NYTimes readers about IRAN

Daoud Canada
I can't believe this is even a consideration. Is the Iranian government the best of all possible worlds? Hardly. BUT Has modern Iran invaded any other countries? Does Iran have aircraft carrier groups in the Gulf of Mexico? Has Iran shot down American airliners in American air space? (No, but the US has shot down an Iranian airliner in Iranian air space). Were the 22 9/11 suicide terrorists and Al-Queda Iranian or supporters of Iran? NO, they were mostly Saudi. And the Saudis, Al-Queda, and the Taliban despise the Iranians. Is the ongoing insurgency in Afghanistan supported by neighbouring Iran? No. Saudia Arabia has done far more harm to the US and western interests than Iran has ever contemplated.

I greatly dislike the Iranian government and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a horrible buffoon, who says ridiculously stupid rhetorical things, but is vigorously opposed by many Iranians, the US should be very familiar with that situation from 8 years with George W. Bush!

Let Iran be, Ahmadinejad will fade away, and they will slowly evolve in positive directions with the energy and modernity of its enormous youth coupled, who are inevitably the future of a nation.

Attack Iran, and you unleash great horrors on the world, while uniting every Iranian with the worst of its government.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 3:33 p.m.RECOMMENDED148

WendiChico, CA
While I believe that Amedenijad is an egotistical nut job, supporting attacks on Iran by Israel is not the way to go. I know the Republicans are all over this, but getting involved in this kind ‘crazy talk’ will not serve this Country at all. We need to take care of our own problems and let Netanyahu worry about Israel.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 3:55 p.m.RECOMMENDED103

Iran is not Iraq or Afghanistan, so please don't ever make the mistake of thinking an attack on it will be a cake walk. There will be huge collateral damage to American interests both at home and abroad, both military and economic. So please tell me why the US would accept the risk of such blowback. I really would like to know what part of US national security is threatened by Iran. Iran is a country that unlike the US has never attacked and occupied another country. It's history unlike the US's does not include numerous wars, attacks, occupations, threats, covert terrorist attacks, embargoes, economic warfare and ancillary belligerant offenses on other countries. So why is the US running scared, why is nothing off the table, why is the Congress just aching for another military debacle when there is absolutely no proof or evidence of a nuclear weapons manufacturing plant in Iran? Can you tell me? I sure would like to know.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 3:37 p.m.RECOMMENDED94

So, if I understand well, 2012 could be the year of the beginning of the end. I am not particularly fan of Amadenijad and his clerical masters, but I wonder how the West would have reacted if nuclear scientists in Dimona had been decimated in the same way as Iranins today. Denouncing a surge of insidious antisemitic terrorism maybe ?

Arabs have lived with 200 nuclear warheads at their doorstep for nearly 50 years and they survived. Can't Israel survive a nuclear Iran several thousand kms away ? Doesn't Iran have many other reasons to posess AMDs than Israel ? Can't Israel see that by attacking Iran it will trigger, in the long term and possibly even in the short term, precisely what it pretends to avoid ? There are numerous signs that young Iranians hate the regime in place, why pushing them in the ayatola's arms ?
Jan. 25, 2012 at 11:15 a.m.RECOMMENDED84

The Republicans, except Paul (whose foreign policy views seem scary to me) are beating the drum against Iran and in favor of the current Israeli government. I find this frightening, especially Gingrich, who will literally ($10,000,000 so far) owe his election to a rabid proponent of the current Israeli government.
I wish we could consider our own longterm interests and be less influenced by a certain stream of proIsrael opinion. (I consider myself proIsrael, and believe Israel is risking its future by the settlements, its disdain for other democracies, its brand of militarism)
Jan. 25, 2012 at 3:37 p.m.RECOMMENDED82

Israel has nukes. Iran and what to do with the nucs is their problem.

Don't get me, my children or my grandchildren into a nuclear confrontation unless we, the US of A, are directly threatened. Do you know or recall, how Germany allowed Austria to drag it and the world into WWI?

