It is becoming more and more evident that the day of reckoning with Iran is near. Intelligence reports indicate that they are coming close to having nuclear weapons. When they do, it would be foolish to assume they will not use them-first against Israel and second against the US, in the latter case probably by handing them off to terrorists. Whether you discount that likelihood or not, these are risks that Israel and the US cannot afford to take. It appears that Israel, under the realist Bibi Netanyahu, will not accept that risk.
There are signs that the US may understand the situation. Are we quietly preparing our allies and the Middle East states for the eventuality that Iran must be dealt with, albeit by Israel? Have we given Israel the quiet nod of assent?
Let us assume that Israel launches a preemptive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. What will be the response from the international community? There may be one public response, while, at the same time, there will be a private response-one of relief and quiet approval.
In some quarters, we can predict the public response. The UN will condemn it. The Middle Eastern governments will condemn it. Our government will express some sort of concern and even public disapproval. With Obama, it may be sincere disapproval. The Europeans, of course, will express disapproval. They may recall their ambassadors to Israel.
But can't you just predict the reactions on the streets and campuses around the world? There will be public demonstrations and riots on the streets of Arab capitals and European cities. Israeli embassies will be pelted with rocks. On US, European and Canadian university campuses, there will be mass protests organized by the various Muslim Student Associations and Students for Justice in Palestine. The Norman Finkelsteins, Noam Chomskys and George Galloways of the world will be speaking from one campus to another. Of course, anti-Semitism will sprout its ugly head as Jews in Europe will be forced to stay off the streets.
Just think of it. All these people will be standing in solidarity with a despotic, fanatic, murderous and terrorist-supporting regime in Iran, a regime that shoots down protesters in the streets.
In reality, if Israel does attack Iran's nuclear facilities, they should be supported militarily by not only the US, but NATO, the Europeans, and Middle East governments that fear Iranian hegemony over their region. I gave up on the Europeans long ago. What is really bothersome to me is that we have an administration here in the US that has a thinly-veiled hostility toward Israel. Like the feckless Europeans, President Obama prefers to develop our relations with the Arab world that despises us. That is where his natural sympathy lies.
So, in all probability, it will be left to tiny Israel to go it alone in its own self-defense while the rest of the world hides under its collective desk.
Does this mean that I am a war-monger who wants to see us send our troops to yet another land to fight? Hardly. I would prefer to see us divorce ourselves from a region of the world that is little more than a basket case with oil. But we had better face reality. We are not dealing with an emergent Soviet Union that we can co-exist with. The Soviets were many things, but they still had enough common sense to know that a nuclear attack would only rain mutual destruction on both sides of the Cold War.
The Iranians don't care. They are envisioning the return of the 12th Mahdi and the End of Times. That country is in the hands of fanatics who don't mind bringing the world to an end-or whatever the catastrophic results would be. Sanctions, diplomatic maneuvers and UN resolutions mean nothing to them. If their nuclear facilities are attacked, they will respond the way they know how to respond. They will unleash terror everywhere. Then what will the international community do?
You may not like Mr Netanyahu, but he sees the world clearly. Too bad that the Europeans and our leaders do not.