Ding, Dong, Bin Laden’s Dead

OK, I’m going to throw some cold water here.

My immediate thoughts:

1) I was surprised, because I’d thought he was dead years ago, probably in Tora Bora, and the CIA was keeping him alive for political effect. He was such a camera hog prior to and immediately after 911, that the only reason that he was no longer sending out videos was either because he was dead, or in such a visibly weakened physical state that he didn’t want to be seen that way. Either way, I assumed that he as a real individual was no longer a consequential player in the war.

2) We were not at war with Osama bin Laden. Unlike Hitler, he did not invent the ideology. He merely took an existing one, and implemented it in a way unprecedented in modern times (though it had been in full force for centuries in the past — unfortunately, most people are unaware of history). He is not, and never was, essential to its survival. There was no signing of a surrender on the deck of the Missouri tonight. The troops cannot come home simply because we killed one guy who had been on the run for years.

3) I can readily understand why the administration wants to play this up as though (2) weren’t true. They are desperate for any news on the political front that can rally the people, and distract them from its disastrous policies, not just on the war and foreign policy in general, but on five-dollar gas, rising grocery prices, continuing lack of jobs, continuing plunging home prices and increasing foreclosures, etc. etc. etc. They hope that a faux war victory will boost the poll ratings of a president that, if the election were to be held today, to almost anyone, would lose by a landslide.

4) I fear that we will continue to ignore the real issues of this war, and how to win it, and how to confront the ugly reality of how hard it will be to win. And when I say hard, I mean much harder than WW II, with a casualty count that may be horrendous, even in comparison. Despite the jubilation among the nation, this event makes me more pessimistic about the future, because the reaction to it is an indication of the lack of sobriety and reason with which we approach this potentially existential war.

[Update a few minutes later]

Is the administration hoping that this will be their “Fall of Atlanta” moment as it was for Lincoln in 19864?

If so, they’re fooling themselves because 1) the election is a year and a half away, not a couple months and 2) the war is not the primary issue in the voters’ minds. But they will still attempt, however politically incompetently, to milk this “victory” for all it’s worth.

[Monday morning update]

If he was looking for peace and quiet, this guy sure picked the wrong week to move to Abbottabad.

[Update a few minutes later]

Claudia Rossett: This is a long war, and Al Qaeda is just a part of it. Yes. Long not just in the future, but going back many centuries.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Does the trail really end in Pakistan?

Ironically the circumstances surrounding the death of Osama Bin Laden tends to confirm the theory that terrorism, rather than being a spontaneous meme that floats above the planet, is in fact deeply rooted in the intelligence agencies and regimes of certain states. Thus, neither Hamas nor Hezbollah are creations of some kind of rage any more than than September 11 was wholly the result of some kind of amorphous resentment. Osama Bin Laden had backers; people with uniforms, ranks and the resources of bureaucracies behind them. Those who believe that the War on Terror is nothing but a law enforcement problem must ask themselves whether it is really rather larger than that.

Unfortunately, such feckless people are currently running the country.

[Update a while later, and welcome Instapundit readers]

I have a question about religious burials.

[Update a while later]

“Osama bin Laden is dead, and I blame George Bush.”

[Update another hour or so later]

Bin Laden is dead, and his cause goes marching on. And many in the West, including people at the highest levels of the US government, remain in denial.

[Update early afternoon]

I’m completely unsurprised to learn that he died while hiding behind a woman, using her as a shield. To call him a craven sack of scum is to insult craven sacks of scum everywhere.

90 thoughts on “Ding, Dong, Bin Laden’s Dead

  1. Bill Maron

    Kevin Greene Says:

    May 2nd, 2011 at 8:48 am

    You do understand the sailors put that banner up, you fool.

  2. Paul D.

    His death is causing the US State Department to warn of potential attacks of retribution.

    Bring it on. Fish need to eat too, you know.

  3. StoneHead

    Many great points here. I think Mr. Simberg pretty much nailed it – getting bin Laden was more a symbolic victory but it is one that has to make the much-referenced ‘Arab Street’ to sit up and take a big gulp of reality. To the point- if we have the political will, we can beat these guys back into the pre-medieval insanity from whence they emerged 1500 years ago.

    It has been written more than once that Muslims – especially the Arabic variety – only respect strength. We haven’t shown much of that since January of 2009 but this operation sends an unmistakable message of strength. Will it end the war? Of course not. this is merely another operation in a conflict that has been going on since the original Prophet led his unwashed and deluded hordes out of the desert in the mid-seventh century. But this shows, as some other commenters have noted, that we do have the intestinal fortitude to stay the course – even under such a weak and spineless President like Obama.

