Posts tagged ‘bluff’

March 3, 2012

Iran 2012 isn’t Iraq 1981

This isn’t 1981 or Iraq. A one-time strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities won’t produce the same results and Israel would be well advised to understand the distinction.

“I don’t bluff,” is the latest volley of ever-heightening rhetoric involving Iran’s nuclear power and/or weapons program.  President Obama, his tough talk pointed toward Tehran follows strong suspicions, if not confirmation that Iran is enriching uranium to the level required for mass destruction in addition to developing missiles to deliver warheads. The recent missile tests were a tip-off.  An overreaction at this critical juncture by the western allies (Israel) in this situation may very well lead to an outcome far worse than if Iran were to become the tenth nation to possess “the bomb.” The dangers of “mad mullahs” possessing a thermonuclear device along with the means to deliver it to enemy lands (Israel) have everyone on edge, maybe Iranians most of all.

The economic sanctions applied by the U.S. and Europe have crippled the Iranian economy and more are threatened. So far the standoff of the prideful leaders has only hurt the citizens of these nations. Iran’s cost of living has skyrocketed, the value of its currency plummeted. Due to the volatility of the situation, oil speculators have pushed the price of gasoline up which is causing a domino effect on already fragile western economies. None of these hardships are being felt by those playing this global chess match.

"I don't bluff" - a 'don't test me' message to Iran and 'don't get antsy' message to Israel.

Israel feels justifiably threatened by the prospect of a nuclear capable Iran and by the noise level of its rattling saber apparently believes it can repeat the 1981 bombing run on Iraq’s nuclear facilities or 2007’s attack on a Syrian reactor, neither of which were heard from again, nice and neat. The U.N. and U.S. publically condemned Israel’s air raid on Iraq while not so privately celebrating the action. This time Israel doesn’t have a hit and run option.  Among other issues, the U.S. made GBU-28 bunker-buster bomb in Israel’s arsenal cannot penetrate anything and everything such as the 75 yards of stone encasing the centrifuges of the Fordow facility near Qom located about an hour’s drive south of Tehran. The Jerusalem Post quoted U.S. officials as saying Fordow is a “zone of immunity,” a rather eloquent way of admitting it’s safe from attack.

Iran is currently holding talks with UN inspectors and North Korea announced it is suspending its nuclear ambitions. Maybe economic sanctions do work.

Worst case scenario is the tenth country obtains “the bomb” while the west and its allies (Israel) do nothing.  Iran is an ancient society, its people cultured and intelligent, more than enough so to realize using this weapon on another nation would be suicide. They also realize Saudi Arabia would be compelled to follow suit as deterrence. Iran would be no more powerful in real terms and many more nuclear missiles would point its direction.

According to British foreign secretary William Hague a military raid would have “enormous downsides” in an apparent bid for understatement of the year. Sometimes the best course of action is to take no action at all outside employing diplomatic and economic tools. The decision making process in any circumstance involves weighing actions against consequences. In this case aggressive, military actions would certainly cause grave consequences, the scope of which can only be imagined.  No action may be the best course of action. “I don’t bluff” was a strong message sent to Israel more so than Iran. Obama’s telling Israel not to act unilaterally. This isn’t 1981 or Iraq. A one-time strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities won’t produce the same results and Israel would be well advised to understand the distinction.