“Coming soon, to a theatre near you”
Observations by Mr. Giora Eiland, former head of Israel’s National Security Council, one of the country’s major ”think tanks” concerning matters of national security, do not bode well regarding Iran’s quest to obtain nuclear weapons. In a recent interview with a reporter of The Jerusalem Post, Eiland was very pessimistic in regards to any possible efforts to prevent the Islamic Republic from “going nuclear”. “In the end, Iran will obtain nuclear (arms) capability” Eiland stated.
Eiland, a 30 year veteran of the Israel Defense Forces, who recently retired from the NSC, has been involved in research and investigation of Iran’s nuclear program for several years. He came to his fearful conclusion after seeing that no countries in the world, including his own and the United States have the ability to prevent Iran, either diplomatically or militarily, from obtaining this goal.
Eiland was very critical of his country’s present government, especially Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, for not speaking out more against what may be the greatest threat to the Jewish State, if not the entire world, in recent times. “The Prime Minister doesn’t accept this assessment as fact, and still believes that Iran can be persuaded diplomatically to give in and cease its nuclear weapons ambitions” he continued. Eiland also added that Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, if granted total decision making power, will sacrifice everything “even his entire country” just to have the satisfaction of destroying Israel. In regards to his previous estimate that the Iranian leader would be prepared to sacrifice half his country’s population for this purpose, Eiland went one step further: to the realm of total apocalypse.
America’s capability of using military force against Iran has been diminished considerably by that country’s involvement in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Eiland went on. He also noted by the US President, George W. Bush, is now in a weakened state politically; and does not have the means to launch an effective strike. The U.S. also isn’t in position to offer Iran enough incentives to cease its nuclear arms program; since American political leaders, including the President, refuse to talk directly with Iranian leaders. “Since both the ‘carrot’ being offered and the ‘stick’ behind it are small, there’s no reason for Iran not to go ahead with its nuclear program” Eiland noted.
Recent reports that Iran now has a ‘heavy water’ facility up and running brings an even more ominous twist to this entire scenario. World War II history students may recall that Adolf Hitler was also trying to develop a nuclear bomb; and that Germany had a heavy water facility in operation in a secret location in Norway. That facility was fortunately destroyed before it could finish the process that might have created an even more devastating nuclear device, i.e., a hydrogen bomb. This is most likely what Ahmadinejad is trying to do as well. After all, why waste time and resources manufacturing bombs like the two dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945? Why not “go for broke” and manufacture something like a 5-10 megaton nuclear device. Just one like this, exploded over a major population area like Metro Tel Aviv, would literally wipe out everything in a thirty mile radius! What remains, would be devastated by fire storms and nuclear fall out. As far his own country is concerned, this problem doesn’t seem to bother him; even though retaliation by Israel (if there is anybody left capable of retaliating), the USA, or other nuclear powered Western countries, would turn most of his country’s population into ‘crispy critters’ .
An intriguing, as well as frightening dilemma might confront President Bush, if North Korea would decide to “join the party” and launch a nuclear strike of its own against Seoul, South Korea, and possibly Tokyo Japan. Who should the U.S. strike first; and with what kind of weaponry? ‘Daisy cutter’ and Bunker Buster conventional bombs; or cruise missiles with conventional warheads wouldn’t be enough in this case as the U.S. would have to consider using tactical nuclear weapons against Pyongyang. China and even Russia would not sit idle if this happens; the result being – you guessed it – WWIII.
The stakes in this game of ‘Iranian brinksmanship’ are high indeed. And everyone involved better figure this out as soon as possible.
(Photograph courtesy of Wikipedia)