Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourself for war between Iran and Israel


1:01 pm - March 1st 2012

by Sunny Hundal    


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It worries me how much little discussion there is in the UK of the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran, and how it might lead to a global political crisis.

It now seems an Israeli attack on Iran is inevitable. A long version of the background is in this alarming essay titled ‘Will Israel Attack Iran?’

Now Israel has gone further and says it won’t even warn the US before a strike on Iran. The pressure is being ratcheted up and it’s not all hot air.

To be clear: I’m vehemently against an attack on Iran, but I don’t see the latter as simply the victim either.

A key paragraph in this short NYT article states the dilemma:

As Iran presses on with its nuclear program it comes closer and closer to Israel’s red line of a threshold weapons capability. That makes the Israelis ever more nervous and determined to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities before it is too late for them. That in turn leads the Obama administration to ratchet up the sanctions to persuade the Israelis that there is a viable alternative to a preventive strike.

And as those sanctions become ever more crippling, the Iranians conclude that they have no choice but to press ahead in acquiring the ultimate means of assuring the regime’s survival. That alarms the Israelis, and the vicious circle spins again. At a certain point, miscalculation or desperation could lead one side to strike.

It goes without saying that Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons capability, if not the weapons themselves. This leaves two options: deal with a nuclear Iran in the hope that nuclear secrets don’t get leaked out (as they did in Pakistan) and the country subjects itself to full IAEA inspections; or you destroy the programme.

Israel clearly prefers the second option, but it is fraught with even bigger risk (of all-out conflict in the Middle East) and will only delay Iran’s ambitions for a few years.

What also worries me is the political dimension. Andrew Sullivan says the Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is “Obama’s Most Dangerous GOP Opponent” (h-t @Jenniferlayne53). He’s right.

Consider this scenario. Israel is currently hampered by Obama’s unwillingness to support an attack on Iran. So Netanyahu waits until September and launches an attack. He also says that the USA has abandoned Israel and says the USA failed to protect Israeli interests and stop Iran from getting nukes.

That would not only rock the economy off course badly but question Obama’s credentials as President. The Republicans would have a field day in declaring he failed the USA’s most important ally and made America more vulnerable.

A swing of even five points would cost Obama the election and Mitt Romney would be President. Romney would naturally authorise and support a full assault on Iran once President a few months later, and create havoc in the Middle East.

The Republicans will do anything to get elected – it is their last chance to overturn much of Obama’s policy. The scenario above, however destructive, may be their only hope.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


1. flyingrodent

It may happen, it may not.

It’s probably wise to consider it possible that Netanyahu is currently practicing Nixon’s Madman Theory of international politics – basically, acting like a twitchy crackhead with a gun and mad staring eyes. I imagine that the Americans don’t want war – in an election year?! – but it doesn’t hurt to tacitly let it be known that that there Israel, yo, he’s crazy man.

He’s on a hair-trigger, outta control! I’m tellin’ ya – He’s like Scrappy Doo with nukes!

“Don’t push me, man! I’ll do it, you think I won’t? Lemme at ’em, lemme at ’em!”

I entirely believe that there are plenty of lunatics within Israel’s hard-right basketcase of a government who are actively pushing for war. Whether they have sufficient numbers to actually push through anything this utterly moronic and insane is another matter.

Sunny, are you allowed to say that? In these times when only pro Israel propaganda will be tolerated by our elite overloads.

@1 Netanyahu practising Madman Theory – and Ahmedinejad isn’t?

Hundal:

Consider this scenario. Israel is currently hampered by Obama’s unwillingness to support an attack on Iran. So Netanyahu waits until September and launches an attack. He also says that the USA has abandoned Israel and says the USA failed to protect Israeli interests and stop Iran from getting nukes.

So Bibi is just stupid enough to try and bounce the US into siding with Israel (again) as it kicks the shit out of one of its neighbours (again), or – better yet – in the hope that he can shape the outcome of the US election to get the right-wing nutter of his choice to do what he’s planning on doing anyway. Maybe Bibi’s thinking: ‘Oh, it’ll be just like the Six-Day War…by the time we’ve wiped out Iran’s capacity to retaliate, it’ll be a cakewalk’ And if he’s wrong, and the rockets do fall on Tel Aviv, well, he can always use those nukes that Israel officially doesn’t possess. Yeah, ‘Scrappy Doo with nukes!’ isn’t the half of it, if it wasn’t so unfair to pugnacious pint-sized canines

5. Luis Enrique

I thought this editorial from The Economist was good

http://www.economist.com/node/21548233

and their Democracy in America blog has keep keeping tabs on attempts to box Obama in:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2012/02/iran-0?fsrc=gn_ep

It worries me how much little discussion there is in the UK of the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran, and how it might lead to a global political crisis.

It was the lead story and editorial in The Economist this week.

Stop relying on the tabloids for your news 😉

7. flyingrodent

…and Ahmedinejad isn’t?

Uh, a quick look at available military resources and the local disposition of forces speaks volume here. http://tinyurl.com/892srf9

Ol’ Mahmoud, the crazy, Wagnerian nutter that he is, is in no position to play brinksmanship. When push comes to shove, every military analyst on Earth knows whose arse is going to end up in the mud.

At least there’s no suggestion of British involvement in a conflict. (Well, as yet – I wouldn’t put it past ’em to spring it on us at the final moment.) I’d like to say this represents a shift towards a wiser foreign policy but I suspect it’s more that people are realising that we’re not much use as a military ally.

9. Lance Dyer

There is precious little coverage of Israel’s breaches of international law as far as Palestine is concerned either.
Why is it that Iran allows IAEA inspections to it’s nuclear plant and Israel does not – yet Iran is the Bad Guy?
Any news of ME always seems slated in Israel’s favour.

Lance,

Simples – Israel never signed the relevant treaties, Iran did…

Stupid really, but there is an argument that Israel set out to be an evil nuclear power and never concealed the fact; Iran however wanted to be seen as good (or just didn’t want nuclear weapons at the time).

Oh – and Israel is a democracy with fully functioning PR; Iran vets candidates and has fraudulent results. That might explain something…

Bensix,

At least there’s no suggestion of British involvement in a conflict. (Well, as yet – I wouldn’t put it past ‘em to spring it on us at the final moment.) I’d like to say this represents a shift towards a wiser foreign policy but I suspect it’s more that people are realising that we’re not much use as a military ally.

