Beyond the Cusp

March 21, 2018

Commentary on the Twin Perils, Iran and Palestine

 

We recently read Professor Louis René Beres’s article Twin perils for Israel: Iranian nuclear weapons and “Palestine” and thought perhaps we might discuss what was presented. Professor Beres wrote in his normal manner with deep thought and high reference to numerous experts and historical exposes on warfare and other pertinent subjects. There was also the almost obligatory reference to the difference between the principal adversaries and whether they are presumably rational, irrational, or mad. We figured we would relate that which we were able to discern from the article interspersed with our own ideas on this subject. We hope we can do Professor Beres, his article and thoughts justice.

 

One of the main ideas we caught was Israeli planners in the IDF, intelligence and political leadership need to weigh the threats collectively and assign the sum and realize that their collective threat could far surpass their individual parts. Quite true just as engaging two people in a fight is far more difficult than taking each one at a time on separate days, or preferably weeks. Three, four or even more starts to reach into the multiple risks and more can reach exponential level of additional risks. Professor Beres is knowledgeable and has very deep and good counsel with much of it aimed at the leadership of the IDF and intelligence community. This was where we started to take a diverging path from the good professor. Where his advice may well be very wise and even sagely, whether or not it would be of use to the current IDF command could be debated. If we have judged these leaders fairly, few of them came from infantry combat units and they are too often subjected to second-guessing by legal teams of lawyers well versed in the international rules of warfare. These legal analysts strictly interpret these guidelines and follow them to the very last letter of the law and when in doubt, they countermand orders preventing actions which could end conflicts faster and even potentially prevent future conflicts. Then there have been instances where the Israeli Supreme Court has countermanded orders given during times of war. With such strictly enforced guidelines and oversight of their every act and order, it is a wonder that the IDF manages to operate at all. The IDF is cast by military experts of the Western World, as being the most moral army in the world setting a standard well beyond what other militaries even envisage attaining in their conflicts. Below is a presentation by Colonel Richard Kemp who gave this lecture at MIFF Forum in Stavanger September 24, 2016. Colonel Kemp has given testimonies before the Human Right Commission as well as the General Assembly of the United Nations. His record with the British military in Special Forces and as a Unit on through Brigade Commander in Afghanistan and Iraq makes his testimony both valid and given from the position of an expert.

 

 

Because of the restrictions imposed by legal and moral restraints, the IDF often is prevented from taking some of the exact precautions prescribed by Professor Beres. Still, the coming predicaments which Israel might be facing are exactly what Professor Beres has postulated. Even though, perhaps it is time to examine the perils of the article. Fortunately, we hopefully will never realize one-half of the presumed threat, the State of Palestine. It is to be hoped and prayed for that even the most leftist liberal leadership have finally realized that an independent Palestinian State would be tantamount to suicide for Israel. Gaza and Southern Lebanon have proven beyond any further doubt that any lands surrendered by Israel immediately, or soon thereafter, become terrorist cesspools used to launch attacks through rockets or tunnels into Israel. There is but one question remaining to finish the currently existing puzzle, where will Trump position himself on the Israeli-Arab fourteen-hundred-year on again off again and finally on again conflict. The recent March 13 meeting in the White House with twenty nations including many Sunni Arab countries and Israel may have much to tell and potential effect on where Trump comes to rest. With the United Nations, European Union, numerous amongst the European nations, Qatar, the United States National Security Council (NSC) staff and the Department of State all having input while it is quite probable that President Trump has only requested a report and had not attended the entire meeting leaving the particulars along with the fighting, arguing, disputing, lying, abuses, ridicules, insults and general ruckus which was sure to break out, and that all before the Israeli representatives even spoke a word. There was a single bright spot in the White House confab, the PLO and Mahmoud Abbas rejected the invitation declaring President Trump unfit and far too partial to be a fair moderator between the Palestinians and Israel. Why not double down once more Mahmoud and really get Trump to hate you. Please, do keep it up.

