The Parse

Parsing the stupidity

Statesmanlike Counterterrorism

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Imagine if a band of Islamic radicals armed with AK-47s stormed prominent hotels and Union Station in NYC and killed over 150 people.  Imagine that we find out afterward the group was supported by Hezbollah or some other terrorist group backed by Iran.  And imagine also that all of this happened after Iran had obtained the bomb, which seems to be where things are headed.

How do you think the U.S. would respond?  Even under Obama, going to court might not be enough of a response.  But would we attack Iran, risking nuclear confrontation or a nuclear attack on Israel?

A Washington Post story on SecDef Gates’ visit to India raises that question.

“Gates…praised India for showing ‘statesmanlike’ behavior by not retaliating against Pakistan after the 2008 Mumbai hotel attacks. … Gates said India had responded to the Mumbai attacks ‘with a great deal of restraint’ even though the suspects had come from Pakistan, and that ‘the two sides have managed to keep the tensions between them to a manageable level.'”

Hmm.  Statesmanlike.  Is that how we would characterize a similar response in this country if it had happened here?  A more apt characterization of India’s response would be “in-the-interests-of-the-United-States-(and-the-greater-region)-like.”  Pakistan has the bomb.  So does India.  We certainly don’t want any war breaking out between these old foes.  This is instructive regarding the Iran situation.  Having nukes insulates you, acts as a deterrent.  If Iran has them, they will feel emboldened to more directly engage in terrorist activities and other trouble-making.  Unfortunately, the U.S. and the rest of the world has done little to stop Iran’s nuclearization.  One day we may face the same situation India was in after Mumbai ’08.


Written by The Parse

January 20, 2010 at 4:39 pm

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