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Can Iran deter an Israeli attack?

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By Jed Babbin

Israel's action against the convoy bringing pro-Palestinian activists to Gaza evidences the Jewish state's determination to defuse threats against it, the greatest of which is the Iranian nuclear weapons program.

Because Iran understands this, it has for months been building up the missile arsenal of its proxy in neighboring Lebanon, the terrorist organization Hezbollah, in an attempt to deter an Israeli attack.

From Tehran's standpoint, its greatest need is time. Scientific success is inevitable given enough time, and to achieve that goal Tehran must avoid any effective international sanctions that could possibly stop its nuclear program. And it must also deter military action against the nuclear facilities which could delay or destroy its program.

The ayatollahs are masters of diplomatic avoidance. They have been misleading the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency - the supposed international watchdog of nuclear proliferation - for decades. Under Mohammed el-Baradei, the IAEA was Iran's chief apologist until last February when the IAEA confirmed that Iran had "past or current undisclosed activities" to develop a nuclear warhead. For eight years, President George W Bush threatened Iran with isolation but took no action -- diplomatically or otherwise -- that affected the Iranians' pursuit of nuclear power.

President Barack Obama has apparently abandoned any thought of effective diplomatic action. In last month's U.N. Non-proliferation Treaty Review Conference, the United States endorsed a 188-nation agreement which called upon Israel to join the NPT and open its nuclear facilities to international inspection, but failed to even mention Iran.

The Iranians continue to thumb their noses at the U.N. and the United States, and to threaten Israel with annihilation. Since the ayatollahs took power in 1979, there has been no diplomatic negotiation that has changed their behavior or reduced their aggressiveness. Deterrence will not work against them. But it can work for them.

The remaining question is whether Iran can deter Israel from making a military strike against its nuclear facilities that would delay indefinitely Iran's achievement of nuclear weapons.

Cold War deterrence worked not only by dissuading both sides from a nuclear "first strike" but also by establishing a nuclear war threshold limiting both sides' actions. The U.S. sought to contain Soviet expansion, and the Soviet Union, in turn, wanted to deter the U.S. from interfering with its conventional and unconventional effort to expand its empire.

There was a short but steep learning curve. Both nations learned how easy it was to reach that threshold in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. There hasn't been an equivalent crisis in the Middle East, so the main players have not learned those lessons.

Iran's experience with Israel is in provocation, not deterrence. Hezbollah was created by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Lebanon in 1982. Hezbollah is Khomeneist in doctrine and is supported financially and militarily by both Iran and Syria. And Hezbollah has served as their proxy in provoking Israel to take military action.

The Israelis were provoked into invading Lebanon in 2006 by a series of Hezbollah rocket attacks and kidnappings of Israeli soldiers. Hezbollah suffered considerable losses in the conflict but Israel under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made so many mistakes and was so roundly condemned in the international media that many even in the Israeli government came to believe Israel had lost the war.

The situation today is very different. Hezbollah -- rebuilt, re-embedded in Lebanon and rearmed -- didn't suffer lasting harm. It is now reportedly being equipped with Scud missiles which bring all of Israel within range. These missiles are apparently being shipped into Lebanon with the help of the Syrian government and based in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.

If Israel attacks Iran's nuclear facilities, those missiles will be fired at every Israeli population center. Even without the chemical munitions both Iran and Syria are believed to have, the missiles could cause thousands of Israeli deaths.

In Israel, too, the situation is different. Ehud Olmert, unusual among Israeli leaders, had not served in combat. Benjamin Netanyahu has considerable personal experience in combat. That doesn't mean he will or won't attack Iran despite the Hezbollah deterrent force. But it does mean that he will do a better job of balancing the risks and deciding how and whether to attack Iran.

From Tehran's standpoint, then, the strategy is to increase the risk to Israel's civilian population to a point where Netanyahu cannot risk an all-out Hezbollah missile attack. Iran's objective, however, is to do that without making Hezbollah's new missile force so great a threat that it will compel Israel to attack into Lebanon with greater precision and force than it did in 2006.

This is the delicate sort of balance of power -- or balance of terror -- which America and the Soviet Union maintained for almost a half-century. Maintaining that fragile a balance among Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Israel is unlikely. It is made more so by the widening breach between Israel and the United States.

But it can be done. If Hezbollah is able to assemble a large enough missile force to threaten Israel's population and hide it from Israeli intelligence well enough to make a preemptive strike against it unlikely to succeed, Netanyahu's government will likely be deterred against striking at Iran, at least temporarily. And Iran may be able to buy the time it needs to achieve its nuclear weapons ambition.

© RealClearPolitics.com

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67 Comments
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Iran will continue to talk tough, just like Saddam hussein did, right before we crushed them in less than 90 days... Israel could turn iran into one big giant parking lot if they wanted too... they have the best and most powerful nukes in the world... and who knows how many they have... iran .. you want to continue to threated Israel... its coming for you !!!!!!!.. ISRAEL ALL THE WAY !!!!!