 

As long as Israel retains military control and political ambiguity on the future of Judea and Samaria, then the threats from those areas will be hopefully mitigated. Should Israel do what is wise and annex the areas of Judea and Samaria and exile the PLO and leadership of both the Palestinian Authority and their security forces thus the Arabs being permitted to decide to sell their holdings and leave to start their lives over elsewhere, research has shown that anywhere from one-third to at least half of them would take advantage of such an opportunity. If Israel were to offer them a bonus to relocate, as they are the illegal immigrants, the estimates rise to two-thirds to three-quarters. The remainder could then be offered to remain as resident aliens for as long as they obey Israeli laws and should they or any member of their family participate in terrorism, they should understand that the entire family would be immediately deported. Once this has been made clear in as many languages as necessary, the remaining Palestinian residents should be given a final opportunity to take the financial offer to relocate. As far as Gaza, estimates have placed the estimated numbers of those desiring to relocate at seventy-five percent who also claim the only reason they remain is due to the threats made by Hamas should they attempt to leave. Apparently, the majority of the Arabs residing under the semiautonomous rule of the Palestinian Authority and even higher numbers residing under the direct rule of Hamas desire to restart their lives, most likely returning to their original home country where they have family and friends as well as a stronger governance which prefers caring for the people rather than spending the vast majority of funds to attack Israel bringing only more misery upon their people.

 

That leaves Iran which Professor Beres claims will easily become a nuclear power soon after the ten years agreement President Obama made with Iran. President Obama agreed to a ten year agreement, a Hudna, rather than a longer treaty potentially pushing Iran’s program theoretically even further into the future. Now, there are certain precepts in a Hudna which bare mention at this time. The Islamic side of such an agreement is required to live by the terms unless they feel their position is stronger than their enemy and thus they then break the Hudna and resume their hostilities. We firmly believed that the Iranians had atomic weapons which could probably be placed into warheads even before the negotiations had begun. There is even a fairly decent probability that Iran had miniaturized thermonuclear warheads capable of being placed atop missiles. Iran also had numerous different missiles fully capable of reaching Israel and beyond (see map below). The Iranians were probably stalling the nuclear agreement by extending negotiations as they produced more and more warheads before they would be required to stop production for a period of time. The actual agreement that President Obama likely reached with Iran was they would not use their nuclear arsenal until a set period, probably two to three years after he had vacated the White House. In this means, it would likely be his successor who would be blamed for any nuclear weapons use by Iran. There may have even been a sub-clause where Iran would wait for the next President had Hillary Clinton won the election. This will likely be another item blamed on Trump and the American deplorables who elected him, at least on social media, that is. Professor Beres is completely right when listing Iran as a great peril. They are already such if we are even partially correct. Even if they have not perfected nuclear weapons, a highly doubtful concept as they have very intelligent and well-trained and highly educated physicists and nuclear scientists and have been running several levels of centrifuges for quite some time before the treaty was reached, plenty sufficient to produce weapons of any sort they choose. But the world really does not care if Iran were to fire missiles at Israel regardless of the warheads. But what if Iran chose a different target than Israel, how much would the world care then?

 

Ranges of Iranian Missiles

Ranges of Iranian Missiles

 

