I’m sure all readers are aware of the ongoing possibility of a US or Israeli attack upon Iran’s nuclear facilities to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons. A significant development has occurred. The current issue of Foreign Affairs, the bimonthly publication of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) includes an article (see first link below) which recommends that the USA attack Iranian nuclear facilities and accept a limited Mideast war now instead of waiting until Iran has nuclear weapons and risk a much worse crisis later.
This development is significant as the CFR is an organization which includes most of the ruling elites of the western world, and this article would not have been included in its publication unless it was vetted and approved by the CFR. I highly recommend that readers read the article below as it makes the case that the damaging consequences of a US strike against Iran now will be much less than if the US waits and has to confront a nuclear-armed Iran later. It states that “some states in the region are doubting US resolve” because of the hitherto reluctance of the USA to take this step, and later in the article it makes what I think is the central point of the article: that the CFR wants the US to take action to forestall an Israeli attack against Iran. I think the CFR is realistic enough to realize that at some point the Israelis will have no choice but to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities in order to safeguard their national survival and the CFR apparently thinks that the consequences will be less if the USA makes the attack instead of Israel.
The article makes some points which may not prove to be true. It states: “To be sure, a nuclear-armed Iran would not intentionally launch a suicidal nuclear war.” I’m not so sure that such a statement accurately reflects the mindset of Iranian leaders. I hope the CFR is right, but Iran’s President is part of a Shiite Messianic sect which reportedly believes that their expected Messianic figure, the “12th Imam” cannot come until there is a great conflagration on the earth (perhaps a major regional war or even World War III). If this belief is true, then it cannot be assumed that Iran’s leaders will act rationally. Iran has also threatened to “wipe Israel off the map.” The leadership of Iran may believe that their anticipated Shiite messiah-figure will divinely rescue them from the suicidal consequences of their own actions. Contrast the current leadership of Iran with the leadership of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. However antagonistic the USA and the Soviet Union were, there was enough rational desire to survive on both sides that nuclear war was always averted. However, there is a danger that some of Iran’s leaders may actually be willing to start a nuclear war if they do obtain nuclear weapons.
The article also seems a bit on the naive side when it maintains that a US strike against Iran would result in a limited war in which Iran would agree to do no more than launch “token missile strikes against US bases and ships in the region.” I think Iran is very angry about the US/Israeli/western Stuxnet and Duque cyberattacks upon its nuclear computer systems and also some destructive attacks in which some of Iran’s above-ground facilities have already been destroyed (these subjects have been discussed in previous posts). If attacked, an angry Iran could easily order a Hezbollah mass missile attack against Israel from southern Lebanon, fire missiles or launch air strikes against US bases and troops in Afghanistan, unleash Hezbollah sleeper cells to cause havoc in North America and Europe with random or targeted terrorist attacks, launch missile or air attacks against Saudi oil facilities, attempt to mine or block the Straits of Hormuz, etc. Indeed, the article seems so blithely unaware of these possibilities that one wonders if the CFR wants the USA to attack Iran in order to create a wider war that would expand President Obama’s executive powers or help ensure his re-election chances by causing a “rally around the president” response on the part of the American people if there are terrorist attacks on US soil after such an attack.
Please understand that I’m not disagreeing with the article’s main point that the US or Israel (and other nations) may find it necessary to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities now rather than later, but I think everyone should understand that Iran’s reaction to such a strike may be much more forceful than the CFR article assumes will be the case.
On a related matter, the last link is about the US Navy rescuing 13 Iranian fishermen and retrieving their vessel from pirates, and repatriating the fishermen and their vessel to Iran. This was a merciful and humanitarian action on the part of the USA toward Iran, and quite commendable. Romans 12:20 has a passage that the act of being merciful toward an enemy “heaps coals of fire” (vengeance) on the head of one’s enemy. In this case, I think the US Navy just “heaped coals of fire” upon the Iranian leadership.