The Non-Policy on Iran


The Obama Administration is sending conflicting and confusing messages both to Iran and to those who fear an Iranian nuclear weapon.  According to The New York Times, defense secretary Robert M. Gates sent a top secret memorandum to White House officials bemoaning the fact that the United States simply has no policy in place to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.  At the same time, it is telling Israel that although Iran has threatened to wipe it off the map, the Jewish state should not take military action to prevent a second Holocaust.  Indeed former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, who has participated in White House discussions concerning the Middle East, has threatened that if Israel tries to destroy Iran’s nuclear weapon facilities, the United States is fully capable of shooting Israeli jets out of the air.

Although Gates subsequently denied that his memo, which he acknowledges writing, was intended as a “wake up call”, a senior White House official has confirmed that it was just that.  There is no evidence, however, that the White House is prepared to confront the grave threat posed by a nuclear Iran.  The policy that seems to be emerging from the White House is one called “containment.”  But what is containment?  It is little more than an acknowledgment of failure.  Containment implies that the United States will not succeed in preventing Iran from securing nuclear weapons, but rather it will accept such an eventuality and seek to deter the use of nuclear weapons by threats and by the deployment of defensive measures. The analogy that proponents of containment point to is North Korea, which has nuclear weapons but has thus far been “contained” from using them.  But there are vast differences between North Korea and Iran.

North Korea is a secular Communist regime that is risk averse and that has no sworn existential enemies.  The goal of its leaders is simply to remain in power and maintain their totalitarian control over their people. Iran is a theocratic, apocalyptic regime that believes that it has a religious obligation to destroy Israel and threaten the United States.  Iran, unlike North Korea, also operates through surrogates, such as Hezbollah, Hamas and other smaller terrorist groups.  They could hand-off nuclear material to such groups, or to sympathetic individuals, for use as dirty bombs directed against its enemies.

When he ran for president, Barak Obama pledged not to allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons.  He claimed to understand that a nuclear Iran would be a game changer and a direct threat to the United States and its allies.  He now seems to be softening his position and that of the United States government.

If in fact the United States is prepared to accept a nuclear Iran, then it has no right to require Israel to accept the risks posed by a nuclear armed country that has overtly threatened its destruction.  Every country in the world has the inherent right to protect its citizens from a nuclear attack.  Israel, a nation that Obama has himself acknowledged was built on the ashes of one Holocaust, certainly has the right to take military action to prevent a second Holocaust, especially at the hands of a country that has explicitly threatened to wipe it off the map.

The world ignored the explicit threats of one tyrant who threatened to destroy the Jewish people in the 1930s, and he nearly succeeded in the 1940s.  Israel cannot be expected to ignore Hitler’s successor, who while denying the first Holocaust, threatens a second one.

The United States has promised to regard a nuclear attack on Israel as a nuclear attack on its own country, but Iran does not credit such threats, since it appears that the Obama Administration has already broken its promise not to accept a nuclear Iran.  Elie Wiesel put it well when he said that the Holocaust has taught the Jewish people to “believe the threats of our enemies more than the promises of our friends.”  Iran’s promise to destroy Israel must be taken seriously, not only by Israel but by the United States.  If the United States is not prepared to stop Iran from acquiring the nuclear weapons necessary to wipe Israel off the map, then Israel must be prepared to protect itself.

I am not suggesting that Israel should attack Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities.  I don’t know enough about the military considerations that should go into any such an existential decision.  But I am asserting, in unqualified terms, that Israel has an absolute right–legally, morally, politically–to take such an action if it deems it necessary to protect its citizens from a threatened nuclear attack.  This is especially the case, if Secretary Gates was correct when he wrote in his memorandum that the United States “lacks a policy to thwart Iran,” as The New York Times headline announced.  Someone must thwart Iran.  An Iran with nuclear weapons simply poses too great a threat to the world to be accepted– or “contained.”