The real problem is that Iran has others they also desire to subjugate other than Israel, who they desire to utterly destroy. Iran also has a great degree of hatred for Saudi Arabia, the Sunni giant in the Iranian mindset. Iran has all but encircled Saudi Arabia much as they are close to doing to Israel. For Israel they only need Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, another reason Israel cannot allow a Palestinian State as Iran would become their new best friend and place troops and weapons at their command to use against Israel as part of a concerted effort which would include Hamas in Gaza, Hezballah in Lebanon and Syria with IRGC troops engaging from the Golan Heights. With Saudi Arabia, they have Iraq, Qatar, Yemen and would probably also like to add Jordan, Kuwait, UAE and Oman to go with Qatar which could be a staging area for Iranian forward troops. The Iranians probably would prefer to take out Saudi Arabia before Israel simply because tactics dictate taking the weaker target out first, and even more so when it would provide staging areas and additional resources, such as captured weapons systems. Saudi Arabia has airbases in the northwest which have a close proximity to the Israeli border and would also be very useful should Iran desire taking out Egypt later on. The real problem which Professor Beres never did get to cover is the eventual intentions of Iran in the longest term. Iran has an initial desire to become the leader of all Islam and making Shia Islam the predominant form in the world through defeating the leaders of the most prominent Sunni countries which include Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Pakistan for starters. They already have a fair amount of control in Iraq and Afghanistan. Once they have conquered the Muslim World, their next target is the rest of the world starting with Europe. Iran also has a visceral desire to strike Russia but that will wait until after Russia has provided them the backing they need to take over the Muslim world and then Europe, then Iran will likely turn their attention to Russia. Where would Israel fit into their schedule, the secret for Israel is to prevent the first set of targets such that Iran never reaches the point where Israel is the next target. This may have been in the back of Professor Beres mind in writing his critique.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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March 12, 2018

The World Ruled by Iran and Shia Islam

 

Shia Islam is not as well understood to many in the Western World and even Islam is greatly unknown or misunderstood. Islam has a completely separate value system to that of the Judeo-Christian Western World. Islam places a higher priority on the afterlife and portends that the life here amongst the living is supposed to be miserable and hardening of the senses while all pleasure awaits the holy who are obedient in the afterlife. It is part of this philosophy from which the concept of the martyr receiving seventy-two raven haired perpetual virgins in the hereafter. These virgins regain their virginity immediately after the martyr having taken them while additionally his lands have lush green meadows with rivers and waterfalls and the wine flows in near torrents and all the food one could ever imagine becomes available. The afterlife for the martyr is presumed to be the ultimate in sensual pleasures which were denied them on earth as they are considered to have lived perfect lives as martyrdom erased their every sin and replaced it with Quranic study or its equivalence thus not only is every physical and sensual pleasure available in the most perfect of imaginable surroundings, but the martyr will always be in total preparedness to take advantage of these pleasures eternally. This perfection in the afterlife stands in contrast to the defined perfect life for a follower of Islam in this life in the present here on Earth.

 

Let us now look into the defined perfect lives which presumed to be lived and are to be forced upon the people of Earth according to the founder of Iranian Shia Islam, Grand Ayatollah and Leader of the Iranian Islamic Revolution Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini. His edicts and defining laws are to be enforced by every following Grand Ayatollah and Supreme Leader and have been thusfar by the second Supreme Leader, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei. Iranian law is based upon Ruhollah Khomeini’s interpretations of the Quran and the Hadiths. These interpretations use the far more austere Shia Islamic versions of these writings as they split from Sunni Islam upon the death of Muhammad as the Shia believe that the right of passage for power must remain within the relatives of Muhammad and disagreed with the choice made by the Sunni Muslims.

 

This split came when the Shia believing that Ali ibn Abi Talib, who was married to Muhammad’s daughter Fatimah, was the rightful successor to Muhammad while the Sunni believed that leadership should fall to the person who was deemed by the elite of the community to be best able to lead the community and thus invented the position of Caliph which led to a series of dynasties. At one point, Ali led both branches as he was selected as the fourth Caliph, but his lead was short lived as he was killed in the Battle of Kufa where the backers of another they desired to be the Caliph assassinated him and seventy-two members of his family in an attempt to stamp out his lineage. The Sunni continued with choosing Caliphs and the Shia next followed Hasan ibn Ali and continued through their Twelve Imams.

