Wednesday, June 29, 2022 -
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Deadly idea wrapped in a love letter

What could be better?

A bipartisan group backs a bill to establish an “integrated air and missile defense capability” joining the US, Israel and Arab countries to deter Iran. Not only Israel would deter Iran, but the US and Arab countries would be right there beside it doing the same! As we say, what could be better?

“The full potential of the Abraham Accords, economic cooperation, education exchanges, trade agreements between Israel and our Middle Eastern partners, cannot be achieved without a commitment to collective security,” according to Sen. Joni Ernst, the Iowa Republican who is the lead co-sponsor with Sen. Jacky Rosen, the Nevada Jewish Democrat.

The military component is now a must. “America’s role in activating and networking our allies and partners in the Middle East must evolve as violent extremists, like Iran, change their tactics and onboard new systems capable of catastrophic damage against civilian targets,” say Sens. Ernest and Rosen, by way of explanation for the unprecedented bill.

The bill would task the US Secretary of State with establishing an “architecture” and “acquisition approach” for an “integrated air and missile defense system” to counter threats from Iran.

What could be better?

Actually, what could be worse? The failure of nerve embodied in this bill is breathtaking. This bill posits:

• An Iran too strong to defeat militarily. Its malevolent designs can only be planned for defensively.

The bill throws in the towel on the international effort to coerce Iran to end its pursuit of nuclear weapons and its development of the missiles capable of delivering them.

The bill’s “deterrence” option translates: We concede that we are not willing to take the necessary steps to stop Iran from developing as many nuclear weapons as it desires. The best we can do is to “deter” Iran by promising unacceptable levels of punishment should Iran use them.

And exactly what would those levels of punishment be? This bill posits:

• Doing nothing. Or doing too little.

Read these promises of an “integrated air and missile system” for what they really are: a cover for a lack of will. Observe:

NATO has some 70 years behind it of integrated military “architecture” and “acquisition.” Yet, when NATO is challenged by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, NATO falls lemminglike behind the technicality that, although the security, the energy supply and the food supply of Europe itself is directly threatened by Russia, NATO will not act because Ukraine is not a member of NATO.

European nations will send whatever weapons they individually decide to just so the nation state of Ukraine is not ended, even as Ukraine’s cities, highways, air fields, communication links, hospitals, businesses and farms are utterly destroyed one by one — but NATO will not act to end the destruction of Ukraine. Why? Lest such action provoke Putin to go nuclear.

And a nuclear Iran? Will it be any different?

All the mutual promises and integrated “architecture” and “deterrence” in the world will be no different.

Even as as Iran would rush to destroy every kibbutz, every city, every hospital, every theater, every yeshiva, every Jewish holy site, every everything that Israel has built over the same period that NATO has burnished its integrated “architecture,” an Iranian threat to go nuclear would eviscerate a new, militarily inflected Abraham Accords; sincerely to be backed by military action, no doubt, but not to the extent necessary to prevent Israel from being turned into an Ukraine-like shell — a blood-soaked shell.

Hey. What’s so difficult here? The West has been “deterring” Iran for more than 20 years now. The UN “deterred” Iran with countless resolutions. Obama deterred Iran with a nuclear deal. Trump deterred Iran with the cancellation of the nuclear deal. None of it stopped Iran. A lot of smoke and mirrors, yes: inspections, promises, proclamations, cash deliveries in the hundreds of millions of dollars, punishing sanctions; the list rolls on. But the bottom line is unchanged: Never once has Iran — before, during or after the nuclear deal — been forced to reveal the full extent, and even the full location, of its nuclear pursuit.

And now? An integrated “architecture” and “acquisition” will deter this fanatic theocracy? The US did not wake up to the Nazi threat until the US was directly attacked at Pearl Harbor. No one wants to face the music. Instead of further wasted years and who knows how many wasted billions, what is needed now is for Israel to get the wink from the US, the bunker buster bombs from the US, the freedom to decide when and if to deploy them, the leadership resembling that of Menachem Begin, who had the courage to strike Iraq’s nuclear site in 1981 — and Divine assistance. Everything else is just a refusal to face the music. Iran will not be “deterred,” only defeated.

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