"There are plenty of arguments against an Israeli attack on Iran. And all of them are bad."
From Newsweek, via the Daily Beast
"There are five reasons (I am told) why Israel should not attack Iran:
1. The Iranians would retaliate with great fury, closing the Strait of Hormuz and unleashing the dogs of terror in Gaza, Lebanon, and Iraq.
2. The entire region would be set ablaze by irate Muslims; the Arab Spring would turn into a frigid Islamist winter.
3. The world economy would be dealt a death blow in the form of higher oil prices.
4. The Iranian regime would be strengthened, having been attacked by the Zionists its propaganda so regularly vilifies.
5. A nuclear-armed Iran is nothing to worry about. States actually become more risk-averse once they acquire nuclear weapons.
I am here to tell you that these arguments are wrong.
Let’s take them one by one.
1.The threat of Iranian retaliation. The Iranians will very likely be facing not one, not two, but three U.S. aircraft carriers. Two are already in the Persian Gulf: CVN 72 Abraham Lincoln and CVN 70 Carl Vinson. A third, CVN 77 George H.W. Bush, is said to be on its way from Norfolk, Va....
2.The eruption of the entire Muslim world. All the crocodiles of Africa could not equal the fake tears that will be shed by the Sunni powers of the region if Iran’s nuclear ambitions are checked.
3.The double-dip recession. Oil prices are on the way down thanks to concerted efforts of Europe’s leaders to reenact the Great Depression. An Israel-Iran war would push them up, but the Saudis stand ready to pump out additional supplies to limit the size of the spike.
4.The theocracy’s new legitimacy. Please send me a list of all the regimes of the past 60 years that have survived such military humiliation. Saddam Hussein’s survival of Gulf War I is the only case I can think of—and we got him the second time around.
5.The responsible nuclear Iran. Wait. We’re supposed to believe that a revolutionary Shiite theocracy is overnight going to become a sober, calculating disciple of the realist school of diplomacy ... because it has finally acquired weapons of mass destruction? Presumably this would be in the same way that, if German scientists had developed an atomic bomb as quickly as the Manhattan Project, the Second World War would have ended with a negotiated settlement brokered by the League of Nations.
The single biggest danger in the Middle East today is not the risk of a six-day Israeli war against Iran. It is the risk that Western wishful nonthinking allows the mullahs of Tehran to get their hands on nuclear weapons. Because I am in no doubt that they would take full advantage of such a lethal lever. We would have acquiesced in the creation of an empire of extortion.
War is an evil. But sometimes a preventive war can be a lesser evil than a policy of appeasement. The people who don’t yet know that are the ones still in denial about what a nuclear-armed Iran would end up costing us all.
It feels like the eve of some creative destruction."