 

The definitions and rules set forth by Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini for Iranian subjects were to follow as applied to Shia Islam. These are the laws which the world would be ruled under, should the dream of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini become reality, once Iran reestablishes the Persian Empire with Iran ruling the world. We will be using mostly quotes from his speeches, interviews and writings which will be in bold-italics. Our first quote is, “Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious. Islam does not allow swimming in the sea and is opposed to radio and television serials. Islam, however, allows marksmanship, horseback riding and competition… (source is from Meeting in Qom “Broadcast by radio Iran from Qom on 20 August 1979.” quoted in Taheri, The Spirit of Allah (1985) p.259)). So, first off forget parties with alcoholic drinks, music, laughter and spirited joy. There will be no jokes or humor so Saturday Night Live is replaced with an Imam reading Hadiths so as to raise your spiritual essence. Radio and television will be utilized for the glory of Allah and the furtherance of the rule of the Supreme Leader, the Grand Ayatollah. This quote pretty much defines itself and is not requiring our additional commentary, as many of his quotes will prove to be similar.

 

Supreme Leader and Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

Supreme Leader and Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

 

Islam and divine governments … have commandments for everybody, everywhere, at any place, in any condition. If a person were to commit an immoral dirty deed right next to his house, Islamic governments have business with him. …. Islam has rules for every person, even before birth, before his marriage, until his marriages, pregnancy, birth, until upbringing of the child, the education of the adult, until puberty, youth, until old age, until death, into the grave, and beyond the grave.” (statement to his students in Najaf, 28 September 1977. Found in Khomeini, Sahifeh-ye Nur, vol.I p.234-235) quoted in Dabashi, Theology of Discontent, (1993), p.476-7) As far as the Supreme Leader and Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini is concerned, his rule and the rules of Allah as interpreted by him already spread to the entirety of the world. He probably is using the belief that Adam and Eve were Muslims and all of humankind are born as Muslims and are diverted from the true course of surrender to Allah allowing Islam to rule there every act throughout life. This means that the Grand Ayatollah already is presumed to be the true ruler of the world and there are only temporary obstructions preventing this reality, small obstinate reprobates known as nations and followers of other religions and philosophies being utilized to guide the lives of their inhabitants. Of course there are two in particular which were the most foul and offensive to the Supreme Leader and Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini which have alternate reference, the Great Satan and the Little Satan which are also known as the United States and Israel. There is another nation which has also been given special attention, Saudi Arabia. The Supreme Leader and Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini believes that the Royal family are all sinners and blasphemers unworthy of holding rule over the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. This is another item which Iran is being armed and prepared to remedy this unacceptable situation.

 

And I am confident that the Iranian people, particularly our youth, will keep alive in their hearts anger and hatred for the criminal Soviet Union and the warmongering United States. This must be until the banner of Islam flies over every house in the world.” (source Wright, In the Name of God 1989, p.196) Here we again see the solid intent to rule the entirety of our planet as well as his intent to overpower the two presumed greatest powers of his age. “If you have any tie or link binding you to this world in love, try to sever it. This world, despite all its apparent splendor and charm, is too worthless to be loved.” (source Islam and Revolution, p.357) Again we see the belittling of this world claiming it to be pathetic and unworthy of our affections, unlike the afterlife which is filled with splendor. This is an enticing reason for the state of life where the majority of the population is barely scratching out an existence, let alone having excess. The problem is that once people do achieve some level of affluence, even the slightest of affluence, then life takes on some happiness and this is a warning to these people that they should distance themselves from these enjoyments as they are evil sins and only wretchedness in this life is to be found as holy.

