Creative Destruction

May 9, 2006

Mere Anarchy

Filed under: Current Events,International Politics — Off Colfax @ 5:56 am

For some reason, the escalating war of words between Israel and Iran gets me to thinking about William Butler Yeats’ poetry. (Either that or the Book of Revelations…) Indeed, it makes my mind go into 18 different directions at the exact same time, trying to accrue enough data to satisfy every single facet of my curiosity all at once. (Therefore, mea maxima culpa in advance for this post being so choppy and scattered.) Today’s installment of Obscure Literary Moments And Intellectual Schizophrenia comes from this WaPo article:

Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres warned Iran that it could be threatened with destruction if it continues to vow to destroy Israel.

“Be careful with your threats,” Peres told Channel 1 TV on Monday. “Those who threaten to destroy are in danger of being destroyed.”

Remember this, folks. Israel is a non-declared nuclear power. Not only that, but they are not a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. (Rough translation: They gotsa nukes. Gotsa lotsa nukes.) Which means that, should Tehran make good its threat to withdraw from the NPT, Israel could take this as a direct indication of threat. They’ve taken unilateral action before, with the destruction of Iraq’s Osirak reactor in 1981. What makes us think that Israel would not be planning a similar pre-emptive strike against the various facilities of Iran before Ahmadinejad gets his new toys?

Well, aside from the fact that they’ve had this plan ready to go since at least mid-December 2005, that is.

Of course, the Iranian military is prepared to go the extra mile against the Israelis, but how successful would they be? Remember, these are the guys that fought two separate two-front wars (albeit close enough geographically to be considered in mutual support radius) and won both of them handily. In fact, parts of the Israeli military, cavalry regiments and interceptor squadrons specifically, are considered to be among the first-tier by a majority of first-tier militaries. (Other first-tier militaries would include the United States, United Kingdom, Russian Federation, France, ANZAC [special-forces specific], and China.)

So what would Iran’s answer involve? Nukes. Lots of them. Which invokes the classic scene from Wargames, where the launch of one nation’s nuclear arsenal initiates a full-blown nuclear war. It is doubtful that land-based American nukes would be involved unless and until another major power launched (Read: China, who is not on the best of terms with Jerusalem at the moment.), but that does not rule out the use of B61 gravity bombs or nuclear-armed BGM-109 cruise missiles. Of course, for this to be a factor, Tehran must have a nuclear arsenal in the first place… But that’s already the suspicion, isn’t it.

Basically, should this come to a head, the worst nightmare of the late-20th Century may come to pass: Nuclear Hot War. And you wondered why I get “The Second Coming” stuck in my head whenever I read articles about Iran these days. Yeats was as much poet as he was prophet, it seems…

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

I simply have to hope that the worst fears of this particular insomniac will not come to pass. Hope and pray.

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