Yalla Peace: Attack on Iran will only ignite region

In Iran, reason doesn’t go very far; emotional threats provide emotional bonfire that Iran seeks from its people and diminishing allies.

By RAY HANANIA
February 8, 2012 21:20
4 minute read.
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The Iranians make it so easy to justify an attack.

Their tyrant Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Iranian ayatollahs are constantly making verbal threats and declarations of how they are going to destroy the “Zionist entity.” Yet the Iranians are helpless in the face of Israel’s military might.

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If the Iranians had any strategic thinking in their leadership, they might have tried to play their hand differently. But history has shown us they are not that bright.

For example, instead of vowing to destroy Israel, they could have suspended their nuclear program and launched a major international campaign to turn the tables on Israel by asking why Israel can have nuclear weapons but no one else can. But hatred and vitriolic rhetoric always undermine the reasoned argument.

In Iran, reason doesn’t go very far but emotional threats provide the emotional bonfire that Iran seeks from its people and diminishing allies that include North Korea, Venezuela, Hezbollah, Hamas and the besieged dictatorship of Syria’s Bashar Assad. The Iranians might want to have more support for their stare-down with the West before making empty threats they can’t deliver on.

Instead, the Iranian dictators act like the demagogues they are. Predictable and without as much as an intelligent strategy.

They demonstrate that with every decision they make.

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For example, this week Iranian officials declared their intent to boycott Samsung Products. Seems that they are upset with a video that appeared on a local Israeli cable TV program. It’s amazing how western culture and things like YouTube that Iranians so often denounce so easily push the Iranians to the brink of idiocy. In contrast, the Israelis are always thinking 10 steps ahead and with much cleverness and creativity.

The commercial is meaningless but it is a perfect example of exactly what is wrong with Iranian thinking.

Samsung had nothing to do with the commercial. It was the Israelis who made the mocking video, in which Mossad agents dressed as women, ostensibly stationed in an Iranian city, accidentally destroy the Iranian nuclear laboratory using a Samsung “tablet” device.

It was comical, a joke. But the Iranians, who miss substantive strategic moves, were easily baited into denouncing the South Korean computer manufacturer. If the Iranians had any sense of humor, they might have produced their own YouTube videos offering compelling satire on how Israel has the bomb and the United States and the West don’t care.

But if the Iranians had a sense of humor, they wouldn’t be painted into a nuclear corner with little else to do except scream their bombastic threats while dancing around their bonfires of political insanity.

Of course, the Iranians have become players in a new Middle East dynamic where the Sunni Arab Gulf States who have always viewed Iran as a threat have managed to box in many of the Iranian grand allies like Syria. No one except the Iranian axis of power will complain when Israel’s assault teams destroy the nuclear facility, as US President Barack Obama and his administration have now openly conceded. In fact, not only is the US certain the Israelis will take action, they have even offered a timetable.

I doubt very much that Israel has confided that schedule to Obama, someone they really seem not to trust because of his overtures to the “Muslim world” in the past. An attack on Iran would provoke Hezbollah into another missile exchange with Israel, repeating the hellish war that took place in July 2006.

Israel fired missiles at Hezbollah targets but Hezbollah, which is more tenacious than any Arab military force, fired as many missiles back. Although the Hezbollah response to Israel was unprecedented in scope and power, in the end, it was Lebanon that was taken down the road to near disaster. That must have the Lebanese on edge as Israel and Iran ramp up their war of words.

All of this not only plays into Israel’s hands but also into the hands of the Arab Gulf states who fear that one day soon the “Arab Spring” will steamroll through their own streets at a far greater intensity than we have seen. An Iranian-Israeli war will take pressure off of the Arab Gulf states and allow them to intensify their own crackdowns and efforts to prevent their oppressed citizens from standing up as they have done in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and now Syria.

One option the Israelis might consider while dropping their bombs on Iran is to send their military driving through Syria to Damascus, not to capture more Arab land but to help free the Syrian civilians.

Anything is possible in this Middle East wreckage.

Yet in the long run, all of this only emboldens the extremists in the Islamic world to greater anger and ferocity.

Peace becomes a further distant reality in these scenarios and it’s hard to imagine that even destroying Iran’s nuclear capabilities will do anything to make the region a safe place to be.

The writer is an award winning columnist and radio talk show host. He can be reached at www.RadioChicagoland.com.

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