Red Lines Save Lives

November 4, 2012 2:28 pm 2 comments

Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations General Assembly. Photo: screenshot.

Just like the role of red lights in intersections, so would “red lines” reduce the probability of a military collision with a nuclear Iran. Clear red lines would upgrade the U.S. posture of deterrence and enhance preparedness against — and minimize the cost of — aggression. On the other hand, the absence of red lines constitutes a green light to aggression.

For example, the U.S. provided a green light to Iraq’s Aug. 2, 1990 invasion of Kuwait by failing to flash a red light during the July 25, 1990 meeting between Saddam Hussein and the U.S. ambassador to Kuwait. At the meeting, which took place during the height of the Iraq-Kuwait border dispute, Ambassador April Gillespie echoed Secretary Jim Baker’s self-destruct policy of engagement and diplomacy with rogue Iraq. She stated, “we have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait … We hope you can solve this problem using any suitable methods via the Arab League or via President Mubarak … All that we hope is that these issues are solved quickly.”

Prior to that meeting, the State Department clarified to Saddam that the U.S. had made no special defense or security commitments to Kuwait. Setting and implementing red lines would have deterred Saddam Hussein, and would have spared the U.S. the first, and possibly the second, Gulf Wars and their devastating human life, economic and military cost.

The U.S.’s failure to establish effective red lines to combat Islamic terrorism, and Washington’s determination to engage and negotiate with rogue Islamic regimes, has eroded the U.S.’s power of deterrence, constituting a green light to intensified anti-U.S. Islamic terrorism. For instance, the first attempt to blow-up the World Trade Center in 1993; the 1995/6 killing of 17 U.S. soldiers in Saudi Arabia; the murder of 300 civilians during the 1998 car-bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; and the killing of 17 U.S. sailors during the 2000 suicide attack on the USS Cole. The absence of U.S. red lines and appropriate military response emboldened Islamic terrorists all the way up to 9/11.

The absence of red lines in the face of clear and present danger to U.S. diplomats in Libya; the U.S. suspension of disbelief; the subordination of unilateral U.S. military action to multilateral diplomatic considerations; and the submission of counter-terrorism to the ideology of engagement and negotiation, signaled — inadvertently — a green light to the bombing of the U.S. Consulate and the murder of the U.S. ambassador and the three American security personnel in Benghazi.

The Second World War could have been avoided if British Premier Neville Chamberlain had approached Hitler with thundering red lines rather than with appeasement. Moreover, a British-French steadfastness in defiance of Hitler’s pre-war could have triggered a revolt by the top German military command.

In order to be effective, the violation of red lines by terror-sponsor, Hugo Chavez-supporter Iran must be followed by a devastating, disproportional military preemption with no boots on the ground. The 1980 Iraqi invasion of Iran united the oppressed Iranian people and the tyrannical Ayatollahs against the mutual threat of occupation. However, “no boots on the ground” would clarify that the goal is not occupation, but the elimination of the oppressive regime. The Iranian people yearn for a regime-change, which they know cannot be realized via diplomacy or sanctions, which require the unattainable cooperation of China, Russia, Japan and India. They were betrayed by the West during their 2009 uprising, and will not attempt to topple the Ayatollahs while the U.S. refuses to confront Tehran. They are concerned that the U.S. is hell-bent on repeating the mistakes that paved the road to the nuclearization of North Korea.

A military preemption, with no boots on the ground, is a prerequisite for regime-change. It would constitute a departure from the U.S. apathy of 2009, thus providing a robust tailwind to the Iranian people in their attempt to overthrow the Ayatollahs.

In fact, a military preemption with no boots on the ground would prevent a nuclear war with Iran, while refraining from military preemption would — unintentionally — pave the road to a devastating nuclear war.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Oman all register with the U.S. Congress their anxiety about a nuclear Iran, which would devastate their pro-U.S. regimes. They urge the U.S. to preempt and relieve them of a lethal threat, just as Israel did in 1981, preempting Iraq’s nuclear drive, thus ridding pro-U.S. Gulf regimes of a nuclear Saddam Hussein. Will the U.S. heed the desires of the Iranian people and U.S. allies in the Gulf, thus sparing the U.S. the economic and national security devastation caused by a nuclear Iran in control of the Straits of Hormuz, the nerve center of global oil price and supply?