We recognized Israel in 48 or 49, maybe not wisely. We should keep our responsibility limited to ensuring the boundaries of the peaceful state we recognized then, not the one claimed now, are not erased.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 3:54 p.m.RECOMMENDED71

India has lived with a nuclear Pakistan that shelters its terror proxies under a nuclear umbrella. Japan and South Korea have lived with a nuclear North Korea. Israel too will have to live with nuclear neighbors including Iran.

Ehud Barak's observation: "An Iranian bomb would ensure the survival of the current regime, which otherwise would not make it to its 40th anniversary in light of the admiration that the young generation in Iran has displayed for the West. With a bomb, it would be very hard to budge the administration.” is misguided. An Israeli attack will bring all Iranians together. The 'young generation in Iran is just as much in favor of nuclear weapons as the Ayatollahs. An Israeli attack will precipitate a 1000 years of heightened hatred in the middle east that will do no one any good.

Unlike Pakistan, the Iranian leadership are pragmatic and realistic. Iran's reasons for the nuclear option (as Barak has indicated) include immunity from western attack. It is lost on no one that if Iraq and Libya had nukes, Saddam and Qaddafi would still be in power. In fact the North Koreans said as much. Similarly, Pakistan continues its shenanigans and we put up with them because they have nukes.

No easy answers but attacking Iran is clearly the wrong answer.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 5:12 p.m.RECOMMENDED67

ArchArcadia, Ca
Ronen Bergman wrote, “and tenacity, the fierce conviction, right or wrong, that only the Israelis can ultimately defend themselves.”
Right, that is why Israel needs US made bunker-busting bombs, US made jets to deliver them, US fuel tankers, and the US Navy to keep the straits open.
US soldiers have been fighting for Israel ever since the US military airlifted to Israeli massive quantities of weapons during the 1967 War. (Without logistics, the front-line foot soldier is useless: The man who carries the bullets to the battlefield is as important as the soldier who fires the bullets.)
Israel cannot defend itself without US aid.
Israel should be required to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The Middle East should be a nuclear free zone.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 3:51 p.m.RECOMMENDED59

Your point is well taken. The whole mess is keyed on the Israelis and it is up to them to settle it before it becomes a bloodbath. If the US weren't continually backing Israel whether wrong or right, Israel would have settled with the Palestinians decades ago.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 3:33 p.m.RECOMMENDED59

If Israel continues to illegally occupy the West Bank and Gaza Strip and oppress and humiliate the Palestinians that live there they will have no security ....Period
They are not hated because they are Jews. They are hated because they are occupiers of lands that don't belong to them.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 4:57 p.m.RECOMMENDED57

Palmer1619Warminster, PA
Natanyahu will do whatever he wants to do. He seldom tells us what his plans are. He feels he can get away with it because he can count on the US to react in his favor. But why should we have to answer for the voters of Israel? They are the ones who elected hawks. Do we think that the Israelis didn't know that? I don't think so. Israel has always been in a kind of limbo given what surrounds them. Why do the voters there insist on electing a government that relies more on military actions than negotiations? The things the Bush administration did, it did in our name and we are still answering for that. Why do we have to answer for what the Israeli government is doing?
Jan. 25, 2012 at 11:14 a.m.RECOMMENDED57

"Will Israel Attack Iran?"
A better Question would be

Will Israel brow beat America into attacking Iran for it?