We’ve got one of those advanced destroyers in the Gulf (or en route) and several ships in the Indian ocean region chasing pirates or doing whatever our small number of ships do when happily sailing around (and we never mention where the submarine fleet is to be found). I think we’d be involved if Iran tried to strike back by closing the Straits of Hormuz (apparently its somewhat inexplicable first plan). Probably wouldn’t be involved in an invasion, but not sure anyone wants one of those.

Both Iran and Syria have chemical weapons and could also easily build a dirty bomb.

They have that capability now and have for a while. Combined with the long range missiles Iran posses any attack would be avenged and with a great deal of death and destruction. Combined with the radical beliefs of the Iranian leadership this is almost a certainty.

It may well also be that now Egypt has fallen and other local dictators are suffering, Israel may provide them with a handy distraction, WAR!

I could see Syria and its allies attacking from all sides, partly to settle old scores, but now also to provide cover for their failing regimes.

A radical leadership, dragging its country into war while scaring its people that some other religion / people wants them dead would seem a possibility. Hey America, the UK and Israel are also all doing it…

The Israelis will do what they feel they have to do, and (surprise) if they decide, however misguidedly, to launch a strike against Iranian nuclear facilities they aren’t about to ask the permission of the USA or anyone else. Chances are their intelligence will be a lot more accurate than that which led to the invasion of Iraq however.

Bibi is a pretty nasty piece of work, but he isn’t a madman. The Israelis will strike if they feel they have no alternative, and let’s face it they have some justification for seeing Iran as an existential threat, even if many non-Israelis feel that is somewhat exaggerated. It’s one thing to feel sanguine about the Iranian threat from the comfort of the home counties, but it looks a lot different viewed from Tel Aviv.

Trying to destroy the Iranian nuclear sites wouldn’t be easy however; an air-strike would be difficult at the range involved, and even if cruise missiles from Israeli Dolphin subs in the Gulf wouldn’t guarantee success.

It is by no means clear that an Israeli strike would automatically spread or cause the chaos many predict….. though the potential for retaliatory strikes against Israel, Iranian attempts to close the straits or Hormuz, or various Iranian sponspored nutters taking pot shots at “wetern” interests couldn’t be ruled out.

The big problem is that whoever is in the White House, they will not be able (or indeed have the political will) to stop the Israelis in extremis doing exactly what they want; to that extent we are as powerless to stop Israel in this potential scenario, as we are to stop Assad doing exactly what he likes in Syria.

14. Luis Enrique

this idea that Israel can force the US to cooperate in an attack because of electoral politics is deeply depressing. What could stop it?

1. what threat points does Obama have against Israel? Can he say, if you try that, I will do … what?
2. will the US military go along with it? If the generals hit the airwaves saying war is bonkers, will that make a difference?
3. what do US voters really think? If Obama says Israel ought not attack Iran, and if they do he will offer them only very limited support, are voters really going to be chomping at the bit to send more troops to the middle east? I’d like to think they might reward him for keeping them out of it, this time.

Sorry but I don’t buy the view this is just grandstanding on Israel’s part. The view that this is an existential threat seems to be genuine.

And even if you assume that they’re sabre-rattling in order to warn off Iran from going further – that only pushes Iran to pursue nukes more.

I’m not sure what the way out is but it doesn’t look like we can break this from spiralling out of control.

War is inevitable. The question is – what role does UK play?

16. Chaise Guevara

@ 14 Sunny

“The question is – what role does UK play?”

This is coming from a confessed layman, but on this one I’d say hopefully none, except humanitarian support to those who need it.

“Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourself: war between Iran and Israel is coming”

No shit Sherlock.

18. flyingrodent

they aren’t about to ask the permission of the USA or anyone else…

Mr. Netanyahu, we have the International Criminal Court on line one. They’d like to talk to you about aggressive warmaking and your impending thirty year jail sentence.

20. Shatterface

War is inevitable. The question is – what role does UK play?

About as big a role as Israel and Iran should play over the Falklands.

We aren’t the World Police.

Whether attention is paid to Israel’s bellicose hysteria or not, Israel benefits. Lack of attention allows it to continue its brutal threats. Attention (especially if it originates in a supposedly liberal and progressive media outlet) gives them credibility. Since the intention is to intimidate Iran, the objective is reached either way.

@14 Sunny

“War is inevitable. The question is – what role does UK play?”

No, it really isn’t. You might argue it is more likely than recently, but there are too many variables to baldly assert that it is inevitable. As to the second question, the answer should be, and likely will prove to be if the Israelis DO strike, no role at all.

@ 17 FR

“Mr. Netanyahu, we have the International Criminal Court on line one. They’d like to talk to you about aggressive warmaking and your impending thirty year jail sentence.”

That won’t stop Netnayahu (or I suspect any other Israeli leader) from ordering the strike if they feel there is an imminent and existential threat. The Israelis would never deliver him/them to the court. The threat of being indicted islikely to stop to be about as effective stopping Netanyahu as it was stopping Karadzic, Mladic, Gaddaffi, Assad etc.

23. flyingrodent

The threat of being indicted islikely to stop to be about as effective stopping Netanyahu as it was stopping Karadzic, Mladic, Gaddaffi, Assad etc.

Yes. He’d belong in that company too, if he did anything so utterly insane and dangerous.

Recall: Robert Jackson at the Nuremberg trials… To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.

The supreme international crime from which all others flow. That’s about right, I’d say, regardless of the identity of the initiator.

24. Shatterface

Always helpful bringing up the Nuremberg trials when talking about Israel.

An Israel only operation will not succeed, there are too many facilities in underground locations. Israel knows this and is unlikely to launch an operation where it is doomed to failure. It would lead to ultimate humiliation and harden the resolve of the Iranian’s to expand their weapons programme.

Haven’t the Israelis ever heard of MAD?

27. Charlieman

This debate has been limited to the intentions and desires of Israel, Iran and the USA. Everyone has missed the point that however much Arab countries hate Israel, they hate Iran (and its proxy, Syria) much more. Many of those countries wisely assume that a nuclear armed Iran would be a threat to them as much as Israel.

These facts mean that an air attack on Iran should not be written off on logistical grounds. Israel’s “enemy neighbours” turned a blind eye in the past when Israel attacked Iraqi facilities. They provided air corridors over their land, switched off their air defence/detection and conveniently failed to notice air refuelling tankers circling overhead for six hours.

