Today in “Asked and Answered” (Sowell on Iran Deal Edition)

Any discussion of the Iran deal has to be about realistic alternatives, not fantasies.

Iran Nuclear Deal CongressThomas Sowell asks:  Is the Iran Deal the Worst Political Blunder of All Time?

Distinguished scientist Freeman Dyson has called the 1433 decision of the emperor of China to discontinue his country’s exploration of the outside world the “worst political blunder in the history of civilization.”
Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/421416/iran-deal-worst-political-blunder-ever

The United States seems at this moment about to break the record for the worst political blunder of all time, with its Obama-administration deal that will make a nuclear Iran virtually inevitable.

I answer:  this is some pretty ridiculous hyperbole.  First, an Iranian nuclear weapon is probably inevitable no matter what is done, so the choice is not (and never has been) between a scenario in which the Iranians never get a nuke and one in which they do.  The choice has always been among a number of how the short-to-medium term progresses.

Beyond that:  I can think of any number of relatively recent political blunders that clearly rank higher than any reasonable worst-case scenarios on the Iran deal (note the modifier “reasonable” before responding to this sentence).  Indeed, one only needs swap an “n” for a “q” and discuss Iraq policy in the Bush administration.

Any discussion of the Iran deal has to be about realistic alternatives, not fantasies. The status quo is not a sustainable circumstance (the sanctions regime, for example, cannot be maintained).  There is no simplistic military strike option (and any such strike would likely a) damage the global economy—military unrest in the Persian Gulf is not something we need right now, and b) would likely encourage Iran to increase behaviors, i.e., funding terrorism, that would have its own negative consequences.  Further, any military strike will simply increase Iranian motivation to acquire—as quickly and by any means possible—a nuclear weapon.

I would point readers to this piece by Davis Lake (Jerri-Ann and Gary E. Jacobs Professor of Social Sciences, Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego):  The Iran Deal is Pretty Damn Attractive Given the Alternatives.

And speaking of the Iraq policies of the Bush administration, I would highlight the following from Lake:

whether Iran will, if attacked, back down from its aspirations or race for the bomb as quickly as possible is an open question. The assumption that Tehran will be deterred from restarting its nuclear program is similar to the neoconservative foreign policy of the early 2000s in which shows of force were assumed to intimidate enemies and rally friends. This assumption was not sustained in the case of Iraq or other rogue states of the time. My own estimate is that, threatened with an attack or in its immediate aftermath, Iran will do all it can to develop a nuclear deterrent as quickly as possible. Although an actual attack might set the program back by a few years, nothing is more likely to encourage Iran to develop an nuclear weapon than an attack on its sovereign territory. North Korea’s effective insulation from foreign attack and coercive pressure will be a telling example for Iranians.

Indeed.

FILED UNDER: US Politics, World Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Franklin says:

    A more accurate statement would be that Thomas Sowell is the worst political writer of all time.




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  2. stonetools says:

    I used to think Thomas Sowell was a bona fide intellectual with genuine insights in his field- economics. I was a younger and more gullible man then.
    Since then, he has become Grampa Simpson-an old man yelling at clouds.
    What exactly are his foreign policy credentials? Why is he different from any other old guy? At this point, he is just the conservative black old guy that the National Review wheels out for an attack on Obama for whatever reason.

    Meanwhile, a poll shows 84 per cent of American Jews back the Iran deal.

    As President Obama presses to reach an accord with Iran on its nuclear program by the end of the month, he can count on strong support from what might seem like an unlikely segment of the population: American Jews.

    Jewish backing of the administration’s efforts to strike a deal suggests that American Jews aren’t heeding the alarms being sounded in Israel by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He warns that any deal that leaves Iran with an enrichment program constitutes a mortal danger to Israel.

    Maybe Sowell should be asked why American Jews aren’t following the leadership of King Bibi on this.




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  3. Tillman says:

    I have to admit, at least the insane are putting on a nice faux-scholarly sideshow. “Worst political blunder since the Chinese stopped exploring the world five hundred years ago” has an almost Parliamentary feel like a dapper MP chewing you out in silky but shitty syllogisms.

    If they’re not going to be right, then darn it they’re going to sound learnéd.




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  4. C. Clavin says:

    Any discussion of the Iran deal has to be about realistic alternatives, not fantasies.

    The trouble is that the American public is so easily sold on fantasies by the right wing entertainment complex. How many of our citizens are capable of understanding that the sanctions were not sustainable? Or that it’s not “Obama’s” deal? Or that we can’t just bomb the crap out of Iran.




