Thursday, February 01, 2007

Nuclear rhetoric from Regean to Ahmadinejad

Some discussion in Australia of an article by Benny Morris evoking the spectre of a 'second holocaust' the destruction of Israel by an Iranian nuclear attack. Truly repellent as the Iranian regime is I'm inclined to agree with Robert Farley:
His analysis rests, of course, on the assumption that Iran will behave differently than any country with nuclear weapons has ever behaved, including the Soviet Union under Stalin, the People's Republic of China during the Cultural Revolution, and North Korea under Kim Jong Il. He rejects any careful analysis of the decision-making of the Iranian state, building his argument around Ahmadinejad but failing to note that there is almost no chance that the current President of Iran will be in power when (and if) Iran develops a nuclear weapon. He notes in passing that the rest of the Iranian foreign policy elite also favors the destruction of Israel, which kind of makes me wonder why Ahmadinejad matters at all.
I don't follow the argument of Harry Feldman which seems to be that destruction of Israel wouldn't be a second holocaust as most Jews live outside Israel. Shades of the stolen generation not being a generation. What I am reminded off was Reagan’s 'joke' :
My fellow Americans. I'm pleased to announce that I've signed legislation outlawing the Soviet Union. We begin bombing in five minutes.
Reagan’s rhetoric inspired understandable fear and alarm. Within the Soviet Union according to the evidence of Vasil Mitrokohn it led many in the Soviet leadership to fear a nuclear first strike by the US. The KGB had difficulty persuading the leadership that however dramatic Reagan’s rhetoric this was not the case. Fortunately they were successful.

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