The Importance of a Strong Deterrence

The Lesson from Weakness When Faced by a Violent Enemy

It is important for humanity to learn the lessons of history. It is more important, however, to understand the history and critically and judiciously apply the lessons to the contemporary context. To merely quip that something is a lesson to be learned from history is tenuous rhetoric.

A recent Haaretz article began with the quip, “History teaches that a state striving to acquire nuclear weapons will ultimately do so – and North Korea is far from being the only example.”1 Whether acquiring nuclear weapons was the proper course of action or not was unexamined. Tellingly, an example the piece did not mention of “a state striving to acquire nuclear weapons” was Israel.

It seems as if the unmentioned nuclear striving of the Jewish state was appropriate, whereas nuclear striving by Muslim states is inappropriate. What else could one deduce from the article which so much as acknowledged that the state of Israel was blunting the alleged nuclear striving of Iran by assassinating its nuclear scientists?

Haaretz makes clear that “… the attacks on the Iranian scientists [were motivated, presumably although left unstated, by Israeli] national interests…”

Haaretz relates that the sabotage and killings “were intended to convey a deterrent message to Iran’s scientific community and scare Iranian scientists into stopping work on their country’s nuclear program.”

It seems Haaretz has deterrence backwards. Iran need look no further than what happened to its neighbor Iraq to see what message was delivered by its lack of deterrence to Zionist-American violence.

That North Korea now has nuclear weapons gives it deterrence against attack by the United States, a country which refuses a peace treaty with North Korea. To attack North Korea now would be suicidal-homicidal folly.

This is revealed by a simple mental scenario: Imagine what Saddam Hussein, or most any leader would have done, knowing that his country was about to be invaded by foreign infidels who would slaughter over a million citizens, force many millions more into exile, impose a Vichy government, etc., and knowing that he, the president, would be condemned by a kangaroo court and killed. Is this not the lesson from what befell a disarmed Iraq?

Americans fatalities in Iraq were relatively low because of military technology that allows cowardly fighting from afar. However, just one nuclear bomb could cause massive fatalities to an enemy, as the nuclear explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki attest. Nuclear deterrence, so far, holds true.

Given that Iran faces belligerence and provocations from the same states – the US and Israel, what would the prudent course of action be for Iran?

Haaretz talks farcically about the “deterrent message delivered by these attacks…” on Iranian scientists. What is the logic, however, of giving in (whatever that implies) to attacks? If Iran was deterred from its “national interest” by outside violence, would not the message be that Iran is weak and violence against it works? Does not the inability to confront violence with deterrent violence leave a country at the whim and mercy of its enemies?

The Haaretz article closes as it began: “History teaches that a state striving to acquire nuclear weapons will ultimately do so.” And so a threatened state should … because history also teaches that showing weakness before an enemy emboldens the enemy; the solution is to become strong.

  1. Yossi Melman, “Whether or not Israel took out Iran nuclear scientist, Tehran will get the bomb,” Haaretz, 30 November 2010. []

Kim Petersen is a former co-editor of the Dissident Voice newsletter. He can be reached at: kimohp@gmail.com. Twitter: @kimpetersen. Read other articles by Kim.

15 comments on this article so far ...

Comments RSS feed

  1. bozh said on December 6th, 2010 at 7:26am #

    right to bear arms and to acquire them is connected to FIRST HUMAN RIGHT, RIGHT TO LIVE.
    i’v said this before: it wld be criminal for iran not to acquire wmd; regardless what israel has or has to say.

    caveat! i am not approving of iranian, iraqi, palestinian supremacists. in fact, i’v gone so far to assert that iraqis or palestinians, wld be much stronger had they been much more egalitarian than they are now.

    alas, palestinians are ruled by same-thinking people that one finds in knesset, duma, diet, congress, parliaments.

    so, if this continues, palestinians and iraqis wld be oppressed by supremacists.
    even most americans wld continue to slave for rich people’s kids; so that they can have life of leisure, etc.
    more cld be said! tnx

  2. Rehmat said on December 6th, 2010 at 7:45am #

    One wonder why Ha’aretz chose N. Korea instead of Israel as an example – when later had acquired nukes over two decades before N. Korea?

