Writing as Spengler in the Asia Times, David P. Goldman challenges the conventional wisdom, asserting that an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities could lead to positive outcomes for the United States in Middle East. After establishing that current trends are highly unfavorable not just to Israel (which faces nuclear annihilation) but to America, which is already seeing its power and influence in the region decline, he makes the case that Israel could severely damage the nuclear facilities, setting the program back years. But the most fascinating aspect of his conjecture is the ripple effects he foresees. Unlike nearly everyone else, Goldman posits that these could be positive:
What ripples would ensue from a successful Israeli strike on Iran?
Iran probably would attempt to block the Straits of Hormuz, the gateway for a fifth of the world's oil supply, and America would respond by destroying Iranian conventional military capabilities and infrastructure from the air. This would add to Tehran's humiliation, and strengthen the domestic opposition.
Iran's influence in Iraq and Syria would diminish, although Iran's supporters in both countries probably would spill a great deal of blood in the short run.
Hizbollah almost certainly would unleash its missile arsenal at Israel, inflicting a few hundred casualties by Israeli estimates. Israel would invade southern Lebanon and - unlike the 2006 war - fight without fear of Syrian intervention. In 2006, the Olmert government restricted the movements of the IDF out of fear that the Syrian Army would intervene. Syria's army is in no position to intervene today. (snip)
Egypt would be cut off from financial support from the Gulf States as punishment for its opening to Iran. The domestic consequences for Egypt would be ugly. The country is almost out of money; some of its oil suppliers stopped deliveries last August, and Egypt's refineries lack funds to buy oil from the government.
This is a provocative piece, thinking the unthinkable. It is well worth consideration.