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The Iranian Connection and The Clarity It Provides

Saturday, July 15, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The latest blog posts from the Middle East are collected and updated at TruthLaidBear.  TLB divides regional bloggers into Lebanese bloggers, Israli bloggers, and Palestinian bloggers, and arranges each by most recent posts, as well as by “most linked.”  It is an extraordinary resource.

Haaretz continues to provide the latest bulletins, but its site is struggling with the traffic load.

And you can watch an English version of Israeli news from Jerusalem.

The announcement by Israeli intelligence sources that it was an Iranian missile that struck the Israeli ship, killing as many as four sailors and badly damaging the vessel, propels the conflict to a compleletly different status.  The missile is not just of Iranian origin.  It is believed to have been prepared and fired by Iranian Revolutionary Guard deployed in Lebanon, and thus means that powers in Iran have decided that the conflict with Israel is not to be confined to the low-level terrorism of rocket fire from southern Lebanon.  Escalation to sophisticated weaponry is even more serious than the escalation that occured when a longer range rockets hit Haifa late in the week. (And if the missile was launched from a UAV, that means the deployment of twosophisticated weapons’ systems.)

Can anyone seriously doubt that if and when Iran acquires a nuclear capability, it will at least consider using it against Israel? 

Even skeptics unwilling to deal with the clear statements of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have to assign a level of probablity to his use of such weapons once they become operational. Today Ahmadinejad compared Israel to Hitler, another escalation in his rhetoric that is unconstrained by any concern for world opinion.  Ahmadinejad is now even giving warnings to the entire world community about complciity in “Israeli crimes.”

Once any degree of probability is assigned to the risk, the analysis is over.

Israel cannot afford even a relatively low probability of Iran deploying a nuclear device against it as it deployed its advanced missile technology against it today.

Does Iran’s willingness to use advanced missile technology guarantee that it would use nuclear technology against israel?

No, but it does reveal the Tehran government as reckless in ways no one can deny.

How much risk should Israel be asked to accept given the transparent hate shown it over and over again by the Islamist terrorists and the governments that sponsor them?

The Iranian intervention and escalation opens the door to Israeli retaliation against Iran’s nuclear ambitions.  If Israel choses not to trust the world to halt the Iranian nuclear program –and why should it– the Israeli government has to be debating whether now is the time to set back the mullahs’ ambitions for years to come.

And I hope that the United States will consider making a presentation to the U.N. Security Council of any information that can assembled about Iran’s role in the attack on the ships off of Lebanon’s coast.

I look forward to reading the analysis of InFromTheCold, The Belmont Club and BelgraviaDispatch on the significance of the Iranian intervention in this crisis.  I hope that each will consider it soon, and from the premise that the intelligence is accurate, and that it was Revolutionary Guard operating the system(s) and the system(s) were iranian in origin.

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