    As for the philosophy itself, we need to seriously consider that only a forceful defense of our own values and a constant demonstration of their superiority will eventually defeat these primitive monsters. In other words, we should follow the example of General Sir Charles Napier, who famously ended suttee by explaining to the Indians that if they had a tradition of burning living wives of a dead man, the British also had a tradition – to hang men who murdered women. If we were to follow Napier’s philosophy and forcefully exert our cultural values, it is likely that most Muslims will fall into line, willingly or not. But that is an argument for another day.

    In the short term, this was a well-executed operation that almost certainly has the Muslims worried – if we can get bin Laden, we can get the rest of these worthless scum. And that is a very good message to send. it shows our confidence and our resolve. And makes the Muslim fundamentalists look like losers. All of which is to the good. Well done!

  4. Chris Gerrib

    Bill Maron & Gregg – Hitler needed to take over a country to become a threat. And not just any country, but one with the ability to build a military.

    What country is in danger of falling to radical Islam? How big is their military, and more importantly, their industrial base?

  5. Rand Simberg Post author

    Apparently, it happened to Pakistan, years ago.

    And are you unaware of this rogue nation called “The Iranian Islamic Republic”?

  6. Gregg

    Chris Gerrib Says:

    “Bill Maron & Gregg – Hitler needed to take over a country to become a threat. And not just any country, but one with the ability to build a military.

    What country is in danger of falling to radical Islam? How big is their military, and more importantly, their industrial base?”

    Chris – you miss the point. Here’s the point (again):

    “It was a confluence of events, lucky breaks, etc. which no one could arrange much less foresee.”

    Emphasis on “…no one could arrange much less forsee.”

    If, in 1990, you asked Obama to outline how he’d become President in 2008, do you think you’d get a plan? If you did, do you think the plan would look ANYTHING like it eventually did?

    And while there are parallels in history, zeroing in on one aspect (taking over a country) means you are less creative than the jihadists. They have realized that, up til now, it isn’t necessary to take over the country. Later on, to be a world player you will have to achieve that.

    Eventually, you might use the Nazi technique of anti-government propaganda, para-military forces, and purposefully provoked street fights and demonstrations to establish yourself….

    gee …. kind of like Egypt and Libya.

    But Hitler never saw, in 1922, that Hindenberg would give him the Chancellorship. In fact in 1922, Hitler considered himself an agitator not THE promised leader of Germany. He saw his job as creating a prepared population ready to follow The Leader when he arrived. In 1923 he thought that guy was Ludendorff.

    So if the jihadists take over Egypt, is that something like taking over a country? When the Taliban took over Afghanistan is that like taking over a country? If the jihadists take over Libya is that like taking over a country? If Muslim immigration to France along with massively outstripping the native French in birth rate gives you effective political control over a country – even through the vote, have you taken over the country?

    If the jihadists take over nuclear Pakistan is that like taking over a country? Did islamo-fascists take over Iran? If Islamo-psycho Iran get nukes and ally with islamo-nutball Pakistan do you think that might be a force to be taken seriously?

    But, I repeat, if you require someone draw out the plan to World Domination before you take them seriously, you might find yourself dominated – even if their ultimate World Domination effort fails. They can’t tell you how it’s going to work. Even while they are working on it.

  7. Josh Reiter

    I’ve actually been thinking if this might turn into a Archduke Franz Ferdinand like moment. The U.S.’s role in Libya could potentially escalate in operational tempo. Especially if our role in Afghanistan diminishes now that we have accomplished our mission of getting Osama Bin Laden. Additionally, Osama’s death could also in fact be something that starts a major conflict either with Pakistan or Iran. I think this sheds a whole new light on Pakistan’s role in harboring these extremist sects of Islam. Last I checked they got the big nuke guns too so this could be dicey.

  8. Gregg

    Josh Reiter Says:

    “I think this sheds a whole new light on Pakistan’s role in harboring these extremist sects of Islam. Last I checked they got the big nuke guns too so this could be dicey.”

    Pakistan has always been the problem

  9. Jay Manifold

    I’ll give Chris points for not being a pseudonymous troll. Seriously, he has my respect for putting it out there under his real name, and frequently arguing quite ably on his LiveJournal page.

