Well, Dumb and Dumber have done it again; first with Syria and now with Iran.
With Syria, Dumb drew his red-line in the sand with disappearing ink. Then Dumber made an off-the-cuff remark and Russian President Putin made both of them eat those words. Although we don’t like seeing our President and Secretary of State made fools of by the Russian President, they are fools and the world is very much aware of that fact. The end result, however, was that Dumb and Dumber were prevented from embroiling America in the Syrian civil war and that is a good thing. Is it possible that the “Swiss Cheese” agreement that Dumb and Dumber just agreed to with Iran over their development of nuclear arms will accidentally have some positive out comes? It’s a long-shot but it is possible and I will get to that in a moment. First, a few words about Iran’s intentions and what this silly agreement means for Israel and Saudi Arabia and some other countries in the region.
Only fools like Dumb and Dumber could believe that Iran is enriching uranium for the sole peaceful purpose of developing nuclear energy for their country. Victor Davis Hanson asks the obvious question that neither Dumb and Dumber or the main stream media have been willing to ask:
...why would a nation with among the world’s largest reserves of gas and oil feel the need to fund an expensive nuclear energy program in the first place?
The answer, of course, is they don’t need nuclear energy. Iran wants nuclear weapons and no piece of paper is going to stop them. They will not stop their uranium enrichment program until they have nuclear war heads and missiles capable of delivering them. Would Iran use their nukes against Israel to wipe them off the face of the earth as they have often said? Maybe, but not necessarily. At the very least they would use their nuclear status to consolidate their influence over the Shite Crescent (Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon). This, of course, would be very bad for Israel because Hezbollah would become that much more powerful. It would also be against the interest of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the Emirates and any other Sunni dominated country in that region. Beside the Sunni vs Shite issue, there is the very lucrative issue of who controls the potential oil and gas pipeline routes through Iraq and Syria. Iran and Russia want to control those routes and the Saudis want to , at least, be major player over those routes. That is why the Saudis want to see Iran contained and why they would prefer to see the Sunnis come to power again in Iraq and why they want to see the Sunnis come to power in Syria, and, of course this is why the Saudis wanted the US to go to war in Syria.
It’s not just the Saudis who like the idea of the US fighting their wars for them. Israel, too, would prefer that the US would take out the Irani nuclear facilities. However, it is painfully clear to Israel that they can no longer count on support from Dumb and Dumber.
Will Israel Go It Alone?
I recall that about a year ago, when Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was holding up his cartoon of a bomb while discussing the threat of a nuclear Iran, reading an article by a military analyst. The analyst had no doubt that the Israelis could easily handle the Irani air force. There was, however, a potentially fatal flaw in Israel taking on Iran alone. The analyst concluded that, because of the distance involved and time that would be lost in dog-fights getting into position to drop their bombs, there was a high probability that the Israeli pilots would not have enough fuel to make it back home. If that is true, then despite Netanyahu’s bravado in the past, Israel going it alone would be very, very risky. So, might Israel, using the principle of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, consider making a deal with Saudi Arabia?
Can Swiss Cheese Agreements Have A Silver Lining?
Clearly, both the Israelis and the Saudis see Iran as a dangerous enemy and the feeling is mutual from the Irani perspective. If the Saudis would allow Israel’s plane to refuel in Saudi Arabia and if the analyst was correct, then Israel could indeed stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Real Clear Politics has an article by David Ignatius of the Washington Post. The article is copyrighted so I will not be posting quotes from it. In his article, Ignatius makes a case that the deal made by Dumb and Dumber could lead to an alliance between Israel and Saudi Arabia and that could result in the deal having a silver lining. He goes so far as to suggest that such an alliance could result in Israel becoming the “protector” of the Sunni Arab nations and might even lead to the resolution of the Palestinian issue. Well……., I think Mr. Ignatius is reaching just a tad. That indeed would be a silver lining. Me? I would settle for a nickel-plated lining.
I personally hope that Israel and Saudi Arabia do form an alliance and that Israel puts an end to Iran’s dream of becoming a nuclear power. The world would be a safer place without a nuclear Iran. Of course the United States would lose its prestige and influence in the region. That would make President
Dumb Obama happy. But, in the opinion of this humble observer, the way the US has used its influence for the last sixty years in the Middle East has not resulted in the kind of prestige our country should want.
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?