the White House is committed to carrying out. I say let the Israelis take care of business. It was hardly the end for US/Israeli relations when Ronald Reagan condemned our ally's action against nuclear facilities in Saddam Hussein's Iraq. It would hardly be the death knell if this president parted company on virtually the same issue.


  1. Bibi will take the necessary steps to make sure that the Iranians do not get the bomb. From the Jpost

    "How you achieve this goal is less important than achieving it," he said, although he was not optimistic regarding the chances that dialogue could persuade Iran to reconsider its interests. Nevertheless, he said, economic sanctions could still make a difference. "I think the Iranian economy is very weak, which makes Iran susceptible to sanctions that can be ratcheted up by a variety of means," he said.

    From Bibi's previous experience with the Iranian proxies Hizzbullah and Hamas in his previous term as PM he knows that nothing will stop the mullahs from using the bomb. The question is not if he will use force, but when.

  2. Yes, but where is this hypothetical bomb going to be deployed? I wonder if Bibi isn't using all this talk of "existential threats" in place of the perfectly reasonable argument from strategic interest in the region.

  3. First let me say... I love the name Bibi. Next, the Iranians have the ability through proxies(Hizzbullah or Hamas) to smuggle a weapon through Syria into Israel. Or, they could always launch a missile at Jerusalem. Bibi is using the term "existential" threat because it is. Imagine for instance that we had the Canadians saying they are building a bomb to wipe us off of the face of the earth. The situation in Israel is similar.

  4. But Jerusalem? That just makes no sense to me. It will tip the balance of power in the region, for sure. I also agree that it's a problem for the whole world. I just don't see where Israel's enemies are going to deploy the weapon. There's one and a half million Arabs there in the country. Jerusalem is one of the three holiest cities for Muslims worldwide.

  5. But if the Destruction of Israel(of which Jerusalem is the most important historical and religious site) brings back the 12th Imam
    then Iran will do it. We are not dealing with a rational(in the loosest sense of the word) regime. This is not Kruschev or Breznev in Russia with the idea of mutually assured destruction keeping guns in the holsters. This is a messianic leadership that wants to bring about the end of the world.