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Iran, The Magic Key, and the Samson Option

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Now that the Iranian demonstrators are almost ground under the heel of the Revolutionary Guard, we, simple spectators in the West, can take stock of the situation and reflect on where the Middle East is now headed. While the protests for electoral integrity are heartening to most democrats, the flame that sprang to life now seems spent. Though the catalyst of this expression was a state sponsored event, unlike Tienanmen Square, the end result seems much the same as in any totalitarian state. While there was much hue and cry via the new media, the song of hate and oppression remains the same on the dominant state media. Strangely, for one person this whole episode might seem a welcome respite.

If you're President Obama, you have to be happy. The electoral protest has bought Obama needed time to try to browbeat Israel some more or to offer more sweet words to Iran in hopes of a some face-saving "peace in our time" agreement. Some have felt that the reticent and self-critical reaction offered by Obama initially was a ploy. By hanging back rhetorically, Obama gave the odious Iranian regime public relations breathing space to crush the protesters. This theory continues that Obama wanted to create a public relations debt so that the Mullahs essentially owe him one. Having given them something, the President now has a chit in the Iranian favor bank.

I don't quite buy this notion. I don't doubt for a moment that Obama would leave the brave protesters in the lurch. After all, this was a man who denied the Iraqi surge after it succeeded. If he would play politics with the lives of American soldiers, why wouldn't he cynically use foreign protesters?

The real stumbling block in this theory is that it assumes Obama is naive enough to believe he could extract some sort of viable deal from Iran. Woodrow Wilson was duped into believing he could get the concessions he wanted in the Versailles Peace Treaty, but by his allies, not his enemies. To believe Obama would strike a deal with the America-hating nuclear jihadists seems a stretch, since any deal would be violated instantly. The fallout from such a deal gone sour could cost Obama his second term, which is his one overriding priority. This doesn't mean the Arabs won't try to sell the snake oil of a phony deal anyway.

Many deals seem to be floating around the Middle East these days. Saudi Arabia was recently trying to push a deal when Obama was in the Kingdom recently, for the second time in less than six months. According to Saudi media, King Abdullah ordered Obama "to solve the Palestinian issue and impose a solution if necessary." You can bet Obama promptly bowed and scurried from the room. Still, he'll have a tough time finding the so-called "magic key." This key is what some Arabs believe will solve all the problems of the Middle East. It encompasses the favorable settlement of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.

What is favorable to most Arab governments just happens to be not so favorable to Israel. Some Arabs favor the instant destruction of Israel (Iran, Syria, Yemen) or the slow dismemberment of the Jewish state through repatriation. (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt) Unfortunately, Benjamin Netanyahu has no interest in any deal that allows the Arabs to ship any number of Palestinians, real or ersatz, into Israel. Unlike the United States, Israel built a wall. That solved the people problem, but not the rocket barrages. However, the small conventional rockets are nothing compared to the nuclear jobs Iran has in mind, but here too, Netanyahu has a defense of sorts. It's called the Samson Option.

You see, though the U.S. press (perhaps still obsessed with all things Obama) never mentions it, Israel is a nuclear nation. How many bombs, and what kind, are obviously a closely guarded secret. We do know however that they work. In the 1980s, Israel tested a nuclear device off South Africa, courtesy of the then racist Apartheid government.

The most important aspect of the Samson Option is the saying "never again." Having suffered mass slaughter at the hands of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 40s, the resolution on which the nation of Israel was founded is explicit. Any threat of a new Holocaust would be stopped with all due swiftness and certainty — by whatever means possible. The Jews themselves would die as a race, fighting rather than be killed via the manner of the Nazis. Samson was killed when he tore the building down, but all his enemies were destroyed as well. In nuclear terms, this means Israel would obliterate all countries which pose a threat if Israel were attacked with nuclear weapons. Paralleling the biblical story, though she would perish, Israel would destroy the entire Middle East if attacked.

I guess Iraq and Afghanistan might get a pass due to the presence of U.S. forces there, but all other countries would get flattened. Harsh? Absolutely, but this is part of what has allowed Israel to survive all these years, not "tough negotiation."

