A predominantly one-topic blog: how is it that the most imminent and lethal implication for humankind - the fact that the doctrine of "Mutually Assured Destruction" will not work with Iran - is not being discussed in our media? Until it is recognized that MAD is dead, the Iranian threat will be treated as a threat only to Israel and not as the global threat which it in fact is.
A blog by Mladen Andrijasevic
Thursday, September 27, 2012
At the UN General Assembly Netanyahu quotes Bernard Lewis on MAD
It’s a pleasure to see the General Assembly presided by the
Ambassador from Israel,
and it’s good to see all of you, distinguished delegates.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Three thousand years ago, King David reigned
over the Jewish state in our eternal capital, Jerusalem. I say that to all those who
proclaim that the Jewish state has no roots in our region and that it will soon
our history, the Jewish people have overcome all the tyrants who have sought
our destruction.It’s theirideologies that have been discarded by
people of Israel
live on. We say in HebrewAm Yisrael Chai, and the Jewish state
will live forever.
The Jewish people have lived in the land of Israel for thousands of years. Even
after most of our people were exiled from it, Jews continued to live in the land of Israel throughout the ages. The masses
of our people never gave up the dreamed of returning to our ancient homeland.
Defying the laws of history, we did just
that. We ingathered the exiles, restored our independence and rebuilt our
national life. The Jewish people have come home.
We will never be uprooted again.
Yesterday was Yom Kippur, the holiest day of
the Jewish year.
Every year, for over three millennia, we
have come together on this day of reflection and atonement. We take stock of
our past. We pray for our future. We remember the sorrows of our persecution;
we remember the great travails of our dispersion; we mourn the extermination of
a third of our people, six million, in the Holocaust.
But at the end of Yom Kippur, we celebrate.
We celebrate the rebirth of Israel. We
celebrate the heroism of our young men and women who have defended our people
with the indomitable courage of Joshua, David, and the Maccabees of old. We
celebrate the marvel of the flourishing modern Jewish state.
In Israel, we walk the same paths
tread by our patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But we blaze new trails in science,
technology, medicine, agriculture.
In Israel, the past and the future
find common ground.
Unfortunately, that is not the case in many
other countries. For today, a great battle is being waged between the modern
and the medieval.
The forces of modernity seek a bright future
in which the rights of all are protected, in which an ever-expanding digital
library is available in the palm of every child, in which every life is sacred.
The forces of medievalism seek a world in
which women and minorities are subjugated, in which knowledge is suppressed, in
which not life but death is glorified.
These forces clash around the globe, but
nowhere more starkly than in the Middle East.
Israel stands proudly with
the forces of modernity. We protect the rights of all our citizens: men
and women, Jews and Arabs, Muslims and Christians – all are equal before the
Israel is also making the
world a better place: our scientists win Nobel Prizes. Our know-how is in every
cell-phone and computer that you’re using. We prevent hunger by irrigating arid
lands in Africa and Asia.
Recently, I was deeply moved when I visited
Technion, one of our technological institutes in Haifa, and I saw a man paralyzed from the
waist down climb up a flight of stairs, quite easily, with the aid of an
And Israel’s exceptional creativity is
matched by our people’s remarkable compassion. When disaster strikes anywhere
in the world – in Haiti, Japan, India, Turkey Indonesia and
elsewhere – Israeli doctors are among the first on the scene, performing
In the past year, I lost both my father and
my father-in-law. In the same hospital wards where they were treated, Israeli
doctors were treating Palestinian Arabs. In fact, every year, thousands of
Arabs from the Palestinian territories and Arabs from throughout the Middle
East come to Israel
to be treated in Israeli hospitals by Israeli doctors.
I know you’re not going to hear that from
speakers around this podium, but that’s the truth. It’s important that you are
aware of this truth.
It’s because Israel
cherishes life, that Israel
cherishes peace and seeks peace.
We seek to preserve our historic ties and
our historic peace treaties with Egypt
We seek to forge a durable peace with the Palestinians.
President Abbas just spoke here.
