History brewing…

– Here’s my take on what’s going on in the Middle East at the moment. Like so much going on around us now, it is in almost everyone’s best interests to keep things stable. But, on the other hand, entire forests can be lost to just one careless match.

– I correspond a lot with friends off on the side from this Blog. The following is my half of a recent exchange with a friend of mine who lives in Europe.

– All food for thought in a changing world.

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M.,

I share your concerns about the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East. And I agree that Turkey, Pakistan and Iran are certainly centers of deep concern.

I saw a lot of news a week or so ago on the topic of whether or not Israel might ‘whack’ Iran. And those, plus your E-mails alerting me to your concerns, certainly got my attention.

On the other side, I also saw an article that looked at the probable consequences if the U.S. or Israel attacked Iran, and it concluded that these consequences were so bad, that an attack would be unlikely.

Of course, this latter article had no answer for the longer term conundrum of if Iran is not taken down now, she will have nuclear capabilities later and that will be the worst of all possible outcomes for Israel.

In talking against the likelihood of an attack, the article pointed out that attacking Iran would result in them shutting the Straits of Hormuz and that, in turn, would cut the world’s oil supplies by almost half and the economic chaos would be colossal.

Then there was the likelihood of Iran lofting missiles into the main producing Saudi oil fields, into Israeli cities and into the large US bases in Iraq where U.S. troops are known to be highly concentrated.

And, in the end, the efforts to eradicate Iran’s nuclear facilities might very well fail due to their intentional wide distributions, hiding and hardening.

And, finally, one possibility that none of the articles mentioned but which I think is highly likely: To date, so far as we know, rogue governments with enriched nuclear materials haven’t released such materials into the hands of the suicidal Islamic Jihadists. Such governments would probably prefer not to send such loose canons into the world where their control, thereafter, of how things unfolded would not be under their control.

But, if Iran is attacked, their nuclear ambitions thwarted and much of their nation damaged, just think how easily they could play that card to hurt the west. Think what just one dirty bomb loosed in Washington, D.C. or Manhattan might do to the U.S.

All of this is extremely ugly and I believe that the major players can all see the likely outcomes and all are holding back from acting because one event could trigger huge consequences for everyone. The only ones who want to act immediately are the Jihadists who are eager to pass into paradise. But, the Israelis are also thinking very hard about where their best options lie. And for them, indefinitely inaction could be fatal.

It looks like a fatal embrace to me.

2 Responses to “History brewing…”

  1. Bruce says:

    Hey there Dennis, I agree with you.

    Assuming that the Iranian govt. is a rational actor, there is no reason that we have anything more to fear from them having nukes than we do Israel, or ourselves. All three countries just mentioned have radical religionists influencing their governments, but we haven’t seen any missiles fly yet. India and Pakistan are another good example of two countries that just hate eachother having had the good sense not to take it nuclear.

    Why does Iran want nukes (assuming they do)? Because other people with nukes are constantly talking about messing them up, and if they have them, they will gain security.

  2. Dennis says:

    Bruce,

    I think the key is the ‘rational actor’ part. If all parties are rational, then we can expect reasonable outcomes most times. My fear is that the same logic that drives suicidal islamic jihadists will find its way into the corridors of power in Pakistan or Iran and that faith will trump reason to all of our detriment.

    But, I agree with your point: if Iran is a rational actor, then we should have nothing to fear from them having nukes as a security guarantee.