Then there is the logic that *if* Israel attacks Iranian nuclear facilities, it is in the interest of every country except Iran that it succeeds. If Israel failed, it would boost the credibility of Iran as a regional power and Iran’s neighbours would feel it necessary to obtain their own nuclear weapons. Even if you think that an attack on Iran would be misguided or unnecessary, the consequences of failure would be worse than those of success. That’s another reason why Israel’s “enemy neighbours” would stand aside if their defence forces got the message that an Israeli attack force was en route to Iran.

Like everyone else here, I have no information other than from the intelligent bits of the press about how close this standoff is to becoming a conflict. But I do presume that the standoff makes Iran more open to persuasion. Iran does not give a shit about its relations with the UN or neighbouring countries and 30 years of sanctions (ironically breached by Israel in the 1980s) have not moderated its bellicose tendencies.

28. flyingrodent

Always helpful bringing up the Nuremberg trials when talking about Israel.

Yes, it’s unfortunate. The truth is though, if you were to write a book on Aggressive wars, legal status of then the international military tribunal would take up the first few chapters and be referenced throughout. It’s kind of a hard subject to avoid, in this context.

29. flyingrodent

Then there is the logic that *if* Israel attacks Iranian nuclear facilities, it is in the interest of every country except Iran that it succeeds.

Strongly suggest getting acquainted with these guys… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shia_Islam …Many of whom may not be in 100% agreement with these sentiments.

30. Charlieman

@25. Chris: “Haven’t the Israelis ever heard of MAD?”

1. Err, yes, which is why Israel want to be the only one in the neighbourhood with a nuke.

2. Assuming that Iran had a small nuclear missile, it would cause massive destruction if targeted at Israel. There is always the possibility that it falls out of the sky and lands in Iraq or Saudi Arabia or Jordan or Lebanon, which is why those countries fear accidents as much as intent to attack them.

3. We can guess that a nuclear war between Iran and Israel would pointlessly kill millions of people in the region, create a pollution nightmare about which we can only guess, but the rest of the world would exist. Cold war MAD was about two superpowers confronting one another with weapons that could destroy the world.

It is worth noting that only a third of Israelis support a unilateral attack on Iran: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/iran-blog/2012/mar/01/israel-iran-action Now of course this means Netanyahu is pushing for mandatory US backing: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/01/israeli-pm-demands-obama-military-action-iran but still, in the aftermath of those big protests last year and the fact the IDF is an all conscript force means that Netanyahu at least has to get Obama on board before he does anything overly aggressive or face a domestic backlash. The American public aren’t too fond of an attack on Iran either: http://www.pollingreport.com/iran.htm

Will that stop Bibi? Is it likely Obama could avoid backing Israel after Iran inevitably retaliated? Probably not but nonetheless such low levels of public support are worth bearing in mind.

Haven’t the Israelis ever heard of MAD?

We’re not having that again!!!!

Only the good guys should be allowed nukes and we decide who the good guys are.

That’s right isn’t it?

Those hardened bunkers full of centrifuges will be hard to attack, even with heavy smart bombs. Would Israel use a battlefield nuclear weapon? It might be the only way to succeed.

34. Luis Enrique

Check this out, Iran has super concrete

http://www.economist.com/node/21548918

35. Charlieman

@28. flyingrodent: “Strongly suggest getting acquainted with these guys… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shia_Islam …Many of whom may not be in 100% agreement with these sentiments.”

Indeed, FR. You’ll note therefore that most of Iran’s neighbours (especially the most populous) do not have a Shia majority.

The Islamic Sunni/Shia division is a very poor indicator of relations between a country and Iran. Syria, politically the country closest to Iran, has a small minority population of Shia. Iraq is big and has a Shia majority, but the country has many reasons to dislike and distrust Iran.

Iran’s neighbours don’t like Iran because it looks dangerous, not because it has a Shia government.

I do not disagree that any attack or diplomatic measure against Iran will upset some Shia extremists outside Iran. But I am sure that you understand that whatever action might be taken against Iran would be to limit Iranian war mongering, not to “defeat” Islam or Shia.

36. Charlieman

@31. Cherub: “Those hardened bunkers full of centrifuges will be hard to attack, even with heavy smart bombs. Would Israel use a battlefield nuclear weapon? It might be the only way to succeed.”

Dunno. But returning to my argument that it would be worse if Israel attacked Iran and failed: if Israel was attempting to bomb heavily defended facilities, it would be probable that the USA provided something that did the job. So we have to presume scary things.

@32. Luis Enrique: “Check this out, Iran has super concrete” with a link to an Economist article.

Here’s a quote from the Economist piece: “A DUAL-USE technology is one that has both civilian and military applications. Enriching uranium is a good example. A country may legitimately do so to fuel power stations. Or it may do so illegitimately to arm undeclared nuclear weapons. Few, however, would think of concrete as a dual-use technology. But it can be. And one country—as it happens, one that is very interested in enriching uranium—is also good at making what is known as “ultra-high performance concrete” (UHPC).”

Being a complete smart arse, use of depleted uranium in concrete seemed obvious to me. But I was mightily impressed at how it is being used in composites and in thin wall construction.

37. flyingrodent

You’ll note therefore that most of Iran’s neighbours (especially the most populous) do not have a Shia majority.

Iraq does, and it’s right next door. Azerbaijan and Bahrain do too, while I’m at it.

Still, just noting that the picture isn’t quite so clear-cut as we might think.

I know he’s not a blog favourite but Peter Hitchens wrote a very interesting article about Iran some time ago explaining why it would be madness to start a war with the country:

http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/news/article-449880/Iran-A-nation-nose-jobs-nuclear-war.html

And next Sunny predicts that it will get cooler after it gets warmer…
*applause*

40. the a&e charge nurse

[36] and if some find Hitch junior not to their liking, how about big, bad Noam?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pH8gCEZ4Ds

A few quick points;

The US has two complete carrier groups stationed in the region, as opposed the the usual one. They are ready, prepared and expecting trouble.

Those groups have experimental deep penetrator weapons specially designed for destroying underground facilities. Why blow stuff up when you can collapse it if you create a big enough vacuum.

Iran has fe if any real friends in the region, so a war would be unlikely to spread significantly.

42. Charlieman

@35. flyingrodent: “Iraq does, and it’s right next door. Azerbaijan and Bahrain do too, while I’m at it.”

I thought that I covered the reasons for Iraq’s distrust of Iran in my post.