I say to him and I say to you:
We won’t solve our conflict with libelous
speeches at the UN. That’s not the way to solve it. We won’t solve our conflict
with unilateral declarations of statehood.
We have to sit together, negotiate together,
and reach a mutual compromise, in which a demilitarized Palestinian state
recognizes the one and only Jewish State.
Israel wants to see a Middle East of progress and peace. We want to see the
three great religions that sprang forth from our region – Judaism, Christianity
and Islam – coexist in peace and in mutual respect.
Yet the medieval forces of radical Islam,
whom you just saw storming the American embassies throughout the Middle East, they oppose this.
They seek supremacy over all Muslims. They
are bent on world conquest. They want to destroy Israel,
They want to extinguish freedom. They want to end the modern world.
Militant Islam has many branches – from the
rulers of Iran
with their Revolutionary Guards to Al Qaeda terrorists to the radical cells
lurking in every part of the globe.
But despite their differences, they are all
rooted in the same bitter soil of intolerance. That intolerance is directed
first at their fellow Muslims, and then to Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus,
secular people, anyone who doesn’t submit to their unforgiving creed.
They want to drag humanity back to an age of
unquestioning dogma and unrelenting conflict.
I am sure of one thing. Ultimately they will
fail. Ultimately, light will penetrate the darkness.
We’ve seen that happen before.
Some five hundred years ago, the printing
press helped pry a cloistered Europe out of a
dark age. Eventually, ignorance gave way to enlightenment.
So too, a cloistered Middle
East will eventually yield to the irresistible power of freedom
and technology. When this happens, our region will be guided not by fanaticism
and conspiracy, but by reason and curiosity.
think the relevant question is this: it’s not whetherthis fanaticism will be
defeated. It’s how many lives will be lost before it’s defeated.
We’ve seen that happen before too.
Some 70 years ago, the world saw another
fanatic ideology bent on world conquest. It went down in flames. But not before
it took millions of people with it. Those who opposed that fanaticism waited
too long to act. In the end they triumphed, but at an horrific cost.
My friends, we cannot let that happen again.
At stake is not merely the future of my own
country. At stake is the future of the world. Nothing could imperil our common
future more than the arming of Iran
with nuclear weapons.
To understand what the world would be like
with a nuclear-armed Iran,
just imagine the world with a nuclear-armed Al-Qaeda.
It makes no difference whether these lethal
weapons are in the hands of the world’s most dangerous terrorist regime or the
world’s most dangerous terrorist organization. They’re both fired by the same
hatred; they’re both driven by the same lust for violence.
Just look at what the Iranian regime has done
up till now, without nuclear weapons.
In 2009, they brutally put down mass
protests for democracy in their own country. Today, their henchmen are
participating in the slaughter of tens of thousands of Syrian civilians,
including thousands of children, directly participating in this murder.
They abetted the killing of American
soldiers in Iraq and
continue to do so in Afghanistan.
Before that, Iranian proxies killed hundreds of American troops in Beirut and in Saudi Arabia. They’ve turned Lebanon and Gaza into terror strongholds, embedding
nearly 100,000 missiles and rockets in civilian areas. Thousands of these
rockets and missiles have already been fired at Israeli communities by their
In the last year, they’ve spread their
international terror networks to two dozen countries across five continents –
from India and Thailand to Kenya
They’ve even plotted to blow up a restaurant a few blocks from the White House
in order to kill a diplomat.
And of course, Iran’s
rulers repeatedly deny the Holocaust and call for Israel’s destruction almost on a
daily basis, as they did again this week from the United Nations.
So I ask you, given this record of Iranian
aggression without nuclear weapons, just imagine Iranian aggression with nuclear
weapons. Imagine their long range missiles tipped with nuclear warheads, their
terror networks armed with atomic bombs.
Who among you would feel safe in the Middle East? Who would be safe in Europe?
Who would be safe in America?
Who would be safe anywhere?
There are those who believe that a
nuclear-armed Iran can be
deterred like the Soviet Union.
That’s a very dangerous assumption.
Militant Jihadists behave very differently
from secular Marxists. There were no Soviet suicide bombers. Yet Iran produces
hordes of them.