    But I’ve got better questions than: “What country is in danger of falling to radical Islam? How big is their military, and more importantly, their industrial base?”

    They would be: What country’s state religion calls for the subjugation or destruction of the West? How big is their budget, and more importantly, their resource base?

    What if that country had already bought off every prominent politician in DC? What if it had been doing so for decades? What if it had taken control of nine-tenths of a certain global religion’s institutions, worldwide?

    And what if the President of the United States had physically bowed down to the king of that country?

    No, I don’t think they’ll win. But I think we’ve got a long, tough slog ahead of us, in which – perhaps – the 46th president’s term(s) will see victory. Not the 44th, or even the 45th.

  10. Daveon

    Hey Jay, how about said country starts demonstrating they can build/maintain/develop/DO ANYTHING with military hardware except buy it from other people?

    I do wonder what it’s like to live inside heads as paranoid as you guys obviously are.

    Still. Good day and all that. Probably a good thing he didn’t make it to trial, all things considered.

  11. Gregg

    Daveon Says:

    “I do wonder what it’s like to live inside heads as paranoid as you guys obviously are.”

    Is there some reason you choose to reject what they have so clearly said? Since I’m not good at second guessing people – especially psycho-islamists – I prefer to take them at their word.

  12. Chris Gerrib

    Iran is Shia, Al Qaeda is Sunni. They are not on the same team. Iran’s air force is mostly ex-US F-4 and F-14s, with an indigenous copy of the F-5. Their navy is nearly non-existent and they don’t have a nuke or a missile to deliver it with. Bottom line – not existential threat.

    BTW, Rand, I see your update quotes somebody referencing “law enforcement approach” to anti-terrorist. Since when did conservatives consider SEAL Team 6 “law enforcement?”

    Pakistan has a funny way of showing that they are at war with us – letting our drones fly over their airspace and us ship supplies to Afghanistan over their roads.

    Al Qaeda isn’t playing in Libya or Egypt.

    Of course, here’s the bottom line – take ALL of those countries PLUS Saudi Arabia and they still lack the military capability to threaten the US.

  13. Rand Simberg Post author

    Of course, here’s the bottom line – take ALL of those countries PLUS Saudi Arabia and they still lack the military capability to threaten the US

    I see that you operate under the delusion that wars are won under military capability alone.

  14. MfK

    From the details I consider believable about all of this, it appears that the President made a series of decisions that were actually very sound, and not at all Carter-esque. If the story holds up, he deserves real credit for handling this hit the way he did.

    And while OBL may not actually be a big problem, he represents that problem. And is IS, after all, a mass murderer. Taking him out was an act of justice, the very first act of “holding accountable” a person for his or her actions the President has actually taken. He deserves credit for that.

    My younger son, now 19, said that he was surprised at his own reaction to the news. It was a sense of triumph and closure, all out of proportion to what he thought he should feel. But then he realized that more than half his life has been lived in the shadow of the collapsing Twin Towers (which he watched on television with us), and the man who did that was never brought to justice — until now.

    Let’s not belittle the accomplishment. George Bush concluded his address to Congress with (and this is from memory): “We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.” Even though we were not able to get OBL during Bush’s presidency, we as a nation eventually did so. We should be proud.

  15. Chris Gerrib

    Rand – a certain level of military capability (especially logistics, usually ignored by amateurs) is needed just to be a threat. It’s table stakes, and the players you mentioned combined don’t have those stakes.

    Now, if you want to argue that Americans and/or Europeans are just going to give up and agree to live under fundamentalist Islamic law, you and I are living in different realities.

  16. Leland

    It’s table stakes, and the players you mentioned combined don’t have those stakes.

    Really? Then why is the US involved in Libya? We don’t get oil from that nation? You pretend to be a logistics expert, how far does a European army go without imported oil?

  17. Chris Gerrib

    The dirty little secrets of oil are:

    1) We (the US) get most of our oil from Canada, Mexico and Venezuela.

    2) Saudi Arabia and Libya wouldn’t be able to stop the US from taking their oil. They might make it interesting for the Europeans (mostly due to the limited expeditionary capability of European militaries) but my money’s on Europe.

    3) Turning off the oil is not an existential threat.

    4) You can’t eat oil, so the Arabs can either sell us oil or starve.

  18. Leland

    I see Gerrib failed to answer my question, but he did spell out his talking points nicely. Too bad I didn’t follow his narrative.

    Again, how far does a European army go without imported oil?

