HMMMMM…

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012 | Uncategorized

Lately, there’s been a good deal of talk about whether or not Israel will militarily attack Iran in order to prevent the Persians from building a nuclear bomb.  The Obama Administration desperately wants Israel to hold off and give diplomacy and/or sanctions time to work.  But if such an attack does take place, at least one Muslim government has publicly declared that it will not get involved:

Hamas will not do Iran’s bidding in any war with Israel, according to senior figures within the militant Islamic group.

“If there is a war between two powers, Hamas will not be part of such a war,” Salah Bardawil, a member of the organisation’s political bureau in Gaza City, told the Guardian.

He denied the group would launch rockets into Israel at Tehran’s request in response to a strike on its nuclear sites. “Hamas is not part of military alliances in the region,” said Bardawil. “Our strategy is to defend our rights”

The stance underscores Hamas’s rift with its key financial sponsor and its realignment with the Muslim Brotherhood and popular protest movements in the Arab world.

Bardawil’s words were echoed by a second senior Hamas figure, who declined to be named. Hamas, he said, “would not get involved” in any war between Iran and Israel.

Speculation in Israel about the repercussions of a military strike on Iran has encompassed the likelihood of the Jewish state coming under sustained rocket fire from Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Both organisations are routinely described by Israeli officials as “proxies” for the Iranian regime.

However, Hamas has never given “complete loyalty” to Tehran, said Bardawil, pointing out that Iran’s population is overwhelmingly Shia, whereas Gaza is Sunni. “The relationship was based on common interests.”

Walter Russell Mead thinks that if such an Israeli attack did happen, much of the Muslim world wouldn’t mind all that terribly much. 

We have been watching this story unfold for some time, starting with Hamas moving away from Iran toward other sponsors and extending to Arab states and other actors tacitly endorsing an Israeli or American strike on Iran. With the Saudis stepping in to replace Iran as an oil supplier, Arab potentates urging America to “cut off the head of the snake,” and now Hamas saying it will look the other way during a Zionist strike on its own erstwhile sponsor, one could be forgiven for thinking that these folks want such an attack to take place.

Stay tuned.

23 Comments to HMMMMM…

Michael D
March 6, 2012

Well nothing works better in a war than to get your enemies fighting against each other.

Allen Lewis
March 6, 2012

Things are getting really murky in this area. I don’t trust the Obama Administration’s ability to manage this mess. I think that they can try diplomacy, but I have no faith that any of this will work if Iran really wants to build a nuclear weapon.

Allen Lewis
March 6, 2012

I think that is a practical response on Hamas’ part. They don’t want to give the Israelis an excuse to come into Gaza with bulldozers again.

Jay Random
March 6, 2012

*nods sagely*

This does make the particular sort of nonsense that passes for sense with Hamas.

Consider: For years, their paymaster and effective ally has been Iran, a Shi’ite state whose Persian population the Arabs of Gaza hate, oh, say, probably half as much as they hate Jews. Now, with their fellow Islamist looney-tunes in power in Egypt and Libya, and perhaps soon in Syria, they can hope for real support — a direct war against Israel — from their real allies — their fellow Arabs.

Iran may have ambitions to be the regional hegemon, but that won’t happen in the face of a religious divide attended by a thousand years of war and an ethnic divide attended by about four thousand years of war.

Clown Celebrant
March 6, 2012

Mooslims are self destructive. If they aren’t fighting each other, which is never, they’re fighting everyone else, which is always. What do you expect from a mohamademabenabobinim?

LaVallette
March 7, 2012

The trouble with anything said by any Muslim for Western consumption is their concept of TAQIYAH: “The moral right if not obligation to lie to an infidel for the purpose of advancing or protecting the cause of Islam or its believers”.

However, the most likely scenario for the Fall of Islam is the Fight to the death between Shia and Sunni Islam.

Where: Iraq/Afghanistan, where the balance between the two sects is precarious.
Purpose: Regional Domination.
When: When the Western powers finally retreat and leave power vacuum.
Leading fighters: Primarily Sunni Pakistan against Shia Iran.
Historical antecedent: Iraq/Iran War, 1980-88, with its horrors and duration and use of weapons of mass destruction.(Gas). Could be Nuclear weapons this time round.

Katherine
March 7, 2012

Yes to what Jay Random and LaVallette say. First, don’t necessarily believe it. Second, Sunni states, especially Arab Sunni states, have no desire to be dominated by Shia Persions.