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Thumbed their noses. That will teach them a lesson.

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Ridiculous headline. Iran with its huge landmass and 70 million people is now shivering in its boots, being afraid of an attack from 6 million Jews who are already beleaguered from all sides on their tiny speck of 10,000 sqkm (and even that that muslim world does not want to grant them)?

Talk about a world-view upside down. It is the Iranian mullah regime which is threatening to wipe Israel off the map, not the other way around.

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Ridiculous headline. Iran with its huge landmass and 70 million people is now shivering in its boots, being afraid of an attack from 6 million Jews who are already beleaguered from all sides on their tiny speck of 10,000 sqkm (and even that that muslim world does not want to grant them)?

Israel is backed up by the USA so it is not so miserable as you present it.

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Some thoughts.

Israel poses as much a threat to regional peace as Iran. Perhaps more as she has shown a consistent willingness to start conflicts and to act preemptively.

Any American can tell you that an idiot president does not speak for the entire country. Just because Iran's president is a baffoon (as Bush was) who tosses out threats and rhetoric, does not mean that Iran has true intentions of destroying anyone. On the contrary we have seen movements even within the clergy there to open up to reconciliation.

After Iraq we should be careful what propaganda we buy into. We never did see all those supposed WMDs from Sadam Hussein. It would be a terrible tragedy to see Iran and our young soldiers subjected to the same kind of conflict over nothing. True verification is required.

We must stop the escallation of this problem between the west and Iran. Though I suspect this has as much to do with strategic control over the region's resources as it has to do with nukes. Solutions must be found to help bring Iran into the international community. If you talk to everyday Iranians, this is what they want. Governments eventually change if they do not listen to the will of the people. The seeds of change are already taking strong roots in Iran. Time is what the people there need.

As for Israel. The fact is that Israel was created by the west against the will of the people who live there. As such it is one more tragic screw up of the colonial era. Just look at Kurdistan for another example.

Israel should become a shared state with Palestine. Only then, with their fates united under one economic and political reality, can Israel finally hope for peace.

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Yes, Iran has thumbed its noses at the UN for a LONG--it learned to do this from the best teacher in town--Israel, which has the sole RECORD of UN denunciations, condemnations, and resolutions than any other country in the world. Israel is the only country that still tortures and still has not ratified the treaty against torture--such holy, holy, holy people they are.

they have the best and most powerful nukes in the world... and who knows how many they have... iran .. you want to continue to threated Israel... its coming for you !!!!!!!.. ISRAEL ALL THE WAY !!!!!

And wasabi67, yeh, I am sure an attack on Iran will just work out FINE for you as the oil from those oil producing states STOPS. No shipping during a war, you know. Rules are rules. Yes, as the economy comes streaking to a halt, as does food production as food is raised from machines that run on oil, I wonder, as you starve slowly to death if you are still so pro-Israel. I tell you if this does happen, this attack on Iran, you will soon see, as people go hungry and jobless, a whole slew of new anti-Semites. Jews will be so last year!

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Israel’s action against the convoy bringing pro-Palestinian activists to Gaza evidences the Jewish state’s determination to defuse threats against it, the greatest of which is the Iranian nuclear weapons program

What about Israel's nuclear weapons program--they still to date, deny the fact that they possess nuclear weapons and are in clear violation of the IAEA???

The ayatollahs are masters of diplomatic avoidance.

and so are israeli politicians in their flat out denials of bombing a UN building in palestine where women and children were being sheltered

dont believe the hype. dont believe the press. israel and the US want us to believe there is an overwhelming threat of a missile attack from iran, therefore giving israel and the US a platform for which to destroy another country, as it has already done in Afghanistan and Iraq. this has been their mandate from the start and they use the media as fuel for their unfathomable acts of deceit and violence.

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Wasabi, you did what in 90 days? Well then why are you still there if clearly you believe the job is finished.

What did you do there? Bomb a country and culture back to the stone ages.

How many young American lives were spent? a mere 4,500 lives, and a total of over 30,000 wounded.

Job well done, on your account

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Can Iran deter an Israeli attack?

Israel has been planing for this for some time. Answer: There is no time to be bought when your sworn enemy is cocked and locked to go nuclear. Stock up on gold, silver, food and bullets (where u can).

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wasabi67: Sounds like someone who spends far too much time watching action movies or playing action games. Reality is not a game friend. People die when wars happen. Often people from just down your street genius.

Do you think for a moment that a war with Israel and Iran would not have repercussions? Aside from the economic issues, it would likely drag in allies on both sides resulting in a third world war. And if it did not, it would most certainly result in greater motivatio for Jihadi activity beyond anything we have ever seen before.

