Published on August 27th, 2010 | by Eli Clifton4
The Costs of Preemption
Imagine if an American politician declared that it was necessary for the security of the United States that we take an action that would result in missile onslaughts against our cities. Imagine the South Korean government — which has a truly crazed neighbor next door — proposing a solution to its security problems that would leave thousands of people in Seoul dead or dying. Imagine the Republic of Georgia deciding that the best way to defend against Russia is by bombing Moscow and then seeing what happens next.
Of course, these scenarios are unimaginable. People who advocate policies that would lead to missile onslaughts against civilians in their own country tend to be dismissed as lunatics — unless their country is already under attack. (Londoners bravely withstood the blitz that took 50,000 British lives, but they were defending themselves against Hitler, who attacked their island.)
But, in the case of Israel, those who claim to love it most would tolerate mass carnage to preempt a threat that is completely hypothetical.
He also responds to the argument that Israel must preemptively attack Iran because the Islamic Republic’s leaders are suicidal and will behave irrationally if they acquire nuclear weapons.
Well, welcome to the atomic age. Since 1945, every nation on the planet — and particularly those, like the United States, with nuclear-armed enemies — have had to live with the possibility that one of their enemies would do something insane. Americans, to put it rather inelegantly, freaked out when they learned that Stalin, a monster who had killed millions of his own countrymen, had the bomb. But only the crazies proposed preemptively bombing the Soviet Union — or Maoist China, when it got the bomb a decade later.
And why? Mostly because they knew that Americans would not tolerate the mass destruction at home that attacking our enemies would produce, destruction which the advocates of attacking Iran are willing to accept for Israel.
Those who support an Israeli attack on Iran are indistinguishable from Israel’s worst enemies. The only difference is that their plans can actually be realized.
The full piece, “Pro-Attack On Iran? Anti-Israel!” can be read here.