August 21, 2012
Israel's Nuclear Warning Shot OptionBy James Lewis
When the United States terminated World War II by bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Soviets did two things: they invaded Sakhalin Island to grab the most territory before peace was declared, and they rushed development of their own nukes (based on plans stolen from the Manhattan Project by Klaus Fuchs and other Communist spies). The long stand-off of the Cold War started with a series of warning explosions by Stalin's USSR and American atmospheric explosions. Those warning shots stopped World War III and turned it into the Cold War. They kept the peace -- not a perfect peace, but infinitely better than nuclear war.
When in the early 1970s India and Pakistan were in a secret race for nuclear weapons (the CIA as usual suspecting nothing), they exchanged nuclear warning shots. In India, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi -- irony of ironies -- ordered a nuclear test in 1974. India's secret nuclear program was called Smiling Buddha, which throws a whole new light on Buddhism.
In 1998 India conducted another test, and Pakistan immediately exploded five bombs. Naturally, the BBC was "shocked, shocked," though the West had done nothing effective to stop nuclear proliferation. Pakistan was aided by China and Libya, and probably financed by the Saudis, who like the idea of an off-the-shelf bomb they can import any time to protect against Iranian aggression. In any case, Pakistan and India both have nukes, and they are not at war. Pakistan closes its eyes to cross-border terrorism against India on a regular basis, as Muslim nations generally do. India is heavily involved in Afghanistan, in splitting Bangladesh from current Pakistan, and in various nefarious deeds against Pakistan the Indians keep well-hidden.
This week, four high-tech Indian warships visited the Israeli port city of Haifa. Why? We don't know. But don't doubt that the forthcoming conflict with Iran and possibly Egypt was discussed; possibly technology secrets were exchanged, and cooperative war plans were explored. Of course, you could do that on the internet, so the four Indian warships were also a signal to the world. Just like Vladimir Putin's visit to Israel a few months ago (when Obama has conspicuously avoided a visit) was also meant to be a signal to the world.
What do those signals mean? Obama believes in American decline, and just to make sure, he's making decline happen. The Mediterranean used to be mare nostrum, as the Romans called it -- an American sea, a crucial part of the six decades of Pax Americana that kept Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East at peace and open to world trade. Today the Russians have ten warships in the Eastern Med, and they've built up a port in Syria at Tarsus. With Putin's visit to Israel, the Russians are moving into the power vacuum left by Obama's deliberate neglect.
You see, America did not cause the Cold War, contrary to liberal myth. It kept the peace.
Now that America is withdrawing in Asia, the Med, and maybe more, everybody is scrambling for new alliances. The Iranian nuclear threat is only the most obvious, lethal danger. Egypt will soon have nuclear weapons, financed by Saudi Arabia and imported from Pakistan, China, and/or North Korea. Russia is fishing in troubled waters, trying to construct a new OPEC to include the new shale gas powers, including Israel and Greece (through Cyprus). That way Russian oil and gas can be sold at a monopoly price, and Russia can become the new oil and gas giant, like Saudi Arabia.
When America withdraws its military, peace doesn't break out by some magic. No -- what happens is that all the nations feeling threatened by war start making new alliances. The Middle East is no longer a sphere of American influence, as it has been since the Soviets were beaten back decades ago. It's breaking apart into regional alliances, and nobody knows how the dominos are going to fall. Everybody is scrambling for survival, and for advantages.
Times they are a changin', but not the way Bob Dylan thought. The Beatles were poor prognosticators about the Age of Aquarius. As Pax America has been sabotaged by the left and radical Islam (9/11 being part of all that), all kinds of ambitious nuclear powers are arising.
That Indian naval visit to Haifa signaled a new Cold War (if we're lucky) -- the Cold Jihad War. The conflict between India and Pakistan is part of the Jihad War that started with Mohammed. The conflict between Israel and Iran is a Jihad War. Other jihad wars are bubbling over in southern Russia (Chechnya), in Indonesia and South-East Asia, and in China.
The U.S. and the West are still playing the role of useful idiots, but they know, they know.
It's widely speculated now that Israel will attack Iran with conventional missiles, jet bombers, and electronic weapons very soon.
But there is another option: to explode a nuclear weapon under the Negev Desert, or even, in cooperation with other countries, in India or elsewhere. It's been done before, in cooperation with South Africa.
Pros: Obama's historic appeasement has made a nuclear Iran inevitable. Israel's warning shot would just be recognizing reality.
Pros: A nuclear standoff might preserve a Cold Peace with Iran and Egypt for sixty years, just as it kept the peace for sixty years of the U.S.-USSR Cold War.
Pros: During that time, anti-missile defenses will be perfected. A nuclear warning shot would delay a major war for years, maybe decades.
Cons (being hotly debated in Jerusalem): The BBC and the New York Times would go hysterical.
(Answer: So what else is new?)
Cons: An Israeli nuclear warning shot would justify and maybe accelerate the Iranian and Egyptian (etc., etc.) nuclear efforts.
(Answer: So what else is new?)
Cons: In the worst case, it would revive the European boycott against Israel.
(Answer: Europe is as corrupt as the United Nations. It is a paper tiger, but it's got a big roar. With the crash of the euro, there's no country in Europe that will not trade with Israel. They are in big, big economic trouble.)
On that list of pros and cons, the pros might just have it.
Remember: so far in history, nuclear standoffs have kept the peace for six decades.
Why would the Israelis risk a conventional attack on Iran, with the American cop on the beat playing drunk, if there is a nice, clean, but radical solution?
(See also: "Only the U.S. Can Peacefully End Iranian Nukes")
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