Israel, Hezbollah and Iran: Kicking the can down the road — but how far?

What has the Israel / Hezbollah mini-war taught us? (a) Iran is serious about obliterating Israel from the map; (b) Iran was apparently somewhat unprepared for this current war in terms of having advanced weaponry up close to Israel, but was pretty well prepared in terms of Hezbollah’s having prepared the southern Lebanon battlefield; and (c) above all else, there can be no doubt that Iran cannot be permitted to get nuclear weapons.

One can argue about whether the war was a big defeat or a little defeat for Israel. But that is beside the point in a way. We look at this set of skirmishes through a completely different prism.

You will recall that back in 2004 it was unclear what the US was going to do about Iran. John Kerry was going to offer Iran a “grand bargain” and promise nasty sanctions if Iran didn’t give up nuclear weapons ambitions, a deal that Iran promptly rejected. Other commentators offered wackier ideas and thoughts. President Bush said he would prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons, but it was really not clear what in fact he was going to do.

Now things have definitively changed. Ehud Olmert will go down in history as the worst (and perhaps the last) Prime Minister in Israeli history if Iran’s nuclear program is not destroyed or disabled. President Bush might well be vying for worst President in US history if he allows Iran — a regime and country uncontainable by deterrence — to get nukes. The Hezbollah war has made plain the aggressive, non-stop, and non-compromising goals of the Iranian regime for all the world to see.

There is no alternative to war with Iran at this point. At least it seems that way to us. We hope that the US, to some extent in conjunction with Israel, is actively planning that campaign. It’s coming, whether we plan for it or not. Iran will see to that.

UPDATE

One interesting sidelight of this coming war is who gets to be the aggrieved party. You will recall that in WWII, US orders were to wait to be fired upon by the Japanese. It is helpful to present onesself as the victim, we suppose, though, with today’s MSM, Iran will likely be able to position itself as victim no matter the actual circumstances. Given Iran’s aggressive behavior, the US and/or Israel can count on a constant series of provocations — we hope the grandees in Washington don’t wait for the right excuse to come along until it is too late to act.

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