The American media's taboo regarding the ineffectiveness of MAD with Iran

According to John Bolton's remark Israel has one day left to destroy the Bushehr's nuclear reactor, else once rods are loaded the whole complex would become too dangerous to destroy later. It also seems that Russia has made an agreement with the US in that Russian would guaranty that the spent fuel would be taken by Russia so that it could not be used by Iran for a plutonium-based nuclear bomb.

But why would Israel destroy the Bushehr nuclear reactor, or for that matter all the other Iranian nuclear sites when everyone assumes that Israel has nuclear weapons? After all, ever since the American containment policy was formulated by George F. Kennan in his Long Telegram in 1946 it remained in effect for forty five years even with the USSR exploding its own atom bomb in 1949. The doctrine of mutual assured destruction (MAD) worked well. Neither the US nor the Soviet Union wished to be annihilated and therefore they reached a stable equilibrium. So Israel could apply the same deterrent with regards to Iran.

But with Iran there is a hitch. And the hitch is that MAD would not work with Iran since the Iranian leadership doesn't seem to care about this life. They value the afterlife more. If you read the New York Times, The Washington Post or watch CNN, NBC, CBS or ABC for that matter all the mainstream media in the US you would not know that there is a problem with MAD and Iran because the main stream media just does not report it. Since it is not in the news, people conclude all is well.

Now this notion that MAD is ineffective when Iran is concerned is not a whim of a particular journalist but the view of a leading Western scholar of Islam Bernard Lewis.

On August 8, 2006 in the article in the WSJ wrote:

"In this context, mutual assured destruction, the deterrent that worked so well during the Cold War, would have no meaning. At the end of time, there will be general destruction anyway. What will matter will be the final destination of the dead-hell for the infidels, and heaven for the believers. For people with this mindset, MAD [mutual assured destruction] is not a constraint; it is an inducement."

Bernard Lewis has been a scholar of Islam for more than 60 years and has written over 30 books, so someone with such a background would hardly risk his reputation with sensational declarations. He genuinely believes what he wrote.

Another source whose words carry weight and whose view on the Iranian leadership coincides with that of Bernard Lewis is Reza Kahlili who was an American CIA agent working undercover among Iranian Revolutionary Guards for ten years. In his presentation at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy on July 9, 2010 he said:

..this is a messianic regime, there should be no doubts, they will commit the most horrendous suicide bombing in human history. They will attack Israel, European capitals and Persian Gulf region at the same time, then they will hide in a bunker waiting for Mahdi to get out of that well, ride the white horse, draw that sword and kill the rest of the nonbelievers.

Should we not take seriously someone who risked his life for the US and slept in the same bunkers as the Revolutionary Guards?

Why aren't Bernard Lewis's and Reza Kahlili's quotes making headline news in American papers? I have not read the Bernard Lewis quote regarding Iran and MAD in any mainstream paper recently. Why isn't it there? Reza Kahlili's presentation has gone underreported.

The notion that Iran cannot be deterred is of fundamental significance towards understanding the prospects of a nuclear war in the Middle East. It explains why Israel would not have a choice but to destroy the Iranian nuclear sites.

The lives of millions of Israelis and Iranians are at stake. The American media is silent. It seems incapable to write about the most pressing issues of the day. It has completely abandoned its role, yet no one seems to notice or care.

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