Bahrain, as a nation, is in a complete pickle and barely manages to run itself. The government is “in control”, but wavers between oppression and conciliation. The ruling family in Bahrain is Sunni and the majority population is Shia. But the overwhelming problem for Bahrain is economic inequality, rather than differing flavours of Islam.

Azerbaijan is not a religious country and there is no modern history of Sunni/Shia conflict. Islamic extremism there is a new phenomenon. Worrying, of course.

43. flyingrodent

Well, I wasn’t suggesting that the mighty Bahraini army was going to steam to Iran’s aid – more that things could get very lively, very quickly in certain parts of the region.

44. Charlieman

@36. Richard: “I know he’s not a blog favourite but Peter Hitchens wrote a very interesting article about Iran some time ago explaining why it would be madness to start a war with the country:

http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/news/article-449880/Iran-A-nation-nose-jobs-nuclear-war.html

The Peter Hitchens article treats us as children cowering underneath the bed sheets; we are scared to peer out, afraid to determine whether Iran is Dad or Wicked Uncle Ernie.

But we are not children and we are not cowering. We know that Iran is Wicked Uncle Ernie.

45. Charlieman

@38. the a&e charge nurse: “[36] and if some find Hitch junior not to their liking, how about big, bad Noam?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pH8gCEZ4Ds

I voluntarily observed two minutes, but concluded that compulsory viewing would contravene Article 3 of The European Convention on Human Rights: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.

On a more serious level, I was reminded about Chris Dillow’s thread about political commentary: http://liberalconspiracy.org/2012/02/28/the-case-for-the-bbc-banning-politicians-from-talk-shows/

Chomski displayed that special ability to appear to talk on the topic whilst switching to something different. It is the same mastery of distraction that stage conjurers use to cut a stage assistant in half.

46. Planeshift

“at Israel set out to be an evil nuclear power and never concealed the fact;”

It kept the person who told everyone of the nukes in solitary for 18 years. The really funny thing is he did more for Israeli security than anyone – once Israel’s neighbours knew it had nukes they gave up any serious ambition of attacking it.

The funny think about Nukes is they have a 100% record of ensuring you never get invaded by another state. Can’t think why a country that lost a million men in the 1980s to a war with its neighbour would want them, can you?

47. Chaise Guevara

@ 30 pagar

“Only the good guys should be allowed nukes and we decide who the good guys are.

That’s right isn’t it?”

But of course. I mean, how are we even supposed to know who the good guys are if we can’t identify them by their nukes bearing American bardcodes? Christ, you’ll be telling me the US doesn’t have jurisdiction to police the world next!

48. Charlieman

@44. Planeshift: “It kept the person who told everyone of the nukes in solitary for 18 years.”

That was a punitive exercise. Israel has traditionally associated itself with liberal countries that permit freedom of expression. Israel may have a few lessons for the UK about how secular and religious communities manage themselves.

But, on leaking secrets, Israel still cannot find a liberal road. Half a dozen Prime Ministers later, Mordechai Vanunu cannot live as a free man in Israel.

Mordechai Vanunu did not give away bomb plans or military strategy. He made life uncomfortable for a few politicians. Just make him a free man again.

49. Charlieman

@44. Planeshift: “Can’t think why a country that lost a million men in the 1980s to a war with its neighbour would want them, can you?”

Starting with a smiley 😉 My understanding is that Iraq (“a country that lost a million men in the 1980s to a war with its neighbour”) does not have a nuclear weapon plan. I can understand why Iraqis are scared about living next door to a country that is attempting to build a nuclear bomb.

This has been a rather more civil discussion than I expected. No one has accused another of being an anti-semite yet!

That said – I’m still surprised at how many people think this is being overblown. I really don’t think it is.

I love the way everybody who has ever commented on a political blog also turns out to be a part-time Middle East Security Analyst.

The one subject everyone has to have an opinion on.

@48

Most people who ventured an opinion on Iraq were proven smarter than the combined might of MI6 and the CIA, so I would argue that the experts are the ones who have the credibility problem, not the average blog reader.

That said I don’t think Israel really can go to war with Iran can it? I mean the logistics are a pretty formidable challenge on their own. This isn’t the 1980s and Iraq, this is a country further away, with a lot of shiny new weapons, protecting multiple targets against many of the same air frames that flew on Operation Opera. It could be the Charge of the Light Brigade in planes.

53. So Much For Subtlety

40. Charlieman

But the overwhelming problem for Bahrain is economic inequality, rather than differing flavours of Islam.

How do you know?

Azerbaijan is not a religious country and there is no modern history of Sunni/Shia conflict. Islamic extremism there is a new phenomenon. Worrying, of course.

But it does have a modern history of anti-Christian violence. It is also a post-Soviet kleptocracy run by the remnants of the Communist Party. So we have no idea what most people think.

43. Planeshift

The funny think about Nukes is they have a 100% record of ensuring you never get invaded by another state.

So far. They also have a 100% record of being owned by relatively sane powers. Iran is not a sane power.

Can’t think why a country that lost a million men in the 1980s to a war with its neighbour would want them, can you?

Not really. Especially as there is no reason to think they will improve Iran’s over all security. Living in peace with its neighbours will do that.

However if Iran gets away with it, everyone who will want them will get them. We will then not have five nuclear powers but some 200. That means inevitable use. Not to mention accidents. Nuclear weapons are not a problem with a power like America because they have satellites who will tell them who launched what. A power like Iran does not have the ability to tell who fired at them. So if Tehran went up tomorrow, the Iranians would not know if it was America, Israel, Saudi Arabia (which is probably a nuclear power), Pakistan Russia or India. The only possible response is to retaliate against all of them. This is the world you want?

They also have a 100% record of being owned by relatively sane powers. Iran is not a sane power.

Somehow, given your general views on matters, I doubt you’d have described the USSR in 1949 or China in 1964 as ‘relatively sane’. That’s a judgement that gets applied in retrospect, after it turned out that neither actually blew up the world. Also, the extent to which Iran is insaner than Pakistan is, erm, debatable (assuming you’re assessing sanity objectively, rather than from the point of view of “which of these countries claims to be our ally”).

You’re wrong on the final paragraph as well. Even if Iran’s communications networks are that primitive (which I doubt), you’d need to have a conspiracy between the US, UK, Israel, France, Russia and China (as a minimum – quite possibly also India and Japan) not to tell the Iranians who’d bombed them, because all the above would certainly know from their satellite networks. Such a conspiracy would be hard to enforce, as well as being in nobody’s interests.