Here is an idea, Israel has the most powerful military AND atomic deterrent in the middle east. Why dont we let Iran and Israel sort it out on their own?
Jan. 25, 2012 at 4:52 p.m.RECOMMENDED54

Padman Boston
I am exhausted after reading this whole report, I can see all the reasons why Israel wants to block Iran from making the nukes but still does not make sense. It is not possible for Israel to totally halt the Iranian nuclear project by means of a military attack witout American support and Americans would not go for it. A military strike by Israel and America would be catastrophic for the whole world. Israel should give up this crazy idea of attacking Iran. Let Iran have the nukes. Israel has to learn to live with a nucler Iran. I don't believe that just because Irann has the nukes they are going to wipe out Israel off the map. This is just paranoia. World has more reasons to worry about Pakistan's nuclear weapons falling into wrong hands ( al-Qaida) than Iran eliminating Israel.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 5:09 p.m.RECOMMENDED52

Although they frightened us at the time, it is now clear that neither Japan nor Germany had, or even thought they had, any possibility of conquering and holding even a small portion of the continental United States in 1941; and their decision to declare war put them on a course from which the best they could hope for was a stalemate, and the more likely outcome was their total destruction. Historians now marvel at the blindness that led them to start a war they had no hope of pursuing to a successful conclusion.
Israel, too, has no capability of conquering and holding even a small portion of Iran: they would not be welcomed by any section of the population (even those who hate the ayatollahs), and they haven't got the manpower to conquer, much less to police, so vast and varied an area. I am sure they do not even have a theoretical plan for a ground attack in Iran, just as the Japanese and the Germans had no plan, even theoretical, for an infantry assault on the USA.
And since the war can not end with the conquest of Iran by Israel, it can only end with a stalemate after both sides have been worn down awfully (and in the course of which the Iranians have probably developed and perhaps used nuclear weapons), or with a result yet worse for Israel. As an Israeli, I can understand why my government would want to give the impression of being willing to attack. I hope and pray that they are not foolish enough to stand behind their threats.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 3:51 p.m.RECOMMENDED50

Milby Boston, MA
Two points I don't see being made very often: 1) Imagine what the situation looks like to Iran. They are under siege from all sides, their citizens are being assassinated, they are constantly threatened with attack, invasion, and regime change, and they are the victims of a concerted and destructive economic war. 2) Nuclear weapons are essentially defensive. They are a guarantee that your nation wont be attacked. It is impossible for Iran to use them preemptively in an attack against Israel, or anyone else, because the entire country would be obliterated in the inevitable retaliation. It just doesn't make any sense that a nuclear Iran would be able to threaten its neighbors or extend nuclear protection to Hamas or Hezbollah or otherwise throw its weight around in the manner Israeli officials are suggesting because those threats simply couldn't be taken seriously. Given the siege mentality of Iran's political leadership, it is only logical for them to pursue nuclear weapons to protect against the invasion they are constantly threatened with. Remember, Israel has at least 200 nuclear weapons that will blanket all of Iran within an hour of any nuclear attack. Iran is not suicidal.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 5:09 p.m.RECOMMENDED49

Buzz kSF, Ca
What does the Unites States get from a collective strike on Iran? More unilateral support for our paper "ally" Israel and another trillion dollar deficit to add to our tally sheet?

Good luck Israel.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 4:50 p.m.RECOMMENDED47

Of course it's up to Obama. It's entirely up to Obama.

He should be threatening the Israelis with an end to ALL aid, a naval blockade followed by a cruise missile strike on Tel Aviv should they DARE to further destabilize the region by launching an illegal attack on Iran.

Then he should issue an ultimatum: Israel can keep its nuclear arsenal and in exchange, the US will help Iran achieve nuclear parity with them, OR israel relinquishes its WMD and a non-nuclear zone in the Mid East under international supervision is put in place, which is very do-able and represents the only sane strategy to avoid catastrophe.
In reply to salgadoceJan. 25, 2012 at 3:37 p.m.RECOMMENDED45

Ann Delacy Columbia, Maryland
Israel has had warheads for decades, does that possibly frighten Iran and other neighbors of Israel?

