Monday, July 2, 2012

More Replies and Responses

On the topic of a rumored Israeli strike on Iran timed to coincide with the US presidential elections...

This interesting engagement continues. 

"The answer to your question about whose blood and treasure will be spent? I have no idea (and neither do you - although I understand what I believe you are implying). Unfortunately, we would need to have the event occur before we will know....likewise, if we let Iran have nuclear weapons and they use them (or their proxies use them), we have no idea who will clean-up that mess either."

If you surmise I meant the USA, you're correct. Have you any other candidates for such a task if Israel goes it alone, without an international consensus, after timing it so that the US chose not to intervene? The EU? Doubt it. We'd all like to think the Sunni Arab states would lend a hand but that will not occur if it means Gulf States appear to be backing Israel's play. 

"Likewise, if we let Iran have nuclear weapons and they use them (or their proxies use them), we have no idea who will clean-up that mess either."

If Iran develops a complete weapons grade fuel cycle, and assembles a bomb, and uses it (or lets someone crazier sounding than them use it), there would be no end to the international outrage. The line to join this decade's "Coalition of the Willing" would wrap around the block. Even the Gulf oil states will find a way to help.

"If US citizens get together to lobby Congress in order to encourage them to represent citizen interests, there is nothing wrong with that. Unions do it, seniors do it, Christians do it, Moslems [sic] do it, and so do Jews. I'm certain that the 2.1% of the US population that is Jewish does not have the ability to coerce the government to support its position without a large sympathetic following in non-Jewish communities in the US."

But when those other groups (and the many other single-issue "culture war" constituencies) lobby Congress they do so to affect domestic politics. When AIPAC, WINEP, and others pro-Israel lobbyists do it they are influencing our domestic politics in order to affect foreign policy in the interest of one particular country.

As for "one man, on vote," since the Citizens United [v. Federal Election Commission] case the flood gates have opened to allow corporations - for profits, non-profits, and special interest lobbying groups - to spend as much money as they like, precisely where they like, precisely when they like. The issue these days is more about money than votes. And no, corporations are not people too.

As for non-Jewish Americans who support Israel - right-or-wrong - scratch deep enough and you'll find that many of them are Christian fundamentalists and evangelicals who support Israel primarily because it moves them another step closer the completion of their Bible-based End of Days Christian fantasies (Of course the Bible Belt's version of the End Times does not turn out nicely for Israel, but that's a debate for some other forum).  Others who support Israel regardless of its actions are still upset with Arab states that chose the wrong side in the Cold War or loathe Islam in general for the acts of Al Qaeda. They like Israel because it's the other guy. These sorts of commitments to Israel are neither principled nor thoughtful, or both.

Well, here's hoping it’s all bluster, on all sides. If not, I'm shocked that I find the idea of the Mossad hiring MEK "former terrorists" to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists a more palatable alternative.

BTW, While I have jumped in with both feet on this and some of Dr. Afshar's other threads, is anyone here uncomfortable that this topic is massively off-charter for this [LinkedIn] Security Management Resources group? If so, let me know and I be happy to host the discussion to my blog. Thanks.

UPDATE: Took as little heat, as expected, for calling out the evangelical agenda with regard to Israel...

"Your assertion that 'These sorts of commitments to Israel are neither principled nor thoughtful, or both' lacks foundation. Are you really saying that fundamentalist Christians and evangelicals are either unprincipled or thoughtless....or both. Really?"

If I had "friends" who - after 2000 years of engaging in Bible-based antisemitism - suddenly supported any action I and my country took because my existence on a particular plot of land was a prerequisite for their Bible-based eschatological fantasies, at the consummation of which I and all my countrymen would be annihilated, then yes, I would regard their principles and thought processes as seriously flawed. Of course I would be more than happy to cash in their goodwill at the Oval Office, the Capital building, and the Lockheed Martin showroom while the goofy good times rolled. Really.

Have a fine Independence Day Holiday with you and yours. I sense we both love our country deeply; we just disagree on the details of how we should interact with a few others.

Image credit: Arak IR-40 heavy water reactor from

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