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  5. Hal_10000 says:

    Well … at least he found a historical example besides Neville Chamberlain. I suppose that’s progress.




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  6. Slugger says:

    In 1945, building a nuclear weapon took a lot of money and a team of genuine geniuses (Oppenheimer, Fermi, Feynman, etc). Doing it today still takes a bit of money, but the technology and methods are widely available to sh*thole third world economies like North Korea. The only way to stop Iranian nuclear weapon development is to make them think that they don’t want them. Luckily, their leading Ayatollah is opposed to nuclear weapons and reinforced his previous fatwa just the other day. A deal involving the whole world is another disincentive to bomb development. Of course, red meat pronouncements by important American politicians about attacking Iran on their inauguration day do not help the situation.
    BTW, why are American politicians so bellicose? Korea, Vietnam, and the recent Iraq/Afghanistan adventure have made me think that war is something that America does not do all that well.




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  7. michael reynolds says:

    One the one hand hacks like Sowell.

    On the other hand, the former head of Shin Bet (Israel’s FBI.)

    I spoke recently with Ami Ayalon, a former head of Shin Bet, the Israeli internal security service, and a former chief of the Israeli Navy. Even as he explained that the issue “is not black and white,” he reeled off a list of former defense ministers and chiefs of Shin Bet and Mossad who agree with him that, “when it comes to Iran’s nuclear capability, this [deal] is the best option.”

    “When negotiations began, Iran was two months away from acquiring enough material for a [nuclear] bomb. Now it will be 12 months,” Ayalon says, and the difference is significant to anyone with a background in intelligence. “Israelis are failing to distinguish between reducing Iran’s nuclear capability and Iran being the biggest devil in the Middle East,” he says.

    Why has the response been more emotional than logical? “It’s very easy to play with fears in a fearful society,” he says.




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  8. C. Clavin says:

    @Slugger:

    The only way to stop Iranian nuclear weapon development is to make them think that they don’t want them

    It might help Iran to not want them if Israel didn’t have 300 warheads with “Iran” stamped on their nose-cones.




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  9. James Pearce says:

    @Tillman:

    “Worst political blunder since the Chinese stopped exploring the world five hundred years ago” has an almost Parliamentary feel like a dapper MP chewing you out in silky but shitty syllogisms.

    Ha! The thing about this for me is…blunder? All respect to Freeman Dyson, but China turning into a “hermit kingdom” during the colonial era was, from the Chinese perspective at least, a pretty good call.




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  10. gVOR08 says:

    As bad as Sowell is, don’t make the mistake of reading the comments. They’d make you weep for any possibility of reasoned discourse.




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  11. Pete S says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Why has the response been more emotional than logical? “It’s very easy to play with fears in a fearful society,” he says.

    This quote needs to be in every article quoting opponents to the deal, especially when those opponents are unable to offer a coherent explanation for why they oppose the deal.




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  12. Barry says:

    @Tillman: “If they’re not going to be right, then darn it they’re going to sound learnéd.”

    To paraphrase Barney Frank, ‘Sowell is a stupid person’s idea of what a smart person sounds like’.




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  13. Barry says:

    @James Pearce: “Ha! The thing about this for me is…blunder? All respect to Freeman Dyson, but China turning into a “hermit kingdom” during the colonial era was, from the Chinese perspective at least, a pretty good call.”

    Or at least not a bad one. Note that in Europe, it was countries without much which led the way in maritime exploration. China had so much, and the rest of the world had jack sh*t in comparison.




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  14. stonetools says:

    @Slugger:

    The only way to stop Iranian nuclear weapon development is to make them think that they don’t want them.

    The biggest fear of the hardliners on all sides is that Iran will just become a normal nation that wants to be a good and peaceful member of the world community.
    The Iranian right wingers don’t want it because it makes it harder to retain retain rigid social control when they can’t wave the bogeyman of the Great Satan in the faces of the Iranian public.
    The Israeli right wingers don’t want it because it doesn’t want the world and the Israeli public to be asking questions about Israeli settlements instead of being concerned with the bogeyman of a nation of crazy Shia ayatollahs.
    The American right wingers don’t want it because they want to focus on the bogeyman of crazy Iran so they can gear up for the next war instead of dealing with social and economic issues that their ideology has no answer.
    Heck , throw in Sunni Arab right wingers who want the Iranian bogeyman there for their own reasons.