55. So Much For Subtlety

51. john b

Somehow, given your general views on matters, I doubt you’d have described the USSR in 1949 or China in 1964 as ‘relatively sane’. That’s a judgement that gets applied in retrospect, after it turned out that neither actually blew up the world.

Well you would be wrong. Their economic policies were insane, but I don’t think their foreign policies were. On the contrary, while China managed to get itself in the absurd situation of not having relations with anyone, that they also managed to align themselves with America while in the middle of the Cultural Revolution *and* arming the Vietnamese who were fighting those Americans shows that their foreign policy was as amoral and sensible as any nation’s could be. Stalin’s policies in the lead up to the Second World War show masterful judgement. The Communists always said that the invasion of Western Europe required the correct Revolutionary situation to arise and while they worked hard to create it, it never really happened. Hence the Red Army stayed on their side of Germany.

Also, the extent to which Iran is insaner than Pakistan is, erm, debatable (assuming you’re assessing sanity objectively, rather than from the point of view of “which of these countries claims to be our ally”).

I think there is enough realism about the sanity of both countries to go around. The fact that Pakistan is a failed state run by the crazy, incompetent and corrupt is irrelevant to the situation in Iran.

You’re wrong on the final paragraph as well. Even if Iran’s communications networks are that primitive (which I doubt), you’d need to have a conspiracy between the US, UK, Israel, France, Russia and China (as a minimum – quite possibly also India and Japan) not to tell the Iranians who’d bombed them, because all the above would certainly know from their satellite networks. Such a conspiracy would be hard to enforce, as well as being in nobody’s interests.

No I am not. You would have to assume that the Iranians would, or could, believe any of them. Why would they? Which out of this list of enemies would they trust? The Indians perhaps, but they do not have the network to tell either. The Chinese? They may be acquiring it but they certainly don’t have it yet. Even Britain does not. I am not sure about France.

So they would still be in a bind. What is more they have liquid fuelled rockets by and large. Even their solid-fuelled ones are vulnerable to attack. They would have to launch as soon as they could or they would risk losing them all. And they probably would lose most anyway. They cannot afford to sit around and wait for the French and Russians to agree on who was responsible. They need to retaliate immediately.

They also have a 100% record of being owned by relatively sane powers. Iran is not a sane power.

Here you seem to forget North Korea, which I don’t think even the most illiberal conspirationist would consider sane. Though DPRK is a relatively new bomb owner, of course.

“But I do presume that the standoff makes Iran more open to persuasion.”

I get the impression, by contrast, that Iran (or rather some of its mad leaders) would quite like to be attacked – perhaps so that the region will turn on Israel?? (Although I take the point someone made about several countries being quite happy to turn a blind eye.)To bring about (Islamiic) End Times?

58. flyingrodent

Iran (or rather some of its mad leaders) would quite like to be attacked – perhaps so that the region will turn on Israel??

As opposed to their currently warm and cordial relations?

To bring about (Islamiic) End Times?

While there isn’t much I’d put past the mullahs, try imagining how we’d respond if somebody suggested something similar about the US, or even Israel itself.

The mullahs may be crazy, but I see no reason to believe they’re keen to see their nation and people attacked, invaded or even nuked, as some seem to believe is the case. You’d have to believe that Iran’s government is so insane, so utterly irrational and deranged, that it’s the first in human history that actively wants to destroy itself.

Weigh that possibility against the likelihood that this analysis contains substantial amounts of highly convenient propaganda. I know which strikes me as being more convincing.

(To add, I wouldn’t necessarily call Pakistan a sane power, either. Although that “relatively” really does have a significance in that neighbourhood.)

FR – I mean turn militarily.

Surely the US and Israel (though both have their share of wingnuts) are objectively quite different from Iran. And people *did* get worried about Reagan’s religious views – at least, I did. I just found this, after googling.

http://patdollard.com/2011/03/iranian-government-produces-video-claiming-apocalypse-now/

I can see that this kind of thing might get taken up by those keen to drum up support for war. That doesn’t mean it should not be a concern – I’m sure people have been concerned about Christian leaders on far slighter grounds.

61. So Much For Subtlety

56. pjt

Here you seem to forget North Korea, which I don’t think even the most illiberal conspirationist would consider sane. Though DPRK is a relatively new bomb owner, of course.

Their bomb fizzled. I am not sure they are a nuclear weapons power. But let’s assume they are. They talk a good insane-nut-case talk but they have nothing else. Have they behaved all that irrationally? They clearly want us to think so. They can do Kissenger between than Kissenger can. But it doesn’t mean they are. Although, OK, they probably are.

58. flyingrodent

While there isn’t much I’d put past the mullahs, try imagining how we’d respond if somebody suggested something similar about the US, or even Israel itself.

Give them a free plug on the Guardian’s webpage? Claims about the Americans and End of Times is routine on the Left. I expect people are suspicious if you don’t make those sort of claims. Look at George W.

The mullahs may be crazy, but I see no reason to believe they’re keen to see their nation and people attacked, invaded or even nuked, as some seem to believe is the case. You’d have to believe that Iran’s government is so insane, so utterly irrational and deranged, that it’s the first in human history that actively wants to destroy itself.

Defend “itself”. Khomeini said that Islam knows no nation. He said he looked on the destruction of Iran without any emotion at all. I doubt he would have been keen either, but you have to give the man credit for consistency.

62. Torquil Macneil

“Yes, it’s unfortunate. The truth is though, if you were to write a book on Aggressive wars, legal status of then the international military tribunal would take up the first few chapters and be referenced throughout.”

No it wouldn’t, it would begin with the Convention Against Aggression in 1933 and the Nuremberg definitions would form a very small part of the whole, mainly highlighting the problems with the legal status of aggressive war. Neither the UN operating definition of Aggression nor the Rome Statute make any reference to the Nuremberg Principles. But what’s the point, some commentators just can’t hear the word ‘Israel’ without instantly pointing and braying ‘Nazi! Nazi!’ and we know all about the dark well that that comes from.

Anyway, it is probably beside the point because a military strike against Iran under present circumstances would be unlikely to meet any legal definition for war of aggression.

63. Torquil Macneil

It seems strange to me that Saudi is left out of this discussion. They are almost certainly pressing for a military strike against Iran, and they have far more influence in the US than Israel.