Now add to that two wars that we are already failing to resolve and you must be stoned or insane to think a war between Israel and Iran would be a good thing.

Further. If you actually knew anything about Iran you would know that the average Iranian, like any other citizen of any other country, doesn't have a hell of a lot of say in what the twits in office are doing. Normal Iranians are cultured, kind and generous people who wish no ill will to Americans or Israelis. On the contrary, most Iranians want to rejoin the global community and need help making that happen instead. A war, would not accomplish that. On the contrary it would entrench the extreme government and undo much of what the other political party has been doing to create a call for change.

So spend a little less time on Bourne Identity and a little more time in reality. Wars have consequences that cost lives. Don't foolishly wish other people's lives away!!

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The religious leader in Iran is a lunatic maniac. If he gets such weapons he may use it to guarantee his entry to heaven as he dies. They have crazy ideas, such as creating chaos to hasten the rise of a messiah. Better stop them before it is too late.

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The very first line of this article contains an incorrect statement intended to mislead. There is no Iranian nuclear weapons program, as has been confirmed by IAEA monitors.

I believe it was Goebbels who said "if you repeat a lie often enough people believe it."

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well said tkoind2

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Living in one of those places is truly living life on the edge. Are there bomb shelters as plentiful as bus stops in Israel or Palestine?

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"Can Iran deter an Israeli attack?"

Not likely, but if they can, then someone else will have to launch the attack, because the only reason Israel would launch an attack on Iran would be in retaliation to an attack on Israel, or to stop the imminent deployment of a nuclear weapon by Iran.

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I would imagine that Israel would not act without getting the OK from the US first. Right now, the last thing the US needs is another unprovoked war. The oil shipping lines would close and ruin the world economy, Syria - which has been cooperating with US would be lost and the already stretched military could not handle Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and a sabre-rattling North Korea. If you think Iraq is disastrous enough, Iran will be a whole lot worse. Hezbollah has caused Israel enough problems with rocket launchers - how would Israel go against F-14s and cruise missiles?

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LoveUS:

" Israel is backed up by the USA so it is not so miserable as you present it. "

Not any more, alas. Not with your current president with his moral equivalency and his islamist advisors. Israel would have to go this alone, and of course it can not.

So again, the headline turns the situation on its head.

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Wasabi, you did what in 90 days? Well then why are you still there if clearly you believe the job is finished.

The U.S is extraordinarily good at destroying national defenses. The Iraq military was destroyed quite quickly, what we have been dealing with for the past several years have been small cells of fighters killing more of their own people than ours. It has always been my opinion that we should have left Afghanistan and Iraq in shambles as an example. Would have been much cheaper that way, unfortunately some felt that it was our responsibility to clean up the mess, regrettable.

Aside from the economic issues, it would likely drag in allies on both sides resulting in a third world war.

Neither country has a fraction of the sway required to pull something like that off.

Now add to that two wars that we are already failing to resolve and you must be stoned or insane to think a war between Israel and Iran would be a good thing.

I don't know, keeping an unfriendly nation destabilized does have a certain appeal to it. I'd rather see it done through political infighting or social upheaval but one must keep their options open.

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sharpie:

" What about Israel's nuclear weapons program--they still to date, deny the fact that they possess nuclear weapons and are in clear violation of the IAEA??? "

Israel never joined the NPT and never threatened anybody with its nukes. Unlike Iran mullah regime, which signed the NPT, lied blatantly about its enrichment program, and is a on mission from god to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.

Israel, surrounded by hostile neighbours, only has its nukes as a very last resort, and the neighbours know that.

When you see a small kid surrounded by a group of bullies, your solution is to.... disarm the small kid. Brilliant.

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lied blatantly about its enrichment program

Would you happen to have a link to back this up? If possible, from the UN atomic energy commission?

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Add to last post: Or the IAEA? Something official?

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and his islamist advisors

Just out of curiosity, who are these "advisors"

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such as creating chaos to hasten the rise of a messiah

Would you be able to include a link, a study, something, to substantiate your statement?

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I find this article to be a great example of manipulation of information to influence public opinion.

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who wish no ill will to Americans or Israelis

tkoind, I would like to ask YOU if you know about the average Iranian. I in fact DO know an Iranian who came to Japan to become a missionary (Christian). He is not living in Iran, do to obvious reasons, but he does still have friends and family there. A lot of ordinary people are very anti-US / anti-Israel. Their opinions are not really based on anything except for what you could call propaganda. Sometimes when you've got a crazy leader that craziness rubs off on the people too. Just look at NK.

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Sometimes when you've got a crazy leader that craziness rubs off on the people too.

Ouch, you are priming me for some sort of Bush/Cheney joke here... No, I will not, I will not! Resist the temptation!

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Nope. If Israel launches multiple ballistic missiles Iran will be destroyed.