Whatever the case, my position is that we have suffered a significant loss of American lives and expended resources that were sorely need by the USA during the last ten years. We simply cannot fiscally or emotionally afford to be dragged into another situation in the Middle East.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 4:52 p.m.RECOMMENDED40

simjamBethesda, MD
Why does the NY Times keep running incendiary articles that, in effect, keep the US getting involved in a war with Iran on the table? The owner/editors need to come clean.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 4:52 p.m.RECOMMENDED36

Has everyone forgotten that time and time again the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has inspected and reported that Iran has no nucear weapons program or materials pure enough to even start one? This whole idea is a fear mongering campign. I wish the media would invest more time in reporting that Israel is not part of the nuclear non proliferation treaty, as Iran is, and poses more of a threat to world peace through this fear campaign than they are telling us that Iran does. This is shear madness! Get the facts people. Don't just believe what you hear.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 4:51 p.m.RECOMMENDED36

This is an excellent and thoughtfully prepared article. Unfortunately, the author's conclusion seems valid.

While I certainly support Israel's "right to exist" (not that my endorsement is necessary: that should be a given internationally), I do not support the attitudes and actions of the current government, which not only appears to have adopted many self-defeating actions and attitudes and has not only encouraged extreme right-wing domestic reaction, but is now (once again) on the verge of acting against its manifest best interests.

The problem, as nicely presented in the article, is that an attack on Iran simply won't work and it will be followed by consequences which will be internationally disastrous. So, if President Obama has any remaining sense, he will tell Israel something to the effect that, "You are an independent nation and we can't order you to do anything. However, the US has its own interests and an attack on Iran is not one of them for all the reasons that are well known to your government. So, if you proceed against our wishes, we will refuse to support you, including with logistical, intelligence and equipment resupply, we will cut off military and foreign aid and we will vigorously and unequivocally denounce your actions in the UN. We will follow that with sanctions."

Alternatively, Iran and Israel could reach some sort of compromise, either of an overt or tacit nature. Of course, neither of those will happen, will they?
Jan. 25, 2012 at 7:01 p.m.RECOMMENDED35

Maggie2 Maine
An attack on Iran would not resolve anything, but it most assuredly would unite the people of Iran, even those who oppose the current regime. For all its bluster and posturing, I doubt very much if Iran poses a genuine threat to Israel or any other country. All this talk of attacking Iran is not at all helpful to any possibilty of a return to the negotiating table and is irresponsible in the extreme.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 5:09 p.m.RECOMMENDED35

Mark ThomasonClawson, Michigan
A war would be bad. Use of nuclear weapons against Iran by Israel would be an entirely different matter, essentially suicide.

The Israelis must be made to understand that if they cross that psychological threshold for use of nuclear weapons, then someone will most certainly use one on Israel next. It might be Pakistan, or Saudis, or other Gulf Arabs, or Turkey, or China, or Russia, but someone will sooner rather than later take them out. Everyone would be harmed and threatened, and everyone will react to some extent. With that barrier broken, it would be just a matter of time. One or more would gain vengeance, or just end the problem, by ending Israel.

The threat of crossing that line is far more dangerous to Israel than the threat of Iran, nuclear or otherwise.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 4:49 p.m.RECOMMENDED33

JYNXNortheast corridor
I am exhausted by the trouble 7,992 sq mi causes world peace.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 5:01 p.m.RECOMMENDED33

Except they are NOT threatened by Iran--they're threatened by Israel.

Just as the regional powers were ALL opposed to America's massacre in Iraq. They did NOT fear Saddam, they feared the terrorists of the United States— with very good reason.
In reply to ZZJan. 25, 2012 at 3:50 p.m.RECOMMENDED31

Israel had nuclear weapons before the Iranian threat. What was their raison d'tre?

America has been conducting covert and proxy wars with Iran before anyone ever put Iran and Nukes in the same sentence.

