Bibi Ahab (Obama Starbuck?)

on 8 Comments

Didi Remez has translated a piece by Nahum Barnea sketching out the nightmare that would befall the Middle East, and Israeli security, if Israel strikes Iran. Here is Remez’s shrewd takeaway:

Note that although Barnea’s primary assertion is that the apocalyptic implications of an Israeli strike would deter a rational Israeli government, he is concerned that Netnayahu may have rhetorically painted himself into a corner:

"Netanyahu has upgraded Ahmadinejad to the dimensions of a Hitler.  Against Hitler, one fights to the last bunker.  This is what Churchill did, and Netanyahu wants so badly to be like Churchill.  His credibility—a sensitive issue—is on the table.  If he retreats, the voters will turn their back on him.  Where will he go?  In his distress, he may run forward."

Note that the Washington Post and the New York Times are helping to paint Netanyahu into this apocalyptic corner.

8 Responses

  1. potsherd
    March 8, 2010, 11:47 am

    Barack claims that Iran is not an existential threat now, but it might become one.

    If we extend the principle that any potential threat may be destroyed before the threat is actualized, we will have a scorched Earth surrounding a tiny island of corpses that choked to death on the smoke.

    • Chaos4700
      March 8, 2010, 11:57 am

      Are you refering to Ehud Barack, or Barack Obama?

      Presuming you mean the latter, the current President taking up the banner of the Bush Doctrine would be yet another example of change we couldn’t believe in.

      • potsherd
        March 8, 2010, 5:16 pm

        To Ehud, misspelled. Sorry.

      • Chaos4700
        March 8, 2010, 5:27 pm

        Cool. Actually, I figured it out a bit afterward with Witty butchered the quote and cherry picked the one fragment he could scavenge, but thanks for the follow up :)

  2. Citizen
    March 8, 2010, 4:51 pm

    Preemption is a double edged sword. Yes, nowadays you can’t wait for the troops sent against you to appear physically on the distant horizon like a slow moving herd of buffalo
    seen faraway by the naked eyeballs of a hunter on the old USA western plains, OTH preventative or preemptive war can be justified by the slightest pretext, including false flag operations as obvious in retrospect as Hitler’s planned and totally fraudulent justification for invading Poland in 1939. (Or LBJ’s, or Shrub’s fake justifications for
    respectively greatly escalating the Vietnam War and invading Iraq for the second time).
    Can’t you just imagine Goering and Goebbels laughing? Hasn’t any political leader
    learned anything more than not to be as rhetorically and actively direct as the Third Reich leaders? If it’s possible, it seems Israel has learned even less in this respect than the USA. If I were nationalistic Chinese, I’d be amused.

  3. pabelmont
    March 8, 2010, 8:59 pm

    You may deter a rational person (or government) with rational argument from accept facts (or reasonable possibilities), but WHY ASSUME that Bibi is rational? And politicians have very short-term achievement-deadlines — never mind the end of life on earth or various serious approximations thereto (nuclear war, global warming, widespread starvation or lack fo fresh water, etc.) while I worry about the next election.

    And don’t forget the “the boss went crazy” technique that appeared to work so well in Israel’s relations with the Palestinians and Lebanese.

    Israel’s “shtick” is Going Too Far (to see if anyone slaps them down, because it’s fun, because they have a serious “I am God” (or “We are the chosen People”) complex — maybe for all thee reasons. If the nuclear fallout or dirty-bomb-like aspect of a hit on Iran will not reach Israel’s borders, Bibi may be thinking “What, Me worry?”. for guys like Bibi, that is “rational”.

  4. Avi
    March 8, 2010, 9:25 pm

    Diplomacy that escalates immediately to sanctions and use of force (war) is bound to fail.

    Political Science 101:

    First: You talk and try to reach a resolution.
    Second: Should discussions fail, you escalate to economic sanctions.
    Third: As a last resort, should the first and second fail, you launch war.

    Israel, through the US started with step #2. Even when the US attempted in a half-hearted, deceptive and manipulative way to engage in talks, the Israel lobby pressured the US which in turn declared that, “We do no negotiate with terrorists (or Iran)”.

    What we have here, are failed leaders, a lobby that understand force and force only, and a dumbed-down constituency (and troops) that is willing to jump off a cliff having been told that civilization, as we know it, is at risk.

    The problem is NOT Iran’s nuclear program, especially given the fact that the program is for power generation purposes,even the IAEA said so. No, the issue here is Iran’s growing economic and political influence in the region, an influence that threatens Israel’s dominance of the region. Iran’s growing influence is a threat to Israel in the sense that Israel will have to –finally — abide by international law and behave as an equal member of the world community, not one that is above the law.
    THAT is the so-called threat.

  5. Melville on Obama? linked to this.

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