Torquil – I know what you mean, but I’d like to invoke the ‘overall context’ clause of the EUMC working definition to cut FR some slack.

65. the a&e charge nurse

[51] “I love the way everybody who has ever commented on a political blog also turns out to be a part-time Middle East Security Analyst. The one subject everyone has to have an opinion on” – we can’t afford NOT to have an opinion (however imperfect that opinion may be) given that in all likelihood the blue touchpaper for global conflict may well be lit in this region?

Surely you can see that the portents are worrying – hyper-belligerent neighbours tooling themselves up with all manner of nasty devices while the worlds most prolific invader huffs and puffs in the background.

Some of the analysis may fall into the blogger-lite camp but you do not have to be an expert to recognise that conditions in the middle east are hardly conducive to long term political stability?

66. Torquil Macneil

Sarah, I am happy to cut FR some slack, I don’t think he is one of the more spittle-flecked, swivel-eyed, Jew-crazed types that this discussion usually attracts, but you would think that people of good will could just make it easy on themselves and us by resisting the temptation of Nazi analogies when discussing Israel, wouldn’t you? I mean, it isn’t that hard. After all, we manage to talk about Germany without alluding endlessly to Hitler and you would think that was the bigger challenge.

67. flyingrodent

I mean turn militarily.

I’m not really sure what this would achieve. Contrary to what we might hear in certain corners of the internet, Israel – small as it is – has such total military superiority over any likely foe that it isn’t seriously threatened by incursions from any of its neighbours

Unless we’re talking about Hezbollah rocket attacks – which would happen anyway, with or without Iranian encouragement – or the vanishingly unlikely possibility that Saudi Arabia might attack Israel, the nations of the region “turning” on Israel would probably look a lot like Gulf War I, with the Arabs standing in for the Republican Guard. For about ten hours.

Surely the US and Israel (though both have their share of wingnuts) are objectively quite different from Iran.

In what sense? The mullahs might be far fonder of medieval punishments, but they’re certainly not alone in proclaiming that they’re doing God’s good work on Earth.

I really can’t see any reason to believe assertions that the Iranians are so utterly crazy that they would joyfully invite either Israeli air assault or the total destruction of their nation with nuclear warheads.

For a start, they would have to be far, far more deranged than the Soviet Union, Chairman Mao or Kim Jong Il, none of whom have ever pressed the button for a nuclear war of any kind. The Soviets killed millions of their citizens, as did Mao – what qualities did they possess that the Iranians lack? An excess of humanitarianism? Clear-eyed, non-ideological analysis?

And this is the big killer here – Literally everybody that I’ve seen pushing this “The mullahs are suicidal maniacs who are praying for the annihilation of their own country and population” argument is also in the Israel: right, sort-of-right or who cares, bomb them anyway camp.

There’s no way that’s a coincidence. If independent Iran analysts are disagreeing stridently with position (x) and only pro-war-with-Iran types are agreeing, I think we can assume to within a 99% probability that the pro-war types are inventing propaganda bullshit.

Combine that with their proven track records for honesty, and I think we can go all the way up to 100% and say categorically that the idea the Iranians want to be attacked is certainly bullshit.

68. Planeshift

“They talk a good insane-nut-case talk but they have nothing else. Have they behaved all that irrationally?”

Yes, the north koreans have been nut jobs for decades – far more so than Iran. There is no equivalent moderate force with time in power in North Korea as Iran had in the late 90s.

Has Iran actually behaved irrationally here? It’s faced the threat of a superpower being hostile to it for decades, had a lengthy war with its neighbour – who at least during that war possessed chemical weapons. It’s other major neighbours include a nuclear power with a not entirely sane leadership, and a failed state that has harbored terrorists, with Russia not too far away as well. Not to mention military bases of said super-power surrounding it’s territory.

Anyone who says that a country in this geo-political situation shouldn’t build nukes is being as ignorant of international relations as somebody arguing demand curves slope like a forward slash would be about economics.

69. flyingrodent

it would begin with the Convention Against Aggression in 1933 and the Nuremberg definitions would form a very small part of the whole,

Hmm. I’m certainly no expert, but I think you might have this wrong here. The Nuremberg tribunal is THE major war crimes trial, taking the conventions and giving them real-world applications – it established precedent and case law on what is and what isn’t aggressive warmaking.

The upshot: It found that aggressive warmaking is the great war crime, since all other war crimes flow from it. It’s certainly an inconvenient fact for fans of aggressive wars, but I can’t see how you can get away from this.

it is probably beside the point because a military strike against Iran under present circumstances would be unlikely to meet any legal definition for war of aggression.

I can’t imagine any argument which could possibly avoid the conclusion that an Israeli strike on Iran would initiate a war of aggression. If Israel attacks Iran, unilaterally or in concert with the US, that’s an act of war upon Iran by every recognised definition I can think of. Iran will certainly respond as if Israel has declared war upon it, and justifiably so.

I mean, perhaps I’ve missed some protocol which states that nations are permitted to commit aggressive and highly destructive attacks on other nations’ territory, provided they can sling together a half-arsed propaganda campaign to provide a thin pretence of self-defence. Like I say, I’m no expert – not even a talented amateur, if truth be told.

FR – you say only pro war types buy into this idea that Iran is apocalyptic/self destructive. But if I thought that people with such views held sway in Iran then I guess I’d support a preemptive strike. Which would make me pro-war. So that seems slightly circular.

@67 The Nuclear button DID get pressed by the soviets during the Cuban Missile crisis, however disaster was averted as a Russian captain refused to fire.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasili_Arkhipov

Oop no, misrembered then read me link properly. Was a damn close call though.

73. flyingrodent

if I thought that people with such views held sway in Iran then I guess I’d support a preemptive strike. Which would make me pro-war. So that seems slightly circular.

Well, yes – this argument has been constructed explicitly to be circular. No matter what objections are raised: That Ahmadinejad doesn’t rule Iran, because he has bosses who overrule him; that no nation in the planet’s history has intentionally sought its own destruction, whether for political or religious reasons; that war itself is a terrible crime that should be harshly punished… The argument always circles back to The Iranians are so crazy that they represent an unprecedented threat! We must have war!

Here’s how this confusion has arisen – both history and basic common sense tell us that nations don’t intentionally seek their own thermonuclear destruction. That presents a significant problem to anyone who is attempting to convince the public that any US/Israeli attack on Iran will be defensive, since no nation would launch a nuclear first strike if it knew the certain result would be total nuclear annihilation.

