Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, has said clearly and repeatedly that his mission in life is to complete Adolph Hitler’s mission of killing all Jews plus he wants to wipe the state of Israel from the face of the earth. To accomplish that end, he intends to use the nuclear weapons that he is developing over the tepid objections of the United Nations.
He recognizes that Israel already has nuclear weapons and that in a nuclear exchange with Israel, the entire nation of Iran may be destroyed. He welcomes such destruction and says that he and Allah are willing to martyr the Iranian nation if in the process all the Jews are killed and Israel the nation is destroyed.
If there is a nuclear exchange between Israel and Iran, the result will not be clean, surgical strikes with pinpointed damage and destruction. It is easier and cheaper to make, deliver and detonate dirty nuclear weapons than it is clean weapons, the former being the kind of weapons Iran will likely make.
What about contamination? Israel is such a small country that any nuclear device detonated there will have a spillover effect, which can be compounded by wind conditions, partially contaminating countries such as Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Are these countries willing to join Iran in its martyrdom?
Even a small nuclear war could cause large parts of the Middle East, including all of Israel, to be rendered contaminated and uninhabitable for the rest of the century. So all of Israel’s choices are no-win. First, Israel could do nothing and rely on the United Nations and the world community to protect it. Based on the U.N.’s past performance this scenario leads to nuclear death and destruction for Israel.
Or Israel could rely on assurances from President Bush that he will prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. But this would depend on events largely out of Israel’s control. President Bush has been a solid seven-year supporter of Israel, one whom Israelis can rely upon to protect them through January, 2009.
If Senator McCain is elected President, U.S. Middle East policy will essentially continue as is for the next four years. If Senator Obama is elected, Israel may not continue to have a strong ally in the U.S. Worse, some are convinced that Obama has a soft spot in his heart for Muslim countries.
Right now it appears to many that Barack Obama will become the next President of the U.S. So if Israel is going to “de-nuc” Iran, it may need to do it while President Bush is still in office.
Israel’s next best case scenario would be for Senators Obama and McCain to give their private assurances that once in office they would support Israel should Israel become convinced that it must attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. This should be OK for Senator McCain. But if Senator Obama balks, Israel will probably attack Iran within the next seven months.
For Israel, there are no good choices. No matter what decision Israel makes and no matter what happens there will be significant fall out. Nuclear fallout from a war may contaminate much of the Middle East for a hundred years. Political fallout could permanently change the balance of power in the Middle East, scramble the power brokers at the U.N., and change U.S. politics for years to come. – Major General Jerry Curry (US Army Ret.)
General Curry is the author of From Private to General – An African American Soldier Rises Through the Ranks. He served in the US Army for 34 years and in the administrations of three presidents and is a frequent media commentator.