Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Master Baiter

Can you believe this guy?
Hit on Iran would spell Israel's 'eradication': Ahmadinejad
By Wissam Keyrouz (AFP) – 4 hours ago

DOHA — Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ruled out an attack on the Islamic republic over its nuclear programme, during a visit to Qatar on Sunday, because any such action would result in Israel's destruction.

"Any act against Iran will lead to the eradication of the Zionist entity," he told a joint news conference in Doha with Qatar's emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, after their talks.
How close is this to "Bring them on"?


mikey said...

Hmm. Hard to say. If you were the political leader of a mid-sized nation with limited military capability and the most powerful nation in the region, backed by the most powerful nation in the world, regularly threatened your country and it's population with attack, sabotage, assassination, regime change, sanctions, blockades and terrorism, what exactly WOULD be the appropriate response.

Mind you, I'm not saying this is the way to go (although it's kind of hard to think of anything short of complete capitulation that might be more effective), but seriously, there hasn't been a lot of recent examples for the leadership in Tehran to learn from.

You had North Korea - they manage to continue to avoid attack, even blatant threats. Then there was Saddam's Iraq - hmmm, he must have done SOMETHING wrong. They took his country and hung him. Killed a few hundred thousands of your citizens and destroyed your infrastructure too.

Nope. I'm pretty sure the best strategy for the Iranian leadership right now is to keep reminding the US, the UN, the region and the world of the horrific consequences to peace, security and commerce you can inflict if attacked. If you can't deter them, maybe you can discourage them...

Substance McGravitas said...

North Korea has China, Iran has, um, Hezbollah, no borders with Israel, and is threatening the extinction of a country that is really good at destroying things whenever they like and damn the consequences.

I'm sticking with "bad move" as it's relying on rational behaviour.

mikey said...

But you're suggesting it's an error because it PROVOKES Israel? How could any provocation cause them to be any more threatening or beligerent?

Seriously. Amedinejad has a responsibility for the well being of his people and his nation. Everybody's pretty clear what happens when you cry and beg the bully to stop beating you up and stealing your lunch money. Israel officially and as a matter of policy threatens military attack on Iran at least weekly.

Do you really think that he has a better option than to tell them, the regional governments, the Europeans, the UN, NATO and the US as scary a retaliatory story as he can possibly come up with?

What would it be?

Substance McGravitas said...

I do think he has a better option, and that is to not say that. I mean, from Israel's perspective, you've got a guy saying that if the US does something then Israel gets trouble. If you have the responsibility for Israel's well-being, wouldn't you wanna, say, make some airfields and rocket batteries unusable?

mikey said...

IF you were willing to accept the consequences. Whether you bomb an airfield or the whole country, Iran has no option but to go hard and try to make you stop. They're not going to get any help from anywhere.

And their BEST option is economic warfare - just slam the door on the gulf. IF they can do that, and they almost certainly can, the pressure on Israel and the US to cease hostilities will be immense. That's somewhere north of 25% of the world's crude oil. You'll shut down Japan and the Eurozone and bid up the prices for the remaining available oil to ridiculous levels.

So it probably makes sense to avoid talking about that option too much, instead threatening the crap out of Israel and the region, in hopes that the countermeasures lean in that direction, giving you more freedom of movement around the straits.

Israel wants to play cowboys and indians, the US wants to play chess, so Iran needs to play poker...

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

My understanding is that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has no where near the political power of say, a President Obama because Iran also has someone called Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

(And according to Sensible Chuck, President Obama doesn't have much real power at all, either.

Substance McGravitas said...

That's right, but he's liked by the religious nuts, so he's their trial balloon for everything.

mikey said...

As President, he's the national figurehead, a kind of spokesmodel for the regime. Most of what he says reflects the beliefs and desires of Khameini and company, and when he goes off script they tend to kind of publicly kick him in the ass...