This brief survey demonstrates why Israel's military option against Iran's nuclear program is so unattractive, but also why failing to act is even worse. All these scenarios become infinitely more dangerous once Iran has deliverable nuclear weapons....Israel is afraid, of a great many things. How reasonable are their fears? Iran is a place proven to be of great capacity for calculation, one that has succeeded in waging war with America on two fronts without actually incurring retaliation. They have been killing us here for quite some time, but aside from rough words from our generals, they have nothing to fear. Certainly our President seems unlikely to endorse any such course as Mr. Bolton suggests, and how they will cross Iraq's airspace without our consent is something they will need to ponder.
On the other hand, the Obama administration's increased pressure on Israel concerning the "two-state solution" and West Bank settlements demonstrates Israel's growing distance from Washington. Although there is no profit now in complaining that Israel should have struck during the Bush years, the missed opportunity is palpable. For the remainder of Mr. Obama's term, uncertainty about his administration's support for Israel will continue to dog Israeli governments and complicate their calculations.
Does such a state as Iran really intend to develop nuclear weapons, only and solely to cast away its life in fire? Frankly, it's hard for me to believe, in spite of the suicide bombers they send forth. The truth is that few of the people who orchestrate suicide bombings ever think to carry a bomb themselves. Normally they leave that to others, even at the end of their lives when you would think there was little to lose. They are manipulators, not brave men themselves.
A man can be both wicked and brave, of course: and some of these cap a wretched life with a death meant as an insult to the world. We saw such an attempt this week at the Holocaust Museum, which is tied to this story both by the form of attack -- a suicide, that failed -- and by its target.
Here was an old man who saw every belief in which he had put faith held to ridicule and then discarded. Here was his attempt to draw your eye, just once before he finally died, and to underline what he believed in such a way as you could not ignore it.
Well, a man who is ready to die for his beliefs will be heard. We have heard, and now let him pass from us.
Still, it has frightened. It has frightened some people badly. Cassandra mocks one of them; but while her arguments (Ms. Warner's) are just as bad as Cassandra says, I think we should respond otherwise.
Ms. Warner is easily frightened; she is apparently the author of a book called Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety. I recall her too from this column:
She writes about attending a McCain-Palin rally in Virginia. She confesses that she intended to go as a joke, and to mock the attendees -- but she ends up being taken by the kindness of the strangers, their hopes for Gov. Palin, and the evident joy of their lives. It scares the hell out of her.Yet she went on in very much the right spirit, recognizing the blinders of ideology and wanting to see past them.No, it wasn’t funny, my morning with the hockey and the soccer moms, the homeschooling moms and the book club moms, the joyful moms who brought their children to see history in the making and spun them on the lawn, dancing, when music played. It was sobering. It was serious. It was an education.... For those of us who can’t tap into those yearnings, it seems the Palin faithful are blind[.]
Today's piece was... not of that spirit. Still, remember that now she is frightened not by joyful mothers dancing with their children, but by a hateful killer who has wrought with death a fearful sign.
So we ought to be kind, and recognize that we are looking at panic from a woman who confesses herself to be given to anxiety. Her fear has become hate, but it does not always lie on her so strongly. She has moments, when the fear is on her less, that she tries to do right.
So say to her: Be at peace, lady. We are not your enemy. No arms of ours will be used against you. They might well be used in your defense.
This man has done the last harm he will do to the world. Don't make of him more than he was.
If you must fear, there are real dangers in the world. Fear Iran, perhaps, but we have no power there: it is the hour of another. Yet if called to the task, you know we will come.