 

We are against this prostitution. We object to such wrongdoings … Is progress achieved by sending women to the majlis? Sending women to these centers is nothing but corruption.” (source Speech in Qom quoted in Esfandiari, Iran: Women and Parliaments Under the Monarch and Islamic Republic pp.1-24, quoted in The Last Great Revolution by Robin Wright c2000, p.151) This is self explanatory. “Islam differs sharply from communism. Whereas we respect private property, communism advocates the sharing of all things – including wives and homosexuals.” (source Abrahamian, Ervand, History of Modern Iran, Columbia University Press, 2008, p.179) There is enough stated here. “Since Allah Almighty has commanded us to follow the Messenger and the holders of authority, our obeying them is actually an expression of obedience to Allah.” (source Khomeini, Islam and Revolution, (1981), p.91) The interesting inclusion here is not so much obedience to Allah as Judaism believes in obedience to Hashem and most of Christianity preaches obedience to Hashem as well and some pray to Mother Mary while others to Jesus, but neither command obedience to the Rabbis or Priests or others in the religious hierarchy, but he is demanding as equal to Allah the commands coming from Imams, Ayatollahs and specially from the Grand Ayatollah and Supreme Leader as well as leadership of the government. This is support for totalitarian governance.

 

Khomeinism Essays on the Islamic Republic

Khomeinism Essays on the Islamic Republic

 

When conspiracy dominates political action, then “those with view different from one’s own were members of this or that foreign conspiracy. Thus political activists tended to equate competition with treason, … One does not compromise and negotiate with spies and traitors; one locks them up or else shoots them.” (source Abrahamian, Khomeinism: Essays on the Islamic Republic, p.130) This explains the reasoning behind the treatment in Iran of any dissidents. They disagree with the rulers thus are foreign agents and thus spies who are to be treated most harshly. The authorities in Iran often make sweeps through the universities taking any student who has taken part in demonstrations against the government and send many to Evin Prison while the ringleaders are simply tortured and then executed usually by hanging or shooting.

 

The next quote requires an introduction in order to make any sense. Khomeini believed that the huge turnout of Iranians in anti-Shah demonstrations during the revolution meant that Iranians had already voted in a `referendum` for an Islamic republic, and that in Muslim countries Islam and Islamic law, truly belong to the people. “In contrast, in a republic or a constitutional monarchy, most of those claiming to be representatives of the majority of the people will approve anything they wish as law and then impose it on the entire population.” (source Khomeini, Islam and Revolution, (1982), p.56) Here he is simply restating that those with the real power will exercise their power and the people have selected such a governance thus their rule has been validated and no further renewal of the theocratic structure need be taken and everything is set in stone.

 

We shall export our revolution to the whole world. Until the cry ‘There is no god but Allah’ resounds over the whole world, there will be struggle.” (source 11 February 1979 (according to Dilip Hiro in The Longest War p.32) p.108 from Excerpts from Speeches and Messages of Imam Khomeini on the Unity of the Muslims.) Do we really need to comment on this? Well, then we will use another quote. “Establishing the Islamic state world-wide belong to the great goals of the revolution.” (source Resalat, 25.3.1988) (quoted in The Constitution of Iran by Asghar Schirazi, Tauris, 1997, p.69)) Clear yet or do you need some more? Well, we can do that. “We have often proclaimed this truth in our domestic and foreign policy, namely that we have set as our goal the world-wide spread of the influence of Islam and the suppression of the rule of the world conquerors … We wish to cause the corrupt roots of Zionism, capitalism and Communism to wither throughout the world. We wish, as does Allah almighty, to destroy the systems which are based on these three foundations, and to promote the Islamic order of the Prophet … in the world of arrogance.” (source Bayan, No.4 (1990), p.8) This should clarify the aim of the Supreme Leader and Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini set for Iran during his rule and forever after this is the goal set for all Supreme Leaders and Grand Ayatollahs who may follow him. They have the design to end the rule of world conquerors by being the final world conquerors themselves. What could make any more sense? These are the thoughts, designs set for Iran which they actually plan to make these plans into reality, and they seriously believe that they were chosen by Allah to rule the entirety of the world and believe the writings in the Quran which set as the supreme effort of Islam to become the sole religion of Earth. Now the Sunni believe it should be their version of Islam, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey believes he is to be the one by reestablishing the Ottoman Empire and, of course, the Supreme Leader and Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini firmly believed that Shia Islam through Iran is to rule the world. The common thread between these rulers who believe they must conquer and subdue the world is Islam which makes it not just a religion, but also a theory of governance and a military initiative and the developed world had best take note of these delusions because they will be attempted to initiate and complete by actually conquering the world using every ability they can implement from open warfare to infiltrations, subversion, mass conversions, using the tools of democracy to vote Islam and Sharia into power and once in power ending the true democratic form of governance and replace it with the same theocracy as in Iran, as the land would be incorporated into Iran by either surrender or other form of absorption. There is a great similarity between fascism and Iranian Islam and other forms of Islam where voting is actually a sham and the real power is in the hands of the religious leadership through imposing Sharia and the absolute power of the Imams and Ayatollahs with the Supreme Leader and Grand Ayatollah being perceived as directly in line immediately below Allah and Muhammad and only to be superseded by the return of the Twelfth Imam or the coming of the Mahdi. Either would also be a signal of the end times which makes who is ruling at the time of the coming of the end times soon becomes quite irrelevant. Still, the ideas and beliefs of Ruhollah Khomeini spell out the reality about Islam and its designs on the future, namely that Islam must rule all of mankind unless prevented by those wishing not to be ruled by their theocratic hell on earth just so the afterlife will be equally pleasant as our lives were miserable.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 22, 2018

