Israel and Strange Bedfellows, The 4+1 Plan, and What To Do About A Nuclear Iran

In the May 1 post  here at Asylum Watch, I argued that it should be Muslim nations that should solve the Muslim problems of Syria; et. al. To my surprise, I learned this weekend that the Obama administration is thinking along similar lines. Maybe.

According to the Israel National News.Com, :

The proposal is reportedly known by participating diplomats as ‘4+1’, and is being brokered by the United States.

The word “maybe” above reflects that there has been no official confirmation that such a proposal is in the works. But, for the purposes of this post, let’s assume that the proposal is real. This is what the Israel National News article had to say:

Israel is considering partnering with several Sunni-Muslim Arab states in a U.S.-brokered defense alliance that would be aimed at containing a nuclear Iran, the Sunday Times reported, citing an unnamed Israeli official.

The alliance would see Israel teaming up with Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Turkey and the United Arab Emirates to forge a Middle East “moderate crescent” to “contain” Iran, rather than confront it, according to Russian website RT, which quoted the Times.

And the Times of Israel had this to say:

The so-called 4+1 plan is being brokered by Washington, and would mark a sharp shift in stated policy for the White House, which has insisted the US is not interested in containing Iran but rather stopping it before it reaches nuclear weapon capability.

The Sunni states of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Jordan are all opposed to Tehran shifting the regional power balance. Though Turkey maintains strong trade ties with Iran, it has found itself opposed to Tehran over the issue of Syria.

So, can you see Israel getting into bed with Saudi Arabia, The U.A.E., Jordan, and Turkey? Although it is hard to imagine, Israel and the Group of 4 do have a common enemy. That common enemy is the Shite Muslims, which means Iran. It is Iran that has propped up the minority Alawite ( Shite) regime of the Assads for years and, in return, Syria has been Iran’s proxy in supporting Hezbollah in Lebanon. And, since the US toppled Saddam Hussein, Iran has another Shite ally in Iraq.

In my May 1 post, I argued that the Arab Spring that toppled Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muammar al-Gaddafi, in Libya has ed into something else in Syria. In my opinion, the so-called civil war in Syria is about more than a regime change. I believe the Arab Spring  has evolved into a war between the Sunni do nations and the Shite dominated nations and this is something the US and the West should stay out of. This chaos belongs to the Muslim nations and, if it has the possibility of being resolved, it will have to be done by the Muslims themselves. So, if this 4+1 plan is real, I find myself liking it. For me, it doesn’t matter if Israel agrees to join an official pact with the four Arab nations or not. We know that Israel will do what it has to do to protect their national interests, as their recent attacks near Damascus demonstrate. Therefore, in acting in their own self-interest, Israel would be effectively assisting the four Sunni Muslim nations.

The quote above from the Israel National News says the alliance would be to contain Iran rather than confront it. My reading of these words in bold is that the alliance would not be expected to confront the issue of a nuclear Iran. Nor should it, in my opinion.

What should be done about a nuclear Iran? I am going to tell you what I think and I would very much like to hear your opinions.

For much of my adult life I was a military hawk and supported every military action our government decided to take. I eventually ou grew that opinion. Yet, I never quite reached isolationist view of my libertarian friends. I still believe there are times when there is a  threat to our national security that the US is justified in taking action.. My definition of what constitutes a threat to our national security is, I am sure, a bit broader than that of most libertarians.

Your humble observer here at Asylum Watch believes that the United States should put an end to Iran’s nuclear development facilities and it should be done sooner rather than later. I arrive at this position for two reasons:

  1. The Sunni Shite War is likely to go on for years whether there is a 4+1 Plan or not. Once Iran has nuclear weapons, the balance of power will shift toward Iran. A conventional war between the Sunni and the Shiite  nations would favor the Sunni nations in the long run. The risk that a desperate Iran would resort to the use of a nuclear weapon can not be under estimated,  in my opinion. Even the threat of their use of nuclear weapons would have a destabilizing effect on the world.
  2. The American people are not responsible for the monster that Iran has become. However, the American government is responsible. It was America’s CIA that supported a plan of the British intelligence agency, MI-6, to orchestrate an overthrow the legitimate government of Iran in 1953, which allowed Sha Reza Pahlavi to take power. We all know how that worked out. So, in my opinion, the United States created this potential threat and should take responsibility for removing the threat.

I am in no way suggesting that the United States should ever consider putting boots on the ground in Iran. I am suggesting that diplomacy has failed and the US should now make use of its smart missiles, smart bombs, and its  bunker busters to put an end to Iran’s nuclear weapons development facilities and then withdraw from the region and leave the chaos to the regional powers to resolve.

