Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Ahmadinejad: a great gift to Israel

What would Israel do without Ahmedinejad? The Holocaust denying, 'wipe Israel off the map' drivelling idiot of the Global Village is precisely the kind of lightning rod the Israeli leadership wants and needs. Bomb or no bomb, Ahmadinejad is doing the Palestinian cause about as much good as bin Laden's pilots of mass destruction did.

Here's a leader of a country hostile to Israel that puts all Palestinian supporters to shame in His Unhingedness (that Mr A isn't quite that unhinged is neither here nor there). And concerns about Iran's almost certainly still non-existent nuclear arsenal, justify in Biberman's mind to put the question of Palestinian statehood on the back burner, while concentrating on the 'Iranian Nuclear Issue'. Although Washington doesn't seem to share this set of priorities with J'sem, the Israelis will do anything to stick to the 'Iran first, Palestine later' ploy.

There is of course a little snake in the grass in the form of the small matter of Iranian presidential elections, coming up as early as next month!

Over at AIPAC they're, shall we say, a little flushed at the prospect that Offhismedsinejad may be replaced with a more dovish character because that might damage Israel's case against Iran's today still largely imaginary nukes.

Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council, at the AIPAC conference said of the Iranian government:
“You have those cross-chains of command, where the Supreme Leader [Ali Khameini] is in charge of all foreign and defense policy in the Islamic republic, and the president is very much on the sideline. There’s been discussion for four or five years now about how powerful or powerless Ahmadinejad is. We know that he’s the gift that keeps on giving. He keeps telling us that he wants to kill us, and therefore, we have to take him seriously. But can he actually do what he says? And the answer is… we don’t know.”

Those annoying cross-chains of command, indeed. If only we could spy Mahmoud with his nimble finger on the button, launch codes at the ready...

Writes Phil Weiss, reporting live from the AIPAC conference:

Later a questioner raised the issue again. What if Ahmadinejad is defeated in June's election and replaced by “someone less inflammatory”-- what would that do to efforts to publicize Iran’s threat?

Ken Pollack of the Saban Center of the Brookings Institution acknowledged the concern. Throughout the panel, Pollack had struck a hawkish stance in line with the AIPAC position of stiff sanctions to hurt the Iranian economy if Iran goes ahead with nukes. He said:
“There is that issue out there, there is definitely that risk. [Someone in the Bush administration, name unintelligible] would say that Ahmadinejad was the best diplomat we had out there. Because every time he opened his mouth, he drove another country into our camp. And if we get somebody who basically is pursuing the exact same policies but doing so in a less inflammatory manner, that may make things even more difficult… to get countries on board with the kind of sanctions and kind of pressure [we need to bring to bear]... Without Ahmadinejad it will be an even more challenging task.”


Meanwhile Israel's own nuclear arsenal (ooops, its 'nuclear ambiguity') is probably on high alert as I'm writing this. From GlobalSecurity.org:
The total Israeli nuclear stockpile consists of several hundred weapons of various types, including boosted fission and enhanced radiation weapons ("neutron bombs"), as well as nuclear artillery shells. Strategically, Israel uses its long-range missiles and nuclear-capable aircraft (and, some say, submarines with nuclear-armed cruise missiles) to deter both conventional and unconventional attacks, or to launch "the Samson Option", an all-out attack against an adversary should defenses fail and population centers be threatened. In addition, despite Israel's insistence that it "will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East," these systems represent an effective preemptive strike force. At the same time, Israel deploys tactical systems designed to rapidly reduce an invading force. Following the 1973 war, Israel fielded at least three batteries of atomic-capable self-propelled 175mm cannons equipped with a total of no less than 108 warheads, and placed atomic land mines in the Golan Heights during the early 1980s.

Nuclear weapons need not be detonated to be used as weapons. Early in the 1973 war, Israel went on a nuclear alert, partly in the knowledge that it would be detected by the United States and the Soviet Union. The Soviets, Israel assumed, would restrain their Arab allies while the Americans would speed up resupply efforts. While the USSR did inform Egypt that Israel had armed three nuclear weapons, the extent to which Israel's nuclear alert affected the timing of Washington's subsequent decision to rearm Israel is not clear.

2 Comments:

At 2:46 PM, Blogger The Sentinel said...

He never actaully said he was going to 'wipe Israel off the map'- that was a media invention.

 
At 3:32 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Sent:

There is controversy about that. It's not that clear cut, IMHO. Many claim he was referring to the 'Zionist regime', not the country.

 

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