Iranian Nuclear War with Israel or the World

 

After reading Professor Louis René Beres’s article “Looking Ahead: Longer Term Prospects for an Israel-Iran Nuclear War” we found some additional aspects which were either dismissed or ignored. We decided that perhaps we could add some information by looking more closely at the Iranian perspectives and what these should mean to Israeli planners. The one item with which we took the most critical concern was his statement, “In essence, there are no conceivable experts on fighting a nuclear war, not in Washington, not in Pyongyang, not in Jerusalem, not in Tehran.” He also postulated that, “Insofar as a nuclear war has never been fought, what will be needed is more broadly intellectual guidance than Israel should ever reasonably expect from even its most senior and accomplished military officers.” The reality is that senior officers often have educations equal to that of many professors and their minds are just as keen and capable of any academic. We will grant that officers exist who are nowhere near the expert of some academics, but mostly those are junior officers and by the time an officer makes Full Bird Colonel they have at the least a Bachelor’s degree and probably a Master’s degree and many a General will have a Doctorate in at least one field from Military History to Mathematics, Physics and possibly Nuclear Physics. They will all have taken courses in Military Tactics, as even Noncommissioned officers are required to take such courses. They will have been required to take a number of command courses and often have attended some very rigorous military training courses which is how they get those impressive patches such as Ranger, Airborne and even Special Forces or Seals in the United States. So, to be honest, there are likely very few professors or other experts who would be better trained, educated and able to make the decisions and make plans to handle any threat including, or even especially, a nuclear standoff or even an actual nuclear exchange.

 

Professor Beres also said that there had never been a nuclear war, but that is technically not entirely valid as the War with Japan at the end of World War II was ended by the use of nuclear weapons which kind of means that the War with Japan did turn into the first, and thus far, only nuclear war. That was a completely one sided nuclear exchange as Japan had no nuclear weapons with which to respond which is what made the American use on Hiroshima and Nagasaki so effective. Fortunately, the Japanese did not know that the United States had used every nuclear weapon at their disposal and did not posses a third weapon. Had Japan tested the resolve of President Truman, the American’s next move was to build fifty additional nuclear weapons in the ensuing year and strike Japan with most of them in simultaneous strikes including Tokyo and a number of nuclear weapons into Mount Fuji in the hopes of causing a massive eruption. This was not much of a lesson for a nuclear standoff between two nuclear-armed adversaries. Such a standoff has limited lessons to teach us with only two which come to mind. The minor one has been the battle of the boasting idiots between President Trump and Kim Jong-un. Deciding which one is the larger idiot would be a difficult call but we would have to side with Kim Jong-un if he honestly believes he is a man-god and that his nation is as happy and well off as any other on the face of the planet. All he would need do is look southward to the Winter Olympics in South Korea to see that his nation is in dire shape and has some extreme problems. But then he knows this and this was what caused him to test President Trump and pressure the world with threats trying to force them to treat his temper tantrum by sending his beleaguered nation food and money. The more serious standoff between two nuclear powers was the Cuban Missile Crisis. This pitted the United States and President Kennedy against the USSR and Commissar Khrushchev. This standoff ended peaceably but not before nerves throughout the globe was frayed to the breaking point.

