Opinion: Is Israel going to bomb Iran?

Robert Thomas Young

Robert Thomas Young

Robert Thomas Young is a senior philosophy major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directly compared Iran’s nuclear facilities to the atrocities that transpired in Auschwitz during World War II, and he didn’t stop there.

In Washington D.C. this past week, Netanyahu threatened to launch offensive strikes against Iran in response to its public intention to move forward with its nuclear program. The consensus of pundits and talking heads all agree that Netanyahu is bluffing, but I think there is more than a kernel of truth behind this bellicose display of puffery.

More than 50 percent of Americans support military action against Iran as preemptive strike to keep them from obtaining nuclear weapons, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll this week. Where have I heard this before?

Here are the facts: U.S. intelligence agencies report that Iran halted all attempts to create a nuclear warhead way back in 2003, and no intelligence has shown anything to the contrary. Furthermore, Iranian leaders assert their increased nuclear program is geared only toward producing electricity and peaceful purposes.

So, why is Netanyahu beating his chest and crying out war calls to Iran (other than the fact that election season is drawing near)? One reason is that Iran hasn’t entirely cooperated with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Another reason that Israel and many in the U.S. are weary of Iran’s intentions is the fact that they are enriching uranium more than what is necessary for to generate electricity. However, the enrichment levels are still far below what would be needed for a nuclear weapon. Is Iran setting up a contingency plan for later?

While the U.S. intelligence communities are quite confident that Iran is years away from even the possibility of producing nuclear weapons, Israeli officials believe Iran will reach the ability to produce weapons-grade uranium in the next six months.

On the home front, the U.S. is 100 percent committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. However, that is not good enough for Israel. Netanyahu doesn’t want Iran to have even modest nuclear capabilities, which I find rather hypocritical seeing how Israel most likely has multiple nuclear weapons.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers here. Israel and Jewish people anywhere have the right to be safe from violence. However, Iran and Iranians have the right to progress technologically along with the rest of the world.

Personally, I don’t like nuclear energy. We have no clue what to do with the waste, aside from dumping it in the ocean and inside Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Plus, earthquakes and human error make way for inevitable disasters, such as the Chernobyl meltdown and leaking Fukushima reactor in Japan.

But just because I think that nuclear energy is bad news doesn’t mean that certain privileged nations should hold proprietary use of technology by use of force. Plenty of countries have nuclear power. I don’t think any country should have a nuclear weapon, unless it is for shooting down asteroids getting ready to crash into Earth, but I don’t see a valid reason why Iran’s nuclear program should be bombed by Israel or any other country either.

While I agree with Netanyahu that the government of Iran can’t be totally trusted, I think he went way overboard evoking Auschwitz and the mass murder of Jews as comparable in any way to what is going on with Iran’s nuclear program.

I think Iran wants attention and a more sustainable energy program, but I think Israel may give them much more than that. I don’t think it is merited, and I definitely think it will cause trouble throughout the Middle East and the rest of the world, but I think Israel is going to eventually bomb Iran over their nuclear program.

You think gas prices are high now? Wait until Iran closes the Strait of Hormuz.