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bicultural. Not only do I know Iranians, I know several people who live there and have contacts with quite a few Iranian expats living around the world.

Look, any country has its zealots. Case in point look at US behavior under Bush. But that does not define the entire nation. The average person does what you and I do. They get up, go do what they do to make a living, try to lead good lives and survive. This is the same everywhere.

To condemn an entire people because of the actions of the leadiship in wrong and insane. Especially when recent events so clearly demonstrate discontent within Iran for her government.

Sure we need to condemn Iran's actions politically. But a war is not the answer. Neither is war the answer to address Israel's Apartheid system. Change must be managed through peaceful means and with respect to the people. Thus Gaza should not be blocked as this hurts the entire population and is a war crime. Equally Iran should not be bombed or invaded. And Israeli people should equally be cared about.

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"Nope. If Israel launches multiple ballistic missiles Iran will be destroyed."

Do you people think this is a movie?!?!? Normal good people will be killed if this happens. Children, mothers, families will be wiped out. And why? Because the leaders of two nations are too stupid to avoid conflict.

And what about the downstream consequences? War with Iran and Israel would result in war with surrounding states as allies come to be involved. Not to mention the very negative impact to Israel from the undoubted global condemnation of such a unilateral act. And the economic impact.

You war mongers need to think about consequences from economic and political as well as the long term potential blowback from such actions. If you understood history instead of movies you may understand that it is short sighted solutions in the past that has largely created this mess. British decision making in Palestine and misplaced US support of the wrong government in Iran in 1953. Learn from history as it will certainly teach you a harsh lesson if you fail to do so.

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Well said tkoind2.

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Well said tkoind2.

Indeed!

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I meet up and have a good time at a bar in machida with a bunch of Iranian Muslims. They are nice guys and not one ever yoked against me being a Jewish American. we are friends as people should be. Iran needs some internal uplifting.

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They are nice guys and not one ever yoked against me being a Jewish American.

That's because they're humans, who I believe are not born evil. Muslims are not a problem, but Islamic ideology most certainly is. Just read what it teaches.

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Thus Gaza should not be blocked as this hurts the entire population and is a war crime.

The blockade is completely legal under San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994 Section II. Israel was completely within the scope of law to board the vessel and, after being attacked, had the authority to destroy the ship but elected not to.

Normal good people will be killed if this happens. Children, mothers, families will be wiped out. And why? Because the leaders of two nations are too stupid to avoid conflict.

Conflict is inevitable, not only in this situation but in all countries. Leaders determine whether that conflict will take its course within the country in the form of social strife and civil war or within another. Its a distraction for human bloodlust and a method to keep the people moving in the same direction.

Learn from history as it will certainly teach you a harsh lesson if you fail to do so.

Nothing but men who felt they were doing the right thing at the time. We all do what we must even if it is at the expense of another. Mistakes will always be made and lives will always be lost, there is an art to picking your enemies and the level to which you demonize them. The U.S hasn't done enough to make the U.S population hate those it kills and Iran has taken their efforts to far.

I can easily see Israel striking Iran as they have done so before. If Iran retaliates they would likely be joined by Syria and in all likelihood we would have another 6-days war. The Israeli military is among the most experienced, well trained, and best equipped in the world. I don't enjoy the idea of open war, I merely accept its inevitability.

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Do the math conventional war or nuke war. I vote for the lesser of two evils. Shock and awe.

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Every premise in this article will be completely wrong if Iran tries to escort aid ships and try to break the Gaza blockade. Then we will see a very different scenario unfold. Iran will shoot at the Israeli ships that enforce the blockade, Israel will return fire, Hezbollah will commence it's rocket launches, Israel will launch counter strikes right up the alley, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. As the scenario escalates, Turkey will provide logistical support to Iran for air strikes into Israel, at which point Israel will strike Turkey, and then Turkey will invade Israel with ground troops. In the midst of this onslaught, if Israel does have nukes, you could expect to see them used at this point. Iran, Turkey, and Syria would likely be the targets. Lebanon would be invaded by Israeli conventional forces. Gaza and West Bank would be annihilated. Basically, most of the Middle East, except for Jordan, and the Saudi States, would be completely devastated, including Israel. Not a pretty picture. I hope Iran gives this some thought before they try to escort any ships to Gaza.

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Every premise in this article will be completely wrong if Iran tries to escort aid ships and try to break the Gaza blockade.

Incorrect, according to international law if aid is escorted by a warship the warship has the authority to vouch for the aid ships. Thus far the blockade has followed the law to a T and I also doubt Egypt would allow an Iranian warship through the Suez Canal considering that Egypt is also trying to keep weapons out of Gaza.

As the scenario escalates, Turkey will provide logistical support to Iran for air strikes into Israel, at which point Israel will strike Turkey, and then Turkey will invade Israel with ground troops.

