Apocalypse soon?

Charles Krauthammer sounds the alarm with respect to Iran. (Unfortunately, he also includes an undeserved shot at former Secretary of the Interior James Watt). As Krauthammer summarizes it:

A Holocaust-denying, virulently anti-Semitic, aspiring genocidist, on the verge of acquiring weapons of the apocalypse, believes that the end is not only near, but nearer than the next American presidential election. . . .Negotiations to deny this certifiable lunatic genocidal weapons have been going nowhere. Everyone knows they will go nowhere. And no one will do anything about it.

In my view, Krauthammer is wrong only in contending that “no one will do anything about it.” It’s hard for me to believe that the Israelis will stand by as Iran develops the capacity to incinerate its people. To be sure, the Israelis are loath to launch a unilateral preemptive strike against Iran. They would much prefer that sanctions be applied in an effort to coerce Iran into changing its behavior, and I believe they will afford the U.S. and the Europeans every reasonable opportunity to make this happen. But, as Krauthammer suggests, this track is unlikely to succeed. At bottom, the Europeans do not perceive Iran as a threat to them, and don’t much care that they are a threat to Israel and to U.S. interests in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq. Accordingly, Israel has refused to rule out a preemptive attack against Iran and, in my view, is prepared to launch one if it runs out of other viable options.


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