Israel Threatens Nuclear Strike Against Iran

There’s a nuclear power in the world that’s threatening to use its arsenal unilaterally, and it’s not Iran. Israel leaked to the Sunday Times that it might engage in a preemptive nuclear strike against Iran.

Israel has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons.

Two Israeli air force squadrons are training to blow up an Iranian facility using low-yield nuclear “bunker-busters”, according to several Israeli military sources.

(…)

Israeli military commanders believe conventional strikes may no longer be enough to annihilate increasingly well-defended enrichment facilities. Several have been built beneath at least 70ft of concrete and rock. However, the nuclear-tipped bunker-busters would be used only if a conventional attack was ruled out and if the United States declined to intervene, senior sources said.

The United States is engaging in a policy of appeasement, but not of the Arab world. Instead of branding Israel a rogue nation too irresponsible to be allowed to have nuclear weapons, the US keeps giving it economic aid it doesn’t need and military aid it doesn’t deserve. The US funds the IDF, whose annual budget is $9.4 billion, to the tune of $2.4 billion a year.

Like Zimbabwe, Israel has used its loaded history to guilt the rest of the world to let it commit atrocities. Mugabe complains of racism whenever someone criticizes his mob rule; Israel complains of anti-Semitism whenever someone criticizes the occupation.

In a better world, Pelosi would choke off funding to Israel until it delivered some sort of no first strike guarantee. In the real world, Congress is doing exactly nothing to stop the sending of US taxpayer money to rogue nations. A North Korea-style aid for non-aggression agreement could work, but right now the US is sending money to Israel without asking for anything in return.

Sources close to the Pentagon said the United States was highly unlikely to give approval for tactical nuclear weapons to be used. One source said Israel would have to seek approval “after the event”, as it did when it crippled Iraq’s nuclear reactor at Osirak with airstrikes in 1981.

In other words, the US won’t give explicit approval for it, so Israel will do it anyway and tell the US, “We’ve done it; now, keep giving us money.” To pretend the US won’t be complicit because of that misses the point. Olmert had no trouble refusing to negotiate with Syria because Bush branded it an enemy; if Bush made it sufficiently clear that over his dead body would an ally use nuclear weapons first, Olmert would resile from the threat.

Incidentally, the people who’ll suffer the most if Israel attacks Iran will be the Israelis. Rhetoric about destroying Iran’s nuclear capability aside, Israel’s recent military history suggests it will leave a significant nuclear contingent intact.

There’s nothing wrong with developing nuclear weapons for a second strike or as a defensive maneuver against advancing enemy troops. Although the US did at several points contemplate a first strike against the Soviet Union, it never made explicit threats; rather, it considered it as an option in meetings behind closed doors. And for all of Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric, neither Khamenei nor he has ever suggested using nuclear weapons offensively against Israel.

25 Responses to Israel Threatens Nuclear Strike Against Iran

  1. SLC says:

    Well, here we have the Mr. Levy we used to know, the two fisted Israel basher. Mr. Levy draws his conclusions based on the assumption that Iran is not contemplating a first srtike against Israel as soon as it acquires a nuclear strike capability. This is wishfull thinking raised to the 10th power. Amadinejad has already stated that his objective is to remove Israel from the map and what better way to accomplish this then a nuclear assault. The only problem I have with this apparent strategy is that low yield nuclear weapons are considered sufficient to accomplish it. If Irans’ nuclear facilities are buried as deep as the Times article says, conventional yield nuclear munitions may be required (e.g. 20 kilotons or greater). Since the existance of Israel is on the line, there should be no hesitation whatever about a preventive strike.

  2. Joe says:

    There should be a nuclear free zone in the middle east. No nukes including Israel. US aid should be contingent on cooperation with a strict inspection program. The problem will be the zionist AIPAC lobby. The most powerful lobby we have will not let us go there. If they do not get out of the way the future does not look good.

  3. SLC says:

    Re Joe

    This type of thinking is typical of soft headed liberals such as Mr. Joe. The time for making the Middle East a nuclear free zone has come and gone. Further, blaming everytiing on the “Zionist AIPAC” is the type of language one expects to hear from the likes of Juan Cole, Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, John Mearsheimer, Pat Buchanan, and Stephen Walt. So Mr. Joe, when you get into the pen with the pigs, expect to emerge with a coating a mud.

