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Originally posted by interesting at 2008-6-24 18:44
If the Israelis attack Iran, there's nothing you can do about it and none of your protesting matters a wit to them. Unlike you, they're among the targets of Iran's nuclear program.
I agree with your first sentiment, as the Israelis have little concern with world opinion of their actions, but this is not a good thing.
It must be remembered; In the early days of its re-establishment, when Israeli terrorist groups (the Irgun) bombed the British and Palestinians, the very members who conducted such acts became government officials (Menachem Begin). They were never held accountable for the deaths of civilians, nor demonstrated any remorse for their actions. There was no public outcry condemning their actions and these same individuals are revered by many today. Because the Israelis won.... the Irgun became "freedom fighters" rather than terrorists.
Israel is not a country whose past is free of controversy, so there should be no expectation that any action they take is inherently correct or right. Not to mention that a pre-emptive strike by them has global consequence, and as such should be subject to global review (whether intercession, authorization, or penalty).
It is not fair to ask countries like China to respect world opinion, but then to treat Israel as if it is exempt.
As to the second, I have no doubt that Israel would be a target (much like the U.S.S.R. targetting the U.S. and visa versa), but I suspect the Iranians want nukes for a more immediate concern.... prevention of U.S. conventional ground attack. The Iranians know, as do most nations today, that the only counter to the overwhelming conventional force (and technology) of the U.S. is nuclear. The U.S. will not invade a nation that actually has nuclear capability, though they might conduct air strikes on those lacking ranged delivery systems.
And even if the above did not exist... Iran is currently a target of Israeli nuclear weapons (an arsenal of hundreds), so why should it be a surprise that Iran would want a similar capability?
This doesn't mean I favor Iran having nuclear weapons, but there are still other methods left to try to negotiate a resolution besides military intervention. Because there are, if Israel were to strike now I don't feel their action would be justified.