This is not about Iran or Nukes. It's about oil and the control of Libyan, Iranian, Iraqi Oil and the middle east.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 5:42 p.m.RECOMMENDED30

Iran has been trying “to deal with us through diplomacy.” The response from Washington has been belligerent threats of military attack, unfounded and irresponsible accusations that Iran is making a nuclear weapon, sanctions and an oil embargo. Washington’s accusations echo Israel’s and are contradicted by Washington’s own intelligence agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Why doesn’t Washington respond to Iran in a civilized manner with diplomacy? Really, which of the two countries is the greatest threat to peace?
Jan. 25, 2012 at 5:09 p.m.RECOMMENDED28

Joe New York
This may sound like an unorthodox view, but here it is, anyway. For almost 50 years, from the end of World War 2 unil the demise of the Soviet Union, the whole world lived under the specter of a nuclear catastrophe. Both Superpowers possessed - and still do - enough nuclear weapons to wipe out the entire planet many times over. Characteristically, Einstein is supposed to have said that he was not sure about the weaponry of World War 3, but, for sure, World War 4 would be fought with stones and slingshots. Reason prevailed and nothing happened. The Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) poilcy actually saved the world. It is also unclear whether the US would have bombed Hiroshima, if it knew that Japan possessed the same weapon. In the current Middle East situation, it is well known, if not officially confirmed, that Israel possesses a fairly large number of nuclear weapons. Looking at this historical analogy, one should ponder whether the world would be SAFER with an Iran that possesses a nuclear weapon, thus establishing a MAD equilibrium between Israel and Iran.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 5:01 p.m.RECOMMENDED28

AlexQueens, NY
A new year is here, but the same old story of treats by Israel against its neighbors continue! Today its the Iranians, yesterday was the Turks, Lebanese, Palestinians, etc..etc.. I just want this madness to stop, before we all suffer.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 5:09 p.m.RECOMMENDED27

As long as there is Israel, there will never be world peace and prosperity for all nations! And as long as we support this rogue, artificial state, everyone in the world will hate us.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 4:50 p.m.RECOMMENDED26

In our world of humanity, Jews and Arabs actually have a lot in common.

This conflict is really more like a family feud that is engulfing the rest of humanity.

Both Jews and Arabs and Persians have beautiful ancient cultures. Why can't they try to respect each other. Why can't they use their collective intelligence to show the world a new way to peace?

Most of humanity just wants to live in peace. We beg you to overcome your differences and create a nuclear-free zone.

It is time to find a path to peace and harmony for the sake of all humanity.$
Jan. 25, 2012 at 5:38 p.m.RECOMMENDED24

As a longtime supporter of the State of Israel (but not its current government), I believe that an airstrike on Iran would be stupid. We can hope that the young people of Iran will someday be successful in creating an Iranian Spring and the development of a more moderate Iranian government. But an airstrike on Iran would alienate these youg people. Patriotism would come first and all hope of an Iranian Spring would be lost. This is how the young people reacted when Iran was attacked by Sadam's Iraq. They would do so again.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 5:01 p.m.RECOMMENDED24

dubiousnew york
Isn't Amed's term over soon?. Sounds like Israel wants to remain the only super power in the area. How come they are allowed to have 500 nukes that they are fitting into subs now.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 4:54 p.m.RECOMMENDED22

Jon DavisNM
Netanyahu = Ahmedinejad.

If the world could rid of both men and their followers, the world would be a better place. But their existence does highlight two fundamental truths: All religions are the same and no religion has anything positive to offer the world.

And after all, some of the cruelest Islamic practices...like stoning rape victims to death for allowing themselves to be raped...was taken directly from the Jewish Old Testament.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 4:54 p.m.RECOMMENDED22

DeVonAtlanta, GA
With Iran's nuclear facilities all deeply underground, what exactly would Isreal be bombing? And I just don't see Iran makeing a pre-emptive or unprovoked attack on Isreal, knowing that the rest of the world would bomb the country out of existence. Plus in a possible war with Iran, do we know what side Russia and China are on? I think that President Obama would only go after Iran if there is an international coalition. He does not believe in a pre-emptive go it alone policy like Bush believe in.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 3:33 p.m.RECOMMENDED22

Colin WrightRichmond, California
"...On the other hand, when a scientist — one who is not a trained soldier or used to facing life-threatening situations, who has a wife and children — watches his colleagues being bumped off one after the other, he definitely begins to fear that the day will come when a man on a motorbike knocks on his car window.” "

In other words, Israel openly practices terrorism, and we continue to support her and protect her from the consequences of that.
Jan. 26, 2012 at 10:54 a.m.RECOMMENDED21

Buzz kSF, Ca
US Aid to Israel is $3.2 billion a years in military allowance plus loan guarantees for billions more plus in August, Ehud Barak told the US Govt Israel wanted $20 billion more.

