Monday, November 9, 2009

There’s nothing the world loves more than a dead Jew.

That’s why, in those long-ago days when the Community Organizer and Missus Bubba were vying for the chance to live in the White House, they agreed on one issue: If Iran launched a nuclear attack on Israel, they would respond.

Which is to say, the moment Iran had obliterated Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, THEN they both said they’d take action.

What action?

The Community Organizer was typically cagey about his plans. He did say (April 17, 2008) that if Israel is attacked by Iran, he would take “appropriate action.”

Missus Bubba went one better: a few days later, on April 22, 2008, during an appearance on Good Morning America, she said the US would definitely retaliate: "I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran," Missus Bubba claimed. “In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them."

“Obliterate”. Wow – that's a good word, and Missus Bubba took the heat for it too, mostly from the Europeans.

But remember, even she was saying what she'd do AFTER an Iranian nuclear warhead had already wiped out most of Israel.

Last week Louis Rene Beres, a professor of International Law at Perdue, published a fascinating column – read the whole thing here:

Beres notes that at one point, even Joe-Schmo Biden said that Israel, as a sovereign country, had the right to “anticipatory self defense”, defending itself from the incipient holocaust before the Iranians actually launched the warhead.

Now, of course, Biden has been silenced. It’s not nice for Israel to threaten Iran like that.

But here’s Benes statement about what would happen in Israel if Iran did attack.

“What does Israel really have to fear in a nuclear Iran? There are tangible and terrifying answers. Twenty-nine years ago, I published the first of nine books that contained informed descriptions of physical and medical consequences of nuclear war. These generic descriptions were drawn largely from a major 1975 report by the National Academy of Sciences, and included the following still valid expectations: large temperature changes; contamination of food and water; disease epidemics in crops, domesticated animals, and humans due to ionizing radiation; shortening of growing seasons; irreversible injuries to aquatic species; widespread and long-term cancers due to inhalation of plutonium particles; radiation-induced abnormalities in persons in utero at the time of detonations; a vast growth in the number of skin cancers and an increasing number of genetic disease.

“Overwhelming health problems would afflict the survivors of any Iranian nuclear attack upon Israel. These problems would extend beyond prompt burn injuries. Retinal burns would occur in the eyes of persons far from the explosions. Many Israelis would be crushed by collapsing buildings and torn to shreds by flying glass. Others would fall victim to raging firestorms. Fallout injuries would include whole-body radiation injury, produced by penetrating, hard gamma radiations; superficial radiation burns produced by soft radiations; and injuries produced by deposits of radioactive substances within the body.

“After an Iranian nuclear attack, even a "small" one, those few medical facilities that might still exist in Israel would be taxed far beyond capacity. Water supplies would become altogether unusable. Housing and shelter could be unavailable for hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions, of survivors. Transportation would break down to rudimentary levels. Food shortages would be critical and long-term.

“Israel's complex network of exchange systems would be shattered. Virtually everyone would be deprived of the most basic means of livelihood. Emergency police and fire services would be decimated. All systems dependent upon electrical power could stop functioning. Severe trauma would occasion widespread disorientation and psychiatric disorders for which there would be limited therapeutic services.

“Normal human society would cease. The pestilence of unrestrained murder and banditry would augment plague and epidemics. Many of the survivors would expect an increase in serious degenerative diseases. They would also expect premature death, impaired vision, and sterility. An increased incidence of leukemia and cancers of the lung, stomach, breast, ovary and uterine cervix would be unavoidable.

“Extensive fallout would upset many delicately balanced relationships in nature. Israelis who survive the nuclear attack would still have to deal with enlarged insect populations. Like the locusts of biblical times, mushrooming insect hordes would spread from the radiation-damaged areas in which they arose.

“Insects are generally more resistant to radiation than humans. This fact, coupled with the prevalence of unburied corpses, uncontrolled waste and untreated sewage, would generate tens of trillions of flies and mosquitoes. Breeding in the dead bodies, these insects would make it impossible to control typhus, malaria, dengue fever and encephalitis.

“Throughout Israel, tens or even hundreds of thousands of rotting human corpses would pose the largest health threat. The survivors would envy the dead.”

Here’s the problem: we – the whole world – have lived so long with the threat of nuclear annihilation that we’ve become all too accustomed to the idea.

We’re desensitized. We all might recall that horrifying photo of the naked little girl running screaming, after the bombing of Hiroshima. But we’ve become so complacent about what a nuclear attack would do that we can discuss it calmly, treating it as though it were just a slightly different version of Swine Flu.

We’ve become so complacent we can allow ourselves to consider relying on largely-theoretical missile defense systems or the goodwill of the now-elected (unfortunately) Community Organizer, who's biggest campaign promise was that after a nuclear attack by Iran, he would “take appropriate action”.

Right now, the international community is giving Iran yet another opportunity to renounce their oft-stated plan to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. We’re waiting for inspections, for assurances, or else – by gosh – we’re going to get tough. We might even impose sanctions.

Oh, wow. Sanctions! Well, that'll make Ahmadinejad tremble.

The thing is, Israel can’t afford this kind of dithering anymore. The threat to us is not theoretical, it’s been promised, over and over and over. Iran is working as fast as they can to bring it about.

I don’t know any more than you do what the Israeli officials are really planning to do, where their red lines really are.

But I do know one thing: waiting until after Iran has attacked is not an option, even if that meant that the whole world would then wax eloquent about what a marvelous place Israel had been, once upon a time.


  1. Sigh.

    We said, "Never again."

    And here we are. Going through it again.

  2. Thanks for scaring the #*&# out of me. I may not sleep tonight, and I'm not even living next to Iran. I wish everyone would get real and see the threat for what it is.