Over the past couple weeks, a war of words has been escalating between Iran and Israel. Iran is resolved to progress with its nuclear program, and Israel is 100 percent committed to preventing a nuclear-armed Tehran.
Israel believes that economic sanctions are not enough to discourage the Iranians from discontinuing their nuclear ambitions, Iran claims their actions are purely for civilian purposes and Israel seems to have begun preparations to use military options to curb the perceived threat Iran poses.
The Iranian hard-line government has repeatedly stated that Israel does not have the right to exist, but in reality, these threats are a little more than rhetoric. The true root of the problem lies in the fact that Iran feels threatened.
Israel has nuclear weapons; it also has the means to deploy them against any regional foe, such as Iran. Consequently, the Iranians won’t feel truly secure until they have one themselves. Not necessarily to deploy, but to deter from what they feel is a hostile western society. It is the same type of posturing and saber-rattling seen during the Cold War. Neither side wants a war, but both sides wish to be the top dog.
It’s the same reason the world didn’t end during the cold war: No one was willing to make the first move. Therefore, it is absolutely crucial that the Israelis do not fire the first shot. Not only would a war between these two nations be immensely destructive, but there is also a good chance the US could be dragged into such a conflict. This is all very reminiscent of the situation in Korea, when the North developed nuclear capabilities. Here was a militaristic government with an irrational, almost primal hate for its neighbor, one that felt it was under imminent threat from the West, yet even the North Koreans were unwilling to use their weapon and open Pandora’s box.
Israel is a sovereign nation, and they must ultimately decide whether to use their armed forces. If they resort to military means though, they must prepare to fight a large-scale war on their own. They can’t just rely on the US to bail them out if things get dicey.
Simply put, the US is in no place to fight another war. After all, we can hardly handle our own problems. George Washington once said America must “avoid entangling foreign alliances;” this is exactly what he was talking about.
Matt Story is a kinesiology senior and may be reached at email@example.com.