Just reading up on the situation–
The New Yorker interviewed Ahmadinejad and seemed to be perplexed at the things he was saying regarding Israel… sure, the Holocaust denial is irrational, but the rest I don’t think seems to be a huge breach of logic for Ahmadinejad given his position? He thinks that because what Israel has done to Palestine is unacceptable, that means he should be on the offensive against Israel. That seems no crazier than some of his other policies, for example banning gelled hairstyles for men and imprisoning his critics. I have to say, I don’t see why one of the things he suggests, holding a referendum on occupation in Israel and Palestine, would be so far-fetched… it may be impractical, but it’s not exactly a bad idea in theory. Anyway, besides that, the main thing I got from this article is the author’s (Jon Lee Anderson) feeling that Iran’s reformist Green Movement is dormant.
Al Jazeera reports that Iran is calling its newly unveiled unmanned bomber an “ambassador of death.”
The Atlantic is talking about the likelihood of Israeli strikes against Iran (July of next year) and trying to figure out what the US would do in response. While pointing out that letting Israel invade Iran without the necessity of US intervention would solve some problems for a lot of people, assuming Israel was successful, it also notes that “even Bush balked at attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities, and discouraged the Israelis from carrying out the attack on their own.”
So it’s all, or mostly, still about Israel. It makes me think of what I concluded in 2003, when I was trying to figure out how the hell retaliation for September 11 was related to invading Iraq… For me the most logical answer ended up being this: The Israel-Palenstine issue has created too much underground heat and antipathy towards the US. We realized we needed a different ally in the Middle East besides Israel, and not Saudi Arabia, so set out to “create” one in Iraq.
But 8 years later, would we be ready to distance ourselves from Israel to the extent that we wouldn’t step in if they decided to attack Iran?
I am not sure why I feel so engaged with this topic. It’s just interesting to me.
One thing I can say is, I would prefer we were in a position where we did not have to get involved in more fighting. I suppose we would be expected to take sides even if we didn’t actually send help, and it sounds like the majority of the Middle East would want us to side against Iran anyway… they think it would be quicker and less nasty if we took care of it, and siding with US would give them an alternative to having to side with Iran. That’s nice of them, but it is oversimplifying things, not to mention overly optimistic. It would be unwise for us to step in unless they made clear that they really wanted us to. Countries besides Israel, I mean.
Obama is handling this situation the same way I would.
I met an Iranian dude at the gym in Belfast once… he approached me in the weight room all excited because I was wearing my “I ran into Tammy Faye at the Mall” t-shirt. He thought the shirt said “Iran.”
[update: Just read the Economist piece on Obama’s ushering of new peace talks between Israel and Palestine. It points out Israel’s motivation to make good with the US, given Iran’s threat to build a bomb, could influence them to give a bit more over to Palestine… http://econ.st/cG2IyP …So does that mean Ahmadinejad’s plan could be working? And if Israel agreed to progress in the peace talks, would that in turn slow down Ahmadinejad?]
Geography does play a pretty big role in all this…