The rogue state of Israel
Brian Leiter excerpts from a piece in the London Times indicating that Israel is preparing to attack Iran:
ISRAEL’S armed forces have been ordered by Ariel Sharon, the prime minister, to be ready by the end of March for possible strikes on secret uranium enrichment sites in Iran, military sources have revealed.Can somebody tell me what conceivable right Israel has to do this? Israel, a rogue nuclear state itself, is going to preemptively attack another nation because it has the capability of developing nuclear weapons? Pardon?
The order came after Israeli intelligence warned the government that Iran was operating enrichment facilities, believed to be small and concealed in civilian locations.
...Defence sources in Israel believe the end of March to be the “point of no return” after which Iran will have the technical expertise to enrich uranium in sufficient quantities to build a nuclear warhead in two to four years.
“Israel — and not only Israel — cannot accept a nuclear Iran,” Sharon warned recently. “We have the ability to deal with this and we’re making all the necessary preparations to be ready for such a situation.”
...If a military operation is approved, Israel will use air and ground forces against several nuclear targets in the hope of stalling Tehran’s nuclear programme for years, according to Israeli military sources.
Israel has no place dictating the terms of the use of nuclear power by other states. It refuses to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and its own nuclear program is therefore completely unregulated. (Its parent state, the US, itself stands in violation of the treaty.)
The treaty gives every nation the right to use nuclear energy, which means that Iran has the right to enrich uranium. The Israelis may not like this, but they have no plausible case to make that Iran shouldn't be allowed nuclear energy when they won't even disclose whether or not they have an active nuclear program.
Israel doesn't get to play by its own rules, and it doesn't get to attack 'civilian locations' inside Iran just because they've decided, without any evidence, that Iran is planning to build nuclear weapons. However, for some reason criticism of Israel continues to be treated as a third rail in American politics, so don't expect to hear much opposition to Israel's aggressive posturing from either party.