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  • Israel vs Iran — The Sum of All Fearful Irony?

    Posted by Trent Telenko on May 30th, 2010 (All posts by )

    Does anyone else see the epically fearful irony of, a) Jews in German U-boats, b) Armed with nukes carrying American nuclear material, c) Whose bomb designs were tested in then-apartheid South Africa, stalking Iran’s jihadist Regime?

    The Sunday Times of London reports just that in this crazier than Tom Clancy’s SUM OF ALL FEARS article titled:

    Israel stations nuclear missile subs off Iran

    Three German-built Israeli submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles are to be deployed in the Gulf near the Iranian coastline.
     
    The first has been sent in response to Israeli fears that ballistic missiles developed by Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, a political and military organization in Lebanon, could hit sites in Israel, including air bases and missile launchers.
     
    The submarines of Flotilla 7 — Dolphin, Tekuma and Leviathan — have visited the Gulf before. But the decision has now been taken to ensure a permanent presence of at least one of the vessels.
     
    The flotilla’s commander, identified only as “Colonel O”, told an Israeli newspaper: “We are an underwater assault force. We’re operating deep and far, very far, from our borders.”

    My irony meter has pegged out.

    What’s next?

    The Iranian Revolutionary Guard speed boats hunting those Israeli subs with Japanese commercial bass-finding sonar with made-in-China electronics?

     

    6 Responses to “Israel vs Iran — The Sum of All Fearful Irony?”

    1. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Note the comments after the article. No one seems to be concerned about Iran’s rhetoric toward Israel. This is the same country that accepted Hitler’s assurances that he had no further ambitions after Munich. The British people are largely a generation that doesn’t know its own history.

      I also see no one mentioning that this is an existential crisis for Iran, as well. Tony Cordesman’s study of an Iran-Israel nuclear exchange (pdf) estimates 28 million Iranian deaths and the end of the Persian nation as a consequence. Israel, though terribly wounded, would survive.

    2. dearieme Says:

      Odd that he doesn’t mention that they must (presumably?) have sailed through the Suez canal.

    3. Anonymous Says:

      I wonder if they can refuel their jets in Saudi.

    4. Michael Kennedy Says:

      As America retreats from the Middle East, Israel assumes the role of protector of the Sunni Arabs. The irony is exquisite.

    5. Jonathan Says:

      The Times has been publishing stories of this type for years. I don’t know if they are bogus or if Israeli officials really are feeding the journos selected information in an effort to intimidate Iran. If it’s the latter then the Israelis are stupid. The mullahs are only going to be deterred by actions. Mere words they will interpret as weakness. Also, it seems unlikely that Israel would keep subs in the Gulf where they would be relatively vulnerable.

      Perhaps the article is misdirection. The obvious thing would be for Israel to stage any attack on Iran from Saudi airfields. However, such a plan would expose the Saudis to direct retaliation should the attack fail. The negotiations between Israel and SA must be interesting.

      The Israelis very clearly want to avoid the inevitable for as long as possible, because the aftermath of any attack is going to be a shitstorm even if things go relatively well. But eventually they are going to have to do something.

      One quibble: I doubt that Israeli nukes use American nuclear material. Israel has been producing its own nuclear material for decades. The original Dimona reactor is French, IIRC.

    6. Paul Milenkovic Says:

      No Mr. Telenko, I do not see any irony in this at all.

      During WW-II, European Jews were as lambs taken to the slaughter, and there was even a thread on some site castigating Jews, as a people and in the here and now, for being somehow “stupid” in their reaction to the events leading up to WW-II.

      I didn’t get a response to respond to that thread, but the “somehow stupid” is historically in error. People who had the means to leave pre-war Germany and pre-war Continental Europe indeed left — a good number of people associated with the U.S. atomic bomb program did just that as a Jewish person could see where things were headed. Over the course of the war, Jewish people who had the means to do so fought the Nazi war machine as partisans, and suffered horrific casualties in offering that manner of resistance. What Jewish people lacked was a means of offering resistance at the level of the resources that can be controlled by a sovereign state; lacking such a state, Jews did not fight in WW-II at that level.

      Among others, one idea behind the founding of Israel and the vows of “never again” is the resistance against the kinds of malevolent forces with the power and tools of a modern state. In the instance of Israel, it takes the form of German Diesel-electric subs and a presumed-but-not-acknowledged nuclear arsenal.

      Irony for Israeli Jews to defend themselves with German-made “U-boats”? I think not. Germany was a conquered and subjugated state as a consequence of what they did during WW-II, and the “German U-boats” are in the service of the Israeli Defense Forces is no more ironic, at a certain level, than Allied forces using captured German equipment during WW-II. No, these are not WW-II U-boats but rather modern German designs, but my point still stands that there is no irony.

      As to the irony-of-Israel-as-aggressor-in-relation-to-WW-II-Jews-as-victims, that, by the way, is one of the number one “talking points” in the Israel-confronting Arab world these days. I have had the distinction of just standing and listening at a social function when my (back then) Egyptian-born department chair went into a tirade (about the First Intifada, by the way) about how the Israeli Jews in this generation had morphed into their Nazi tormentors from a previous generation, with my rather politically liberal med-school professor colleague whose parents came here from Ukraine just “standing there and taking it.”

      No, I see no irony, only the logical consequence of putting the power of a modern nation state into the service of “Never again.”