Unlikely, while the current relationship is strained it still exists. Turkey has been a long time fair weather friend of Israel and the U.S, it would most likely stay out of any such conflict entirely.

Such a conflict would have innumerable variables two consistent ones would be an Israeli first strike and the involvement of Syria.

Not a pretty picture.

Depends on who's looking at it. From a western perspective its fantastic, instability may lead to more extremists but they will by and large be killing each other and won't have the time or resources to plan attacks on western soil. The chaos also makes it easier for certain interested parties to insert PMC's and proxy governments to locate and remove rogue elements more effectively.

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tkoind2 and peacewarrior; People are responsible for whom they choose to lead their country, people are therefore also responsible for the wrath those leaders bring down upon their heads. See Japan and Germany circa 1940's

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The IDF is pretty capable. Capable against unarmed women and children, and civilians. They did a great job against Lebanon, which has no military at all. They were really courageous in Gaza, some of the soldiers even found time to steal some Gazan credit cards, when they were taking a break from putting bullets through the heads of kids and grandmothers.

They turned tail when a few Hezbollah light irregulars managed to knock out a couple of their Merkavas.

This is not your father's IDF. They won't last long in a real fight.

I have a feeling America is slowly joining the rest of the world in growing weary of the Israelis and their antics. We have much more serious things, like reversing the destruction of the environment, to worry about, rather than wasting time with these infantile spoiled brats.

Here is what Israel really thinks: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=LatmaTV#p/u/26/RBRwU3y5ZD4 and http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=LatmaTV#p/u/1/2KUcv452KbU

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Iran sees U.S. that has not adhered to the rule of law, reserves the right to overthrow regimes, does not follow the Geneva Convention, has been belligerent toward Iran and now surrounds the country on all sides. Further, over a span of fifty years the U.S. has overthrown one of Iran's constitutionally elected governments, gave enthusiastic support to the oppressive, Shah government in Iran and backed Shah that killed over 500,000 Iranians. Israel needs to understand Iran in order to determine how to pursue dialogue and avoid a war. Should Israel decide to change direction and support regional peace, then there will be a progress.

The attack on Turkey vessel has clearly shown that the Israeli government has no desire for peace in the region. When it comes to Hamas, which controls Gaza, they disagree. Israel views Hamas as a terrorist group and focuses on its doctrinal commitment to destroy the Zionist state. Turkey's Erdogan sees other aspects: Hamas began as a grass-roots Islamic movement, and like his own Justice and Development Party, also Islamic-inspired, it was democratically elected against overwhelming odds. Turkish tactic will be to try to garner international condemnation in order to change Israeli policies toward Gaza, namely its blockade. The current governments in Israel and Turkey seem stuck in a cycle of hostility. As long as this government is in power and the one in Israel is in power, it will be a hostile relationship, not even a neutral one.

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Most in the US and Canada just want to go on with their lives. Working, raising their families, doing what other families want to do everywhere with safety, security and stability

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Can Israel deter an Iranian attack?

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Israel's position is much worse than this article would indicate. If Israel were to attack Iran, then every Israeli embassy, every synagogue, every holocaust museum, every Jewish living center, etc. on five continents, would be a target for Iranian retribution. And, similar to the Jewish center bombing in Argentina in the 1990's, the bombers would likely never be brought to justice. So, an Israeli attack is out of the question.

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People are responsible for whom they choose to lead their country, people are therefore also responsible for the wrath those leaders bring down upon their heads.

That could have been lifted straight out of an Al-Qaeda fatwa. One of the main "justifications" for Islamic terrorism that.

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If Israel were to attack Iran, then every Israeli embassy, every synagogue, every holocaust museum, every Jewish living center, etc. on five continents, would be a target for Iranian retribution.

As if that's not the case presently, with these Islamic terrorists and their bloodthirsty predilections. Islam is attacking civilians of all faiths and nationalities on all 5 continents.

Bomb it now, and remove the threat of Islamic homicidal lunatics with nukes.

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"I don't enjoy the idea of open war, I merely accept its inevitability." This thinking is the problem. The acceptance of war as a solution invites it to be used.

You just don't get it. War between Israel and Iran would be more than you can even imagine. Already Iraq and Afghanistan are unstable, the consequences of which are the very real risk of Pakistan and her nukes falling into the wrong hands.

Now you want to see war with Iran to destabilize the last rooted power in the region? Don't you see the potential for chaos and rabid jihadism if this happens? Again not to mention the economic and political consequences.

Bottom line. Iran need to be left alone so that her people can change the regime there. There is no proven nuclear program for weapons and we should learn from the idiocy that led to Iraq if we have doubts about jumping to unfounded conclusions.

Further, Israel is an Apartheid state that we should not be supporting any longer. Their policies and ours for the Middle East must change. We have had enough of this lunacy. For most of the world we would not know the difference between the average Israeli or the average Palestinian standing side by side. Just because they are hell bent on destroying each other does not mean we should be a party to it. Drop Israel and demand a one state solution. This is the only answer to lasting peace in the middle east. Period!

