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News Biden: New Israel would be 'ill-advised' to attack Iran

  1. Apr 7, 2009 #1
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hiRmW6LJrSIvrbGP1dY_W2YpAaBw" [Broken]

    Bush refused to give Israel the codes the Israeli air force needs to safely overfly Iraq and he also refused to give Israel the most advanced bunker busters. The Obama adminstration has now publically spoken out against any hypothetical Israeli attack.

    From this we can conclude that the US now believes that the Iranian nuclear program is not a threat at all. Just like in case of Saddam's WMDs, the US is simply using the issue to keep the sanctions against Iran in place. This which gives the US a stronger negotiating position in future talks with Iran.

    But an Israeli attack on Iran would undermine this tactic, as that would lead to an Iranian counter attack on US forces in Iraq which would quickly escalate to a regional war or even a world war.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 7, 2009 #2


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    I follow your train of thought, but I think that what you're saying is oversimplifying that matter and also (at the same time), over-analyzing it.

    I don't think that we can assume that because of those facts, we don't feel that Iran is a threat. Their leader is absolutely ruthless.

    While I don't entirely trust the government by any means (even with the new administration), I think that you're being overly skeptical. I don't think that this can cause much harm - it's always good to watch what the politicians are doing, as I view many of them as corrupt. However, not everyone is out to get us and up to no good.
  4. Apr 7, 2009 #3


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    There is another possibility: the US is simply taking the politically more popular stance, regardless of whether it actually agrees with it or not.
    Could you explain why you think an Israeli attack on Iran would lead to an Iranian attack (not counterattack) on US forces in Iraq(what would they gain?)? Also explain why you think a small regional war would escalate into a large regional war or world war (it didn't happen with Gulf I or II...).

    The US is pulling out of Iraq and in probably about a year we will be completely gone. After that, we won't have any way of preventing Israel from attacking Iran, so while our position is politically expedient, it doesn't really have any teeth.
  5. Apr 7, 2009 #4


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    If Israel attacks Iran, the United States will have to help, will it not? It seems to me as though this would turn into a world conflict if it occurred. I don't really know where Iraq comes in, though. Maybe I'm missing something.
  6. Apr 7, 2009 #5


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    No, the US will not have to help. The US should let Israel accept the results of whatever course they pursue.

    I knew (and still know) a feisty little jerk who couldn't hold his liquor, and wanted to start a fight anytime he got "offended" at which time he expected some of the heavy hitters in his construction crew to bail him out. Eventually, they stopped rescuing him, and shortly thereafter, he learned to be a bit more diplomatic. He acted like a tough-guy when he thought he had big guys at his back - when he started moving up and getting foreman status on a few jobs, he ticked off a lot of long-term employees by being an a$$ and they let him take his own licks. He ain't so tough these days.
  7. Apr 7, 2009 #6
    I think that the Bush administration exaggerated the case against Iran in 2005 at the IAEA Boards of Governors meeting. There it were foreign ministers, not the nuclear experts, who voted to refer Iran to the UNSC. The Obama adminstration has access to all the information, so they can see that the case against Iran is very weak.

    Obama, I think, seeks a face saving way out of the nuclear issue. Some sort of bargain according to which Iran does have the right to enrich uranium but under very strict inspections regime in exchange for lifting sanctions may be on the table.

    The current position that Iran cannot enrich their own uranium just because they could kick out the IAEA inspectors in the future and produce nuclear weapons looks untenable given that no IAEA inspections have ever found evidence for an Iranian weapons program. All the violations were procedural in nature and Iran's acquirment of nuclear materials from Pakistan was motivated by US policies that effectively blocked Iranian access to nuclear technology via the normal route.

    So, Iran's position on the nuclear issue, i.e. their refusal to accept EU propsals, could simply be motivated by nationalism: Why would Iran give up the right to use their own uranium for use in their own nuclear powerplants? No country in the world is barred from doing that and no country in the world would give up that right even if they would never exercise that right.

    In case if Iran, it goes much further than this. They know that the reason why we would rather have that Iran suspends enrichment is bacause the possible threat to Israel. But this makes our case much weaker to Iranians. They see Israel as an occupying force. An Israeli roadblock curtailing Palestinians in their freedom is bad enough. But if they have to suspend their enrichment program because of a hypothetical threat to Israel, then to them that's an Israeli roadblock on Iranian territory.

    So, this issue is way more emotional to Iranians than we could ever imagine. Such issues can quickly escalate to big wars. If Israel were to attack, then Iran would hold the US responsible (there is no way Israel could attack without US approval).
  8. Apr 8, 2009 #7


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    Why? When Israel attacked the Osirak reactor complex in 1981, it was a single mission with no outside help and there was no counterattack or follow-up attack. It was completely self-contained. Why do you believe an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities would go any differently?
  9. Apr 8, 2009 #8


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    "Can", sure - anything "can" happen....but in the real world we live in, they almost never do. Please attempt to connect your argument to reality using historical examples. You're making leaps of logic that are unconnected to reality.
    Why not? I already gave an example of where it has happened before.