This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Lena Dunham Responds to Charges of Antisemitism: It was Just a Jew Joke

    Lena Dunham Responds to Charges of Antisemitism: It was Just a Jew Joke

    “Girls” creator Lena Dunham responded on Tuesday to charges of antisemitism over an article she had penned for the New Yorker, saying it was all in good humor. Speaking to Variety, Dunham reflected on her “tight-knit Jewish family, where Jew jokes were part of the essential fiber of our communication.” The article Dunham referred to was called “Dog or Jewish Boyfriend? A Quiz,” with options such as “He doesn’t Tip” and “He’s Crazy for Cream Cheese.” Among Dunham’s critics, Anti-Defamation [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Former NBA Star Tweets Article About Jewish Conspiracy to Control Global Media

    Former NBA Star Tweets Article About Jewish Conspiracy to Control Global Media

    Retired NBA player Keyon Dooling tweeted a link on Wednesday to a wildly antisemitic article that accuses Jews of seizing control of the world’s media and using it to promote their own interests. The article, published by an obscure blog in April 2013, highlights six companies it claims are owned by Jews — such as Time Warner, Inc. and the Walt Disney Company – that allegedly “control 96 percent of the world’s media.”  The post includes allegations of “Jewish control” and says [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Rosh Hashanah Won’t Keep the Giants’ Geoff Schwartz From Season Opener

    Rosh Hashanah Won’t Keep the Giants’ Geoff Schwartz From Season Opener

    New York Giants offensive guard Geoff Schwartz responded to an outcry from Jewish fans on Tuesday, saying he will go ahead and play in the season opener despite the fact that it falls on the first night of Rosh Hashanah. “Keep getting tweets about that being the first night of Rosh Hashanah… Don’t know what I’m supposed to tell you. It’s a tough break,” the Jewish athlete wrote, referring to the Giants’ on-the-road game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Sept. [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Jewish Coach David Blatt Has NBA’s Cavaliers Surging at Playoff Time

    Jewish Coach David Blatt Has NBA’s Cavaliers Surging at Playoff Time

    JNS.org – When David Blatt was hired as head coach of the National Basketball Association’s Cleveland Cavaliers last June, he was not often recognized when he walked the streets of downtown Cleveland. What a difference a year makes. Now, Blatt can go few places without being recognized. For good reason. The Jewish coach has the Cavaliers in the mix to win the city of Cleveland’s first championship in a major sport since the Browns won the National Football League title in [...]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports Croatian Soccer Star’s Hebrew Tattoo Causes a Stir Online

    Croatian Soccer Star’s Hebrew Tattoo Causes a Stir Online

    A Hebrew tattoo sported by Croatian soccer star Mario Mandzukic became an internet sensation in Israel after it was exposed on Tuesday during a Champions League match between Ateltico Madrid and Real Madrid A first glance, the tattoo, on the athlete’s back, might leave one with the impression that it was an unfortunate artistic mistake, since the Hebrew letters do not make sense as they are written. However, a closer look at the tattoo shows that it was actually written [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Theater Why an Algemeiner Editor Wrote a Play About a Mass Shooter

    Why an Algemeiner Editor Wrote a Play About a Mass Shooter

    For the past two years, I have served as Opinion Editor at The Algemeiner. I’m perhaps most proud of the paper’s commitment to publishing diverse and opposing viewpoints on the controversial issues of the day. We pride ourselves on voicing different opinions because we know that most issues are not black and white, and because our community is better served by a public debate. In my life outside of the paper, I am a professional actor and playwright. And similarly, [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Commentary In ‘America in Retreat,’ a Real-Life Risk Board

    In ‘America in Retreat,’ a Real-Life Risk Board

    JNS.org – “Risk: The Game of Strategic Conquest,” the classic Parker Brothers board game, requires imperial ambitions. Players imagine empires and are pitted against each other, vying for world domination. Amid this fictional world war, beginners learn fast that no matter the superiority of their army, every advance is a gamble determined by a roll of the dice. After a defeat, a player must retreat. Weighted reinforcement cards provide the only opportunity to reverse a player’s fortunes and resume the [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Sports Does Working Out With Other Jews Keep You Jewish?

    Does Working Out With Other Jews Keep You Jewish?

    JNS.org – For Daphna Krupp, her daily workout (excluding Shabbat) at the Jewish Community Center (JCC or “J”) of Greater Baltimore has become somewhat of a ritual. She not only attends fitness classes but also engages with the instructors and plugs the J’s social programs on her personal Facebook page. “It’s the gym and the environment,” says Krupp. “It’s a great social network.” Krupp, who lives in Pikesville, Md., is one of an estimated 1 million American Jewish members of more [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.