Events in the Middle East continue to lurch towards a release of the dogs of war. Tensions in the area are getting worse by the day and it’s making people all over the world nervous. According to Bloomberg (through Business Insider) the Israeli government believes it can ride a unicorn through a rainbow and everything will turn out hunky-dory after an attack. They believe that they need to “unclothe the emperor” and show the people of Iran that their government is weak enough for them to rise up and gain their freedom.
One conclusion key officials have reached is that a strike on six or eight Iranian facilities will not lead, as is generally assumed, to all-out war. This argument holds that the Iranians might choose to cover up an attack, in the manner of the Syrian government when its nuclear facility was destroyed by the Israeli air force in 2007. An Israeli strike wouldn’t focus on densely populated cities, so the Iranian government might be able to control, to some degree, the flow of information about it.
Some Israeli officials believe that Iran’s leaders might choose to play down the insult of a raid and launch a handful of rockets at Tel Aviv as an angry gesture, rather than declare all-out war. I’m not endorsing this view, but I was struck by its optimism. (A war game held by the U.S. military this month came to the opposite conclusion, according to the New York Times: A strike would likely lead to a wider war that could include the U.S.)
This kind of talk scares the crap out of me. It’s these types of miscalculations that start horrible wars that cause God-knows how much unnecessary damage. Iran is not Iraq and they won’t go down without a fight in my opinion. Things will get very messy and we may all regret the day when the Israelis believed they could attack Iran without anything too bad happening.