    But since you put out talking points, why should the US take Saudi Arabian oil? Better yet, since we don’t import oil from Libya, why would take their oil? And why are you advocating just taking their oil?

    4) You can’t eat oil, so the Arabs can either sell us oil or starve.

    Why must they sell to us? Are you claiming we are the only nation that has agricultural capability? For that matter, are you now arguing food can be used as a weapon just as mightily as a sword? Maybe you are coming around to understanding Rand’s point.

  19. Chris Gerrib

    Leland – a European army could certainly get to Libya if Libya were to cut off oil. There are other sources of oil, including but not limited to the North Sea and Nigeria.

    My point about Saudi Arabia is that their only viable weapon, not selling oil, isn’t that powerful. Saudi has to sell oil to somebody in order to get everything it doesn’t produce, which since it lacks industry or agriculture is just about everything.

    The old Soviet Union could wipe the US off of the map, and the Nazis could plausibly conquer the world. They were existential threats. How does radical Islam go from killing civilians in soft targets to that level of threat?

  20. Thomas Matula

    Bin Laden was a symbol even if he had limited power. And symbols are important in wars driven by difference in philosophy and world views. His death therefore was also symbolic in that the U.S. will pursue its enemies and eliminate them no matter where they hide.

    BTW I expect most of you missed this part of the Jay Carney’s Press Briefing yesterday.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/05/02/press-briefing-press-secretary-jay-carney-and-assistant-president-homela

    [[[Q Jay, almost lost in this news is the NATO strike against Qaddafi’s compound on Saturday, where his son was killed and three of his grandchildren. Is it -- does the White House believe that that mission was in keeping with carrying out the U.N. resolution?

    MR. CARNEY: Yes. And I think there have been ample -- there’s been ample commentary about that from NATO. So we do believe that, and obviously continue to focus on that mission as we do on other missions.

    Q Is there a message there to Qaddafi in this?

    MR. CARNEY: You could say that. (Laughter.) Thank you.]]]

    I am sure you all recall Qaddafi’s sudden “conversion” when Iraq was invaded and how he quietly gave up his weapons programs at that time.

    I am sure he is considering the fate of Bin Laden and considering his own at the moment.

  21. Leland

    Gerrib’s very hawkish today. As long as he has a big stick, he’s ok with hitting people with it to get what he wants.

  22. Alan K. Henderson

    They would be: What country’s state religion calls for the subjugation or destruction of the West?

    California? Oh wait, you said “country”…

    Iran is Shia, Al Qaeda is Sunni. They are not on the same team.

    I don’t think anyone here suggested that the two would coordinate in any fashion.
    Iran can operate in Sunni countries via Hezbollah. The 1983 Beirut bombing was plotted by the men who would found Hezbollah in the following year. The Khobar Towers attack was plotted by Saudi Hezbollah.

    One reason to watch Syria is that its ties with Iran are at stake. Syria is a Sunni-majority nation, ruled by as Alawite Shia family. If Bashar falls, how does that affect Iran? Many of the pretenders to the throne might not have fondness for Shiites or Persians.

  23. Gregg

    Wow…one just doesn’t know where to start……

    Chris Gerrib Says:

    “Rand – a certain level of military capability (especially logistics, usually ignored by amateurs) is needed just to be a threat. It’s table stakes, and the players you mentioned combined don’t have those stakes.”

    You’re still thinking in terms of mass land armies rolling across the plains like the Mongols. Just spend some time pondering how your Middle East options become much more severely limited if Iran gets nukes and demonstrates rocketry that can deliver them to Israel or Europe.

    “2) Saudi Arabia and Libya wouldn’t be able to stop the US from taking their oil. They might make it interesting for the Europeans (mostly due to the limited expeditionary capability of European militaries) but my money’s on Europe.”

    Is that right? Ponder the economic effect if Iran closes the straits of Hormuz by sinking a few tankers.

    “You can’t eat oil, so the Arabs can either sell us oil or starve.’

    Is it part of your world view that no one would come to the “Arabs” aid if the US and Europe stopped buying their oil? And if Europe stopped buying their oil, where would Europe get their oil? How would China view that move and how might it alter their plans?

    “a European army could certainly get to Libya if Libya were to cut off oil.”

    But you just said that Europe has a limited expeditionary capability. So which is it? Keep in mind they are having a very hard time scraping up a handful of planes and bombs to enforce their no-fly zone in Libya. Nor could they effectively intervene in Bosnia/Kosovo. Right next door.