  4. Alon Levy says:

    Actually, AIPAC isn’t that powerful. Its influence is a fraction of what it was 15 years ago, and its lingering power is more due to politicians’ wrong belief that it can still make any politician who votes against its interests lose his seat.

  5. Alon Levy Loves Terrorists says:

    Yeah, Alon, seriously man. How dare you assume that Israel should be held to a standard where they can’t launch a preventative nuke attack on another country? Do you really think we should hold Israel to the same expectations we’ve gone so far as to use as causus belle elsewhere in the mid-east? It’s almost as if you think that sitting on our hands and blowing smoke up Israel’s ass while they do this makes us look like idiots or something. You’re retarded.

  6. SLC says:

    Re Alon Levy Loves Terrorists

    Well, I see that the Israel bashers are out in force today. The standard to which Israel should be held is that it must do what it has to do to survive. If a preventive nuclear strike is required, so be it.

  7. caractacus says:

    Last I heard the IAEA and even the CIA didn’t think Iran had a nuclear weapons programme. The only people who do seem to think that they do, are exactly same people who claimed Iraq did.

    See e.g. http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/061127fa_fact

  8. SLC says:

    Re caractacus

    The Iranians have stated that they have a nuclear program, albeit claiming that it is for peaceful purposes. Hitler also claimed that German rearmament was for defense only.

  9. caractacus says:

    Yes, but they’ve been giving the IAEA inspectors access for some time now. The IAEA was right about Iraq and Cheney et al were not. I’d bet on a winning horse.

  10. caractacus says:

    see e.g. “Since February 2003, when Iran joined the Additional Protocol and its Safeguards Agreement, the IAEA’s inspectors have been conducting over 2.000 person-days of intrusive investigations into the nature and extent of Iran’s nuclear programme. More than a year ago, ElBaradei reported to the Board that he had found no indication that (a) there were any undeclared “source or special nuclear materials” in Iran, nor that (b) “source or special nuclear materials” were being, or had ever been “used in furtherance of a military purpose.””

    http://www.oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk/publications/briefings/IransNuclearThreat.htm

  11. caractacus says:

    This whole business seems like deja vu. Surely we’re not going to start another war on the basis of more or less identical scare stories from exactly the same proven bunch of liars.

    Are we?

  12. Bushbaptist says:

    Well Alon, nothing is guaranteed to stir up a wasp’s nest like criticising Israel. caractacus had put it very succinctly.
    Why shouldn’t Iran have nukes?? After all you have them!! Get rid of your own and then you can take the “moral Highground”. The prob with the “moral highgroud” is that it distorts one’s view!
    Iran may be run by dipshits but they are not suicidal and they are well aware that any attack on Israel would bring down the wrath of the rest of the world and their country would glow green in the dark.
    Don’t be too hard on G. Bush he isafter all, “Doing God’s Work”. When he lays down to sleep at night he hears a voice in his head that he thinks is God talking to him. We call it schizophrenia!

  13. SLC says:

    Re bushbaptist

    Like Mr. Levy, Mr. bushbaptist thinks that Iran would not be willing to attack Israel with nuclears weapons because of the threat of retaliation. Perhaps this is true. However, I don’t think that the Israeli leadership can afford to bet the ranch on it from the unsafety of Jerusalem. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    Re caratacus

    Of course Saddam wasn’t developing a nuclear capability either until the facility was leveled by an Israeli air assault in 1981.

  14. Yoram Gat says:

    So, to sum up SLC’s position: based on SLC’s speculation that Iran would or may at some point in the future attack Israel using nuclear weapons (which it does not have, claims it does not intend to develop, never threatened to use, and allows inspections to assure that they are not being developed) Israel (who is not a party to the NPT, has nuclear weapons, and makes occasional threats to use them) does indeed have the moral right to a pre-emptive nuclear strike.

    Poor Goliath, he just has no choice but to kill David when he is still young, otherwise, who knows what David may grow up to do.

    Now, let me, with some effort, take your position seriously and ask you why do you state that

    [t]he time for making the Middle East a nuclear free zone has come and gone.

    Why can’t Israel declare that it will abandon its own nuclear programs (military, civilian and research) and submit itself to international inspections in exchange for an identical commitment by all Middle-Eastern nations? Wouldn’t that solve the immediate problem of the supposed Iranian threat and achieve the sought-after nuclear demilitarization of the Middle East?