    Too bad we can’t move the assorted right wingers to their own island and have them fight it out.




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  15. Pinky says:

    Sowell is a first-rate economist, but a fairly generic conservative columnist.




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  16. stonetools says:

    @James Pearce:

    Long term it didn’t work out so well for China when the red haired foreign devils came calling in the nineteenth century with their damnable gunboats and their advanced weaponry which the Chinese knew nothing about because of their isolation.
    It could have been China , not Europe, that settled the Americas during the Age of Exploration. May have worked out better for China if that happened.




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  17. Ben Wolf says:

    @Pinky:

    Sowell is a first-rate economist, but a fairly generic conservative columnist.

    Given his track record I think that’s somewhat less than accurate.




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  18. stonetools says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Sowell was first rate at repeating right wing economic mythology ( He got extra points because he was black).
    He joined with the rest of right wing economics in being wrong about everything over the last 10 years.




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  19. CrustyDem says:

    This is National Review, and obviously wrong is about the best they are capable of.. That’s not hyperbole, take a look at their front page right now. We have this article, “Obama and Trump: Two of a kind”, “The Iran Deal Appeases the Greatest Devil of Our Time”, and the grand prize winner “Bernie’s Strange Brew of Nationalism and Socialism”.

    Calling Bernie Sanders (whose lost family in the holocaust) a Nazi (or National Socialist while making continuous references to Nazis and then walking back on twitter that you were referring to National Socialists in general) should really earn Kevin Williamson a special prize in stupidity AND assholery. That article would be significantly upgraded if it were only obviously wrong…




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  20. @CrustyDem: Yes–I was planning on addressing that Sanders story as well.




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  21. CrustyDem says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    That article is just ripe. Obviously the Nazi references take the prize, but the jabs accusing Bernie of racism based on his trade policies (“Bernie worries a great deal about trade with brown people”) are pretty astounding, too… I also enjoyed the “and when they came for the..” moment in the 2nd to last paragraph, Bernie “wants to organize American politics as a permanent domestic war on unpopular minorities”. Ohhh, the poor billionaires!!

    And that final sentence – “That Herself made the same speech in Des Moines a day later, on the other hand, is significant, and terrifying.” Herself? Herself.




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  22. Scott F. says:

    @gVOR08:

    Seeking reasoned discourse at National Review is likely a fool’s errand, but there is some conservative commentary in the realistic realm to be found.

    What I find incomprehensible is that I can not find a SINGLE federally elected politician from the right side of the aisle who has come out in support of the Iran deal even tepidly. Not one.

    Steven, perhaps you have some insight from your political perspective. There used to be realists and non-interventionists in the Republican caucuses in the House and Senate. Where in the hell did they ALL go? Were they all run out of office or are they just so completely cowed by the Tea Party faction or pro-Israel lobbies that they dare not depart from the fantastical party line?




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  23. DrDaveT says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Or that we can’t just bomb the crap out of Iran.

    This.

    I have come to believe that most of the anti-deal frothers seriously think that the best move for the US would be to immediately bomb Iran back to the stone age. Setting aside for a moment the moral bankruptcy involved in deliberately murdering that many people, one must boggle at the intense stupidity required to have no clue how bad the consequences of that action would be for the United States.




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  24. PJ says:

    @stonetools:

    Meanwhile, a poll shows 84 per cent of American Jews back the Iran deal.

    Just going to point out that the poll is from last year, American Jews favored a nuclear deal with Iran, but there hasn’t been an poll about their view on the actual deal yet.




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  25. stonetools says:

    @Scott F.:

    That’s pretty significant evidence that the Republican Party has moved decisively right and there is no longer any liberal wing of the Republican Party. Those guys are gone-left or voted out. Finis, 20th century Republican Party.
    Wonder when the mainstream media will wake up to this.




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  26. DrDaveT says:

    @stonetools:

    there is no longer any liberal wing of the Republican Party

    As best I can tell, there is no longer any moderate wing of the party either, and the conservatives are losing ground fast. All that’s left are reactionaries, fascists, and faux-libertarians*.

    *I’ll believe that there are actual libertarians when someone speaks out against tax-funded roads, schools, and sewer lines.




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  27. SKI says:

    @Scott F.:

    What I find incomprehensible is that I can not find a SINGLE federally elected politician from the right side of the aisle who has come out in support of the Iran deal even tepidly. Not one.

    I’m pretty sure Ron Paul did.