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America got Iran surrounded, and Israel is primed to call in the air strikes with the poison kisses. It's a given. After that regime change, the good Iranian people well be free from their insane Islamic oppressors, and will be free to vote in a democratic government and prosper.

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One more note history is in the past Islamic nut jobs are presently trying to obtain nukes. Islamic nut jobs do enough damage with firecrackers and underwear, a responsible earth community needs to rid this plague from their miserably medieval existence. Bomb Iran Now!

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guest. Maybe they think someone should bomb the likes of you who would wish other people dead to satisfy their own twisted ideas. Seems to me you are very much like the terrorist few that you hope to punish the many for.

Bottom line, sure there is a minority of Muslims out there who are violent and dangerous. But they are a tiny minority of an otherwise peaceful faith. Equally there are violent Christians out there that are nut jobs too. If we follow your reasoning let's bomb Christian cities too. And then Israel a Jewish state with plenty of blood on its hands. Bomb them too?

This brainless thinking of violence as a solution is why the world is a mess today. Short sighted, uniformed people who do not understand cause and effect and who lack a capacity for long term vision are too often the fools making decisions for the planet.

We need decisions that favor peace, that means compromising the hard line to gain trust, interaction to gain understanding and selfsacrificing efforts to choose peace over violence.

I would have thought Iraq and Afghanistan would have taught the braindead hawks a lesson by now. Not enough coffins coming home for you yet? You sicken me with your calls for violence. You are as medieval as the Jihadis but without at least a faith to rationalize your stupidity.

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Can Iran deter an Israeli attack?

Let's find out. Go ahead Israel!

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This brainless thinking of violence as a solution is why the world is a mess today.

I totally agree with you, Muslim extremism is the world's #1 problem.

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Manfromamerica. "Muslim extremism is the world's #1 problem." You are kidding right? Just do the math. More people die of HIV than in attacks by Muslim extremists. Even your cars in America are killing far more people.

The hysteria over the number of killings by the Islamic fundamentalists is propaganda driven to make you afraid and passive to support policies like the idiotic attack on Iraq. Now you want to repeat the same insanity with Iran. Do you not pay attention to anything that is going on in the world?

If you really want to address your so called #1 problem then you need to address the root issues. That means looking for peaceful solutions to the problems between Israel and Palestine e.g. a one state solution.

Then you need to stop supporting repressive regimes in the region and start working with local political leaders who also want positive change. This includes being more open about who you work with and how.

More war in the region will just enflame the whole Jihadi movement. So your solution is like pouring gasoline on a fire. You are likely to burn yourself up in the process.

When will people learn that violence breeds the same in return? The world can no longer afford to tolerate this kind of thinking or the people who advocate it. Too much is at stake to listen to the fools calling for war.

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One more point Guest and ManfromAmerica. If you are such hawks for war, then you must be posting from Afghanistan or Iraq today. Right?!? Because if you are not, then it must be easy to sit back at your comfy PC and talk about going to war when the only thing you personally risk is having your favorite TV show preempted for news. The people who actually do all the fighting and dying are intelligent enough to know better than to call for war. Put your money where your words are gentlemen and go join up if you love war so much. Be the first on the ground to put your behind on the line for real.

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Can Iran deter an Israeli attack?

Nope. Nor should they. It's in the best interests of planet Earth.

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I am still quite surprised at the attitudes and beliefs of some of the posters on here. The United States should have learnt from Vietnam which ended The Great Society and the wounds still run deep. Take a trip down skid row or any VFW to see the ongoing results. The current Iraq-Afghanistan debacle has bankrupted the USA and left thousands of families fatherless.

As for Israel, their war crimes would make any rogue state proud. I assure you, they are not the victims here. To make claims that the Jews have more of a right to Israel and Palestine is completely mistaken and a sign that you have been manipulated.

In short, you dont have the right to an opinion, you have the right to an informed opinion - that is the basis of democracy, and an informed opinion is something you have clearly relinquished.

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This thinking is the problem. The acceptance of war as a solution invites it to be used.

War is a solution as is diplomacy, sanctions, blockades, assassinations, strongly worded letters, and protest demonstrations. We elect federal officials to know what tools to use depending on the situation, some actions may warrant an olive branch others may merit a drone strike.

Already Iraq and Afghanistan are unstable, the consequences of which are the very real risk of Pakistan and her nukes falling into the wrong hands.

If Pakistan were to spiral out I have no doubts that Russia and the U.S would discretely remove the nuclear weapons from the equation.

Now you want to see war with Iran to destabilize the last rooted power in the region?

The Saudis have been quite stable as business associates.

Don't you see the potential for chaos and rabid jihadism if this happens?