  15. SLC says:

    Re Yorem Gat

    Mr. Gat poses an interesting question relative to Israels’ nuclear arsenal. Unfortunately, given the volatile nature of the Middle East, a Prime Minister of Israel who placed the safety of his country in the hands of outsiders, especially considering the lack of affection of those outsiders, would be guilty of malfeasance of office. Given the population disparity between Israel and the surrounding hostile countries, its nuclear arsenal is the last line of defense.

  16. Rachel says:

    Like Mr. Levy, Mr. bushbaptist thinks that Iran would not be willing to attack Israel with nuclears weapons because of the threat of retaliation. Perhaps this is true. However, I don’t think that the Israeli leadership can afford to bet the ranch on it from the unsafety of Jerusalem. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    Iran has shown that it can be deterrred and back down despite the rhetoric of its clerics in the Iran-Iraq War and in its relations with the US. The gamble isn’t in deterrance, but rather in the foolish first strike attempt. Its doubtful that anyone can take out all of Iran’s 70 known nuclear sites, and of course, no one knows how many unknown sites there are. However, it’s sure that nuking Iran will irradiate many civilians and ensure that Iran will retaliate with its own nuclear weapons against Israel when it gets them–after all, they’ve already been nuked.

    Nuclear weapons are a 1940’s technology and Eventually Iran and every other major nation will have them. Non-proliferation needs to focus on delaying the ability of countries to get nuclear weapons until they become peaceful democracies. An attack that relies on nuclear weapons to delay a country may cause a delay of a few years, but it will also ensure that the country will not become a peaceful democracy in those few years.

  17. Yoram Gat says:

    SLC –

    Especially considering the lack of affection of those outsiders

    Those would be the same outsiders that have been letting Israel hold nuclear weapons for decades (some of them having helped Israel to obtain them) and are threatening military and economic action against an enemy of Israel for supposedly plotting to develop nuclear weapons.

    Given the population disparity between Israel and the surrounding hostile countries, its nuclear arsenal is the last line of defense.

    So you would support the right of any small country to develop nuclear weapons and then use them to make sure that none of its enemies obtains such weapons?

  18. caractacus says:

    It’s clearly going to be much easier to start a war with Iran than to finish it. See for example this assessment from Professor Paul Rodgers, of the probable consequences of starting a war with Iran, or letting Israel do so.

    http://www.iranbodycount.org/

  19. SLC says:

    Re Paul Rodgers

    Mr. Rodgers’ article is quite interesting and certainly outlines the difficulties likely to be incountered by the US and/or Israel in taking out Iranina nuclear capabilities. However, Mr. Rodgers comes up short in his analysis because he assumes that nuclear munitions, up to and including 15 megaton bombs would not be used. In order insure the success of the mission, it would have to be made quite clear to the Iranian Government that, even if these munitions were not used in the initial strikes, any response from Iran such as blocking the Straits of Hormuz would be a causus belli for their use. in subsequent strikes, and that the casulities which the Iranians suffers in the initial attacks will be but a very modest prelude to tha main eventi if they disregard the warnings.

  20. caractacus says:

    Sure, but if Israel does start nuking Iran in that sort of serious way, they’re quickly going to overtake the Nazis in the genocide stakes. Are you ready for that sort of bad publicity?

    I know AIPAC is pretty nifty at PR, but so was Goebbels, but it didn’t do them much good in the end?

  21. caractacus says:

    Iran has about 18 million men of military age. Their likely means of retaliation is such that one Iranian with a bomb is all they need. Are you really proposing to kill all of them with nukes?

    If so, you are definitely going for the world title, but will anyone think better of you for it?

    Or will they think you’re a dangerous rogue nation who can’t be tolerated near civilisation?

  22. SLC says:

    RE caractatus

    If one wants to make an omelet, one has to break a few egg shells. If Iran learns its lesson from the first strike, which would include only tactical nuclear weapons (

  23. caractacus says:

    Well, it would seem to me that the obvious ‘lesson’ everybody in the region will learn, if they haven’t already, is ‘we need nukes of our own to protect us from these nuclear armed maniacs’

  24. Please continue to write more good blog.i will keep reading. Thank you.

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