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  28. David M says:

    @Scott F.:

    What I find incomprehensible is that I can not find a SINGLE federally elected politician from the right side of the aisle who has come out in support of the Iran deal even tepidly. Not one.

    This development can’t be publicized enough, a major political party completely becoming unhinged from reality.




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  29. al-Ameda says:

    @Pinky:

    Sowell is a first-rate economist, but a fairly generic conservative columnist.

    He’s a lot like Charles Krauthammer. Charles is a doctor, who has transitioned into being a reflexively doctrinaire and completely predictable anti-liberal opinion columnist.




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  30. C. Clavin says:

    @DrDaveT:
    Remember…you are talking about a party populated mostly by dupes who vote against their best interests all the time.
    https://tribuneofthepeople.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/wfnue.jpg




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  31. Scott F. says:

    @SKI:

    Sorry, but Ron Paul no longer holds office.

    Former Republicans don’t count. That’s my whole point.




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  32. Scott F. says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Rand Paul and Justin Amash are the notable Republicans who claim the libertarian brand and neither of them are on record in support of the Iran deal. “Small government warmonger” is an oxymoron, so the libertarian label is apparently easily discarded when it comes to military matters.




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  33. gVOR08 says:

    @al-Ameda:

    He’s (Sowell) a lot like Charles Krauthammer.

    To my mind, not really. Sowell, in my severely limited exposure, seems to just be parroting RW hyperbole and nonsense. Krauthammer is the one conservative who doesn’t leave you wondering, “Does he believe this, or is he lying?” His lies are often so carefully crafted that there can’t be any question it’s calculated.




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  34. David M says:

    @Scott F.:

    Ron Paul doesn’t hold office anymore, and never had any influence on the GOP, but it appears he does support the agreement with Iran. (Or at least isn’t mindlessly opposed to it.)




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  35. al-Ameda says:

    @Scott F.:

    so the libertarian label is apparently easily discarded when it comes to military matters.

    I’ve always been of the opinion that when push comes to shove, many so-called Libertarians align with Republicans.




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  36. DrDaveT says:

    @al-Ameda:

    when push comes to shove, many so-called Libertarians align with Republicans

    When push comes to shove, most so-called Libertarians are spoiled teenage male spongers. They want to think of themselves as self-sufficient ubermensch, but they lack the imagination to think of what kind of shape they’d be in if they’d been born into a true Libertarian society. They envision all the benefits of their cushy first-world middle class upbringing — education, health, economic opportunities, security, cheap food, etc. — but with nobody demanding that they do their chores and clean their rooms pay their taxes. Nobody ever envisions themself as a vassal, servant, or sex slave, despite the fact that those job descriptions are far more common than “Howard Roark” in genuine libertarian contexts.




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  37. Barry says:

    @Pinky: “Sowell is a first-rate economist, but a fairly generic conservative columnist. ”

    Since when? Let’s start by putting him up against Krugman.




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  38. JohnMcC says:

    @Barry: Ah c’mon now. You’re actually expecting our little pink friend to know an economist when he bumps into one? Don’t embarrass him and yourself by going deeper into the strata of the economist’s world. Just smile and nod and back slowly out of the room. That’s how you deal with someone who thinks he knows but does not actually know sh!t.




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  39. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    There is some good academic work by Thomas Sowell(But there are SEVERAL factual errors about Brazil in his writings – his writings about the Japanese immigrants in Brazil are ridiculous*), But Sowell, the pundit, is a horrible hack.

    * I´m the grandson of two of them.




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  40. Barry says:

    “There is some good academic work by Thomas Sowell”

    His public work is garbage, so I’ll believe that his academic work is good when a reliable source says so, and only then.




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  41. Pinky says:

    @Barry: Come on, horse, it’s right there! You don’t even have to stretch your neck! Come on! Do it! Do it! Drink!




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  42. Pinky says:

    This is the bizarre situation we’re in. We’ve never had more access to primary sources, but we make no effort to look into them.

    Doug wrote a recent article on Trump, which included a bit about Limbaugh defending him and Palin saying he was just as much a hero as McCain. The Limbaugh link was to the NYT, and the Palin link was to CNN. Then someone from The Atlantic was called in to explain what conservatives were thinking. We don’t have to be this lazy, people. We can actually find out what the people are saying, and read the original works, and talk to the people we’re wondering about, rather than asking the same “reliable” news outlets to spoonfeed us.




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  43. Pinky says:

    I missed the obvious joke here – we can go right to the source these days; if you want to know what Lindsey Graham is thinking, just call him!