Yes I do, however if the region is embroiled in political chaos chances are that they will focus on grabbing power and killing one another. The way I see it the crazies are going to kill people no matter what, instability just gives them more targets over there than over here.

Again not to mention the economic and political consequences.

Most U.S holdings have removed themselves from Iran and any losses resulting from a war between Israel and Iran can easily be mitigated.

Bottom line. Iran need to be left alone so that her people can change the regime there.

There are no bottom lines, only alternative courses of action. Leaving them be is one of them, letting Israel flatten them is another, albeit a far less appealing one, option.

We have had enough of this lunacy. For most of the world we would not know the difference between the average Israeli or the average Palestinian standing side by side.

I once made the mistake of believing a man from eastern Ukraine to be Russian, while the police were getting witness accounts out we were able to have a more civil discussion about the differences and intricacies of Ukrainian politics. They may look similar but I wouldn't go around telling them that.

Drop Israel and demand a one state solution. This is the only answer to lasting peace in the middle east.

The bloodbath resulting from that course of action would be worthy of payper view.

This brainless thinking of violence as a solution is why the world is a mess today.

Violence is nothing new, most of today’s technology can be traced to mans noble attempts to kill his neighbor. It's not the reason for the worlds problems it's the reason for the world as we know it. Every generation of people believes two things; that the generation that came before it was full of morons and that the world is going to hell. Fact of the matter is that they weren't and it won't.

We need decisions that favor peace, that means compromising the hard line to gain trust, interaction to gain understanding and selfsacrificing efforts to choose peace over violence.

Then we stagnate and die. Conflict, punishment, and rewards are all that motivates people. Peace is bad for business, bad for politics, and is like a wretched drug for people, it makes them lazy, unappreciative, and useless. It makes me sick to look at some of my coworkers that have never known another nation. My family fled a hellhole and it made us stronger, more motivated, and better in general.

When will people learn that violence breeds the same in return?

Not if you do it right.

I feel I should yet again state that I do not support a war between Iran and Israel, but it remains a possibility. Such a conflict would have innumerable consequences and involve a host of variables, some may come out better than others. Lets hope it resolves in a clean and effective manner whatever way it goes.

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manfromamerica at 02:55 PM JST - 8th Jun. I totally agree with you, Muslim extremism is the world's #1 problem.

Who is the real victim? Here are the facts from Gaza war in 2008 that cost Israel 13 lives and compare with over 1,500 Gazans. This did not change this perception of Gaza. The overwhelming perception was that of Israel is facing an existential threat from crude missiles being lobbed over the border and Israel was able to get away with propanganda self-defense media strategy.

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TheQuestion.

Once upon a time all of humanity accepted the reality that the world was flat and at the center of a divine universe. People were put to death for disagreeing with this 'fact". It was simply the way things were considered to be. Unchangeable, absolute and without end.

Your position on global politics is equally a flat earth ideology that is out of step with the very real need for human politics to change if humanity is to survive. Just because something is the way it is, does not make it morally right or correct for the development of our world.

We must start to push back on war as a solution. Iraq and Afghanistan have proven disasterous for the US. These are facts that fly in the face of the convention lack of wisdom that would suggest war as a solution to Iran. It is the wrong answer, new ideas are required. Ideas that provide for the Iranian people to change their own course over time.

As for Israel. Their Apartheid state cannot continue unrestricted. A shared state is widely viewed as the only fully viable solution from both economic and political standings. The time for feeble tribal nonsense has passed, human beings today must learn to live in multi-cultural secular societies. There are no alternatives in a globalized world. It is time both Israel and Palestine accepted that their world is not flat and the the round reality of the world requires new thinking and the courage to embrace it despite the fools still seeing a flat world.

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It is high time the so called "state" of Israel ceased it's racist persecution/genocide of the Palestinians. It is also high time the United States cut this awful place off it's payroll - lets see how they fend for themselves!

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Once upon a time all of humanity accepted the reality that the world was flat and at the center of a divine universe.

What a marvelous cliché. I tend to think that I do take a well rounded view of human courses of action. We may fight, or we may not. Conflict just has more measurable results and makes more sense.

Just because something is the way it is, does not make it morally right or correct for the development of our world.

Who brought morals into this discussion. Morals are guidelines of behavior and one can easily go against the prodding’s of their moral compass to achieve their goals. I view such things as lying and murder to be immoral at all times and in all circumstances, but immorality and necessity are not mutually exclusive.

We must start to push back on war as a solution. Iraq and Afghanistan have proven disasterous for the US.

No, the reconstruction has been disastrous. If anything we should have learned that when we destroy a nation we should leave it that way, rebuilding countries is expensive and time consuming and has virtually no return value.

A shared state is widely viewed as the only fully viable solution from both economic and political standings.