I expect my views will not be popular with all of my friends. That’s okay.

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

15 thoughts on “Israel and Strange Bedfellows, The 4+1 Plan, and What To Do About A Nuclear Iran

  1. The only way to prevent putting “boots on the ground” is to elect Republican presidents. Not that a Republican president would be smarter. (There’s a reason the Republicans are known at the stupid party.)

    But Republicans do not, especially after the disaster known as Bush 43, have the political cover to start a war.

    Democrats, or as their enablers in the press call them, the compassionate anti-war party will always be able to start wars. The press will cover for them and call the war brave and necessary.

  2. Apparently the dems prefer to lead from behind and dump dictators in favor of whatever. It is the so called whatever that neither party has yet to figure out is usually not better. Obama has toppled enough countries for one administration. Let them kill each other off as they have been doing for thousands of years. If they mess with us, blast them into oblivion.

  3. In a round-around-round way you finally joined my opinion: the Shia-Sunni conflict is a long term one and a nuclear Iran is a short term one; and the outcome of this later problem will influence and dominate the outcome of the Shia-Sunni conflict. In short: attack Iran first.

    The 4+1 plan that you are describing has been the behind-doors de-facto modus vivendi of the Middle-East for quite some time. It will never be officially and openly recognized by the Arab Sunni nations that govern domestic Shia populations. But is there. That doesn’t solve problem #1; nuclear Iran. Only the USA (directly or through Israel – more likely) can solve that problem. If they do, yes, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Kuwait, Jordan, and Turkey will NOT be dancing in the street (they WILL be dancing inside their palaces) while making inane declarations of disapproval..

    Again, one only has to look at the map to realize how profoundly dumb was the squandering of Bush’s Iraq victory by this administration that many Republican isolationists of the Paulist type cheered at the time.

      1. Prof, I urge you to read the WSJ’s editorial of today, “The Non-Intervention War” (Yes, they are referring to you, who else). They practically copy my last 3 pieces on Syria. They even go as far as to sideline a comment on Iraq, “Mr. Obama declared mission accomplished and withdrew in toto”.

        Most of it is just paraphrased, like, “It was always a proxy war involving Iran, which cannot abide the loss of its ally in Damascus”, and more . . .
        It is low form to blow one’s own horn but I was left no choice when the WSJ editors left out the sourcing footnotes.

  4. I always enjoy your essays, even when I disagree. My attitudes are shaped by nearly 29 years of active duty military service. I do not agree with the idea of an aerial campaign against Iran. In my view, an aerial campaign outside the scope of a battlefield strategy, squanders our money, and our morality.

    But I do have a solution. Admittedly, it is only possible when you have committed American statesmen leading our country … as opposed to our politicians who are focused exclusively on making “fundamental changes” to the United States. A pox on all their houses.

    I am a believer in free will. I believe that if Iran wishes to squander its limited (monetary) resources on atomic weapons capability, let them. If they wish to take food out of the mouths of their citizens, reduce medicines, lower the standards in education … fine. But we should tell them publicly that if they EVER use, or attempt to use an atomic weapon on any ally of the United States, we would transform Tehran into a parking lot. Our response will be immediate and massive. There will be no discussions, no consultations, no excuses, and no second chances.

    Thus endeth my Iran Atomic Weapons Policy.

  5. The irony of it is that prior to the Islamic revolution Iran was an ally of the United States and Israel.
    It is in our national interest to eliminate Iran’s nuclear threat rather than contain it. The post-colony mentality of our President dictates that Iran is a perpetual victim.
    I disagree about your point re the US indirectly responsible for Iranian revolution. Radical Islam did not arise because of Reza shah. Internal political dynamic lead to that.

    1. ” Radical Islam did not arise because of Reza shah. Internal political dynamic lead to that.”

      You may be right, Edge. The Irani students I knew when in college in the early sixties, hated the Sha even though he was paying for their education in America. They also hated our government for supporting the Sha.

  6. I agree with you absolutely. I think vital, stress on vital, national security interests should determine our use of force. If we are in trouble, we should act to the max. But if it is some stupid half-considered strategy for changing the world, and we’re just the Air Force for hire for whoever is the enemy of our supposed enemies — let’s start conserving lives, resources, influence. We’ve become bullies. Syria is a quagmire, in fact it is a map of Syria in the dictionary next to “quagmire.” Sometimes you don’t have to fight to be a man.

  7. Also, forgot to add — it was Carter who tossed out the second Shah of Iran, just about the time he was installing the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. Meddling is always a risky business.

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