    “and the Nazis could plausibly conquer the world. ”

    Never could they conquer the world. Not ever. Not even for one second. You need to learn a little bit more about world history than they teach in US schools.

  24. Titus Quinn

    Nazis could plausibly conquer the world

    lolwut? That’s crazy, even for Gerrib. How was Berlin going to occupy the Americas?

  25. Chris Gerrib

    If Iran gets nukes and tries to use them, they become a green-glass parking lot. One Royal Navy SSBN has more warheads then they’ll have for the next 20 years.

    Cutting off the flow of oil hurts BOTH sides. It also isn’t an existential threat. Painful and economically costly, but not existential. Especially since Venezuela and Nigeria would be glad to sell more oil.

    Europe’s problem in Libya (and before in Kosovo) is that they are used to the US leading. They can (if need be) become more forceful. This will require them to do unpleasant things like mobilize reserves and take risks that they’re not willing to for Libya, but they can do it.

    The Nazis could have created a very serious threat to the US. The first step was to win the Battle of Britain. The second step was to not invade Russia.

    I’m not advocating taking over the Arab world. Europe’s redrawing of the Arab map after WWI helped create the problems we face there. However, evaluating what both sides can and can’t do is the difference between “existential threat” and lesser (but still serious) problems.

    The points are:

    1) Whoever replaces Bin Laden as leader of Islamic fundamentalism can’t conquer the US without gaining control of at least one country.
    2) The countries most at risk of falling in #1 can’t conquer the US.

    Therefore, Islamic fundamentalism is not an existential threat.

  26. Leland

    If Iran gets nukes and tries to use them, they become a green-glass parking lot.

    Really? DPRK has less resources to offer than Iran, hardly gets any support from the US, and manages to do just fine lobby rockets over Japan, testing nuclear weapons, and even firing upon its southern neighbor. There’s no reason Iran couldn’t do the same.

  27. Chris Gerrib

    North Korea is a major threat for South Korea. The North probably can’t successfully invade the South, but it can kill hundreds of thousands of South Koreans. This is entirely due to the North’s proximity and conventional artillery.

    North Korea is not an existential threat for Japan, let alone the US, due to those same lack of resources.

    Existential threat means “can wipe out” the threatened entity.

    Not being an existential threat does not mean “not a problem.”

    I will conclude by saying that the Islamic fundamentalists would give significant portions of their reproductive organs to have even North Korea’s military capability.

  28. Leland

    Existential threat means “can wipe out” the threatened entity.

    Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t note that you were taking an extreme existence.

    Not being an existential threat does not mean “not a problem.”

    WTF? Are you talking about problems or existence? I’d say pick one, but that would require you to show a consistency that I’ve never seen from you in the past.

  29. Gregg

    Chris Gerrib Says:

    “If Iran gets nukes and tries to use them, they become a green-glass parking lot.”

    So does that mean that in Gerrib Foreign Policy, you figure you can do anything you want, regardless as to whether Iran threatens to counter with nukes because you can retaliate and glass them?

    So if a nuke-capable Iran said “Leave Afghanistan or we’ll destroy Israel”, you figure you can ignore that and press on in Afghanistan?

    You’d just shrug and say, “Well if they glass Israel, we’ll glass them”?

    Willing to roll the dice?

    Israel is just so much breakage?

    Don’t mind killing millions of Iranians?

    Or, are your options now severely limited because Iran is Nuke-capable (with missiles), and you have to seriously consider knuckling under?

  30. Gregg

    Chris Gerrib Says:

    “The points are

    1) Whoever replaces Bin Laden as leader of Islamic fundamentalism can’t conquer the US without gaining control of at least one country.

    2) The countries most at risk of falling in #1 can’t conquer the US.”

    Again you are thinking purely in terms of military capability. Widen your thinking out a bit.

    Therefore, Islamic fundamentalism is not an existential threat.

  31. Chris Gerrib

    Gregg:

    1) Let’s see – Iran attacks Israel, Israel destroys Iran. Iran knows this, so they don’t attack.
    2) Iran nukes US troops in Afghanistan. The US nukes Iran. Iran knows this, so they don’t attack.

    I’m not seeing a way that Iran can offensively use their nuclear weapons here.

    Regarding “broadening my thinking” – how else but militarily does Islamic fundamentalism dominate or destroy the US? I’m serious – give me a scenario.

  32. Thomas Matula

    Gregg,

    Just a note. If Iran makes even the slightest move towards nuking Israel, Israel will turn them into a green glass parking lot before anyone knows what hit them. And everyone in the Mid-East know this.

