Written by Gilbert Schramm Gilbert Schramm
Published: 14 March 2013 14 March 2013
The article that follows is a point by point commentary on S. RES 65, an initiative put forth by AIPAC which has already garnered more than 40 co-sponsors in the US Senate. The resolution is not just a show of force by AIPAC; it also makes a US war with Iran (at a time and place of Israel’s choosing) much more likely. A show of legislative support like this, even if it does not ostensibly commit the US to war with Iran, certainly makes such a commitment in the future much more likely.
The dynamics are simple: with such a show of US Senate support for US action in the case of a confrontation between Israel and Iran, it will become much easier for Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to convince his cabinet that a pre-emptive strike by Israel will actually receive US support in the event that Israel decides to exercise its military options.
Let us be clear. The position of the US President, under advisement from US intelligence, is that such an Israel first strike is not only unnecessary, but that even the threat of it undermines the administration’s already robust efforts to discourage Iran from weaponizing its still peaceful nuclear program.
Another point should be well understood. If Israel were to stage a pre-emptive attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, even using only conventional weapons, it would still, arguably, be a case of using nuclear weapons in a “first strike” capacity. An attack with conventional weapons on a functioning nuclear facility has enormous consequences. Since it would likely release highly radioactive materials over a wide area, it would be, for all practical purposes, the equivalent of a terrorist group detonating a “dirty bomb” in a populated civilian area.
Since, after the fact, it would be almost impossible to sort out whether Israel had used a nuclear weapon in the initial strike, or whether the resulting radiation were the result of radioactive material from the facility itself, the Israeli military, doing a simple cost/benefit analysis, might well be tempted to use a nuclear weapon in the initial attack and then make excuses later. Tragically, the results for civilians in the area would still be devastating…
In any case, as I hope readers will see, reasonable assessments conclude that S. RES 65 is another step closer to a US war with Iran. As such I hope readers of this document will reject it utterly, and communicate their views to their various representatives as quickly and forcefully as possible.
Read more: A Deconstruction of S.RES 65