    However, N. Korea has shown that every country which wants to survive independent of the western world order – must posses a nuclear deterrent. No wonder that’s the advice Gilad Atzmon gave to Tehran early this year. Because, no matter, how much Iran tries to prove that it has no intentions of producing a nuclear bomb – the ZOGs are not going to accept it until Tehran stop supporting Hamas and Hizbullah.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2010/08/22/will-iran-make-a-nuclear-bomb/

  3. John Andrews said on December 6th, 2010 at 8:31am #

    Whilst I agree with most of the points here, I don’t think that ‘becoming strong’ is much of a solution – and it is certainly not a good long term solution.

    Take Russia, for example. After WW2 Russia focussed all its effort on ‘becoming strong’ in order to counter the fact that a nuclear power had suddenly been invented; and as that power had been working for the previous thirty years to cause Russia’s demise there were real grounds to feel some concern. Who’s to say what might have happened had Stalin the courage to ignore the arms race and concentrate instead on developing the manufacturing base of his country, and turn it into the model communist system his supporters so wanted and the west so feared. But perhaps it was already too late and Stalin had already become such a monster that ‘becoming strong’ was the only means to ensure his own survival. Who knows?

    Whilst ‘becoming strong’ may indeed have bought Russia a bit of time, I think it’s equally possible that if Russia had taken the opportunity provided by a world that was sick to death of war to consolidate its ideological position instead, that might have proven every bit as effective as wasting all its resources on an ultimately futile arms race – and perhaps more so.

    For an individual country to ‘become strong’ is not a long term solution for the planet – it merely ensures a continuation of the ancient cycle of empire building, plunder and destruction: Permanent War. The long term solution must be founded somehow on real justice, common justice for the individual, and common to every individual on the planet.

  4. bozh said on December 6th, 2010 at 8:52am #

    to clear up my “becoming stronger”? i am not only talking about strength of a people being in military might or consumption, but in respecting and valuing one another, as well.
    that cannot ever happen in a society with ceos, amirs, lords, boyars, counts, aghas. tnx

  5. shabnam said on December 6th, 2010 at 9:27am #

    { Take Russia, for example. After WW2 Russia focussed all its effort on ‘becoming strong’ in order to counter the fact that a nuclear power had suddenly been invented; ..}

    So, Britain, So France, So Austria, So Poland…. who were weaker parties in the game.

    {The long term solution must be founded somehow on real justice, common justice for the individual, and common to every individual on the planet.}

    When you are faced with an Evil Empire controlled by the Zionists, then you have to do whatever it takes to stop another Iraq case to be repeated where left 1.5 million deaths behind and destroyed Iraq as we knew it to expand the Zionists’ interest by portioning Iraq into 3 parts, creating Israel’s pawns, the Kurdish Terrorists in the service of Zionism to smoothen the path for the establishment of “greater Israel”. The rest is history. Israel should not be allowed to repeat Iraq case at any cost.

    Americans should be forcing the Zionists out of power if they want to survive as a nation because the targeted communities will get back at them if it takes 100 years. There has been too many deaths and severe destruction of Islamic countries around the world. Americans must wake up today because tomorrow is too late.

    Force the Judeofascists and their stooges in WH, Senate, Congress, military, Intelligence out NOW.

  6. bozh said on December 6th, 2010 at 11:59am #

    when i assert that supremacism–personal or ethnic– cause all the evil in the w0rld, some people begin to run dwn egalitarian builders in china or soviet union.
    and at the same time reject a priori egalitarianism; which had not existed anywhere on the planet for at least 8 kyrs.
    and then they compare a nonexisting phenomenon with a known one and declare that known one is much better than the one they conjure in their minds; i.e., a nonexistent one.

    and, of course, they have to say how stalin killed mns as if supremacists haven’t killed by now bns.

    devil forbid we first taste a more egalitarian society and only then judge. most of such people promote their own pet theory.
    or, one cld say, old pants are ok; i put my patch on it and in lace of my choosing and, voila, everybody gets enough to eat, wars end, wmd are destroyed, planet is saved, etc.
    and they say, i must admit in very polished and meritocratic language! go figure. tnx

  7. Ismail Zayid said on December 6th, 2010 at 12:21pm #

    Kim has to remember that the lessons of history and international law do not apply to Israel. Israel, judging by its practices and the impunity it receives from the powerful nations of the West, is not subject to international law.

