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OOps. POsted this under the wrong heading. Here tis under the right one:
Just a point to your discussion as regards Iran and their obtaining nuclear weaponry;
It does seem to me a reasonable question given the relationship of Hamas and Iran; would Iran provide Hamas nuclear weaponry?
Stay with me, here. Iran has a lot of things, but they’re not outright stupid. They’re not going to launch a nuclear attack against Israel. For one thing, even assuming they had the bomb, they don’t have the (reliable) rocketry to get it there. But more, they know as well as you and I do the immediate response to such an attack, successful or not, would be turning Iran into a glass recycling center.
As you point out, the Palestinians have in reality been nobody’s friend for a long time now. Iran has shown no problem whatsoever with using them for cannon fodder. Given possession of even low-level nukes, then, Iran would more probably therefore provide said low level nuclear weaponry to the Palestinians instead of using them, themselves. Of course, as you suggest, the response would be that all of the facade of civilization would melt away, Israel responds appropriately, basically wiping out Gaza. Thus, eliminating not one problem for the Iranians, but two.
Sure, it’s cold, but there it is. And, no, I wouldn’t put it past either one.
Have we noticed that nearly everyone somehow believes that Hamas, and Hizbollah, and Iran is a ’rational’ actor, one whose behavior can be influenced either by force of arms or assured destruction, if not by negotiation? Your discussion hit upon important point: The religious nature of Israel’s antagonists (Ibn Wahhab in Saudi Arabia, Sayyid Qutb in Egypt, Abul ala Mawdudi in Pakistan, and Ruhollah Khomeini in Iran).
There is a 20C ideology which never "normalized," even after it acquired political power. Perhaps I can share its proponent’s words, as a short way of explaining what is occuring in the Middle East, and why an incineration is becoming a certainty:
"Thus, it may be that centuries, dissatisfied with the form of their religious life, yearn for a renewal, and that from this psychic urge dozens and more men arise who on the basis of their insight and their knowledge believe themselves chosen to solve this religious distress, to manifest themselves as prophets of a new doctrine, or at least as warriors against an existing one." - Adolph Hitler, "Mein Kampf," page 510.
Later: "It is an eternal experience of world history that a terror represented by a philosopy of life can never be broken by a formal state power." page 534.
Neither Hamas nor Hizbollah nor Iran has a "philosophy of life"; they have a ’philosopy of death.’ By welding fascism doctrines with sacred religious tenets, theofascism in the 21C has been born, and will likely dominate the news during the entire first half of this new century. Theofascism does not seek the death of Israel: it seeks its own death—its suicide—by the act of committing homicide. 21C theofascism, like 20C fascism, will never normalize, will never negotiate without secretly planning your murder, will never reveal its irrationality until your rationality is exhausted, and will gladly kill millions of innocents in the sacred name of "purity." For the theofascist, homicidal suicide is a virtue, a form of heroism, which means Israel is eternally faced with extinction in even the smallest conflicts.
An incineration is imminent, by the very nature of the beast. No force of arms will prevent a "cleansing"; Israel must start thinking about moving out of the Middle East, perhaps relocating to the 48th parallel in North America. Israel is not facing any force of arms capable of "cleansing" the Middle East of Jews; instead, Israel is facing a philosophy, one religiously dedicated to the sacred cleansing from "corruption" that it will achieve by its own death.
I’m not so sure . Without getting into a long discussion about this for the moment, let me just say that a measurement of rationality, assumes that we know the values and goals Iran has. If the phrase "rational actor" in this case makes the assumption that as Dale says, they are about constructing a polity. Like Dale, I’m far from convinced of that.