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  44. mannning says:

    There is no simplistic military strike option

    Given the word “simplistic” this is probably a correct statement. However, the Israelis do have an option that would likely work rather well: that of using waves of EMP explosions over Iran, interspersed with air to ground attacks just after each wave. By taking out military targets first, they would render Iran defenseless, and could then take out the nuclear facilities with a combination of MOABS and special forces attacks at certain facilities.




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  45. @mannning: That is basically declaring war on Iran.




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  46. mannning says:

    Of course!




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  47. mannning says:

    I do believe the Israelis have every intention of taking out the nuclear threat of Iran to their very existence. War seems to be the only way to them!




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  48. mannning says:

    As I have questioned earlier, if the Israelis do strike, what do we do? Try to stop them, stand aside, or join them?




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  49. @mannning: Starting a war with Iran will not, ultimately, enhance Israeli security and the Israelis know that.




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  50. And even war does not prevent Iran from getting a nuke in the long run (you don’t think they couldn’t buy one from NK for the right price?)




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  51. mannning says:

    Starting a war with Iran will not, ultimately, enhance Israeli security and the Israelis know that.

    It would seem to me that with Iran virtually prostrate after the EMP, etc., attacks, with virtually every military vehicle, weapon and nuke site destroyed, Israel would have the upper hand henceforth with respect to Iran. That is the criterion: total destruction of Iran’s capability to wage air or mechanized war on Israel, and total destruction of Iran’s missile threat as well.

    What threats are you proposing at that point?




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  52. mannning says:

    A repeat of the EMP attack would be in order if Iran managed to acquire a nuke, or made significant strides to rearm. Israeli Intelligence would be quite able to discover this.




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  53. @mannning:

    A) Your scenario sounds more like science fiction than a realistic potentiality,

    and

    B) Terrorism and the like, as well as increased tension with neighbors would increase–which are more likely threats to Israel than is an Iranian nuke. Iran is not going to nuke Israel, whether they have a bomb or not (to do so would be suicidal).

    In general I would suggest considering the following logic: everyday Israeli security is diminished the more unstable the Middle East becomes. War with Iran would help severely destabilize the Middle East.

    Side note: the US War in Iraq did not turn out so nearly, now did it? (Both in terms of inside Iraq, but also regionally). Why do you think creating chaos in Iran would be so easy to deal with?




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  54. @mannning: Real life is neither an action movie nor a Tom Clancy novel.




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  55. mannning says:

    Perhaps you are not aware of the EMP threat and what damage can be done by it. It is most certainly not fiction! In fact, it is a grave threat to the US as well, should anyone have a go at it.
    EMP would disable most electronics under the explosion, which includes radar, fire control, aircraft, missiles, tanks, communications, vehicles, and any power grid, etc. and most commercial vehicles as well, for some time, hence the need to employ timed waves of them prior to air attacks. Israel most certainly has this capability now.

    You seem to think the Israelis will pick the do-nothing track as Iran acquires the nukes and the missiles to deliver them. I suggest they have their nation’s survival at all at stake, and would be willing to face the ME and the world after decimating Iran.




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  56. @mannning: I know what an EMP is. You are missing the fact that there is no battlefield examples of their usage nor are they, even if they work as predicted, a guarantee of anything.

    Plus you have not learned the lesson of Iraq: even an initial military victory does not mean success. They are after effects and consequences for military actions. The US is the most powerful country in the world and yet has paid a significant cost for its military adventures in the ME. Why would ISrael be immune?

    This is all silliness.




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  57. mannning says:

    A further point: Israel will continually face the ME instability with or without Iran’s bombs, so their choice seems to be to eliminate the bombs and save their country. Yes, the hard way. They are caught in the trap of having to destroy Iran’s military in order to get to the Nuke facilities. No surgical strike will do.




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  58. mannning says:

    I do not believe you are up to date on EMP weaponry, its real existence, its capabilities, and the ease with which it can be deployed. I have stated all I can. Call it silly if you will, it is a serious matter.

    You never tried to answer my question. So be it.




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  59. mannning says:

    You are proposing a MAD standoff between Israel and Iran. That is the only way Israeli action can be prevented, and it rests on the premise that the Mullahs are rational and sane after getting nukes. .Let us hope that is so. They are betting their people’s lives on that premise.




