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"Biden quoted as saying that Israel will have to reconcile itself to a nuclear Iran"

From Haaretz.com (HT: Hugh Hewitt):

Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden was quoted Monday as telling senior Israeli officials behind closed doors that the Jewish state will have to reconcile itself to a nuclear Iran.

In the unsourced report, Army Radio also quoted Biden as saying that he opposed "opening a additional military and diplomatic front."

Biden, chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has long been considered strongly pro-Israel. His nomination as Barack Obama's running mate had been expected to shore up the Democrats' strength with U.S. Jewish voters.

Army Radio said Israeli officials expressed "amazement" over the remarks attributed to him.

"Israel will have to reconcile itself with the nuclearization of Iran," Army Radio quoted Biden as telling the unnamed officials.

"It's doubtful if the economic sanctions will be effective, and I am against opening an additional military and diplomatic front."

Read the rest here.

Comments (11)

Noted, too, under the 'related articles,' Biden's also suggesting she 'may be' a Nazi sympathizer, by exploiting a past affiliation with Pat Buchanan. Sounds like an offensive play to keep those Jewish votes left of center.

Just a thought.

I don't believe for a second that Israel will reconcile itself to a nuclear Iran. By telling Israel that they must do so, Biden is pressuring Israel into making a strike before the Bush administration is out of office. In other words, if the upcoming election begins to look as if McCain will lose, then Israel will strike while it has an ally in the White House.

Netanyahu has famously said that the only reliable peace is a defendable peace. In other words, if your peace depends upon the good will of a nation of ill will, like Iran, you have no peace. A nuclear strike by Iran cannot be defended against. It can only be averted -- by eliminating the threat.

Conversely, if it looks like an Obama victory, Iran will wait before it ups the ante again, which it will do once it gets a more favorable adminisitration in the White House. In short, by saying what he says, Biden is pushing things to a head.

Put differently, nuclear dangers will not be averted by the good will of Iran, whose leadership has said it wants Israel annihilated. Israel has protected itself against nuclear threats from its neighbors in the past. I fully suspect it will do so again. A nuclear Iran will not be tolerated.

Biden's PR men are now hotly denying that he said this. I've seen reports of it in The Jerusalem Post and Haretz. Who knows? Certainly it's not a message Biden can afford to project now, whatever he actually thinks.

Michael,
"It can only be averted -- by eliminating the threat." Geesh, you sound like the Joker in the Dark Knight; "Its simple. Kill the Batman."

Is Ahmadinejad the sole extent of Iran's leadership? Will he even be in power in a year, or will Ali Larijani takeover? What will happen to the entire region after an attack by Israel? Care to give a guess at the impact on both the world economy when the Gulf of Hormuz is ablaze and its implications for Israel's standing amongst the semi-civilized world? Does Iran have a proven nuclear capability, and do you really think the Mullahs have a death-wish that would find fulfillment if they were ever to unleash a nuclear attack?

Sabre-rattling is easy. Undoing all the consequences that follow a war, are not. Your counsel to Israel is precisely what her most ardent enemies would like to witness.

"Preventive war is like committing suicide out of fear of death."
Otto van Bismarck

Kevin,
Batman? Joker?
Perhaps you should raise the level your political discourse.

Yes, Israel must eliminate the threat. If necessary, they will launch a devastating attack on nuclear facilities in Iran. They've done such things before. They might well have to do such things again. We shall see.

Did I say, or even hint, that Ahmadinejad was the the sole extent of leadership in Iran? He is president; he is not alone; he has support; he has opposition. None of that is a secret or a surprise. No one has denied it. You're wasting time, effort, and pixels responding to a view no one holds or defends. As for the future, only God knows, and He hasn't told me -- or you. Because we don't know what the future holds, we strategize for what actually is -- and that means we deal with the current regime in Iran, not some imaginary regime from the future. When the regime changes, perhaps tactics will have to change as well. But if you are determined to strategize on the basis of movies and futurology, I can't stop you.

So, go ahead and characterize the Islamic threat to Israel as mere saber-rattling if you wish, but Israel is not foolish enough to do so. They've had too many thousands of their citizens die at the hands of militant Islam. They do, and must, take threats to their very existence with utmost seriousness. They don't think that Islamic militancy -- especially when that militancy is determined to acquire nuclear capacity and has been actively doing so -- is mere posturing or saber-rattling. That's why Israel still exists.

You don't simply respond to a nuclear attack -- you remove the threat BEFORE it becomes an attack, Bismarck not withstanding. If national security ever reduces to counter-punching in a nuclear war, you have lost. You have failed to protect the citizens it is your sacred and solemn duty to protect. You must protect your nation from nuclear attack, which means you must act before the attack, not in response to the attack. You remove the threat before things go nuclear, not afterward. Sometimes you will not be able to negotiate, or even to threaten, your enemies out of attacking you. In such cases, you must remove the threat.

And, no, it's not my counsel to Israel. It's the Likud Party policy on national defense. Yes, I am an American member of Likud, and glad to be one.