The prospect of a Pakistan-Iran war, two somewhat crazy nuclear powers, is chilling.

Katherine
March 7, 2012

That’s Persians. Must have another sip of coffee.

Donald R. McClarey
March 7, 2012

The Israelis will attack soon, probably before Summer. Netanyahu understands that Obama is only interested in forestalling any attack until after the election, and that he will never initiate military action on his own. I suspect that Netanyahu also fears the attitude of an Obama who never will face the voters again to an Israel looking at possible nuclear devastation from Iran. Better from the Israeli standpoint to do the attack now, when Obama with both eyes on November will back Obama to the hilt. A new war, and gas prices hovering around six bucks a gallon should have “interesting” consequences for Obama on election day.

Donald R. McClarey
March 7, 2012

Correction: The Israelis will attack soon, probably before Summer. Netanyahu understands that Obama is only interested in forestalling any attack until after the election, and that he will never initiate military action on his own. I suspect that Netanyahu also fears the attitude of an Obama who never will face the voters again to an Israel looking at possible nuclear devastation from Iran. Better from the Israeli standpoint to do the attack now, when Obama with both eyes on November will back Israel to the hilt. A new war, and gas prices hovering around six bucks a gallon should have “interesting” consequences for Obama on election day.

Michal
March 7, 2012

Gives real dimension to the saying: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. In addition, if the’raelis bomb the military location in Iran while the UN “inspectors” are there, they might get two birds with one stone…

Michal
March 7, 2012

That was: the ‘raelis. Must pay more attention to my typing.

BillB
March 7, 2012

This is interesting but as LaVallete points out it may just be Taqiyah in play.

One thing that does bother me about Israel attacking Iran is that Iran may strike U.S. interests. If Iran does anyting in any of the fifty states or other U.S. territory, I fear that Mr. Obama may use that as an excuse to extend his stay in the White House indefinitely.

Ed the Roman
March 7, 2012

I don’t think Obama will try that.

Sinner
March 7, 2012

No No No!

The Obama Administration desperately wants Israel to hold off until after the election

As “Donald” puts it:

The Israelis will attack soon, probably before Summer.

Yep. And the fact that they don’t have the convention firepower to do any real damage to Fordow, or the tactical strike range to reach Qom will be solved in the only militarily sensible way: the use of strategic resources, rather than tactical.

Netanyahu understands that Obama.. will never initiate military action on his own.

Yep. Osama bin Kenya – ends wars, doesn’t start ‘em.

I suspect that Netanyahu also fears the attitude of an Obama who never will face the voters again to an Israel looking at possible nuclear devastation from Iran. Better from the Israeli standpoint to do the attack now

Before Tel Avi’s destruction is assured…

when Obama with both eyes on November will back Israel to the hilt.

Doesn’t matter what Osama bin Kenya does. Netanyahu will hit in October, the first strike will be clearly Israel only, with huge news coverage that ObK didn’t support the Israeli attack. And as soon as that happens, ObK is finished come November.

The real point behind all of this is that Iran is a far, far richer country than Pakistan – and Pakistan is a nuke state. Counterforce – knocking off a couple of well-publicised nuke sites (who knows how many more actually secret ones they’ve got); wiping out the army and the republican guard – will do nothing to stop Iran wanting the bomb: in fact they’ll just double their efforts. Pakistan would probably sell ‘em some nukes they day after an attack; has North Korea really stopped nuke work – or just sold it too?

To stop Iran, you have to stop the whole economy. To ensure they never ever have the resources, scientists, infrastructure, engineers to even think of building a bomb. There are only two scenarios to do that – Berlin 1945 or Tokyo 1945.
Neither the US nor Israel has the resources to follow the Berlin model.

So Tokyo it is.

Allen Lewis
March 7, 2012

Does not sound good, no matter how you analyze it.

bob
March 7, 2012

Sooner better than later? Maybe while the Syrians are distracted by killing their own people. They can’t walk and chew gum, and it’s always easier to fight unarmed civilians.

Katherine
March 7, 2012

Sinner, you’re suggesting that the Israelis will nuke Iran before Iran can nuke them? I think that’s highly unlikely.