    Kim states that “the piece [in Haaretz] did not mention of “a state striving to acquire nuclear weapons” was Israel.” Israel has already aquired decades ago hunderds of nuclear weapons, but dare anyone mention that? It is anti-Semitic to fault any of Israeli policies or actions.

  8. hayate said on December 6th, 2010 at 12:33pm #

    From the article:

    “That North Korea now has nuclear weapons gives it deterrence against attack by the United States, a country which refuses a peace treaty with North Korea. To attack North Korea now would be suicidal-homicidal folly.”

    It was recognised as folly long before NK acquired nuclear weapons. In fact, NK does not have many and these are not what keeps the israeloamericans from continuing their hot war against Korea again. There are several reasons that have kept the israeloamericans from attacking NK again, the nukes are a factor, but they are the most recent and not the most significant.

    First, the americans already tried to conquer NK and got their got their arses royally kicked. The american intent in fomenting that conflict was so they could then go in and push the communists out of the Korean peninsula completely, and perhaps even influence the Chinese civil war that was going on and bring China back under their control (note: america began its war against Korea in 1946, not 1950, as the fascist histories propagandise). As everyone now knows, what happened was the usa was forced to seek a ceasefire without accomplishing any of it’s major goals. That was the fascist’s/ziofascist’s first Vietnam like failure.

    Fear of a similar or worse disaster since then has prevented the americans, and now israeloamericans, from restarting the hot war again. NK’s conventional forces are still a potent deterrent. A war against NK, even without NK nukes, would not be like Afghanistan or Iraq. Those had no military left by the time the israeloamericans attacked. The israeloamericans would see another replay of the Korean war where they would meet massive resistance and suffer high casualties, with not much hope of any meaningful success (in the geostrategic sense).

    But it is not just NK’s military that has deterred the ziofascists/fascists from attacking again. It’s their friends in high places. China would most likely come to NK’s aide, and to a perhaps lesser extent, so would Russia. Having these guys as back-up has probably deterred israeloamerica even more than the thought of having to face NK’s powerful military again.

    The Iranians are taking the Korean experience to heart. Not the having nuclear weapons aspect, but having friends interested in Iran’s survival. Their military deterrent already is deterrent enough without nukes, since israeloamerica realise that unless they disarm an opponent first, their chances of success in war are not very good. Iran has been greatly expanding their diplomatic and business relations in the last few years. The more they can get other countries involved with them, the harder it will be for israeloamerica to isolate Iran, as they have almost accomplished with NK, and for israeloamerica to disarm Iran first, something they have not been able to do to NK. As more countries do business with Iran, their interests will be in keeping Iran a viable country, and not the sort of wreaks the war criminal israeloamericans have made of Afghanistan and Iraq. The Iranians recognise that if they can build these sorts of cooperative business and diplomatic relations with enough countries around the world, then those countries will help Iran deter israeloamerican attack.

  9. kalidas said on December 6th, 2010 at 2:20pm #

    I’m sure many believe my head is even smaller than bozh’s head and maybe this will help to prove this is indeed true.

    I can’t imagine how any nation with literally billions of dollars, (etc.) available could not have nukes. Could not buy nukes. Could not barter for nukes.
    Knowing well just how this low down dirty and corrupt to the point of demonic acts in plain sight is simply business as usual in these society of cheaters and the cheated, it’s hard to imagine Iran and certainly Saudi Arabia have not acquired one or ten nukes.

    Remember the dozen or so X- 55 long range nuclear capable cruise missiles Iran purchased from Ukraine in 1999-2001?
    The only thing Ukraine denied was they were armed with nukes at the time.

    (Ukraine admitted that it had exported to Iran cruise missiles that are capable of carrying nuclear weapons and able of reaching Israel.

    Ukraine’s prosecutor-general Svyatoslav Piskun told the London-based Financial Times on Friday that 12 Soviet-era X-55 cruise missiles with a range of 3,500 kilometers were exported to Iran in 2001. A further six were sold to China

    While Piskun insisted the missiles were not exported with nuclear warheads, there is considerable concern in Western capitals about the leak of military technology)

    Consider that at the height of the cold war the Soviets had approx. 30,000 nukes and now they have 10,000
    I’m not sorry I’m incapable of believing the Soviets efficiently and perfectly disposed of/destroyed/stashed away/accounted for some 20,000 nukes in perfect order. That’s an oxymoron in itself, for the Soviets.

