This article “The Point of No Return” combines a lot of thoughts I’ve had, especially while living in Israel. “Iran says Israel shouldn’t exist. The US is stretched in Afghanistan and Iraq. Israel doesn’t admit to having nuclear weapons but does. Israel isn’t about to let itself get obliterated…Hmm…Iran is really close (geographically).”

I remember one International Security class where the professor pulled out a map of the Middle East and pointed. “Now here’s Iran. On one side are Americans in Iraq. On the other side are Americans in Afghanistan. It is a calculated, not insane, step to try to use the threat of building nuclear weapons to deter the US. What other means do they have at their disposal?” Of course, I took that class years ago when Iran’s nuclear weapon program was more speculation than fact.

The first bit of this article I read said, “It is possible that at some point in the next 12 months, the imposition of devastating economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran will persuade its leaders to cease their pursuit of nuclear weapons.” And I thought, “Right, and the oil spill can clean itself up.” Reading further, I discovered that the author shared my view of this possibility. Of all his outlined avenues for possibly making Iran stop its nuclear weapons program, I favor the Green Revolution. For one thing, it would be a national Iranian movement that gives voice to its people (we hope). For another, it might solve some of the other problems Iran has.

Laying out possibilities for a government, or the people under it, brings us back to Israel. Strains with the US have left Israel feeling more isolated than when Bush was president. (There’s a running joke in Israel about its being the 51st state in the Union.) Does this change make it more likely that Israel will strike out “on their own” to protect themselves against Iran? I don’t know. I don’t think, short of a US invasion, the US could deter Israel on stopping what they perceived as a serious threat to their existance. Then again, would the US want to? It’s kind of a nice position of someone else cleaning up the mess and taking the rap.

Yes, this is a very Realistic (vs. Idealistic) on politics. Mainly based on every country’s track record. Still I’d be interested in comments on this situation.