Posted by: Dark Defender | December 11, 2008

Obama to accept nuclear Iran, offer nuclear guarantees to everyone?

So struggling with a bout of insomnia I’m up this morning at the ungodly hour of 7 AM and any hope of sleeping soon is dashed by this article I saw on Drudge.  The upshot:

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama’s administration will offer Israel a “nuclear umbrella” against the threat of a nuclear attack by Iran, a well-placed American ource said earlier this week. The source, who is close to the new administration, said the U.S. will declare that an attack on Israel by Tehran would result in a devastating U.S. nuclear response against Iran.

But America’s nuclear guarantee to Israel could also be interpreted as a sign the U.S. believes Iran will eventually acquire nuclear arms.

Secretary of state-designate Hillary Clinton had raised the idea of a nuclear guarantee to Israel during her campaign for the Democratic Party’s nomination for the presidency. During a debate with Obama in April, Clinton said that Israel and Arab countries must be given “deterrent backing.” She added, “Iran must know that an attack on Israel will draw a massive response.”
Clinton also proposed that the American nuclear umbrella be extended to other countries in the region, like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, if they agree to relinquish their own nuclear ambitions.



What a bad idea! Why would we do this?  Even if you think we have a moral obligation to Israel (as I do), doesn’t Israel have its own nuclear arsenal?  Doesn’t everyone in the region know this fact and know with metaphysical certainty that Israel will use them in their defense?

So what exactly would be the point in us jumping up and down to be first in line to nuke Iran? I think Israel pretty much has destroying Iran covered, we add no deterrent value.  This move is not designed to protect Israel.

No, I think  its clear the purpose of this supposedly tough sounding plan is to provide Obama with political cover to accept a nuclear Iran.  Certainly this failure cannot be laid solely at Obama’s feet, Bush should have dealt with the problem.  But the fact that before he has even assumed office Obama is planning to fail here, not a good sign.

Final remark: If we do accept a nuclear Iran, it will make sense to give some gurantees to key middle eastern countries, such as Saudi.  They have so much oil we just cant risk them getting nuked.  However in a rare multilateral move for me, I wonder if its wise for us to be doing it unilaterally. 

Do we really want to give a Kennedyesque guarantee that any nuke from Iran will be regarded as an attack on us?  Such a promise would drag us into any use of Iran’s nukes.  If they end up nuking a hostile or a country peripheral to our middle east strategy do we really want to be on record promising to nuke them? Why even get involved?  I hope we will be very careful here and limit our guarantees to countries which are vital to our interests and actually need the protection.

Real Final remark:  I do think its positive that missile defense at least in some version does figure into Obama strategy.  Given the irrational fear so many liberals seem to have at the mere mention of the phrase, gotta give him credit here.


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