 

So, let us now look at what the future nuclear situation might be between Israel and Iran as well as Iran and the rest of the world. The first thing which can be stated, is, that Israel would not be the first to use nuclear weapons except in response to an attack using weapons of mass destruction (WMD) against Israel. Israel has made this their policy on nuclear weapons and their use such that they would only be used in response to a WMD attack. Now, such a nuclear response might be used on Iran if there were a massive WMD attack emanating from Syria or Hezballah which could be traced as being ordered by Iran. Should Iran launch a nuclear or other WMD attack on Israel then an Israeli nuclear response should be expected against Iran and for Israel to go on alert in case of an attack across the northern border from Hezballah or Syria. This covers every use of her nuclear weapons by Israel except for one rumored plan known as the Samson Option, used as the basis of “The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy,” a 1991 book by Seymour Hersh. The theory put forth presumably from an Israeli intelligence source who told of plans that should Israel be facing being overrun and destroyed by invading armies, then she would respond by launching her missiles at the main population centers of numerous Arab and Muslim nations which was hoped to prevent any attacks by Arab armies. The last organized assault on Israel by national military forces was the Yom Kippur War of October 1973, which was before Israel was assumed to have a nuclear arsenal. Since then the Arab world has not launched an assault on Israel using conventional forces and only through terror forces. There may be a question whether Hezballah, with there over one-hundred-thousand rockets and missiles could be considered to be a national type military force equating any attack by Hezballah into an attack by Lebanon and possibly their masters in Tehran thus including Iran? This is a conundrum for the heads of state and the military in Israel and we are not about to second-guess them and will wait for any announced policy. There has been some mention that should Hezballah attack Israel that Israel now considers Hezballah as being the governance of Lebanon and thus any attack by Hezballah would, at the least, be considered an attack by Lebanon.

 

This leaves Iran and what their leadership might be thinking about nuclear confrontations. It was reported by CNN on September 11, 2015, that the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said during a speech that week in Tehran, state-run media report, which translated as, “I’d say (to Israel) that they will not see (the end) of these 25 years.” That, in and of itself, is ominous enough to rattle nerves or it could be written off to bluster meant to impress the Iranian people. One thing people need to understand about the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is that his life revolves around the Quran and it is the Quran which provides him with his authority, gives him authority to make Iranian foreign policy decisions, and allows him great latitude concerning internal decision making within Iran. The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is all but unopposable when it comes to decision making and his word is as good as law. If the Supreme Leader were to order a nuclear attack on Israel, the missiles would be launched within minutes with almost nobody even thinking of questioning these orders. What is unknown is who, other than the Supreme Leader, is able to order such an attack. This is not as well known and there are suspicions that there are some military high level officers who might also be permitted to give such orders including the leader of the IRGC, the special forces and most fanatical of the Iranian military. These are also the forces responsible for foreign operations including terrorist attacks. For our concerns, we will limit our concerns to address just the possibility for the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordering a nuclear strike on Israel or on any other nation.

