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To be sure, it's a subject on which I have written here before, but an additional and generally unrecognized observation now deserves important mention.
We have seen that, among several other essential purposes, Israel could conceivably need nuclear weapons for nuclear war fighting.
We have seen that, among other purposes, Israel needs nuclear weapons to undertake and/or to support various forms of preemption.
We have seen (in last week's list of reasons, numbers 1 and 2) that Israel needs nuclear weapons, among other purposes, to deter large conventional attacks and all levels of unconventional attack by enemy states.
According to a May 1, 2008 article by Aaron Klein in WorldNetDaily, Joseph Cirincione, director of nuclear policy at the Center for American Progress, and an adviser on nuclear issues to Senator Barack Obama, has essentially urged Israel to give up its nuclear weapons.
Senator Barak Obama has displayed basic intelligence and understanding on many complex policy issues, and his "debate promises" in support of Israel were forthright and plausibly meaningful.
Facing imminent existential attacks, Israel could decide to preempt enemy aggression with conventional forces.
"In a dark time," says the poet Theodore Roethke, "the eye begins to see." Today, with improving sight, the Iranian nuclear threat should remain bright in our visual field. Despite a recent U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that effectively supports Tehran's multiple lies and deceptions, this unconventional threat remains existential. It follows that an Israeli and/or American preemptive strike against certain Iranian nuclear assets and infrastructures should still not be ruled out.
"It is in the thick of a calamity," we learn from Albert Camus' The Plague, "that one gets hardened to the truth, in other words, to silence." Now that Iranian nuclearization is reaching the point of no return, noisy declarations from Tehran are apt to become less shrill. Reciprocally, in Jerusalem, an inaudible truth could soon yield to action.
My readers in The Jewish Press will already know that I write a great deal about Israeli nuclear issues. One of these inherently existential issues is the need for a coherent and codified Israeli nuclear doctrine. Moreover, this need was an integral part of Project Daniel - a private effort that reported to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ("Israel's Strategic Future," January 2003) and was most immediately concerned with Iranian nuclear weapons and the associated prospect of nuclear war in the Middle East.
In Claude Lanzmann's monumental documentary, SHOAH, one of the surviving leaders of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising remarks: "If you could lick my heart, it would poison you." Sadly, the time may still come - if Prime Minister Olmert is permitted to continue following Washington's cartography - that surviving Israelis will someday express similar sentiments.
Can the current government of Israel protect its citizens? Clearly, Israelis have already experienced the Oslo and Road Map "peace process," as a Terror Process. If Judea/Samaria are soon transformed into "Palestine," the peace process will once again become a war and terror process.
Here we go again. The more things change, the more they remain the same. Now it is Hebron, where a number of soldiers have correctly refused intrinsically wrongful orders to evict fellow Jews from their homes. Now it is Homesh, where authentic Jews labor industriously and heroically to remedy earlier IDF evictions.
Repeatedly, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Chief Mohammed al-Baradei has urged Israel to accept nuclear disarmament and join a Middle East "nuclear-weapon-free zone." Although this official proposal sounds perfectly reasonable and even-handed in principle, it would, in fact, lead quickly to Israel's final demise. Still surrounded by states and terror groups openly committed to its annihilation, Israel must soon remind the world, that it has an absolutely fundamental right of self-preservation.
Despite altogether unimagined transformations of weapons technologies, some ancient principles of warfare remain entirely valid. Founded upon the essentially persistent nature of human behavior in organized conflict, these principles can be ignored only at great strategic risk. For the always-imperiled state of Israel, there is especially much to be learned from certain elements of past thought. This includes the unchanging requirements of national survival.
Religious Extremism And International Legal Norms Perfidy, Irrationality And Preemption (Conclusion)
Another term that appears in the title of my remarks is "irrationality." I have noted before − per Rene Girard − that violence need not necessarily be irrational.
By itself, violence is not necessarily irrational. In the words of Rene Girard, whose book Violence And The Sacred should be the underlying text of all that we do here today, it sometimes "does have its reasons."
The French dramatist and diplomat, Jean Giraudoux, inquires in one of his plays (Sodome et Gomorrhe): "C'est beau, n'est-ce pas, la fin dumonde?" ("It is beautiful, isn't it, the end of the world?")