“Iran is a regressive, fundamentalist dictatorship, run by medieval Ayatollahs and a megalomaniacal president. It is a government that rigs elections, shoots innocent women and men at peaceful protests, and brutally suppresses dissent like Gaddafi and Mubarak used to. Israel is an example of mankind’s triumph over fascism. Seven decades after Auschwitz, it’s now time to stop a nuclear monster and prevent the holocaust of conscience.” – Ravi Shankar Etteth
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS): “Mr President, we have reliable intelligence that the Israeli Air Force is in the air and within an hour of striking suspected nuclear facilities in Iran.”
POTUS: “Damn. What should I do?”
CJCS: “Mr President, I want to recommend that you provide the Israelis with all necessary support to limit the effectiveness of Iranian retaliation.”
POTUS: “But those [expletives deleted] never ran this past me. They went behind my back, dammit.”
CJCS: “Yes, sir.”
POTUS: “Why the hell should I help them?”
CJCS: “Because if the Iranians close the Strait of Hormuz, we will see oil above $200 a barrel.”
That’s going to make things squirmy for us. Iran is India’s second biggest supplier of crude ($11 billion yearly). Israel is our second-largest arms supplier. So, both come first. The game changer is, Iran is making Islamic Bomb-II. Meanwhile, this February, the civilised world observes the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust, when Nazis murdered millions of Jews. Iran denies the Holocaust, and says it’s a Zionist myth. Just like they say they are not building a nuke.
If the Geiger counter of international diplomacy is reliable, Israel is likely to bomb Iran in order to prevent another Holocaust; its size and population are so small, a single nuclear blast could destroy it. It will not have the option to launch a retaliatory strike and its government and command-and-control systems will not survive an Iranian first strike.
Hence, Israel may not squander the chance India had in 1988—to destroy Pakistan’s N-Bomb. The strategy paper ‘Targeting Nuclear Programs in War and Peace’ by Matthew Fuhrmann and Sarah E. Kreps states, on three separate occasions, India seriously considered attacking Pakistan’s nuclear programme. In 1979, Israel had approached India for a joint raid against Pakistani nuclear facilities, but Indira Gandhi procrastinated until 1982. The plan was for Israel to bomb Kahuta, using an air base in Gujarat as the take-off point, and a base in North India to refuel. In 1982 and 1984, Mrs Gandhi gave the green signal. Both times, they were called off at the last-minute. Then, the Congress government was bedfellows with Arabs, in order to keep its minority constituency intact at home. A joint Indo-Israeli attack would have jeopardised its minority votebanks. The opportunistic cowardice of 30 years ago changed the subcontinent’s security environment, which is now a breeding ground for Islamic fundamentalism. The situation is so ominous, that when Delhi Police went to the infamous Batla House on Thursday to arrest suspected Bangladeshi militants sheltered there, they were faced by an angry mob: in a bizarre turn, the cops were suspended for doing their job. Cops have not been allowed to follow the Delhi bomb trail to UP where terrorist sanctuaries bloom, in order not to upset minorities during poll time. By vacillating on Iran, the Congress government shows willingness to ignore nuclear rogues abroad, as it did in the 1980s.
Iran is a regressive, fundamentalist dictatorship, run by medieval Ayatollahs and a megalomaniacal president. It is a government that rigs elections, shoots innocent women and men at peaceful protests, and brutally suppresses dissent like Gaddafi and Mubarak used to. Israel is an example of mankind’s triumph over fascism. Seven decades after Auschwitz, it’s now time to stop a nuclear monster and prevent the holocaust of conscience. – The New Indian Express, Chennai, Feb. 18, 2012
» Contact Ravi Shankar at Ravi@newindianexpress.com