By who? Certainly not by Israel and Palestine...although I suppose the Palestinians would like the idea if they could strip voting and property rights from the Jews but I don't that would go over to well. Anyway what possible economic benefit is there from combining a chaotic state like Palestine with a money sucking state like Israel. The only reason Israel is so stable is because the U.S pays it to be their angry little attack dog, a job they've done very well.

It is time both Israel and Palestine accepted that their world is not flat and the the round reality of the world requires new thinking and the courage to embrace it despite the fools still seeing a flat world.

Accepting each others right to exist and agreeing not to kill each other despite pressures from the outside world takes courage. Combining two states with different political, economic, and social structures with virtually nothing in common except for a mutual distain for each other.

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What a marvelous cliché.

Maybe cliché but definitely touché! 'night!

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Combining two states with different political, economic, and social structures with virtually nothing in common except for a mutual distain for each other.

Revision: That should have ended with "is insanity." or some like phrase that represents the same idea.

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Do you guys know that when Hezbollah fired missiles last time at Israel, It killed Arabs people? these missiles cant discriminate between jews and arabs and are like 30% accurate.

but dont you guys get it? feel/see it? Europe will be taken out by muslims, you see muslims everywhere and millions of them in europe..london..paris..are overrun! forget about christian europe, its no way of return, its soon will be a muslim's continent, and even now in many places..when you will open your eyes, it will be too late.

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The Question. We have seen many instances in the past where divergent communities coexist within a single federalized state. My own home country is an example of two very differen cultures with considerable animosity managing to forge one the world's strongest nations.

Many Non-Zionist Jews and a fair number of Palestinians see the value of a unified single state. This idea is not unique to me, nor is it new. It has been proposed many times by people who have the understanding of the region to know what is and is not possible.

Without a single state, we create an inherent power disparity between a very poor and isolated Palestine and an agressive and militant Israel. This will never stand and the economic disparity will spell disaster.

If South African blacks can live side by side with their oppressors and build a positive and forward thinking nation, Israel and Palestine could do the same with the right economic and political incentives.

As for your continued justification for war. War may be expedient in solving near term problems as you have argued. But the long term outcome is most often detrimental to all concerned. Again I remind you of the fiasco in Iraq. Even Iraq volume 1's war did not manage to solve anything other than near term problems.

We have to evolve beyond war as a solution. When it comes to Iran, war would be a price far too high to pay.

AAnd again, I ask, if you are so for the sacrifice of other's lives for political expediency, when why are you not in uniform and on the front lines yourself. Does your belief in war run only as deep as the consequences for others? Put your body where your beliefs are mate!!!

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Again I remind you of the fiasco in Iraq.

And again I state that the initial destruction of the Iraq military forces wasn't the problem, they were mopped up right quick, it was the extensive and foolish attempt to rebuild the country. A vast majority of the casualties were suffered during the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan due to roadside bombs and small groups of suicidal insurgents; these could have been averted if we had left immediately after destroying those countries infrastructures.

AAnd again, I ask, if you are so for the sacrifice of other's lives for political expediency, when why are you not in uniform and on the front lines yourself.

Its not for lack of trying, I spend the better part of my early twenties trying to get around their height requirements. They flat out won't take someone over 80 inches tall...not even the bloody Coast Guard. So instead I went into Federal Service. Although admittedly the navy would have considered taking me if I could manage to shave off 50 lbs. I'm not an unfit guy and would have gone through training no problem, as long as the marines don't start using armored Smart Cars height should'nt be a factor.

But God yes, if they ever reinstate the draft or drop their damnable standards a little I'll fight, die, and kill for this country. People keep saying that the U.S needs to start seeing itself as a part of the world and not as a guard dog, well I've been to the rest of the world and I'd rather see myself gutted than have this country become like the one my family left.

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but dont you guys get it? feel/see it? Europe will be taken out by muslims, you see muslims everywhere and millions of them in europe..london..paris..are overrun! forget about christian europe, its no way of return, its soon will be a muslim's continent, and even now in many places..when you will open your eyes, it will be too late.

Well, it looks like we got some serious extermination to do. What? A billion people. Better start getting busy like NOW. Yep, tkoind, such sentiments are really no different from what the Nazi's preached, but that time it was the JEWISH problem. But, here is a funny story. You know that Ground Zero protest against the Mosque--the one that you would have loved to attend if you could. Well, there were two arab looking men speaking arabic there, and so the crowd like began to go crazy on them. The police showed up and it still got very ugly. It turns out, however, that the two men were Christians and were from Egypt (Coptic Christians) and they were there to also protest the mosque. Ain't that a hoot! So, probably, your ilk would have just not cared a whole lot about that issue and would have just beaten the crap out of them, like in the Crusades.

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Guest: Bomb Iran? then what is the difference between you and those Islam extremist then??... Religion or maybe skin color, You are just the counter part of these warlord extremists.

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