February 27, 2015 § Leave a comment
When I posted the Dr. Strangelove piece I thought Bibi Netanyahu was merely trying to thwart the efforts of the United States to negotiate a peaceful settlement with Iran. And by the way, I forgot to mention that five other nations are participating in that effort. I now have new information, thanks to my friend Sissy Farenthold, that Dr. Strangelove is probably not content to sabotage the peace process. He has already arranged for his next move if, despite his efforts, peace talks are successful.
Here is link to an article that describes his Plan B: Bombs .
According to this article, he has obtained the Saudis’ permission for his bombers to cross Saudi Arabia on their way to bomb nuclear sites in Iran. He apparently believes that, even if his bombs are not effective to destroy Iran’s nuclear capability, the lawless damage would make it politically impossible for Iran to continue to negotiate for peace.
It took me awhile to appreciate the true evil of this plan. Are we supposed to defend it? If it evokes a response that threatens Israel are we obligated to protect Israel? Just how far should we continue our sponsorship of this guy and his “to hell with international law” political friends in Israel? Is our “special relationship” asymmetric; Israel does as it pleases and our judgment and policies are ignored, opposed and publicly denounced? Mutual defense pacts are commonplace in international relations. Does our “special relationship” delegate to Israel the authority to decide whether we abandon peace efforts and wage war against Iran?
I’ll tell you what I would do if I were Iran: After demanding International denunciation of Israel’s unprovoked attack I would calmly proceed with the peace process, coupled with a demand that, as evidence of good faith, western powers agree to assist in repairing the damage done by Israel’s bombs. I would seize the episode as a means of decoupling or at least weakening the “special relationship” between the United States and Israel. As a Shiite Muslim nation, I would see this as an opportunity to gain allies against the threat of ISIS and potential threats from Sunni nations like Saudi Arabia. The relinquishment of any ambition to have nuclear weapons would be a small price to pay for reducing the military prowess and influence of Israel. I would also, of course, appeal to the United Nations to brand Israel’s bombing as a breach of international law.
I know this suggestion is unrealistic: Expecting a proud nation to react to an attack by continuing efforts to make peace. I believe, however, if it were possible, it would gain Iran valuable prestige and allies. It would also highlight Israel as a reckless rogue nation. I think the United States and other secular democracies would be quick to support Iran’s choice of peace instead of war. Iran’s economy would benefit from establishing itself as a safe and stable place for investment. An Iranian leader with the courage and talent to accomplish the result I suggest would become a strong candidate for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize.
Both the U.S. and Iran would benefit from establishing a new and cooperative relationship. We supported the Shah who was deposed by a revolution. The aftermath of those events included the hostage controversy during the Carter administration. Iran is one of four nations labeled sources of terrorism, subject to severe economic sanctions. As we face conflict with ISIS and its allies, Iran, a Shiite Muslim nation, is a natural ally. If we could establish a new, tolerant relationship with Iran it would reduce the chances that it would pose any military threat to Israel.
I hope the article I’ve cited is not correct. If it is, I believe it describes tactics that will do incalculable harm to Israel. My respect and admiration for Israel is old and deep, reinforced by my love for my Jewish grandchildren. I regard these developments with the same sadness I feel when I see my own government wrecked by right wing zealots. [Given their present position on immigration, I think of them as white wing zealots.]
I post this so my readers can share my fears and, perhaps, with their comments, convince me that I am being too pessimistic.