  • http://www.whycanadamustend.com Tony Kondaks

    Professor Dershowitz has stated that he voted for Obama. I am seeing way too many posts by him critical of the Obama Administration's Israel policy.
    Now we're talking about Iran getting the nuclear bomb and following through on their threat to annihilate Israel.
    Professor Dershowitz needs to put his money where his mouth is. He should seriously considering tearing up his membership card in the Democratic Party if he wants us to consider that he is as serious about this issue as we are. And he doesn't have to become a Republican but he can no longer be a Democrat if he is genuine about what he writes above.

    • damon

      Dershowitz + Hororrwitz = 2 Dimwitz. And you Mr. Kondyke are just another idioit in the evil equation.

      • http://Hollywoodremoteleash.com A Bit Profound

        Very clever but I suspect you are are a liberal fool & a lost soul & Obama is a clueless idiot & or wants the jihadist to win. I hate him & the morons who voted for him for all the destruction his presidency will bring.

      • To the ignorant

        Why don't you look in the mirror !

        You will see who the real idiot is, and that is a compliment!

    • Ze-ev ben Yehudah

      I agree competely with what you say.This is a moment of truth for
      Alan Dershowitz a man I admire and read his book "the case for
      Isreal " also most of his articles should indeed tear up his democratic
      party membership card. And hopefully all the other,prominent,Jewish
      democratic party members will have the courage to do the same.

    • BS1977

      If he voted for the Prez, he should bow his head in shame and shut up. Dershowitz is another freakin liberal without a clue…..Iran's nuclear weapons program should have been turned to smoking rubble years ago. End of threat ….end of story. Precision strikes would have nullified the muillah's ambitions to intimidate the surrounding nations, especially Israel.

    • jew

      Right on! Jews ought to vote Republican!

  • damon

    PREVARICTION – Iran Never threatened to "wipe Israel of the map" even though it would be justified in doing so. Monsrous littlle colony with a psycho Milosevic wanna be (Avigdor) and a Ya hoo that oughta be netted and jailed. I just hope those liberation Scud missles are a little more accurate this time around.

    Obamha Tel-Aviv. (Much more morally justified than strangualation terrorist blockade by illegal chicken-twurlers.) – only animals would bombl people in tunnels.

    • http://Hollywoodremoteleash.com A Bit Profound

      Not to mention "pedafile". The Palestinians asked for – NO DEMANDED everything that's happened to them. I guess you think the proper way to bomb is innocents on buses. If they didn't have that stupid religion they would have shared in the prosperity the jews brought to that land as they were invited to do. Let them fester in their hatred on the other side of that fence without being able to do anything about it.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Rifleman Rifleman

      Join the jihadis so you too can become a red smear on the rubble. Lol, as if the jihadis have any scruples about bombing anybody anywhere. What a bunch of wussies, hiding under daycare centers and schools. I can see why you admire them so.

    • http://Hollywoodremoteleash.com A Bit Profound

      The Hell he doesn hasn't. You wouldn't know evil if it bit your ass off. How the hell do you follow a mass murdering, rapist, theiving, extorsionist,slaver & think the thug is a man of God. Your Qur'an induces insanity & your the proof of it. You and the other hateful Muslims are the ones who should be netted & jailed.

    • jew

      You are an idiot!

  • Ze-ev ben Yehudah

    I think that President Barack Hussein Obama is the greatest threat
    to the existence of the state of Israel.And in fact for all the Jews who
    are not living in Israel.Has he no knowlegde of history.There is a new
    holocaustic threat just around the corner.So Mr president do something
    about it to stop Iran going nuclear or leave the oval office and go home.

  • http://Hollywoodremoteleash.com A Bit Profound

    God help us, We got a Clueless insane Communist Muslim in the Whitehouse who is going to help the Crazy Muslims bring Armageddon on us.

