No Proxy War with Iran

[Los Angeles Times] Editorial - The military reality is that Israel cannot effectively attack Iran without Bush's acquiescence because Israeli jets would need to cross Iraqi airspace that is currently controlled by the U.S. And multiple bombing runs would be required (though even strikes by the far superior U.S. Air Force would probably do no more than delay Iran's development of a nuclear weapon by a few months or years). That means Israel would not be able to protect the United States with the political fiction that it had conducted a surprise attack without informing the U.S. beforehand. In any case, Tehran has already announced that it would make no distinction between a U.S. or an Israeli attack. Nor would many other nations. There are a dozen reasons why "If you want to whack them, we've got your back" is the wrong message for the U.S. to send Israel, publicly or privately. One is the increase in oil prices as a result of the war talk, which only enriches Iran. But here are two better ones: The consequences of an Israeli war with Iran are unpredictable, and it is nearly impossible to assess Iran's ability to make good on its threats to retaliate against the United States, presumably through its terrorist proxy, Hizbullah.

2008-07-04 01:00:00

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