Mutually Assured Destruction, or MAD, has kept the peace, until the rise of a fanatical Iran. Now, we have, in Iran, people desperately trying to change course. If they succeed, the Middle East may take a path away from nuclear holocaust. If not, then there is only one deal left.

The Samson Option.

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About Mr Dock Ellis

  • alfred

    peace in our time did not work for chamberlyn in the second world war, it will not work for obama.The clock is ticking as we wonder through this storm (the gathering storm)obama said he will wait till the end of the year,but i doubt he will do anything.The real question we should be asking our selves can we allow such a regime to own nuclear destruction, and the answer is No No No.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    A good and perceptive article.

    I was happy to see, in Comment #1, a reference to what I assume was Churchill’s The Gathering Storm. I began reading it, for probably the fifth time, a couple of days ago, and was struck by this passage, available at page 80 of the link above:

    Delight in smooth-sounding platitudes, refusal to face unpleasant facts, desire for popularity and electoral success irrespective of the vital interests of the State, genuine love of peace and pathetic belief that love can be its sole foundation, obvious lack of intellectual vigor . . . , marked ignorance of Europe and aversion from its problems . . . , the utter devotion . . . to sentiment apart from reality. . . . All these constituted a picture of British fatuity and fecklessness which, though devoid of guile, was not devoid of guilt, and, though free from wickedness or evil design, played a definite part in the unleashing upon the world of horrors and miseries which, even so far as they have unfolded, are already beyond comparison in human experience.

    These words are at least as applicable to the world situation now as they were in the 1930s.

    Dan(Miller)

  • mrdockellis

    I’ll always love reading Churchill. He called WWII the “unnecessary war” and it was for all the reasons that quote embraces.

    Seems the mental weaknesss of the 1930s has returned though the challenges are so much greater.

  • http://www.morethings.com Al Barger

    Or perhaps rather than waiting to get nuked and go down like Samson, the Jews do us all a favor an knock them Iranian cockroaches down by whatever means necessary BEFORE they get killed.

  • Bliffle

    Unfortunately, only about half of the Iranians are cockroaches, as near as I can tell, so, if nothing else, it would be a big waste of firepower.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    While I enjoyed reading Dock Ellis’ article, I should point out to you all that the “Samson Option” is the product of a secular mind that cannot conceive of Israel being an aggressive power of necessity. It is the product of a mind that has no faith in G-d or understanding of the destiny delineated in the Hebrew books of prophecy.

    In essence, Israeli policy has been defensive towards other powers, while attempting to provide security for the populace without getting yelled at by “human rights” oganizations. It is a losing proposition all around.

    The “Samson Option” is the apotheosis of this defensive mentality.

    I have outlined elsewhere what I believe Israel’s correct policy should be with respect to Iran and why. They play messianic politics, as does the Vatican. The Islamic Republic is an existential threat to the Jewish people huddled west of the Jordan. A policy of “bringing the temple down upon themselves and killing their enemies” is useless.

    The necessary policy will need to be “the wars of the messiah” to destroy the enemies of the Jewish people. We in Israel cannot rely on America or anyone else, as this article from the Forward demonstrates. We will have to do it alone.

  • mrdockellis

    I would say the Samson Option has been a winning proposition all around. Mutually Assured Destruction has kept the Middle East from blowing wide open. The problem is when you have a nut come along like Saddam or now the leadership in Iran then they feel for whatever reason (Saddam: Pan-Arabism or Iran: the hidden Imam) they must attack Israel even though it means their own destruction.

    The bright spot now is that some in Iran obviously feel like provoking the world and Israel is a bad idea. Problem is the regime will probably speed up work on the bomb because of the new threat of popular revolt. Once they test it, they can daunt domestic opponents, they can begin to blackmail the other Arab states and try to figure a way to hit Israel without being actually linked to the nuking (and thereby avoiding the Samson Option)

    In response to your article, there is no need to use nuclear weapons in a preemptive strike. When a weapon like a Daisy Cutter is available, you’ve got more than enough firepower to wack any target you can dream of. The question is one of targeting which probably requires some covert boots on the ground as was done with the Osiris Reactor.

    No point in using nukes and racking up civilian casualties(possible allies?)when the regime seems shaky already.