Given the fundamentalist, self-sacrificial mindset of the mullahs who run Iran, Israel knows that deterrence may not work as well as it did with the comparatively rational men who ran the Kremlin and White House during the cold war. They are likely to use any bomb they build, both because of ideology and because of fear of Israeli nuclear pre-emption. Thus an Israeli nuclear strike to prevent the Iranians from taking the final steps toward getting the bomb is probable. The alternative is letting Tehran have its bomb. In either case, a Middle Eastern nuclear holocaust would be in the cards.Color me skeptical, but for the sake of assumption, let's take as given that there's some validity to this bluster. This is military policy as conceived by the sort of people who we've all run into in our working lives: "You can't fire me! I quit!" In other words, dangerously unstable and totally unselfreflective marginal personalities who will probably one day return with a gun. In other words, plain dangerous. The most voracious consumer of Israel-Will-Be-Destroyed fodder is Israel's own political class, and why wouldn't it be so? Were they not able to make the case that they sit perpetually on the knife-edge of destruction, their hold on power would substantially weaken, and some pussified socialist kibbutzers might just take over and fag up a proudly martial nation. Reading between the lines of Morris' article, which isn't hard to do since it's written entirely in capital letters, each 1,000 feet tall and outlined in neon, one comes away assured of the point that we vicious anti-Semites have been trying to make lo these many years: that Iran does not and cannot threaten Isreal, that the Israelis are the one with the air force and arsenal of nukes, and that while Iranian rhetorical bellicosity can be Wagnerian in its heights of chest-clutching, diaphram bursting intensity, when push comes to shove on the playground, we all know whose ass ends up in the mud.
Iran’s leaders would do well to rethink their gamble and suspend their nuclear program. Bar this, the best they could hope for is that Israel’s conventional air assault will destroy their nuclear facilities. To be sure, this would mean thousands of Iranian casualties and international humiliation. But the alternative is an Iran turned into a nuclear wasteland. Some Iranians may believe that this is a worthwhile gamble if the prospect is Israel’s demise. But most Iranians probably don’t.
-Benny Morris in the Times
STRANGELOVE: Yes, but the... whole point of the doomsday machine... is lost... if you keep it a secret! Why didn't you tell the world, eh?
DESADESKI: It was to be announced at the Party Congress on Monday. As you know, the Premier loves surprises.
I'm beginning to hope that one of these days the wombats achieve sentience and crush all humans to death with their chitinous posteriors. It would serve us right.