Top US Democrat calls for bombing Iran

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If the Israeli media and Israel's government ministers are to believed, a military strike on Iran is likely in the near future. Israeli President Shimon Peres recently declared that the chances on an Israeli strike on Iran were higher than ever.

The consequences of an Israeli attack on Iran may be too great for the country to bear. Even former Mossad director Ephraim Halevy declared that Iran was "far from an existential threat." His view seems to echo the mentality of Israel's intelligence community, which is extremely wary of war of Iran. But in a country under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu, who was calling for invading Iraq and removing Saddam Hussein from power as early as 1990, anything is possible.

If Israel can not carry out its bellicose threats, the task of 'taking out' Iranian nuclear facilities falls to its top patron, the United States. Obama seems unlikely to pull the trigger, but he is constantly under pressure from a Congress in the thrall of AIPAC and the Israel lobby. In a remarkable analysis, Jeffrey White, a fellow at WINEP, one of the Israel lobby's key think tanks in Washington, disputed the feasibility of a 'military option' against Iran. White wrote that it is 'disingenuous to try to frame military action against Iran as a simple 'raid' or even a broader 'operation.' We are talking here about war, with attendant potential high costs to all combatants in terms of military casualties, civilian damage and economic disruption.' In other words, neutralizing Iran's nuclear capacity would a require a ground invasion that would prove catastrophic for all parties involved, including Israel. However, White is an outlier in a pro-Israel foreign policy scene that seems dead-set on conflict with Iran.

Until this week, the most politically prominent advocates for mounting a reckless attack on Iran had been leading Republican presidential candidates appealing to their rapture ready Christian Zionist base of support. But this Sunday, a major figure from the Democratic Party, former Senator Evan Bayh, suggested that Iran was a 'suicidal theocracy' that needed to be bombed before it was too late.

According to the blog Think Progress, Bayh declared on Fox News Sunday:

You’d have to bomb them for several weeks in a row. There’s only one country that has that kind of capability and that’s the United States. For Israelis it is an existential question. For us it raises the issue, is the Iranian nation a normal nation-state that’s belligerent and does things we don’t like but ultimately is not suicidal and can be deterred. Or are they really a suicidal theocracy that might actually use nuclear weapons even if it meant a nuclear retaliation against them. That’s a different case. … The odds are that they are not a suicidal theocracy. But the question is if you’re Israel can you afford to run that risk? Probably not. …

For us it may be better to try and stop that [proliferation] before it gets started by using limited force to prevent Iran from going nuclear when it gets right down to it. … We have to ask ourselves, is a nuclear Iran acceptable? If the answer is no, there’s really only one way to keep that from coming about and that’s the use of force.

According to Barack Obama's former campaign manager David Plouffe, Bayh was a "coin toss" away from the Vice Presidential nomination. Bayh was a member of the neoconservative Committee for the Liberation of Iraq that hyped up the case for invading Iraq. How much his involvement with the pressure group weighed on the Obama campaign's decision remains unknown. But now Bayh is at it again, speaking from the center of the Democratic establishment for another disastrous war of aggression. His behavior raises the question: which country is the suicidal one?

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