Lonely Man of Cake

January 8, 2007

Nuclear Naivety

Filed under: General — lonelymanofcake @ 5:50 pm

My buddy Josh Frankel has decided not to subscribe to the usual Israeli fatalism (when your number’s up, your number’s up) with regard to the Iranian nuclear conflict. No worries, says Josh. This is just going to be a repeat of the Cold War, with both sides rational enough not to mount an attack, as each party knows that a nuclear attack invites the annihilation of both.
Let’s highlight two of Josh’s assumptions, and then illustrate why his neat theorem falls apart:
1. Josh assumes that Israel’s military policy is rooted in reason.
2. Josh assumes that Iran’s military policy is rooted in reason.

As for Israel, look at the debacle that was the second Lebanon War. Look at how tens of thousands of cluster bombs did not detonate, how destruction was sown with no palpable results, how there is not one iota of intelligence on the state or whereabouts of the kidnapped soldiers. Look at how there was never a formal declaration of war, at the state of the bomb shelters in the North, at the Chief of Staff’s attitude that infantry are expendable cannon fodder. What makes you think that there is anything rational about Israel’s military and diplomatic policy?
As for Iran, I’ll just paraphrase what Benjamin Netanyahu told the world press throughout the Lebanon War. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad subscribes to a radical, eschatological brand of Islam which yearns for the Mahdi Apocalypse. What is scary about Ahmadinejad’s nuclear threats is squaring them with his religious beliefs: for the Mahdi to arrive, 2/3 of the world’s population is meant to die as either direct or indirect casualties of war. It won’t matter if Israel retaliates; the ball will have already been set in motion for worldwide nuclear war, thereby bringing this crazed despot’s idea of salvation closer to fruition.

Josh, I think you’re the one who needs the reality check.

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