The Iranian Threat is like the Arab world’s threat to destroy Israel in 1967, and Israel must attack Iran now, a Harvard University history professor told Newsweek. He said the he biggest danger is Western complacency.
The magazine,which last week published a scenario of how Israel till attack Iran if it decides to do so, featured on its website on Monday an article by Prof. Niall Ferguson.
He pooh-poohed five arguments why Israel should not stage a military strike on Iran: Iranian retaliation, new Arab Spring rebellion, a recession caused by doubling of the price of crude oil, boomerang support for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad within Iran, and the ability to live with a nuclear Iran.
Prof. Ferguson maintains that whether he likes it or not, President Barack Obama will comes to Israel’s defense if it attacks Iran in an attempt to slow down its nuclear development, if not destroy its nuclear facilities altogether.
“The Iranians will very likely be facing not one, not two, but three U.S. aircraft carriers,” the professor wrote. “Two are already in the Persian Gulf: CVN 72 Abraham Lincoln and CVN 70 Carl Vinson. A third, CVN 77 George H.W. Bush, is said to be on its way from Norfolk, Va.”
After stating that he knows “President Obama is a noble and saintly man of peace who uses unmanned drones only to assassinate America’s foes in unprecedented numbers after wrestling with his conscience for anything up to ... 10 seconds," Prof. Ferguson said the president will overcome his distaste for helping Israel even if Jerusalem does not give Washington advance notice of a strike.
The reasons are practical, he said – the probability of the price of oil at $200 a barrel if Iran were to close the Strait of Hormuz, and the political backlash for not backing Israel.
As for an “eruption of the entire Muslim world, all the crocodiles of Africa could not equal the fake tears that will be shed by the Sunni powers of the region if Iran’s nuclear ambitions are checked,” according to the professor.
He also said an economic depression is unlikely because growing signs of a recession in Europe will keep oil prices down and added that Saudi Arabia already has said it will pump more oil if Iran tries to block oil supplies in the Strait.
As for anti-American and anti-Zionist rallies in support of Ahmadinejad in Iran, Prof. Ferguson wrote, “Please send me a list of all the regimes of the past 60 years that have survived such military humiliation. Saddam Hussein’s survival of Gulf War I is the only case I can think of—and we got him the second time around.”
He said the biggest danger is Western acceptance of a nuclear Iran, an illusion of “wishful non-thinking [that] allows the mullahs of Tehran to get their hands on nuclear weapons.” He said that he has no doubt Iran “would take full advantage of such a lethal lever” as having an atom bomb
Ahmadinejad and to her Irnaian leader have said several times that Israel is a “cancer” and should be “wiped off the map.”
“War is an evil,” Prof. Ferguson wrote. “But sometimes a preventive war can be a lesser evil than a policy of appeasement. The people who don’t yet know that are the ones still in denial about what a nuclear-armed Iran would end up costing us all.
“It feels like the eve of some creative destruction.”