Every cent we give this wealthy democracy in weapons only "aids" in the perception they don't ever need to make peace. We will just come stuffing them with more and more weapons to kill muslims....not a good plan.
In reply to ArchJan. 25, 2012 at 5:09 p.m.RECOMMENDED21

If as the US says, Iran is attempting to get nuclear weapons, an accusation not yet proven, it is for one reason and one reason only, the possession of such weapons by Israel. Either that part of the Middle East was to be nuclear weapon free or it was to have equal access to such weapons by the nations located there. The US with a nod and a wink allowed or even perhaps assisted Israel in possessing those weapons, so today's problems once more can be laid at America's door as is usual in all the hot spots in the world.
In reply to zorbeckJan. 25, 2012 at 3:33 p.m.RECOMMENDED20

Joe Schmoe Brookyn
I agree with Arch. Even if the US aid is a "small part" of Israel's budget, the fact is that they at least have the implicit backing of the USA, and are thus emboldened to do things that effectively make the USA look bad, all the while knowing that the big bully on the block will swoop in to save them if the going gets really rough. Anybody who believes the country of Israel to be an entity that could exist as it currently does, with its currently aggressive policies, without the well known support of the United States is deluded. Watch how quickly Israel plays nice if the USA openly told Israel they're on their own unless, in return for their foreign aid and military backing, they do things that are actually in the USA's interests, like finally making peace with the Palestinians, halting settlement building, etc.
In reply to ArchJan. 25, 2012 at 5:09 p.m.RECOMMENDED19

The author makes a leap at the end which is not supported by the latter half of the article. He shows how much of the Israeli military leadership agrees that it would be futile to attack Iran alone. Netanyahu and Barak are not foolish. They are military men and they know this. And yet the author argues the he believes Israel will attack in 2012. It should be abundantly clear from all these discussions that Israel would not embark on such an adventure alone. And the US is certainly unlikely to go along in the current political environment. So Israel really has no choice but to continue covert operations (assuming they are behind the sabotage), and push for crippling sanctions and encourage opposition groups for regime change. The one major benefit to the Iraq war was the removal of a tyrant. Imagine a free and liberal Iran. The potential is huge. There's a large, young, Western-admiring population. Iran could be a major ally to the US, and yes, even Israel (as they were before the Islamic Revolution). A war would negate any possibility of a friendly Iran, and Israel wouldn't risk creating a permanent enemy who is hellbent on obtaining and using nuclear weapons.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 5:09 p.m.RECOMMENDED19

Mark ThomasonClawson, Michigan
"For Israel to do this successfully they will have no choice but use tactical nuclear bombs"

Yes, there is a choice not to commit a nuclear holocaust, and Israel of all nations ought to know that.

But if you were right, then that would itself justify an Iranian nuclear deterrent. That is the logic of going around nuking people.

And once that starts, one bomb countries that don't get along with anyone will have a very short life span.

So it is not just criminal, it is also a losing move.
In reply to FigaroJan. 25, 2012 at 8:14 p.m.RECOMMENDED17

Mark ThomasonClawson, Michigan
That may be because its not true, and everyone who cares actually knows that.
In reply to Seward RileyJan. 25, 2012 at 5:00 p.m.RECOMMENDED17

TO: r . US

Your comments could be an excellent solution. The United States must make every reasonable effort to stop any war between Israel and Iran within the next 90 days.

If this continues to escalates after the 90 day period the US should with all member countries of the United Nations immediately cut off any and all aid, commerce, banking, diplomatic relations, military assistance etc. to Israel and Iran.