 

First, let us look at what logic might be used by the Ayatollah. He would be aware that the United States has extended their nuclear umbrella to Israel which would imply that any nuclear attack upon Israel would potentially result in the United States striking back at the attacker. Between Israel and the United States, there is little comparison between their nuclear capabilities as the United States has a far more capable nuclear capability. The first question is whether or not the United States truly would respond as promised to a nuclear strike on Israel. The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has witnessed a number of United States Presidents and has very probably noticed that the level of support Israel receives wavers from President to President, especially under the administration of President Obama. Thus, it is more likely that the Ayatollah would be more likely to consider taking any actions when the United States has a President who has shown preferably hostility to Israel or possibly only an indifference towards Israel and has pressured Israel over the ill-fated peace process. The real problem comes back to the one book which guides the Ayatollahs and much of the higher officers, especially those of the IRGC, which is the Quran. The one command from the Quran which has appeared again and again when it comes to relations towards Israel are two-fold, first, to kill the infidel wherever one finds them, and second, that the hour (end times) will not begin until you fight the Jews. The combination of these two concepts could lead to problems as the Iranian leading Imams and Ayatollahs have repeatedly proposed that Iran was chosen to bring on the coming of the Mahdi and the End Times. They have claimed that should they cause sufficient chaos and follow prescriptions written in the Quran, that they can cause the onset of the End Times and the coming of the Mahdi. This has often been stated to be solely the hope and ideas held by the Twelvers but some in politics have also adopted these ideas in order to gain greater acceptance by the ruling clerics. Many claim that Iran is not ruled by Twelvers though former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad brought this threat to a head and since then there have been more and more in the power structure who have been revealed as Twelvers. The prevalence of the Twelvers would make the leadership more aggressive which could be a problem, a definite problem.

 

Israel and Iran

Israel and Iran

 

What would possibly push a greater threat would be a Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah who came under some suspicions of impropriety or other weakness which might lead them to make a desperate grab at ending the rumors replacing them with a far greater news story. The Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah could be completely above all suspicion; but should the economic situations worsen leading to greater demonstrations and complete civil unrest and the regular military side with the people and the Ayatollahs believe they are losing control of the nation and may soon be deposed, then having nothing further to lose they might take equally desperate moves. Either threat could lead the Iranian leadership to throw everything they have in their arsenals at Israel and potentially also the United States. But no matter what the immediate future will bring, eventually the Ayatollahs will decide to use any weapons they have and in the not too distant future, that will mean nuclear weaponry. The Quran will eventually force the leadership who will be pressed by the IRGC commanders to press their revolution and Israel and Saudi Arabia are the two targets highest on their list. This means that sooner or later the Iranians will launch weapons at Israel. We will grant that this would not happen until Iran had struck Saudi Arabia and taken over Mecca and Medina, the two holy cities of all Islam. They also have desires to take over Egypt and would have to take Turkey so as to place somebody to rule there as President Erdoğan still has dreams to reestablish the Ottoman Empire and as he will support Iran, that will only last for as long as the Iranian dreams of reestablishing the Persian Empire do not interrupt his idea for the Ottoman Empire. There is no way for the two empires to coexist as the Persian Empire included all of Turkey and much of the Ottoman Empire plus, the Ottoman Empire also included Mecca and Medina, something the Iranians already have their own ideas about. The one place where Turkey and Iran will agree is on attacking Israel, providing that Israel will only be striking back at Iran and Turkey can remain unscathed. The problem is that at some point in the future the Iranian Supreme Leader and Grand Ayatollah will call for an all out attack to destroy Israel and should Israel see a fair number of ballistic missiles headed for Israel launched from Iran, Israel will no longer have time for diplomacy, Israel will need to reply anticipating that the Iranian missiles are tipped with WMD’s and most likely nuclear weapons. We can only hope that before such an eventuality comes to fruition that the people of Iran succeed in replacing their theocratic dictatorship with a true democratic governance which represents the people’s desires and write a constitution which will revitalize the Iranian economic situation and liberate the people from the Ayatollahs and their oppressive rule. We need remember that before the return of the Ayatollahs in 1979, Israel and Iran were friends with embassies and good relations and vital trade. A return to such would be good for Israel, good for Iran and good for both Iranians and Israelis as well as the rest of the Middle East.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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