Iran Can Only Be Stopped in Iran

May 28, 2008 Published under Europe, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Palestine, United States

With regards to the Hezbollah-Lebanon-Doha debacle, and the article by Barry Rubin that I blogged about here, I received some interesting comments from Ami Isseroff, who runs MideastWeb and who I consider one of the most thoughtful and thought-provoking analysts on the Middle East:

There is no use comparing everything bad that happens to Munich. This was more like Abbyssinia – including the toothless sanctions. Iran can only be stopped in Iran. Nothing could be done in Lebanon. As for us [in Israel], we have Iran in the north and Iran in the south. There cannot be peace as long as Hamas exists. Your Gaza correspondents are right, and the Palestinian public opinion surveys confirm that Hamas have little support. But in elections, it doesn’t matter what people think. It matters who has the most guns and counts the votes. Read the book Point of No Return about Iran/Hezbollah by Ronen Bergman . …Iran cannot be negotiated with. They will not give up until they are confronted with overwhelming and decisive force. A blockade by sea and air at least,

and perhaps interdicting land frontiers (do we dare?) The will to do that is lacking, and neither Israel nor the US have been successful in explaining to the world just what Iran is doing in Lebanon and elsewhere. An Osiraq style raid will probably be a fiasco for many reasons, but the main point is that they are much better organized than Saddam Hussein was, and much more determined. For them, being a power and destroying Israel is not just propaganda to keep their regime in power – it is both an article of religious faith and the cornerstone of their ideology. The nuclear issue is possibly an over-obsession of the Israelis. It is just a means to an end after all. They want to dominate the Middle East, and if they are blocked one way they will get there another way. They always have used negotiations for their benefit and never gave a millimeter.

Israel doesn’t wipe Hamas out because of "lack of an exit plan" supposedly. Perhaps this is a euphemism for saying that if we wipe out Hamas, then we have to conclude a deal with the Palestinians  to justify it and to get us out of Gaza again and hopefully have peace. As desirable as it may seem, that may be hazardous at this juncture. Suppose we wipe out Hamas and leave Iran and allow the Palestinians a state in Gaza and the West Bank.   In two years, they may well have their own Hezbollah or Hamas II and in 5 years they will be like Lebanon.  A deal with Syria is a potential way out. They get to keep Lebanon and the Golan, and they pacify Iraq and help contain Iran. Israel-Syria talks made in USA.  

Rubin uses the Churchill example. Indeed no Churchills are in sight. McCain is not Churchill (is that what Barry Rubin was hinting?)  Even Churchill was not Churchill until historians made him into Churchill. :-) If there had not been Pearl Harbor, the war would look different and Churchill would not look so good. British guaranteed Poland but they had no way of helping them whatever – same for Czechoslovakia. Only France could have done anything. So Churchill was brave with French troops, but the French were the French as usual, and could not be expected to do anything other than what they did (nothing) until it was too late, And they did the same in Lebanon – "Consultations" and planning the retreat. But what COULD anyone realistically do for Lebanon or about Iran? It is worse than trying to save Poland in some ways, though USA has more resources than Brits did in 1938.

I did not understand the point of Barry Rubin’s remarks about Barack Obama. Whatever his merits or deficiencies, Obama is not in power at present and in no way imaginable could he be thought to be responsible for the present problems with Lebanon and Iran, though some of his advisers are directly responsible for creating them. No administration that is elected will deal more aggressively with Iran than the current one, and yet the current administration evidently has no solution.

In the US election campaign, nobody is discussing most of the real issues other than Iran – and then only in childish terms – the US economy is in deep trouble, and Iraq war is a mess – nobody has solutions for those or for Hamas and the stalled peace process. Just bumf written by PR people. But that fault is not confined to Barack Obama’s campaign.

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  1. Mayur said:

    I feel it is it a wise move for Israel to test the nuclear bombs -or even other arms it has to bring Iran to it’s knees, since they say they don’t have the bombs yet -nor are they wnrkiog toward them. Who believes them in any circumstance anyhow?If Iran , or any other nation, attacks Israel, everyone now knows what Israel has and they’re not bluffing. We must keep them and the whole world in our prayers!PLEASE GOD HELP US!!!!!

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