Smurf Breath
March 7, 2012

I’m not surprised. Remember the last Iranian nuke scientist that got offed a few weeks ago? Israel employed Sunni agents to carry that out. It seems fortunate that both sides still take Sunni/Shiite differences so seriously, but I suppose it must be so: if both sides were postmodern enough not to care about it, they would probably be less fanatical overall and much of the tensions that now exist wouldn’t exist in that case.

FrMichael
March 7, 2012

My own take, assuming that this isn’t just a PR-misdirection, is that Hamas doesn’t want to fight an Israel engaged in a life-or-death war. Israel hasn’t done too well in the more recent limited wars, but it is 4-0 fighting wars of existence. I don’t think Hamas wants to be on the receiving end of a 5-0 record. And Iran is far away from Gaza and the West Bank and has no ability to insert significant ground forces into the Holy Land.

Sinner
March 7, 2012

Sinner, you’re suggesting that the Israelis will nuke Iran before Iran can nuke them? I think that’s highly unlikely.

Israel don’t have the conventional capacity to stop Iranian nuke development.
They only way they can hit Fordow are their SLCMs.

But even then, if Pakistan – far less advanced than Iran – can go nuclear, it’s hard to see how Iran can realistically be prevented in the medium term, unless you reduce its infrastructure to the point where it simply cannot continue development.

That means either occupation, or destruction. Israel doesn’t have the capacity for occupation, and barely the capacity for destruction. The USA has the capacity for occupation but not that national will. The USA (or even Britain, or France) has the capacity for destruction.

Donald R. McClarey
March 8, 2012

“WASHINGTON — The US offered to give Israel advanced weaponry — including bunker-busting bombs and refueling planes — in exchange for Israel’s agreement not to attack Iranian nuclear sites, Israeli newspaper Maariv reported Thursday.

President Obama reportedly made the offer during Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington this week.

Under the proposed deal, Israel would not attack Iran until 2013, after US elections in November this year. The newspaper cited unnamed Western diplomatic and intelligence sources.

Netanyahu said Monday that sanctions against Iran had not worked, adding that “none of us can afford to wait much longer” in taking action against Iran’s controversial nuclear program.”

WASHINGTON — The US offered to give Israel advanced weaponry — including bunker-busting bombs and refueling planes — in exchange for Israel’s agreement not to attack Iranian nuclear sites, Israeli newspaper Maariv reported Thursday.

President Obama reportedly made the offer during Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington this week.

Under the proposed deal, Israel would not attack Iran until 2013, after US elections in November this year. The newspaper cited unnamed Western diplomatic and intelligence sources.

Netanyahu said Monday that sanctions against Iran had not worked, adding that “none of us can afford to wait much longer” in taking action against Iran’s controversial nuclear program.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/international/attack_offered_israel_advanced_weaponry_vJzadL8Qw5XoQ7akSRO9yK

Sinner
March 8, 2012

So? Fordow is sufficiently deep that – perhaps – after a week or so’s continued strikes it may be damaged. Certainly not irreparably damaged, certainly able to be rebuild, but stopped for a little while. IAF run continuous long-range sorties to Iran over a week or so. Yeah right. And with Israeli commandos on the ground for the week to laser-designate the same aiming points for the bunker busters because GPS isn’t accurate enough. PLease.

Now, a SLCM or Jericho, that’s a different matter. Ohio, different again.

So, conventionally, only the USAF can do this, not the IAF, no matter what bunker-buster (ala “face saver” bombs) ObK gives them. And is ObK going to authorize a couple of weeks of USAF airstrikes against Iran between now and November? No way in Hell.

As well as the speedboats (probably against the USN, good enough against tankers) Iran has hundreds of anti-ship missiles (some of ‘em actually good, i.e. Russian & supersonic) pointed across the Persian Gulf. Just how much did you want to pay for gas?

So the nice little “tactical” conventional strike means that ObK would have to out the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Navy, and air force, bomb its coastal refineries and coastal towns to rubble. It’s not a quick return visit to Osiriak or al-Kibar.

And even if you could do all this, Iran has oil, 40 million people, and a whole lot of mountains. They can just do it all over again.

The only sure way to ensure Iran doesn’t get the bomb is a strategic countervalue approach to basically wipe out the economy, and make ‘em spend the next twenty years rebuilding. Is ObK doing to authorize that? Would Romney? Would Gingrich?

So: if Iran wants it, Iran will get the bomb, sooner or later.

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