Deterrence worked with the Soviets, because
every time the Soviets faced a choice between their ideology and their survival,
they chose their survival.
But deterrence may not work with the
Iranians once they get nuclear weapons.
leaders believe that a medieval holy man will reappear in the wake of a
devastating Holy War, thereby ensuring that their brand of radical Islam will
rule the earth.
That’s not just what they believe. That’s
what is actually guiding their policies and their actions.
Just listen to Ayatollah Rafsanjani who
said, I quote: ”The use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will
destroy everything, however it would only harm the Islamic world.”
Rafsanjani said: “It is not irrational to
contemplate such an eventuality.”
that’s coming from one of the so-called moderates of Iran.
Shockingly, some people have begun to peddle the absurd notion that a
nuclear-armed Iran would
actually stabilize the Middle East.
That’s like saying a nuclear-armed Al-Qaeda
would usher in an era of universal peace.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I’ve been speaking about the need to prevent
from developing nuclear weapons for over 15 years.
I spoke about it in my first term in office
as Prime Minister, and then I spoke about it when I left office. I spoke about
it when it was fashionable, and I spoke about it when it wasn’t fashionable.
I speak about it now because the hour is
getting late, very late. I speak about it now because the Iranian nuclear
calendar doesn’t take time out for anyone or for anything. I speak about it now
because when it comes to the survival of my country, it’s not only my right to
speak; it’s my duty to speak. And I believe that this is the duty of every
responsible leader who wants to preserve world peace.
For nearly a decade, the international
community has tried to stop the Iranian nuclear program with diplomacy.
That hasn’t worked.
Iran uses diplomatic
negotiations as a means to buy time to advance its nuclear program.
For over seven years, the international
community has tried sanctions with Iran. Under the leadership of
President Obama, the international community has passed some of the strongest
sanctions to date.
want to thank the governments represented here that have joined in this effort.
It’s had an effect. Oil exports have been curbed and the Iranian economy has
been hit hard.
It’s had an effect on the economy, but we must face the truth. Sanctions have
not stopped Iran’s
nuclear program either.
According to the International Atomic Energy
Agency, during the last year alone, Iran
has doubled the number of centrifuges in its underground nuclear facility in Qom.
At this late hour, there is only one way to
peacefully prevent Iran
from getting atomic bombs. That’s by placing a clear red line on Iran’s nuclear
Red lines don’t lead to war; red lines
Look at NATO’s charter: it made clear that
an attack on one member country would be considered an attack on all.
NATO’s red line helped keep the peace in Europe
for nearly half a century.
President Kennedy set a red line during the
Cuban Missile Crisis. That red line also prevented war and helped preserve the
peace for decades.
In fact, it’s the failure to place red lines
that has often invited aggression.
If the Western powers had drawn clear red
lines during the 1930s, I believe they would have stopped Nazi aggression and
World War II might have been avoided.
In 1990, if Saddam Hussein had been clearly
told that his conquest of Kuwait
would cross a red line, the first Gulf War might have been avoided.
Clear red lines have also worked with Iran.
Earlier this year, Iran threatened
to close the Straits of Hormouz. The United
States drew a clear red line and Iran backed
Red lines could be drawn in different parts
nuclear weapons program. But to be credible, a red line must be drawn first and
foremost in one vital part of their program: on Iran’s efforts to enrich uranium.
Now let me explain why:
Basically, any bomb consists of explosive
material and a mechanism to ignite it.
The simplest example is gunpowder and a
fuse. That is, you light the fuse and set off the gunpowder.
In the case of Iran’s plans to build a nuclear
weapon, the gunpowder is enriched uranium. The fuse is a nuclear detonator.
For Iran, amassing enough enriched
uranium is far more difficult than producing the nuclear fuse.
For a country like Iran, it takes
many, many years to enrich uranium for a bomb. That requires thousands of
centrifuges spinning in tandem in very big industrial plants. Those Iranian
plants are visible and they’re still vulnerable.
In contrast, Iran could produce the nuclear
detonator – the fuse – in a lot less time, maybe under a year, maybe only a few
The detonator can be made in a small
workshop the size of a classroom. It may be very difficult to find and target
that workshop, especially in Iran.
