posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 11:42 PM
Sentinal: I agree with your first point, however it's really not relevant to the Iranian presence in Syria, except to the extent I have already
conceded: that it serves as an early warning station. A major buildup would propel Israel into a preemptive ground action just as in the Six Days War,
which means that escalation from Syria by Iran would work against their "burn the clock" strategy. It wouldn't be an effective defensive front
without deploying such forces as would almost certainly cause an Israeli preemption. So in so many words, I don't think that this changes things
compared to the state of things if Iran had no forces in Syria. Israel may opt for airstrikes, and at that point Iran has lost before the war has even
really begun, and the only choice left to them is whether or not to retaliate and accept the attendant risks.
So long as we agree that Iran isn't planning on a first strike (and as I have previously described, I think they can't begin to plan such a thing
until later) I think the order of things is pretty well confined to one course, depending strictly on Israel's decision to attack or not to
Our new friend Mahmoud may very well intend to start something, but speaking as someone who used to believe in God and the Apocalypse and the Tooth
Fairy, I suspect based on my experience that he understands the concept of "meeting God half way" and will want the nukes and a solid strategic
advantage before striking. If that were not the case, he could call upon every Iranian to pick up a couple of rocks and a pointy stick and march
towards Israel this very minute. The fact that he has not done this suggests to me that he believes he at least needs a weapon and a clean shot at the
infidel in order for God to help him win.
As for Israel's continued need to possess the Golan: Things have changed significantly since 1967 and I do not believe that Israel will be destroyed
if they give up the Golan.
When Israel preempted in 1967, Several nations not bordering Israel (Kuwait, Algeria, and a few others) had mobilized their armies immediately after
Egypt and Syria signed a military alliance and proclaimed their objective of destroying Israel. It was at that time necessary to seize areas from
which offensives into Israel could be easily launched, thus the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Golan had to be seized.
The ever-growing disparity between the antiquated soviet equipment of Israel's neighbors and Israel's own modern hardware has reduced the danger.
Israel's strides in relations with Egypt have also reduced the danger somewhat. Above all however, particularly in light of the focus on the Iranian
threat at this time, the fall of Ba'athist Iraq serves to insulate Israel from ground attack by one of the most threatening adversaries. Also, lest
we forget, Israel has had the capability of blowing an opposing army right off the field with nukes for decades now.
In my opinion, Israel can endure without possession of the Golan. Any reservations Israel may have are understandable, but should be expected to
diminish so long as Iraq demonstrates the ability to sustain a stable and non-aggressive government which can be trusted not to allow use of its
territory for the prosecution of unprovoked wars.
Short of that however (because I do not suggest that Iraqi stability is a given) we come up against a fundamental question for the morality of
preemption. Yes, the Golan is advantageous for the security of Israel, but they could probably get by without it. Should they risk going with less
security in the name of morality? And if not, realize that Israel isn't perfectly safe even with the Golan, and would be a little safer if they went
into Lebanon and established a puppet state on Syria's flank. They'd be safer if they nuked Iran right now too.
So the question is, where is the balance? How safe is safe enough? How immoral is too immoral? I suspect the answer would be that the Golan is OK
because they've already got it and nothing's gone too horribly wrong, but that nuking Iran would be a bad idea. If I'm not mistaken then,
international law will be suggested to boil down to "finders keepers".
I can see why they took it; momentary necessity. I can see why they'd be anxious to keep it a while longer. I just don't see why anyone should feel
compelled to let them keep it indefinately- momentary necessity swings both ways and someone may sooner or later see fit to kick them out, not unlike
they kicked Syria out.