I believe this could resolve the stalemate that has not only affected stability in Iran and Israel but the whole region and possibly the world.

Smart leaders and citizens of these two countries must understand war is not the answer as neither may not survive.

Rational leadership must understand negotiation is the proper way to resolve this matter. Talks vs. all out war, should and must be the only option.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 5:09 p.m.RECOMMENDED17

DeVonAtlanta, GA
Well after 10 years of war in the middle east, the last thing this country needs is to start a new war with Iran. As someone else pointed out when has Iran attacked or bombed any other country? I think the American people need to rise up and be heard and fight against the right's constant drumbeat for war with Iran.
In reply to AriJan. 25, 2012 at 4:48 p.m.RECOMMENDED17

green444 Ann Arbor, MI
You assume the Palestinians would have "settled" with the Israeli's. Is there no room in your world view to accept that the Arabs in the region, Palestinians included, have never accepted Israel as a neighbor and are still focused on their destruction?
In reply to Archie1954Jan. 25, 2012 at 3:50 p.m.RECOMMENDED17

bergamo italy
attacking iran would be another of the crazy things that the Israeli governments since the inception of the state, have accustomed us to expecting. It will not work, because no "surgical" strike has worked so far. It will unite Iranians under Khamenei, while now there is a chance for a change in government, and will bring support for an acceleration, not delay, of the process.
And, in the end, why should Israel have hundreds of bombs, Israel the most war mongering, conservative, aggressive state in the region?
Jan. 26, 2012 at 11:27 a.m.RECOMMENDED14

Mark S Boston, MA
There is the complicating factor that 2012 is an election year in the US. While I don't want to imply that this is the sole (or even major) impetus behind the mounting pressure, I can't imagine Netanyahu DOESN'T know that if he attacks, he will put a president who has struggled against being perceived as anti-Israel in a very, very tight bind only a few months before his election. Obama will probably have little choice at that point, and that's unfortunate.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 5:09 p.m.RECOMMENDED14

"Why do the Arab nations seem to have no interest in stopping Iran?"

Because Iran is not the problem. The US and Israel are the problem.
In reply to Jeff S.Jan. 25, 2012 at 5:01 p.m.RECOMMENDED13

salgadoce New Mexico
Even if the Israelis force regime change (via US intervention), the 'green' reformists are just as likely to aggressively pursue a nuclear program, so I don't really see the long term benefits of preemptive military action.

If Israel strikes unilaterally, the best it can hope for is to precipitate a US reaction to an Iranian counterattack. I don't believe they are prepared or even capable of any type of prolonged ground offensive (it'd be more of a 'defensive' anyway), given their difficulties in Lebanon in 2006, and given the fact that the IDF is ill-suited to stray too far from Israeli territory. They have robust airstrike capabilities, but as the US campaign in Afghanistan has showed, air-power can only take you so far.

In terms of US interests, any type of kinetic engagement would put the kibosh on the nascent economic recovery at home and in Europe. And with regards to our military materiel and personnel, we just don't have the manpower or assets to pacify the region, should things spiral out of control. The worst case scenario would obviously be a complete mess, but I can't get past the thought that we would probably end up needing to send troops back to (or through) Iraq, and that would be the mother of all sick and twisted absurdities.

If it was up to Obama, I would feel fairly certain that military action would be a no-go. The problem is that it's not up to him. The US, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc. are all keying on the Israelis.
Jan. 25, 2012 at 11:14 a.m.RECOMMENDED13

ScientellaPalo Alto
What happened to the rule of law. When Teller died here on Stanford Campus it was from natural causes. No one wanted to buy his house. Bad Karma. However this lackey of the military industrial complex died from natural causes.

Exjudicial assassinations are barbaric. And especially coming from a country, Israel, who actually HAS nukes not just threatening to get them.

Shame on all those who consider starting world war three on the grounds of racist land grab!

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