The Passionate Attachment

America's entanglement with Israel

Lobby to Washington: Learn to Stop Worrying and Love an Israeli “Preventive Strike” on Iran

with 3 comments

By Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
June 5, 2012

In The Washington Institute’s Policy Note entitled “Beyond Worst-Case Analysis: Iran’s Likely Responses to an Israeli Preventive Strike,” Michael Eisenstadt and Michael Knights set out to assuage the fears of those in Washington opposed to another Israeli-inspired war in the Middle East:

In the United States, the destabilizing potential of Iran’s reaction to such an attack has loomed large in official statements on the subject, while many independent analysts offer what can only be described as worst-case assessments. These analysts frequently assert that Tehran would use all means at its disposal to retaliate, including missile attacks, terrorism in the region and beyond, and closure of the Strait of Hormuz. For good measure, they add every conceivable unintended consequence to the mix, such as disaffected Iranians becoming radicalized and rallying to the side of a reviled regime, the Arab street rising up in support of Tehran, and Iran’s leaders initiating a clandestine crash program to build a nuclear bomb.

Apparently contradicting the alarmist Israeli narrative that supposedly justifies a preventive attack in the first place, i.e. that the “Mad Mullahs” can’t be trusted with nukes, the fellows from the AIPAC-created think tank sound a reassuring note, suggesting that the Iranian leaders are not as “irrational” as pro-Israelis generally like the world to believe:

Yet more than thirty years’ experience observing the current regime in Tehran, combined with insights derived from the Islamic Republic’s history and strategic culture, provide reason to support a more measured and less apocalyptic—if still sobering—assessment of the likely aftermath of a preventive strike.

After a brief discussion of the retaliatory options available to Tehran, Eisenstadt and Knights not surprisingly conclude that Washington needn’t pay too much heed to those pessimistic analysts:

In short, although an Israeli preventive strike would be a high-risk endeavor carrying a potential for escalation in the Levant or the Gulf, it would not be the apocalyptic event some foresee. And the United States could take several steps to mitigate these risks without appearing complicit in Israel’s decision to attack.

An infinitely less risky step to take, of course, would be to beware Israel partisans bearing advice.

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

June 5, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. “An infinitely less risky step to take, of course, would be to beware Israel partisans bearing advice.”

    Absolutely. Furthermore, it wouldn’t be a bad idea if some of the idiots doing these assessments” took into account the terrible suffering that any kind of attack on Iran will cause to Iranian citizens and I should think, in the long run, to Israeli and other citizens of the belligerent nations, because many Iranians and Arabs have long memories, and one day they may reach a point where they say: Enough is enough.

    Anthony Lawson

    June 5, 2012 at 7:16 pm

  2. Are neocon scholars unable to see an obvious contradiction or do they think their American audience is too stupid to realize it? I think their success with a lot of ridiculous arguments points to the latter.

    Stephen Sniegoski

    June 5, 2012 at 11:47 pm

  3. I have to agree, Steve.

    Maidhc Ó Cathail

    June 7, 2012 at 7:35 am


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