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Bloggingheads: Will Israel strike Iran?

In recent weeks discussion has grown about the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. Israeli media, politicians, and American officials have all spoken publicly about the advisability and ramifications of such a strike. Does this signal a real possibility for such an attack, or simply political posturing? Watch +972 Magazine’s Larry Derfner debate Elliot Jager, Contributing Editor at Jewish Ideas Daily, on Bloggingheads.tv.

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    1. Richard Witty

      You’ve got to leave room for Elliott to speak.

      The issue is very complex.

      The first question is whether in fact Iran is building a nuke, or if they have the capability to branch off to it, under what conditions they would decide to.

      You guys assumed that they did. The AIEA report didn’t go that far, but only articulated an increased assessment of risk that that would occur.

      One theme that you discussed was of deterrence. In some ways the heightened press presentation of the prospect of Israel attacking Iran, was of that nature, a deterrent (the crazy enemy theory).

      Iran has spun the same, so that Israelis and Americans believe that Iranians are also nuts.

      The significance of nuclear weapons is not that they will be used ever, but that they will be used as veto on less than warring policies and conflicts. (The use is similar to the invocation by Assad a couple weeks ago, that if Syria is attacked by Nato, that they would “order” Lebanon and others to unleash missile on Israel, a hostage relationship to an event that Israel would not be a party to – Nato or UN or Arab League even initiated military action in Syria)

      Iran would develop a portfolio of defense and political strategies to complement their nuclear last resort.

      I agree with Elliot that Israel is the least vulnerable to Iranian nukes, except in that role as hostage for every other western associated political politico/military effort ever.

      The fear of parallel with nazi Germany is similar to that reasoning that the nukes and other military and proxies, enable Iran to provoke incrementally relatively lightly in regional issue after regional issue (again similarly declaring to Germany that it has not initiated agression but is only responding).

      The second fear is of the stimulus to a regional nuclear arms race, among those that are not capable of managing the security of materials, technology, actual weapons.

      The regional incremental dominance is the primary problem of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, India, Pakistan, China, Russia, others.

      Temporary alliances, Russia and Iran, temporary abstentions, China and Iran, won’t last.

      Both you and Elliot agreed that Israel should not attack Iran, because of the unlikelihood of succeeding militarily, and the likelihood of significant military response from Hezbollah and Hamas.

      What comes next?

      Reply to Comment
    2. Mark


      I flat out do not trust Elliot Jager. The man reminds me of a combination of Pat Buchanan, Dick Cheney, and Uncle Fester. Jager’s constant refrain about Iran being some sort of international problem served as little more than hasbara and/or compost and masked the simple fact that Jager and his pals want the United States, primarily, and the rest of the major players in the game, to a lesser degree, to bomb the snot out of Iran.

      These observations so noted, Derf, I implore you, please cut down on the quadruple espressos before you do another bloggingheads. You may have had the more sound, logical message on this topic, but your amped up presentation and nearly frantic (“passionate” just doesn’t cut it) delivery allowed Jager to easily paint you as some sort of leftist radical to be viewed with great suspicion and to be barred from any contact with the espresso machine.

      Derf, calm down. Puh-leeze!

      I believe that you are correct in your analysis. (Though I did find it hilarious that neither you nor Jager dared to even mention the name of the Most Dangerous Man on the Planet, Avigdor Lieberman.) However, in the poker playing world of foreign policy, punditry, and polemic, Jager wiped the floor with you in that debate – simply by allowing your overheated message to spew out all over my computer screen. I’m on your side here. Really, I am. But you must work on delivery and on eliminating the “tells”, if you will, that can be used against you in such a forum.

      Your problem is not so much message; instead, it is delivery. Please ease back about 15 notches on the aggressive meter. Require a foe like Jager to offer more than one persistent line over and over and over and over throughout such a debate. In short, be a counter-puncher from time to time. Require Jager to elaborate and flesh out his theory beyond simply repeating the same “Iran is world problem” mantra. By so doing, Jager will provide ample holes in his own singular argument – holes through which you can drive truckloads of fact-based logic.

      So, Derf, just back off on the espresso, calm down, meter the message a lot, and keep on pitching.

      Mazel tov.

      Reply to Comment
    3. RichardNYC

      Very interesting. Would like to see more.

      Reply to Comment