Tuesday, February 23, 2010

No Monopoly on Grim Triggers

The US debate about Iran (referenced in my previous post about Admiral Mullen) sometimes overlooks that the US President might have to react to events.  This post does a nice job of discussing the other relevant actor:

At some point in the future, that calculation could change. Since Americans often assume that everyone else perceives the world the same way we do, it is worth repeating the obvious here: Many Israelis regard the Iranian nuclear program as a matter of life and death. The prospect of a nuclear Iran isn't an irritant or a distant threat. It is understood directly in the context of the Iranian president's provocative attacks on Israel's right to exist and of his public support for historians who deny the Holocaust. If you want to make Israelis paranoid, hint that they might be the target of an attempted mass murder. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does exactly that.
While I am more worried that an Israeli act is more likely to start a war, I can see how they might worry about Iran acting first.  And that is why spirals of fear and concerns about preemption make this whole thing mighty dicey.  I am just glad that we do not have to worry too much about a US stupid move.

No comments: