[Marxism] US could bomb Iran nuclear sites in 2007: analysts
elishastephens at hotmail.com
Thu Nov 23 08:27:49 MST 2006
Personally, I'm highly skeptical, although, as I've written in my blog, I
believe we have to act as if this is likely, even if it's not.
Anyway, in this regard, this interview with Daniel Ayalon, outgoing Israeli
Ambassador to the U.S., is highly instructive (as well as on many other
points), although I think he overrates George Bush as the driving force of
American foreign policy:
(Kaspit) Since this was the precursor of the real struggle against Iran,
what do you think about President Bush? Will he allow Iran to go nuclear?
(Ayalon) No. I have been here for nearly five years. I know my way around
the corridors. I maintain good ties with the President, and I am friends
with his people. I tell you because I know that first they will try every
political path possible, then they will try imposing effective sanctions,
and in the end, if there is no other choice, he will take action.
(Kaspit) What does this mean?
(Ayalon) Look, the Iranians tried to feel things out and conduct
negotiations seeking a promise they would not be attacked. The President
strongly refused. He always says that all the options are open. I believe
that the Iranian nuclear race could be stopped with political means. I also
believe that if this will not work, he will take tougher measures and even
impose a naval blockade like the one they imposed on Cuba.
(Kaspit) What if this does not work?
(Ayalon) Then he will take action. I believe in that. Bush is a determined
man who believes in his path. He must not be underestimated.
(Kaspit) Iran, however, is not Cuba. It is a superpower that produces
ballistic missiles, weapons, fighter planes, and oil, and has millions of
(Ayalon) As far as I know, Washington estimates that the Iranian Army is not
particularly strong. Perhaps even the opposite. This is why they are trying
to manufacture this bravado, with marches and parades. They are doing that
to cover up basic insecurities. It is an attempt to create deterrence. Iran
is not some mighty power that cannot be challenged.
(Kaspit) Yes, but their army is big, trained, and highly motivated. They are
(Ayalon) True, but they are unable to stand up to Western technology on any
scale. We must not consider a potential confrontation with Iran looking
through the prism of the situation in Iraq. It will be something completely
different. They will not send a garrison or large ground forces there. It
will be an aerial operation with limited ground moves.
(Kaspit) I must repeat my question. Do you really believe that this weary
and unpopular President -- who is up to his knees in blood in Iraq, with
horrible popularity ratings, who has just lost the Congress -- could opt for
such an adventure?
(Ayalon) Yes, I do. You have to know this man. I was privileged and I
consider him a personal friend. People who know him know he is very
determined. He is certain of the moral supremacy of democracies over
dictatorships. He is a man of vision with a broad worldview who does not
fear public images. He was not depressed even when he was down. He once told
me that if you keep dealing with hardships, if you stay on your path, people
will eventually follow you.
(Kaspit) Were you convinced in private talks with him that he would not let
Iran become a nuclear power?
(Ayalon) Yes. He never thinks about public opinion polls. This is the
fascinating thing about the presidential system. He thinks in historic
terms. He thinks of the right thing, not the popular thing to do. The way he
sees it, ayatollahs with nuclear bombs is an intolerable combination that
threatens the existing world order, which is why he will not let this happen
on his shift. This is why, to conclude my estimate, I believe that sanctions
and political pressure have a 50% chance to succeed. If not, he will act; by
force, if necessary. He means what he says. After all, he is the president
of the United States, is he not?
Left I on the News
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