Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Juan Cole's explanation of the issues around Iran's nuclear program is close to exactly correct, but he does not do as good a job as he could at explaining exactly why Israel especially, and the US, France and the West in their roles as defenders of Israel or defenders of Zionism, are threatened by what Cole describes is Iranian nuclear latency.
If Iraq had gotten a Japan option, then over the months-long period that the US was amassing an invasion force in Kuwait in late 2002, early 2003, Hussein at that point would have produced a weapon.
What that means is that if the US believed Hussein could build a weapon, it would never have massed its troops for an invasion as that would have been a waste of time since they'd have to disband once Iraq announced or even hinted its nuclear weapon was complete.
(Despite a program of calculated deception, there was no doubt at all in the minds of US military planners that Hussein could not field a nuclear weapon.)
An Iranian nuclear latency or Japan option would render Iran invasion-proof. And take forcible regime change off the table permanently. It would also provide a lot of deterrence for any plan to even attack Iran from the air.
John Bolton went on Jon Stewart's daily show and said that if Serbia had been nuclear capable, the West would not have been able to get regime change. Bolton is right, but I wonder if he realizes how that sounds to Iranian planners.
The first Israeli nightmare is not that Iran will bomb Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, but that once Iran knows it will not be invaded or even bombed, it will feel free to offer more support to the Palestinians and to pressure Egypt and other Arab countries to do the same.
The second Israeli nightmare is that once Egypt and Saudi Arabia see that Iran has achieved immunity to US bombings or invasion without making unpopular concessions to the project of Zionism, they will want the same deterrence. Once they get it, their domestically costly policies of cooperation with Israel will be less useful. These countries, whose cooperation Israel needs to remain viable as a Jewish state may follow the wishes of their people and become more hostile to Zionism.
(Contrary to reports of rivalry with Iran, Iran has publicly offered to share its nuclear technology with any Muslim state. Saudi or Egyptian nuclear latency threaten Israel and make those states less dependent on the US, which is good from Iran's point of view.)
Knowledgeable supporters of Zionism, such as France's Sarkozy, Israel's Netanyahu and many US political figures are lying, not mistaken but lying, when they declare the danger of Iran getting a nuclear weapon.
The threat of an Iranian bomb is more emotionally compelling than the threat of an Iranian "Japan option". An Iranian bomb is also illegal unless Iran leaves the NPT, while a Japan option is not.
But the true threat, and everybody knowledgeable knows it, is that Iran gets a Japan option.
Posted by Arnold Evans at 10:43 AM