    Perhaps they did, if you’re given to flights of fancy and a sci-fi fan, perfectly 98% or 99% of them. But I don’t believe they did.
    Not for a moment.

    Like I said before… smaller head than bozh.

  10. 3bancan said on December 6th, 2010 at 2:50pm #

    kalidas said on December 6th, 2010 at 2:20pm #

    “I can’t imagine how any nation with literally billions of dollars, (etc.) available could not have nukes”

    So according to kalidas we must believe that Iraq had/has nukes and that practically every state on the globe has them…

  11. bozh said on December 6th, 2010 at 3:31pm #

    i did smwhen-where once said that a nuke can be bought; along with carrier. but beyond that i had not ventured.
    saudi supremacists do not, i expect, fear u.s or israeli supremacists. it’s all one flock. for now. and for decades. thus, they can wait till ‘better’ and smaller are made and aqcuire them if need arises.

    iranian supremacists shld either make da bomb now or buy some! tnx

  12. bozh said on December 6th, 2010 at 3:44pm #

    that’s all there is to it: supremacists fear more than anything else is rise of any egalitarianism. that’s why word is banned even in ?all socalled dissident sites.
    and in its stead, words communism and socialism is used.

    and supremacists are certain that once a pop tastes timocracy, pantisocracy, and equal wages for equal needs, supremacism– personal, ethnic, cultural, cultish, linguistic- vanishes whence they came, to hell.

    that’s why missiles encircled s.u and now, perhaps, china. that’s why nato was formed. that’s why korea and vietnam had been attacked and egalitarian builders– oops, socialists demonized! tnx

  13. kalidas said on December 6th, 2010 at 6:23pm #

    3bancan, who really knows?

    Can’t help but notice that despite all the threats for years on end, Iran remains and I believe will remain.
    I always have and still do find it very hard to believe Iran will be attacked en masse.

    Do you honestly believe the Soviets/Russians eliminated every last one of those 20,000 nukes?

  14. hayate said on December 6th, 2010 at 9:27pm #

    3bancan said on December 6th, 2010 at 2:50pm

    “So according to kalidas we must believe that Iraq had/has nukes and that practically every state on the globe has them… ”

    kalidas said on December 6th, 2010 at 6:23pm

    “3bancan, who really knows?”

    Jesus. Do I really need to say anything more?

  15. shabnam said on December 8th, 2010 at 3:23pm #

    There are many who hold Israel responsible for assassination of the Iranian scientists.
    Leveretts in “Who is killing Iran’s scientists?” write:

    {{In this context, the Wikileaks documents reveal that, earlier this year, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv reported the following to Washington in an unclassified cable:

    “In November 2008, Israeli crime boss Yaakov Alperon was assassinated in broad daylight in a gruesome attack on the streets of Tel Aviv, only about a mile away from the Embassy. According to several media accounts, a motor scooter pulled up alongside Alperon’s car and the rider attached a sophisticated explosive device with a remote detonator to the car door. The bomb killed Alperon and his driver, andinjured two innocent pedestrians. The hit was the latest in a series of violent attacks and reprisals, and indicated a widening crime war in Israel.”

    {http://www.wikileaks.ch/cable/2009/05/09TELAVIV1098.html}

    Compare that to the following description of how the two Iranian nuclear scientists were targeted this month:

    ”Tehran Police Chief Brigadier General Hossein Sajedinia said a motorcycle approached Shahriari’s [the assassinated scientist] car and attached a bomb to the car which exploded a few seconds later. He added that in a separate incident terrorists this time attached another bomb to Abbasi’s car and escaped.”}}

    Many in Iran believe that assassination was carried out by the zionist servants, MEK, Mojahedeen where zionist lobby in the Congress is working hard to remove MEK name from the state Department’s terrorist list. The
    EU have already remove MED from the terrorist list.

    {http://www.payvand.com/news/10/dec/1049.html}

    Kim Thank you very much for informing the public on these terrors.