The role of the US between Israel and Iran

After reading Friday’s edition of The Tech, I feel compelled to respond Rachel Bandler’s opinion piece, “‘Never again’ means never again.” I believe that the column fails to take into account both the historical, geopolitical landscape and the current international environment in which the problem of a “nuclear Iran” is now set.

Although no one in the West would suggest Iran should enter the ranks of the nuclear powers, the prevailing viewpoint coming from creditable sources across journalism, security, and commentary is that Iran, while it might posture and entice, will act rationally. Additionally, the consensus stands that the Iranian government has not even decided to enter the ranks of the nuclear powers, and seeing how there exists an internal struggle between Ahmadinejad and Khamenei, it seems unlikely that a decision will not come to light in the near future. As to the idea of setting a precedent, the past military actions in Iraq and Syria to prevent their nuclear development have already shown the West’s expectations of Middle Eastern regimes, and the effectiveness of this tactic is questionable in these cases.

Although the paranoia about a nuclear Iran limits the productivity of diplomacy and reason, the most troubling aspect of Bandler’s “argument” lies in her suggestion that the United Stated should help Israel in a preemptive attack. Israel does not need to worry about losing the United States’ protection; the national and legislative zeitgeist here is heavily influenced by the pro-Israel lobby and a deep valuation of diplomatic ties. If Israel finds herself in true, imminent danger, the United States will be there. Unfortunately, recently, the Israeli government has chosen to exploit this good will by, for all intents and purposes, threatening to drag the United States into war. Not only does this turn the natural power dynamic on its head by subjecting the large U.S. to the whims of small Israel, but in doing so it holds American sovereignty hostage; the United States must maintain her ability to chart her own course.

Henry Skupniewicz ’13