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  60. mannning says:

    Most weapons of war are tried out first, and EMP is no exception; however, there are many ways to test out the effects without exploding a serious bomb, and the tests can be done in a very covert manner. So, first use in combat is entirely possible for EMP.

    The Israelis have not performed an open test of their nukes, either; rather, they have managed to assure themselves of the effectiveness of their weapons by covert tests. Their long range missile systems have been tested a number of times via launches of civilian satellite systems into orbit.

    The key to MAD are the Israeli Dolphin subs, 6 of them by 2017, that can each launch 4 long range nuclear-tipped missiles. That is sufficient to destroy the essential elements of most enemies in the region, especially Iran.

    There are potential serious Iranian blocks for missile launches from the Negev, and from the subs, centered on the mobile S-300 systems they hope to deploy. So it is counter and counter time, and a few years elapsed time can make a significant shift in the balance.




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  61. mannning says:

    A question for you. If the scenarios I have alluded to are “fiction” how do you explain the enormous expenditures of Israel on defensive capabilities against nuclear attack, as well as overall weaponry, and the enormous expenditures of the Iranians on nuke and missile weapons plus the purchases of S-300s, and even their own development of a version of the S-300?

    Such items are meant to be used for planned responses , and are not fictional in the least. It would seem that quite a few key Israelis and Iranians are thinking in very similar terms about war with each other.




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  62. @mannning The part of your assertions that read like fiction is the notion that there is going to be this spectacular deployment of EMPs to cripple Iran and solve the problem once and for all.

    In terms of preparing defenses for nuclear attack–yes, this is understandable and prudent (even with the lack of a specific nuclear threat).

    But by the same token: the US built tens of thousands of nuclear missiles and never used them–these items are built and deployed for a variety of reasons.

    Regardless, your overall views on this are based more in the realm of fantasy than in reality–I really don’t know how else to put it–especially since I am sure I could spend days on end discussing it without persuading you.

    I will say the following and be done with it:

    1) In the case that Iran acquires one nuclear weapon, or even a handful and they use them on Israel, it would be suicide. Not only would Israel retaliate, the US would. The mullahs know this.

    2) If Israel (or the US) engages in a massive military action against Iran, the spin-offs consequences (political, military, and economic destabilization of the region) would be massive.

    3) It is ultimately impossible to stop a sufficiently wealthy country from acquiring a nuke if they are determined to do so–so this all becomes a cost/benefit discussion as well as one of realistic v. non-realistic scenarios. The current deal will slow Iran’s acquisition–and that is a win.

    You can arm-chair war game all you like, but reality is what it is.




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  63. One last thing: what evidence is there, apart from some rhetoric, that Iran would use the nuke on Israel?

    In the history of nuclear weapons only one country has used them–and that was at the beginning.

    There is a clear and very real restraint in the international system against using them–they are status symbols and defensive weapons (i.e., attack me and I will nuke you).

    The best evidence this logic holds can be found in North Korea and especially with India v Pakistan.




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  64. mannning says:

    You have reason to believe that the US would enter a nuclear war on the side of Israel, apparently. Is this supposition based on fact or feelings? I think it is a highly dubious proposition.

    You seem to consider a nationwide EMP attack to be fantasy for some reason. It is not.
    Likewise, you seem to think such an attack by Israel to be even more fanciful. As always, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. We will have to wait a few years to see.

    Meanwhile, Iran is building an S-300 or S-400 AA and ABM defense network to preclude conventional air to ground attacks, and to intercept incoming ballistic missiles aimed at key targets.

    I do believe that Iran will not adhere to the agreements now being made, so we can expect ten or so nukes and their missile carriers to be in their possession by 2017, and the AA network to be well vetted by 2020 or so.

    If Israeli intelligence confirms the existence of Iranian nukes in that timeframe, I suppose you believe that Israel will do nothing about it. I disagree. We do have some conclusive evidence that they will take decisive action against nuclear facilities; only this time they would face far superior defenses from the S-300/400 systems.

    Other than performing a conventional attack with devastating losses, they could employ EMP weapons that need not be nuclear-powered to disable the S-300.400s long enough to take them out, and then to take out whatever else they want of Iran’s military hardware and nuclear facilities. This is an existing EMP capability, and is hardly fiction. By 2020 it will be stockpiled in sufficient numbers for such purposes. (Perhaps you thought the EMP weapons would be nuclear-powered, but that is not the case today).

    Fanciful? Hardly!




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  65. mannning says:

    I meant to say not necessarily the case. NNEMP weapon technology is well advanced, as well as NEMP.




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