  • AntiFascist18

    Kind of funny how every day Obama resembles another psychotic fraud and liar, OJ Simpson, more and more, not only in what he says but in physical resemblance too.

    Time for a mug shot…in an orange jumpsuit.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ctyankee ctyankee

    Washington Times article today: "Iran boosts Qods shock troops in Venezuela"

  • AntiFascist18

    If Israel has to attack, then the morning after Netanyahu should address the world and state unequivocally that all negotiations with the Palestinians have ended and Judea-Samaria is annexed to Israel. If the Chimp goes bananas, tough. We Americans need to get beyond our nightmare of putting the fraud in the Oval Office and put him in prison instead.

    The combat veteran, intellectual and statesman Netanyahu is so many more ways qualified to be our President than that coward, lying, reverse racist, anti-Semite who makes Jefferson Davis look like a saint.

  • Stephen D.

    I wonder if Israel ever thought to tell the world that it is "All In" and that they will hold Islam itself responsibile for Iran getting nukes. If they can't come together and stop Iran and Israel knows Iran intends to destroy them then in fact these other Islamic countries are accessories to the fact and are just as guilty. So, Israel should tell them "if you don't remove this regime we will come after you knowing this is it. We will destroy ever last one of your "holy sites" . No where will you be safe. We will attack you where you live until we are no more."

    • Stephen D.

      Sorry. I didn't mean to say Israel "should" I only meant I wonder if they considered this as an approach. I am not suggesting an all out attack.

  • Draza

    The "One" has a policy…. Wait for the worst to happen then blame the evil BUUUUUUSH.

    Time for some rage….

  • Joe

    I do not believe that Obama is clueless. He is the most deliberate, coherent executor of strategy we have ever had in the Presidency. I recall how McCain said in one of their debates that Obama didn't know the difference between tactics and strategy. I wonder just how hard O. bit his tongue on that one. The teleprompter is a fine metaphore of his M.O. — nothing left to chance. Unfortunately for the defenders of freedom, he is not in that camp.

  • 080

    Once Iran attains a nuclear weapon it could then step in Shiite Iraq to detach it. It has sleepers in the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf States. It might even clip off the Southeast portion of Saudi Arabia where the oil is. Would Obama go to war to prevent a nuclear armed Iran from extending its influence. And the rest of the Arabs have that inclination to side with winners. No doubt we would have Alan Colmes declare that it is "unacceptable".

  • Richard

    Obama spent many of his formative years in Indonesia going to school as a Moslem, he was taught to hate Jews every day, he is now showing his hatred for Israel in his actions. Personally I am one of those who think he is trying to cause a war between Iran and Israel, I know his actions are moving both parties in that direction.

  • USMCSniper

    Diplomatic attempts to persuade Iran to give up its quest for nuclear bombs have been going on for years, and produced no results other than to buy time for Iran's nuclear program and confer on that hostile and tyrannical regime unearned legitimacy as a peace-seeking nation. Iran's leaders are committed to a global Jihad against Western civilization; no negotiations are possible with those who seek its destruction. The West's only moral choice is to defend itself from this deadly threat.

    Given Iran's murderous goals and its feverish pursuit of the nuclear weapons to achieve them, not attacking Iran now and destroying their nuclear weapons program and military would be immoral, and truly catastrophic – particulary for Israel and the whole middle east.

  • zsa zsa

    "I am not suggesting that Israel should attack Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities. "

    This is your problem Mr. Dershowitz, you have no spine and you vote for others who are spineless and ask questions later. Grow up. What was the Winston Churchill quote about having no brain if you are a liberal after a certain age?

    I've heard you are "smart" but you can't be that "smart" if you really believed Obama would be a friend to Israel after all the evidence to the contrary. I hope you have called Melanie Phillips to apologize.