  33. Thomas Matula

    Gregg,

    hit the submit too fast.

    So the real danger from Iran is not an external nuke strike, but giving the bombs to terrorists to use. That is the nightmare everyone worries about.

  34. Gregg

    Chris Gerrib Says:

    “1) Let’s see – Iran attacks Israel, Israel destroys Iran. Iran knows this, so they don’t attack.”

    You’re making certain assumptions here that I don’t think are warranted. You are assuming MAD works, in this case. That the threat of being destroyed, would deter Iran.

    Muslims have killed countless muslims.

    Are you REALLY sure the Iranian elites worry about martyrdom of the masses (the Iranian elites would run to safety first)?

    Remember, you are the US President. You get to decide. If you choose incorrectly, Israel dies.

    As do millions of Iranian citizens.

    Are you really willing to roll the dice on that?
    They might calculate as you suggest.

    But are you are THAT sure of yourself?

    “2) Iran nukes US troops in Afghanistan. The US nukes Iran. Iran knows this, so they don’t attack.”

    See #1

    “I’m not seeing a way that Iran can offensively use their nuclear weapons here.”

    You really miss the point. It isn’t USE that I (and Rand) are talking about. And military means are not the only way a nation can be controlled or even taken over. You’ve been given many examples of this in the thread. I’m not going to repeat them.

    “Regarding “broadening my thinking” – how else but militarily does Islamic fundamentalism dominate or destroy the US? I’m serious – give me a scenario.”

    *Sigh* Again you’ve been given several examples and scenarios. I know you are being serious, but you are not putting together what’s been written in this thread.

  35. Thomas Matula

    And I forget to make a third point many folks over look, but Israel is probably the only nation in the world with an fully operational ABM system that covers all its major population areas. U.S. debate about the possibility of such a system being practical was not a luxury the Israel government had, instead they just built it with technical support from the U.S. And they are constantly updating it.

    So its questionable if any of Iran’s nukes would even reach Israel. Which is why the terror threat of nukes is much higher on their list of worries, as it is with the West.

  36. Gregg

    Thomas Matula Says:

    “Just a note. If Iran makes even the slightest move towards nuking Israel, Israel will turn them into a green glass parking lot before anyone knows what hit them. And everyone in the Mid-East know this.”

    And Israel dies. How many bombs does it take to end Israel?

    6

    You are so sure of yourself. You’re willing to bet Israel’s strike would end the problem? That’s not a bet I’d be willing to take.

    The bet I WOULD be willing to take is that if you are in the Presidential chair, you wouldn’t be so confident of yourself.

    “So the real danger from Iran is not an external nuke strike, but giving the bombs to terrorists to use. That is the nightmare everyone worries about.”

    The danger is both. Plus other ideas you haven’t thought up yet.

    Terror nukes would be one way Israel dies. Do not assume the Iranians would have only one plan. We’ve talked about Pakistan going islamo-nutball and now you have two nuke capable nations.

    Then what?

    Are you sure other nuke capable nations wouldn’t be drawn in?

    Is there no possibility of a spread of nuke war? None? Willing to take that risk too?

    Isn’t that why we didn’t nuke North Korea and China in the early 50’s even though China didn’t have the bomb yet?

    Do you think that oil fields might be targeted with high radiation bombs, first? Ground bursts over sand creates a lot of radioactive dust.

    Straits of Hormuz closed?

    This sort of risk-taking was rarely done since the bomb existed.

    And once again you and Chris are talking about actual use. Nuclear threat and extortion is pretty powerful and severely diminishes your range of choices.

  37. Gregg

    Thomas Matula Says:

    “So its questionable if any of Iran’s nukes would even reach Israel. ”

    Willing to bet your life on that?

  38. Thomas Matula

    Gregg,

    The real question is are the Iranian leaders willing to bet their life on it?

    After all they know that Israel will nuke them and the Israeli nukes will get through to their targets. While the Iranian Leaders don’t know if any of theirs will ever reach Israel.

    I will also trust that the Israeli SDF and Mossad know what they are doing.

  39. Alan K. Henderson

    I’m not seeing a way that Iran can offensively use their nuclear weapons here.

    That’s because you’re forgetting about Iran’s most reliable delivery system – Hezbollah. We might retaliate against Hezbollah if it were to launch a nuclear attack. But Iran? How do we prove that any given Hezbollah attack was ordered by Iran?

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