Will Israel attack Iran? /2
Recently, I wrote a post about a Nahum Barnea story which described a war game scenario produced by Begin-Sadat Center researcher, Moshe Vered. It described an Israeli attack on Iran and the consequences for both nations, the region and the world. The results were ugly. A protracted war in which Iran was prepared to sacrifice tens of thousands to avenge Israeli aggression. Multiple rocket attacks all over Israel turning the country into a virtual national shelter and ghost town. A united front by Hezbollah, Syria, Iran and Hamas against Israel and aimed at redeeming its pound of flesh.
Vered also suggested that Iran would apply diplomatic pressure on Israel on the international front and demand that the U.S. sanction Israel for its attack. Israel would face potential isolation, even greater than it already experiences, for its role.
Moral Politics program host Bill Alford asked me to do another show about the war game and U.S. relations with both Iran and Israel. The result is this video which ranges far afield and discusses the power of the Israel lobby, the lessening deterrent that is the IDF in the face of a determined Arab enemy.
I should also note that Kenneth Pollack of the Saban Center (Haim Saban is one of Aipac’s most powerful donors) also hosted a war game which was described by David Sanger in the N.Y. Times. I was tempted to write a post about the project and its suspect assumptions, but thought better of it. This passage toward the end of the article should tell you everything you need to know about how pat the enterprise was and how divorced from actual reality it would be:
The game ends eight days after the initial Israeli strike. But it is clear the United States was leaning toward destroying all Iranian air, ground and sea targets in and around the Strait of Hormuz, and that Iran’s forces were about to suffer a significant defeat.
Imagine that an Aipac-friendly think tank comes up with a script in which the U.S. destroys anything of value to the Iranian military and the latter “suffers a significant defeat” as if wishing made it so. You hear almost nothing of the price Israel will pay in such an eventuality. There is no contemplation whatsoever of the terrible cost the U.S. would pay both in lives and international credibility if it joined in an Israeli assault on Iran. No mention at all of the destruction of any–or what little–trust the U.S. might have earned in the Arab world.
I will say though that even if an actual Israel-Iran war is half as bad as Vered portrays or twice as bad as Pollak portrays, Israel is in for some very rough and unanticipated sledding.