Listening to the media go on about Iran’s nascent nuclear capability, one has to be struck how successful the effort has been to make Israel the focal point of the discussion, and not Iran. It is about Israel’s security. Israel’s survival. The immediacy of the threat to Israel. The Obama Administration, the media in general and others have worked hard to make this association the primary one when, in truth, the risk a nuclear Iran poses to us and the rest of the world is arguably as severe as it is to Israel.
The focus on Israel is constant. Last week it was the Israelphobic Tom Friedman of the ever equivocating New York Times who used his platform to inveigh against American Jews and their penchant for dual loyalty. The week before Secretary of State Kerry told a group of Senators that Israel ought to be ignored: “Every time anybody would say anything about ‘what would the Israelis say,’ according to a Senate aide, they’d get cut off and Kerry would say, ‘You have to ignore what they’re telling you, stop listening to the Israelis on this.”
Hardly a week goes by when Israel’s justified security concerns aren’t deprecated and pushed aside. All of this abets the goal of making Israel the focal point of the discussion when the real and present danger, while Israel’s risk, is shared fully with Europe, America and the rest of the world.
The Ledger has pointed this out before on our editorial page.
In September 2009, we wrote:
…Obama Administration refuses to recognize is that if Israel is within range of Iranian nuclear rockets, then so too are the Saudi’s Gowahr oil fields, home of the largest, most accessible low cost oil in the world. About 12 percent of the world’s supply comes from that area now.
… Iran would, with a nuclear capability, be able to light up those oil fields and make 12 percent of the world’s supply of oil radioactive for the immediate short term and more likely for many years after that. Taking (that much oil out of the world’s oil) pricing equation would … affect markets, … around the world. There’s no question that a number of people in Africa, Asia and Europe, not to mention the Americas, would be without air conditioning in summer, heat in winter and food all year round.
In April 2010, we wrote:
… A nuclear Iran presents us with an intractable enemy who, if it could, would think nothing of depriving the world – including the U.S. – of energy. … The world’s oil supply minus 12 percent would be a shock to the system that economies could not take. It would literally destroy many countries, while grievously damaging the rest.
…Then there is the threat to Americans in the region. Americans on the ground in the Middle East would be hostage to a nuclear Iran. One need only look back a few decades to the tragic 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Lebanon that cost 241 American lives, or the destruction of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996 that took (more) American lives.
… Now as then, aggressive terrorist activities cause our troop deployments to be clustered together for safety, but in the doing they provide tempting targets for belligerents like Iran. Our fleets in the seas around the oil-producing Gulf also provide a target as they cruise in the confined areas around the Middle East’s rich oil producing areas. With nuclear capability, Iran has the opportunity to inflict far greater damage than it does with conventional … bombs.
One more point that we made then that becomes clearer now:…
A nuclear Iran would not only have Israel, the Little Satan, in its sights, but could cause tremendous pain to the Big Satan, too. After all, it’d be a lot easier to kill thousands of Americans in the Middle East than to deliver a nuclear weapon to North America for the same purpose.
Making the issue a bilateral one between Iran and Israel goes quite a ways in deflecting the world’s attention from what Iran is truly capable of with a nuclear option in its grasp. It serves Iran’s objectives perfectly. The danger that Israel perceives so clearly – and the Saudis also now realize as well – won’t be fully apparent in the West until the reality of an unstable nuclear power in the Middle East sitting astride the region’s vast reservoir of oil becomes a real and present danger.
In fact, Iran will be faced with a number of choices at that point. For all of the rhetoric and bombast aimed at Israel, the other option available to them – that is, creating a conflagration around the globe – might be the more appealing one. Aside from more damage to more people, there is another consideration:
Attacking Israel would certainly embroil Iran in a conflict that would drain that country’s resources, due to an immediate response from Israel. But eliminating the West’s major source of energy, especially if Iranian proxies were involved, (consider 9/11 or Marine barracks or Somalia, Afghanistan, Benghazi, etc…take your pick) could be responded to with less immediacy if at all. Keep in mind Syria’s ‘Red Lines’ and the often vacillating leader of the free world sitting in Washington.
We’re sure there are others thinking about these possibilities, but the only voices we hear are the one’s our government deems worthy for the public debate they constantly manage. What is clear is that there are a lot more than just Israel’s interests at stake. At the same time, we see how Israel’s interests are inextricably entwined with the West’s.
We’re sure there are others thinking about these possibilities, but the only voices we hear are the one’s our government deems worthy for the public debate they constantly manage. What is clear is that there is a lot more than just Israel’s interests at stake and also, and at the same time we see how Israel’s interests are inextricably entwined with the West’s.