An excellent analysis on Politico.com suggests that Iran isn’t likely to trigger an overarching armed conflict in the Middle East in reaction to the death of Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Sulemaini on orders from Donald Trump.
The Iranians are blustering about a severe response to Sulemaini’s death in a U.S. air strike. Ray Takeyh, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, believes Iran will back off and will not provoke a conflict that would fester into a third world war.
Read his essay here.
It goes without saying that I hope he’s right. I’ll say it anyway: I hope he’s right.
I want to look back at a statement attributed to the physicist Albert Einstein, who after contributing to the development of the atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan Project during World War II, offered his view of how future world wars would unfold.
He supposedly said he didn’t know how World War III would be fought, but said he was certain “World War IV would be fought with sticks and stones.”
If ol’ Albert Einstein didn’t say precisely that, the message remains vital if the Iranian mullahs have any ideas about how they intend to react to the death of a killer.
As Takeyh said, the “last thing (the mullahs) need is a costly confrontation with a president willing to do things they once considered unimaginable.”
You’re sitting at home in Honolulu, or Hilo, or Lihue, Hawaii.
Your smart phone starts buzzing. You look at it. Then you see a message that declares “Ballistic missile inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”
Have you ever feared such a thing might occur?
It took 38 minutes for Hawaii’s residents to react to what turned out to be a false alarm.
I don’t know about you, but I might decide to panic at that moment.
It turns out that “human error” caused these minutes of grave concern.
Details remain sketchy. Someone reported today on CNN that a shift change at Hawaii’s emergency response center resulted in someone “pushing the wrong button.” Huh? What the … ?
We live in terribly tense times. The United States and North Korea are engaging in a war of wills. Our nation’s president keeps using his Twitter account to needle North Korean dictator/fruit cake Kim Jong Un about the size the two men’s nuclear “button.”
Hawaii residents hear all this right along with the rest of the country. Then they get a text message on every smart phone in the state that says missiles are incoming?
Hawaii wasn’t hit by a missile. For that the rest of the nation is grateful. But, oh brother, some of our fellow countrymen and women in Hawaii have some serious questions to answer.
Starting with: How in the name of nuclear holocaust does this happen … and how are we going to prevent this type of “human error” from recurring?
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley thinks our country’s options regarding North Korea’s continual belligerence include using our immense military power.
I, uh, beg to differ with the distinguished diplomat.
The North Koreans keep launching missiles to demonstrate their own military capability. They fire them over Japan, which has caused the Japanese to rethink their own military posture, which has been limited since the end of World War II.
If Haley is suggesting that the United States launch a first strike against North Korea, then I believe she is talking about an eminently dangerous and frightening outcome.
National security adviser H.R. McMaster insists the United States is still seeking a diplomatic solution. Do you think that would be far preferable a solution than to hit the North Koreans with some kind of tactical strike aimed at destroying its missile launchers or its nuclear weapons production plants? Uhh, yeah. I do!
‘Fire and fury.’
Let’s try to get into North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s skull for just a moment. Does the boy with the bad haircut really and truly believe he can survive any kind of frontal military assault from the world’s most powerful nation? Is he suicidal? I cannot pretend to know what is driving this clown’s nuclear ambition. However, I just cannot believe he intends to use his weapons against South Korea, or Japan or certainly against the United States of America.
The economic sanctions we have applied against North Korea are working. They’re strangling the reclusive country.
As for Ambassador Haley continuing to talk the talk about keeping the military option alive, I believe Kim has received the message, which is that we can blow him and his country to Kingdome Come.