Friday, August 10, 2012

Telling the truth about the Iranian threat, drop by drop

Ari Shavit continues with his series on the Iranian threat. Today he interviews the "decision maker".
The decision maker  is a controversial person. There was a time when he was regarded as a savior, but right after he was seen as a pariah. But even those who loath the decision maker admit that he is exceptionally intelligent . Even his detractors are aware that he possesses unique strategic experience.
But you haven't answered my main question . Even you admit that Iranian nuclearization is inevitable, the counter argument is that Iran's nuclearization will be much more dangerous to Israel if we bomb Iran than if we don't . Even Yehezkel  Dror  warned about a vengeful nuclear Iran. Better an Iranian nuclear bomb with no Israeli bombing in 2015 than an Iranian nuclear bomb in 2020 after an Israeli bombing . 

The decision maker does not like the question. He grows impatient: " There is a logical fallacy here. People presume that if we do not act, Iran will not go nuclear. But that is not the situation. If we do not act it's almost certain that Iran will go nuclear. If we do act , there is a good chance that Iran will not go nuclear for a long while.
A country does not go to war in hope or expectation that another country will join it. Such an act is an irresponsible gamble. But the question is how do you define backing. Was there backing in the Six-Day War? Do you think that in 1967 the Americans told Foreign Minister  Abba Eban and Mossad chief Meir Amit anything different than what they are telling us now?  But then Ebban saw difficulty in the opportunity and Amit saw an opportunity in the  difficulty, and the Eshkol government made a decision. And what was that all about? About the closure of the Strait of Tiran? The sword hanging over our neck today  is a lot sharper than the sword that hung over before the Six-Day War.
If Israel forgoes the chance to act and it becomes clear that it no longer has the power to act, the likelihood of an American action will decrease. So we cannot wait a year to find out who was right: the one who said that the likelihood of an American action is high or the one who said that the likelihood  of an American action is low. We can't wait to find out one morning that we relied on the Americans but were fooled because the Americans didn't act in the end. We need to look at the reality right now with total clarity . Even a cruel reality must be looked at with total  clarity. Even a cruel reality must be looked at with total clarity. Israel is strong and Israel is responsible, and Israel will do what it has to do."

Total clarity? Historians of the future will be puzzled by the fact that Israel even while  facing an existential threat, greater than the one on the eve of the Six-Day War in 1967,  was still reluctant to discuss the true nature of the Iranian threat.  The crucial religious/ideological angle which would  give clarity to the Iranian motives is being deliberately avoided. Why?