The solution to this problem? Why, them Iranians are so damn crazy, they want their seventy million citizens to be obliterated by nuclear warheads!

Now, repeat on cable news until you’ve established doubt over what was once an obvious conclusion.

I think you’re giving too much credit to the second-rate professors who are producing this stuff, and to the credulous netizens who scour their favoured news outlets for the most bombastic, apocalyptic material they can find. You’re assuming a level of innocence that doesn’t exist.

Recall: Stateside, at any rate, there’s massive crossover between those who pushed for war with Iraq and those now waving their arms in terror over Iran’s certain suicidal nature. There’s also almost exact correlation between the people who wanted Iran attacked to support the Green protests and those who want it attacked now. Isn’t that a coincidence?

Well, fool me once and all that – I don’t know what the latin term for the fallacy of Believing the statements of proven liars is, but there’s a lot of it going on right now.

74. Torquil Macneil

” The Nuremberg tribunal is THE major war crimes trial, taking the conventions and giving them real-world applications – it established precedent and case law on what is and what isn’t aggressive warmaking.”

International law proceeds by statute and not by precedent and Nuremberg is not relevant to it. As far as I know, no Nazi war criminal would have escaped prosecution if the charge of aggressive law had not been made (can you think of one?) and this leaves aside that you obviously haven’t bothered to find out and clearly don’t understand what ‘aggressive war’ means. Still, Israel, therefore Nuremberg, so Nazi, right?

flyingrodent,

Hmm. I’m certainly no expert, but I think you might have this wrong here. The Nuremberg tribunal is THE major war crimes trial, taking the conventions and giving them real-world applications – it established precedent and case law on what is and what isn’t aggressive warmaking.

Nuremberg had no legal basis other than victors’ rights – so it cannot provide a precedent (especially as not all legal systems in the world accept precedent) and could technically be considered a war crime in its own right…

On the Jew-Nazi thing, much as certain loudmouths clearly believe a comparison of the democratic Israel to the Nazis to be true (which at least allows sane people to conclude their views can be discounted), in the main a link between Jews and Nazis is probably quite explicable by mental word association. Unfortunately, the two groups are very much linked in popular imagination – we shall not forget means we will remember after all.

It is deliberate association of Jews and Nazis that is questionable (and insane), and as Sunny says above (in the reverse context) it is unusual that this is not happening in this thread – has there been a declaration of civility recently or something?

77. flyingrodent

International law proceeds by statute and not by precedent and Nuremberg is not relevant to it.

I’m really more of a civil and criminal law man myself (Scottish dialect) so I’m hardly going to refute you here – you may very well be right. I’m at work and don’t have time to research. I reckon that anyone starting a war of aggression in the modern era would find themselves defending various charges, with Nuremberg cited heavily in support, at the International Criminal Court. Still, I freely admit that this is all based on my vague recollection. I could easily be wrong.

clearly don’t understand what ‘aggressive war’ means.

Well, I was working along the lines of “Intentional attack on the territory or possessions of another nation without any credible justification of retaliation or self-defence, conducted without authorisation from relevant bodies”. I’m unsure whether “Resulting in a full-on hot war between two nations” is an acceptable aggravation, but it certainly should be given the possibility of wider war – unintended consequences of your actions are still consequences, after all.

Still, Israel, therefore Nuremberg, so Nazi, right?

Or, more pertinently, “Unjustified and aggressive act of war, therefore Nuremberg, so Unjustified and aggressive act of war = prison”. Even if I’m wildly wrong on absolutely everything, it’s surely not hard to grasp why I might imagine that these two might go together.

flyingrodent,

I don’t think any international agreement limits the ability of nations to make aggresive war should they feel the need to do so (there is a strong hint that Georgia hasn’t sued Russia for example). It is the conduct of the war that is usually the problem, not the existence of war.

Nuremberg had no legal basis other than victors’ rights – so it cannot provide a precedent (especially as not all legal systems in the world accept precedent) and could technically be considered a war crime in its own right…

Not true; the defendants were accused of not just violating the Nuremberg Principles but customary international law as well.

I don’t think any international agreement limits the ability of nations to make aggresive war should they feel the need to do so (there is a strong hint that Georgia hasn’t sued Russia for example). It is the conduct of the war that is usually the problem, not the existence of war.

Not true – see ‘crime against peace’.

The problem is (a) states agreeing on a definition and (b) holding people / states accountable.

81. Torquil Macneil

“Not true; the defendants were accused of not just violating the Nuremberg Principles but customary international law as well.”

Yes, but this held no water, did it, because, as Goering constantly pointed out to everyone’s embarrassment, the UK was a much bigger transgressor than Germany on that basis.

“Or, more pertinently, “Unjustified and aggressive act of war, therefore Nuremberg”

As has been pointed out, a strike against Iran would not constitute aggressive war in any legal sense and even if it did, that would have nothing to do with the Nazis or Nuremberg. There is not need to conjour the Nazis here and so your insistence on the Nazi analogy begins to come over as decidedly whiffy.

ukliberty,

Useful reference thanks – but it does kind of make my point: there is no binding international law about agression, especially on Israel (it has not ratified the ICC rules, so is not signed up to them)? Just several ‘customary’ requirements.

There certainly does not seem to have ever been a case before the ICC or elsewhere of waging aggresive war, probably because there is no law in place (or at best, was no law in place before the ratification of the 2010 amendment to the ICC). And, for the little it is worth, this rules out precedent of being of any use – customary law being of little value for most legal systems in Europe for example. And to be honest, we cannot build anything on Nuremburg anyway, because it had no firm legal basis, and a judge would have to admit this.

Torquiel,

For God’s sake man, this thread is touching on Nuremburg as it relates to war crimes, not the Jews – ukliberty is definetly not antisemetic.

83. Torquil Macneil

Watchman, I think your complete mental separation of ‘Israel’ from ‘Jews’ is touching but a bit naive, Israel’s enemies are rarely so scrupulous. But I haven’t accused anyone of anti-Semitism. My remarks were addressed to Flying Rodent who seems incapable of discussing Israel without, in some way, comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, that’s all. Whether or not that is an anti-Semitic tic or just one of those things is not for me for say.

