Saturday, January 21, 2006

Israel Should Nuke Iran (but won't)

Iran is going to get nukes if it is not prevented. Those nukes are going to be aimed at Israel (as well as Pakistan, Eastern Europe, Iraq, Turkey...). When this happens Israel will be 10 minutes or so from destruction. To protect itself Israel is going to have to prevent Iran from gaining nukes or fall into a standoff.

In a standoff the best possible outcome is one side gives up sees the error of its ways and decides to live like the other. In this particular case I think it is safe to say this will not happen.

Next best outcome is one side sneak attacks the other with sufficient tonnage to prevent any return fire. Israel has submarines and Iran has a crap navy, so Iran cannot prevent return fire. Likewise Iran has a lot of places to stick nukes (including the Gaza strip and the southern half of Lebanon). This outcome will require luck.

All other outcomes are bad. Effective annihilation of both countries or even worse a nuclear starburst where one country targets its missiles against all possible enemies.

If Israel allows Iran to gain nuclear weapons, then by definition (and discounting the impossible outcome) Israel will be committed to a course of action that will lead to the deaths of millions.

Best possible outcome requires that Israel prevents Iran from getting nukes. Israeli conventional forces are probably not capable of carrying out this task, because Iran is too far away and too well armed. However a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Iranian production facilities and research institutions will degrade Iranian nuclear potential. The research facilities will need to include universities in large cites and millions will die. However because millions are going to die anyway, and they are not Israeli, Israel is on to a winner.

Update:

On further consideration it seems unlikely that Israel will nuke Iran. To do so would risk it's friendship with America and there would be a retaliatory massed missile attack from South Lebanon. Even though these are relatively minor issues, compared to being on the recieving end of a Iranian nuclear assualt, they can be used as concrete justifications for not doing something hard right now and hoping that the future will bring a change for the good. Humanity has an innate want to be optimistic about the future, doing nothing too drastic now fufills that want.

10 Comments:

At 6/2/06 3:02 PM , Anonymous eteraz said...

how many times have we gone through this now? Mutual Assured Destruction makes for cold peace. Stop suggesting there be fireworks. have a sense of human dignity man. these are people on both sides. you are throwing "millions" around like its insects. you are not representing libertarianism very well. it was supposed to be about each individual's autonomy (valuable because each person is a human).

i agree that the iraq war should be won. but as far as i know there is no iran war.

 
At 6/2/06 4:25 PM , Blogger unaha-closp said...

The cold peace lasted for a mere 40 years and then one side accepted the veiw of the other had merit. The cold war had two sides that were behaving rationally and believed that they were inevitably going to win. There was direct communication between the 2 leaders. And even with all of these advantages over a corrosponding Israeli/Iranian type conflict during the Cuban missile crisis it came very close to going hot.

I think that in an endless conflict between Judaism and Islam it will be impossible for both sides to continue to resist the urge to use the weapons.


Libertarianism is about people acting in their own interest and making good choices. It implies a belief in humanity to be trustworthy enough to act productively. It doesn't impose a moral code of fratenity to all men, because there are instances when what is good & productive for me is bad for him and vice versa, generally these instances due to a clash of moral values. I call myself a libertarian because I think it best describes the set of motives we live by.

 
At 6/2/06 6:16 PM , Anonymous eteraz said...

i'm not that certain that the us/soviet nuclear relationship was that cold and calculating. maybe it was in the 70's and 80's, but accounts of the early 60's would severely frighten you. also, keep in mind the relationship between india and pakistan. i know hot tempered south asians well; being one myself. somehow they have kept from using the nukes on each other. the only explosions there have been on the cricket field. further evidence that nuclear armament provides mutual deterrance. the only scenario in which i see iran using a nuclear weapon is if israel attacks first. you'd expect this not to happen given israel's strong relationship with the u.s. we can ill afford nuclear winter in the middle east.

re: libertarianism: you are writing libertarianism and i'm seeing moral relativity at best and egoism at worst. libertarianism is not about a clash between the competing values of men. it is about making certain that the state doesn't run our lives. perhaps you, being in new zealand, have a different take on the state; but in most western nation the threat of the state running our lives is immense. for us libertarianism is a way we assure that we'll always be able to be immensely free *within* our property. libertarianism solves the problem of "clash" by positing that within your own compound you can do anything you want. outside it, no. outside it you must be driven to act in a manner that is most likely to create the circumstances for freedom for men. your suggestion of nuclear war seems to fly in the face of the idea that all have a right to be free.

 
At 6/2/06 7:35 PM , Blogger unaha-closp said...

If the Soviets had maintained the missiles in Cuba, then WW3 could have occured. This 60s paranoia and distrust almost led to total destruction, saner heads prevailed and both sides stepped back. I believe that Iranian and Israeli distrust will not be quenched by saner heads, both sides believe that they shall be proved correct on judgement day and have less motivation to climb down. Regarding Pakistan and India I hope you are right & I am wrong, but it has only been a few years.


If someone threatens you it would be nice if they did not threaten you, but how to make them change their mind? Liberty requires that you defend your liberty. If someone goes to point a gun at you and rest his finger on the trigger you may choose to do likewise & wait him out or you may shoot as he draws.

 
At 7/2/06 11:33 PM , Blogger unaha-closp said...

millions can be killed with the word of two men, so i think they are like insects.

 
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At 16/8/06 7:46 PM , Anonymous B.Poster said...

If Israel feels it needs to attack Iranian nuclear sites, it should do so and America should support them. Iran is an enemy of both America and Israel. If these nukes were not directed at Israel, they would be directed against America. Also, I don't think Iraq can be won unless Iran can be kept out of it.

If American leaders are smart, any attempt by Israel to attack Iran's nuclear sites should not affect its friendship with Israel. America should encourage Israel and stand by them. I hope and pray that America and Israel's leaders will have the spine to act decisively to defend their countries.

 
At 16/8/06 7:50 PM , Anonymous B.Poster said...

If Israel feels it needs to attack Iran's nuclear sites, this should not affect America's friendship with Israel. America should encourage them and stand by them as long as it takes. If Israel's nukes were not directed at Israel, they would be directed against America. If American leaders are smart they wil stand with Israel. If it should come to this, I pray America's leaders will have the courage to stand firm with Israel regardless of the cost. Israel is the primary buffer that America has against Iran. Iran must be stopped at any cost.

 
At 16/8/06 7:54 PM , Anonymous B.Poster said...

If America would not be a friend to Israel should Israel feel it needs to attack Iran's nuclear weapons sites, then America does not care much about its own survival. Israel ist he primary buffer between America and Iran. As such, America should encourage Israel to take out Iran's nuclear sites and America should stand with them regardless of the cost.

 
At 16/8/06 7:56 PM , Anonymous B.Poster said...

I inadvertantly posted virtually the same comment three times. Please accept my apologies. Their is the tendency of people to avoid doing something hard until they absolutely have to.

 

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