    All you are doing in this thread is throwing out assertion after assertion after assertion, without providing any supporting examples or logic. This is just empty, idle speculation on your part.
  10. Apr 8, 2009 #9
    Israel would not take such a move without consulting the US first. Iran is adjacent to both Afghanistan and Iraq, it is crucial for the US not to give any more pretexts for Iran-fueled anti-US insurgency in those regions. Until disengagement, an Israeli attack would put in peril the success of both missions.
  11. Apr 8, 2009 #10
    Simply because Iran controls Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah and has a good military force of Balistic missiles and can block the oil from the Gulf with naval forces. Moreover, Iran is the second most populous country in the ME and its population is known for being proud and patriotic. Finally, why CAN'T it be likely?

    Your logic russ is really amazing. You simply criticize everything that you don't like. Why can't you hear people and be heard; no need to debunk every single person's comments.

    One last thing, to do anything Israel HAS to take permission from the US. To me the US is the vassal of Israel, it gave it everything it needs. Now how can such country NOT follow orders from big daddy? (already there is a discussion of lowering aids to Israel)
  12. Apr 8, 2009 #11
    I did not see any such actions from Russ's comments. I saw logical analysis. Your comments on the other hand are more in line with your criticisms.

    1) No it does not.
    2) You are confusing the vassal/lord reationship.
  13. Apr 8, 2009 #12
    Your analogy does not hold, at least not in regards to Israel. After all, israel could wipe the floor with Iran if it went all out.

    Your analogy DOES apply to Iran, however.
  14. Apr 8, 2009 #13
    It was referred. The UNSC took it from there. Has the Obama admin made a suggestion to the UNSC that is contrary to the previous position?

    Excuse me? The security council has routinely stated that Iran is not living up to it's obligations! Time and time again!

    Yeah, that happens when you don't abide by your obligations.
  15. Apr 8, 2009 #14
    The nuclear issue is a hugely emotional issue for Iranians. You cannot compare that to some secret Syrian or Iraqi installation. Instead, compare it to Sharon visiting the Temple Mount.

    I agree that this is my judgement about the emotions involved. It is difficult to give rigorous proofs when dealing when human behavior.

    You can look at the bombing of the Osirak reactor and understand why that did not escalate to a wider war. You have to put yourself in Saddam's position and do a cost benefit analysis. You'll find out that it was more effective for him to try again but this time by using uranium enrichment. Such a program is more difficult to destroy in a surprise attack.

    In case of Iran, if Iran's intention were to make nuclear weapons they would not gain much by starting a big war. But if (as I believe) Iran's refusal to stop their enrichment program is motivated out of nationalism then surely, the last thing they would do is let a military attack go unanswered.
  16. Apr 8, 2009 #15
    The Security council refers to Iran refusing to comply with security Council resolutions. The IAEA has a dual role. They have their own rules, they can refer countries to the SC. And then the SC can make additional demands, the IAEA checking if the country is complying.

    The problem with Iran is that Iran was referred without the usual criteria for referral being met. It was all propaganda by the US which convinced the foreign ministers, not nuclear experts, at the IAEA board of governos meeting that Iran should be referred to the SC.

    Then the SC decided to pass a Chapter 7 resolution, that according to the rules can only be passed if there is a threat to international peace and security, imposing sanctions on Iran if they don't comply with their demand that they suspend their enrichment program.

    So, it seems to me that Iran is a victim of abuse of power by the US. The US has hijacked international institutions to conduct its own foreign policy interests. Iran therefore does not recognize the legal validity of the SC resolutions passed against it.

    There is no obligaton on Iran to do anything, unless you believe that the SC is the world's dictator. I mean, passing a chapter 7 resolution in a frivolous way is similar to a dictator declaring martial law to get his way in a dispute.
  17. Apr 8, 2009 #16
    I hope you are not critiquing me for my generic inter-usage of the UNSC and the IAEA?
    This is rather speculative.

    Your entire argument is based on the proposal that the UN does the U.S. bidding. Which I reject.

    1) I do not believe that the UN is the world's dictator.
    2) I believe that that Iran is required to fulfill it's obligations.
    3) The chapter 7 was not passed in a frivolous way.

    Are there any other subjective responses to your subjective statements that you would like me to make?
  18. Apr 8, 2009 #17
    How does an Iranian enrichment program that is under IAEA inspections constitute a clear and present threat to international peace and security? Iran doesn't have any nuclear weapons, they haven't even enriched uranium to the required level to make bombs, there is no evidence that any of its low grade enriched uranium has been diverted.

    Note that in case of North Korea's nuclear test a resolution was passed which was not under chapter 7 (because in case of a chapter 7 resolution, China and Russia wanted to include in the resolution a text saying that non-compliance would not lead to military action).
  19. Apr 8, 2009 #18
    The resolution was passed after Iran failed to take up a proposal from the UN. Given Iran's stance at the time and at the present, such a refusal was interpreted in the way you mention.

    Rightly so, in my opinion.

    There is plenty of evidence however, that Iran has failed to live up to it's obligations. After all the IAEA's purpose is not to remove countries *existing* nuclear arsenals.
  20. Apr 8, 2009 #19
    Iran not accepting the EU-3 proposal can hardly be called a clear and present threat to international peace and security.
  21. Apr 8, 2009 #20
    It was but one part of a trend. Apparently the UN thought that such actions by Iran required such a result. I doubt that Switzerland, for example, would be treated in a similar fashion (unless it displayed the same long term tendencies as Iran). I wonder why? Perhaps Switzerland controls the UN?

    Your argument is based on the premise that the UN blindly does the US's bidding. As noted, I reject that premise. The UN (even the big dudes) is comprised of members that do not blindly follow the US.
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