  • Shalom Freedman

    The memorandum story is quite strange. Gates has been Secretary- of- Defense under two administrations. The Iranian threat has been a concern since for several years. What is he saying about himself and the American government in general if they have no policy or plan to deal with that threat?
    On the major point of the article that the U.S. has no right to stop Israel from defending itself. I would not have focused on that but instead on the repeated promise by the President that Iran will not be permitted to attain nuclear weapons. Will the U.S. be true to its word , or as it seems to be indicating 'cop out'? If it does it will be the kind of major foreign – policy debacle , something like the one Carter and his advisor Bzezinski had with the Mullahs initial coming to power. As Carter was sent home in part for that failure so if President Obama breaks his word on nuclear Iran he should too be sent home.

    • cochavi1

      It hardly matters, Shalom. They are busy infighting and maybe Gates is creating for himself a reason or pretext to reason.

      For us all that matters is that we remove the Iranian threat. Reading the Tea Leaves in the Washington infighting is just a distraction. We can not rely on the United States under Obama – except to try and isolate us to the extent they can.

      Tagid li sh'baleve atah eincha maskim iti….

  • cochavi1

    sorry, I meant maybe Mr. Gates is looking for a reason to resign. That is what I meant.

  • Peter E. Coleman

    Obama has acquired the habit of saying one thing and doing the opposite. No matter what he says- expect the opposite – adjust your thinking accordingly.

    Change cannot be more fundamental than to reverse everything.

  • Anon

    Iran don't even have the nukes, and they're not going to have one in a long time. Stop dancing to your 'Bomb Iran' song and stand up straight.

    • jew

      You are a moron!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/crypticguise crypticguise

    It is time for Professor Dershowitz to take a stand for Israel and against the IslamoFascists in the Middle East. Unfortunately, the Professor lives and makes his living amongst the Elitist Politically Correct liberal crowd.____He will not allow himself to be separated from his Associates at Harvard and the Ivy League claque of elitists to stand against the DESTRUCTION of Israel. Secular Jews and their ilk pretending to believe in the God of Israel are too heavily invested in the Democrat Party to give a crap about Israel.____Of course, Evangelical and other Christian believers will speak out and be derided by Jews for their support of the Israel Nation. Shame on our Jewish brethren.

  • Jack Ajzenberg

    And here is 'The Dershowitz', reminding us all of Obama's infamous Cairo speech when he claimed Israel was created on the ashes of the Holocaust.According to Al, The object lesson to take from the disappointing one's Cairo comment is Israel must avert a second holocaust given Iranian threats of annihilation. Someone, anyone, a person who cares for and loves Dershowitz needs to shake the man and hopefully it will make him cease and desist from issuing such stultifying nonsense.Read all about it Al, right here. Israel was not, i repeat for emphasis was not created on the ashes of the holocaust. Israel was created on the millenium old yearning for Zion, for our return to our covenantal land. You see, my pal Al, Jews praying regularly, occasionaly and certainly more than twice a year, know this well. Jews studying Torah both know, understand and are commited to Zion and it is not because it makes for good copy sold to the highest bidder or dinner talk, my friend. And about this second holocaust you are so quick to assume will take place,all i need to say is not so fast Al. It took the Jews almost 2000 years to come home again. We are not leaving because an Islamacist twerp with ejaculatory issues get his rocks by going off on Israel every Tuesday and Thursday between prayers and parades. I know he scares you Al. Don't stress. Pray a few more times and read the parts about Zion. Anyway, you can always post another blog entry or write another article demonstrating your deep concern. There is a book somewhere in this Al.

  • Dale

    Our United States should stand together with Israel on the issue of Iran and nuclear weapons.They would use them on us as well as Israel.Are we not the great satan that must be destroyed ? When will every one wake up and see whats going on in the world and our own country ? That muslim in the white house is not going to do anything for us except to continue to undermine our nation and make us weaker.The world is aready laughing at the guy for bowing down to islam and leaders of othere countries that would like to see us destroyed.No respect,no dignity,he is a danger to our way of life and we need to help Israel in any way possible to remain a free nation.