That’s a country that’s bigger than France,
Germany, Italy and Britain combined.
The same is true for the small facility in
which they could assemble a warhead or a nuclear device that could be placed in
a container ship. Chances are you won’t find that facility either.
So in fact the only way that you can
credibly prevent Iran from
developing a nuclear weapon, is to prevent Iran from amassing enough enriched
uranium for a bomb.
So, how much enriched uranium do you need
for a bomb? And how close is Iran
to getting it?
Let me show you. I brought a diagram for
you. Here’s the diagram.
This is a bomb; this is a fuse.
In the case of Iran’s nuclear plans to build a
bomb, this bomb has to be filled with enough enriched uranium. And Iran has to go
through three stages.
The first stage: they have to enrich enough
of low enriched uranium.
The second stage: they have to enrich enough
medium enriched uranium.
And the third stage and final stage: they
have to enrich enough high enriched uranium for the first bomb.
Where’s Iran? Iran’s completed the first stage.
It took them many years, but they completed it and they’re 70% of the way
Now they are well into the second stage. By
next spring, at most by next summer at current enrichment rates, they will have
finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage.
From there, it’s only a few months, possibly
a few weeks before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
What I told you now is not based on secret
information. It’s not based on military intelligence. It’s based on public
reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Anybody can read them.
So if these are the facts, and they are,
where should the red line be drawn?
The red line should be drawn right
Before Iran completes the second stage of
nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb.
Before Iran gets to a point where it’s a
few months away or a few weeks away from amassing enough enriched uranium to
make a nuclear weapon.
Each day, that point is getting closer.
That’s why I speak today with such a sense of urgency. And that’s why everyone
should have a sense of urgency.
Some who claim that even if Iran completes
the enrichment process, even if it crosses that red line that I just drew, our
intelligence agencies will know when and where Iran will make the fuse,
assemble the bomb, and prepare the warhead.
Look, no one appreciats our intelligence
agencies more than the Prime Minister of Israel. All these leading
intelligence agencies are superb, including ours. They’ve foiled many attacks.
They’ve saved many lives.
But they are not foolproof.
For over two years, our intelligence
agencies didn’t know that Iran
was building a huge nuclear enrichment plant under a mountain.
Do we want to risk the security of the world
on the assumption that we would find in time a small workshop in a country half
the size of Europe?
Ladies and Gentlemen,
relevant question is not when Iran
willgetthe bomb. The relevant question is at
what stage can we no longerstopIran from getting the bomb.
The red line must be drawn on Iran’s nuclear
enrichment program because these enrichment facilities are the only nuclear
installations that we can definitely see and credibly target.
believe that faced with a clear red line, Iranwillbackdown.
This will give more time for sanctions and
diplomacy to convince Iran
to dismantle its nuclear weapons program altogether.
Two days ago, from this podium, President
Obama reiterated that the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran cannot be contained.
I very much appreciate the President’s
position as does everyone in my country. We share the goal of stopping Iran’s nuclear
weapons program. This goal unites the people of Israel. It unites Americans,
Democrats and Republicans alike and it is shared by important leaders
throughout the world.
What I have said today will help ensure that
this common goal is achieved.
Israel is in discussions
with the United States
over this issue, and I am confident that we can chart a path forward together.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The clash between modernity and medievalism
need not be a clash between progress and tradition.
The traditions of the Jewish people go back
thousands of years. They are the source of our collective values and the
foundation of our national strength.
At the same time, the Jewish people have
always looked towards the future. Throughout history, we have been at the
forefront of efforts to expand liberty, promote equality, and advance human
champion these principles notdespiteof our traditions butbecauseof them.
We heed the words of the Jewish prophets
Isaiah, Amos, and Jeremiah to treat all with dignity and compassion, to pursue
justice and cherish life and to pray and strive for peace.
These are the timeless values of my people
and these are the Jewish people’s greatest gift to mankind.
Let us commit ourselves today to defend
these values so that we can defend our freedom and protect our common