Michael,
Your rhetoric is right out of Hollywood. True, "we don't know what the future holds" with great certainty, which it makes all the mor eimportant tp apply the lessons of history. Your recklessly clamoring for another sequel to the debacle of Iraq ("must eliminate the threat" of non-existent WMD's) and Israel's foolish and disproportionate blunder in Lebanon. The latter served only to take innocent lives and strengthen the threat of Hezbollah. What is it about you and unhappy endings?

I'll let you tout your dual-loyalties all you want, but for now you need a more realistic, less Rambo-derived script if you genuinely want to serve America's and Israel's interests. Otherwise, all of humanity will suffer from another cataclysm.

"I'll let you tout your dual-loyalties all you want."

Michael, you've been anti-Semiticized.

Kevin apparently thinks that a war is unjust if it does not go according to plan, which would mean that the only sort of war that is justified is one in which we know what the future holds. But since we can never know that, no war is justified.

Let's engage in a bit of a thought experiment. Suppose the occupation faze had gone on without a hitch. But the absence of that debacle, according to Kevin, would really be of no relevance, since we found no WMDs. On the other hand, suppose we found WMDs and the occupation went as badly as it did in real life. In that case, if I'm reading Kevin correctly, the war would then be justified.

But this begs the question: why then bring up the debacle at all, since it apparently has no bearing on the question of the war's justice? But that's not the end of the story. For if one has good reason to believe there were WMDs and there turns out not to be any, that still doesn't mean the war was unjust, since reasonable belief may provide warrant to act lethally. For example, if I have good reason to believe that Mr. X is going to shoot me, and he pulls out of his pocket a toy gun and aims it at me (but I have good reason to believe it's a real gun), and I shoot Mr. X and kill him, I was justified, even if it turns out that my belief was false.

Of course, there are good reasons to have not attacked Iraq, and many of my closest friends have offered them. Thus, I'm not saying that one cannot reasonably believe that this is an unjust war. What I am suggesting is that the reasons Kevin gives are among them.

Having said that, it seems clear that the surge has worked. Today, the U. S. turned over the Anbar provice to Iraqi security forces. That's huge. (But apparently not as interesting as Bristol Palin's pregnancy, if the MSM has anything say about it).

If World War II had been lost, it would have been a tragedy. But the cause would not have been unjust.

Suppose the occupation faze (sic) had gone on without a hitch.

That would only be possible if we were going to leave, which has been made clear time and again, that there are no limits to the Friedman units, tipping points, last chances, etc.

...since reasonable belief may provide warrant to act lethally.

I'll bet you don't want to make that subjective view an objective principle.

Step2. Just because reasons are had by subjects does not make all reasoning subjective. For if it did, then your comments would be by their very nature be non-objective on those very grounds. That's called "self-refutation."

But this [raises] the question: why then bring up the debacle at all, since it apparently has no bearing on the question of the war's justice?
Well, under the JWD we had to be certain of the WMD threat and we also had to have a reasonable chance of success. The disastrous occupation may pertain to the 'reasonable chance of success' criteria. It is certainly conceivable that the war failed the JWD at multiple independent points.
For if one has good reason to believe there were WMDs and there turns out not to be any, that still doesn't mean the war was unjust, since reasonable belief may provide warrant to act lethally.
The JWD requires that we be certain of the WMD threat which motivated us to go to war (not 'good reason to believe' but 'certain'). The fact that the threat did not actually exist falsifies the contention that we were certain of its existence, under any reasonable understanding of 'certain'.

I agree with Michael B that Israel will almost certainly not tolerate a nuclear armed Iran.

"Michael, you've been anti-Semiticized."

Actually I think I was. As much as I admire the agendas of Action démocratique du Québec, Lega Nord, Fine Gael, or the Social Christian Unity Party, and the good people they serve, I would never join the political vehicle of a another nation. There is more than enough tension generated by the competing claims posed by the City of God and the City of Man, for me to seek another source of inner conflict.

I understand the desire to develop a justification that can somehow retroactively fit within the Church's Just War Theory, but your quirky toy gun analogy fails. We had arms inspectors all over Iraq and imposed a no-fly zone upon the country. Iraq was far from comparable to a furtive figure in a darkened alley suddenly thrusting an apparent weapon in our direction. Your analogy is simply the strained corollary to the Jack Bauer Ticking Bomb scenario favored by torture enthusiasts.

As for your thought experiment, I'll try to eliminate all loop-holes. Even if we found WMD's and oversaw a peaceful, flawless occupation, the justice of our action would be immoral, if the real motive for inflicting death and destruction was, as Bush's speech writer said; to "put America more wholly in charge of the region than any power since the Ottomans, or maybe the Romans." If you can find a defense for such thinking within Church doctrine, it most likely resides somewhere at Vox Nova. If not now, it will fortuitously appear during the Obama Administration.

One would think after the Iraq debacle, that those banging the war drums would be chastened enough to be perhaps more humble in their predictions, and more open to less bloody resolutions. Truly amazing.


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