Watchman, if a state is signatory to the UN Charter, then aside from anything else this seems to apply:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_aggression#The_United_Nations_Charter

Certainly you can’t prosecute someone for crime of aggression at the ICC, because state parties haven’t agreed on a definition.

ukliberty,

There is no enforcement mechanism for the UN Charter – unless you expect the US would not veto a security council action against Israel? It is therefore not in any practical term, law, being merely aspirational.

That Ahmadinejad doesn’t rule Iran, because he has bosses who overrule him…

Mehdi Hasan likes to use this as a sort of rebuttal to the charge that Iran’s leadership is a bit too unhinged to be trusted with nuclear weapons as well. But Ahmedinajad’s boss is Ayatollah Khamenei isn’t he? And I’m not sure how comforting that is.

Torquil – you imply that FR makes a habit of such things. Now – I agree the Nuremberg reference was suboptimal, but – does FR have any form on this?

89. Robin Levett

@Torquil #83:

My remarks were addressed to Flying Rodent who seems incapable of discussing Israel without, in some way, comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, that’s all.

Are you serious? The pre-eminent prosecution of war leaders for conducting an aggressive war was Nuremberg. How does one discuss prosecutions for agressive war without at least passing reference to Nuremberg? But even then; look at post 23 from flyingrodent, where he first made reference to the Nuremberg trials, and tell me honestly, with a straight face, that he was comparing Israel to Nazi Germany. For reference, his entire reference read as follows:

Yes. [Netanyahu]’d belong in that company [of Karadzic, Mladic, Gaddaffi, Assad etc] too, if he did anything so utterly insane and dangerous.

Recall: Robert Jackson at the Nuremberg trials… To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.

The supreme international crime from which all others flow. That’s about right, I’d say, regardless of the identity of the initiator.

That quote appears in the Wikipedia entry on aggressive war which ukliberty subsequently cites.

If you can make good your [pretty poisonous] claim about FR in other contexts, do so; but that’s not a claim that stands up in this thread.

Has anyone opened a book yet on how many thousands the Israelis will kill if there is a war?

@46 planeshift: The funny think about Nukes is they have a 100% record of ensuring you never get invaded by another state

Not true. Counterexamples include the 1969 border conflict between the USSR and China, the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, the 1982 Falklands war, and the 1999 India-Pakistan war.

If there is a war, will Israel be using cluster bombs again, as in Lebanon, and phosphorus shells, as in Gaza?

93. So Much For Subtlety

74. Torquil Macneil

International law proceeds by statute and not by precedent and Nuremberg is not relevant to it.

Sorry but what? On what basis do you make that claim? Statute usually implies a Parliament. We don’t have one on the international level. International law has to proceed by precedent by definition. All we have are Treaties – but people can and do ignore those Treaties as they wish, or interpret them as they feel like. As long as they win, that becomes the new norm. Britain in WW1 is a good example of this. British signed treaties about blockades. It ignored them. Britain and America screamed about German (and in WW2 Japanese) attacks on shipping by submarines. But as soon as they got involved in the war they began unrestricted submarine attacks themselves. Roosevelt condemned aerial bombing of civilians before 1941 and the war ended with Hiroshima – hard to claim that was not a war crime. But they won and so they got away with it. Conversely they hanged people at Nuremberg making that the new normal. Not because any new laws were passed or treaties signed.

Watchman

Nuremberg had no legal basis other than victors’ rights – so it cannot provide a precedent (especially as not all legal systems in the world accept precedent) and could technically be considered a war crime in its own right…

I agree it had no legal basis except victors’ rights. And that is why it is precedent. What else is precedent but what the powerful did in the past?

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95. flyingrodent

(there is a strong hint that Georgia hasn’t sued Russia for example)

The main reason why Georgia hasn’t sued Russia is that Georgia started it and thus doesn’t have a leg to stand on, even if this were possible.

a strike against Iran would not constitute aggressive war in any legal sense.

I would be amazed if unilateral acts of war of this nature weren’t proscribed by some convention or other. As in, flabbergasted.

96. So Much For Subtlety

95. flyingrodent

The main reason why Georgia hasn’t sued Russia is that Georgia started it and thus doesn’t have a leg to stand on, even if this were possible.

There is an internationally recognised border. The Russians are on the wrong side of it. By what possible piece of logic did the Georgians start it?

I don’t know why we are so worried.
Iran is a very peaceful country: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/iran-wants-peace/

Perhaps an all out nuclear war is inevitable but in the grand scheme of things it probably won’t matter much. The universe will unfold as it should and these narrowminded human squabbles, their causes and effects will be but cinder ashes blowing in a post nuke fall out wind…

FR: “The main reason why Georgia hasn’t sued Russia is that Georgia started it and thus doesn’t have a leg to stand on, even if this were possible.”

Russia grants Russian citizenship to people living in a neighbour state, then encourages separatism. Neighbour country tries to stop first with negotiations and then by force, on its own territory, then Russia attacks “to protect its citizens” and seizes territory.

That Georgia thereby “started” this requires a special kind of logic. The kind of logic where “Georgia is friendly to the US” => “Georgia is bad” => “whatever anybody else does against Georgia is justified”.

Georgia doesn’t have a leg on sueing Russia because there’s no international justice. NO court can do anything about Russia. And Western activists do not like to defend Georgia because it is friendly to the US.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
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    “@sunny_hundal: Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourself: war between Iran and Israel is coming http://t.co/rFuUrBkI” < so angry with them!

  2. SyzygySyzygysue

    “@sunny_hundal: Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourself: war between Iran and Israel is coming http://t.co/rFuUrBkI” < so angry with them!

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    RT @sunny_hundal: Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourself: war between Iran and Israel is coming http://t.co/uOImwIfn <= interesting

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    Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourself: war between Iran and Israel is coming http://t.co/o9eZkTTU

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    The GOP colluding with Netanyahu to bomb Iran in September—however destructive—may be their only hope in the election. http://t.co/BtgULCf1

  7. Brett Blake

    The GOP colluding with Netanyahu to bomb Iran in September—however destructive—may be their only hope in the election. http://t.co/BtgULCf1

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    Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourself: war between Iran and Israel is coming http://t.co/o9eZkTTU

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    Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourself: war between Iran and Israel is coming http://t.co/o9eZkTTU

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    WAR what is it good for – PROFIT. But it also leads to catastrophy on a global scale when the idiots in charge fuck up http://t.co/0VfsJp08

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    WAR what is it good for – PROFIT. But it also leads to catastrophy on a global scale when the idiots in charge fuck up http://t.co/0VfsJp08

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