Israel's Options Against Iran
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Introduction

As a set-up to this week's special edition of Outside the Box from Stratfor, let's take a look at a blog from the Middle East Media Research Institute which discusses some recent allegations from the Iranian leadership that the Holocaust did not occur. Quoting:
In a December 28, 2006 interview with the Iranian website Baztab, which is affiliated with Iranian Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezai, Iranian Presidential Advisor Mohammad Ali Ramin said that Hitler was Jewish, and that Hitler's policies were aimed at bringing about the establishment of a Jewish state. Ramin added that Hitler acted under the influence of his powerful Jewish associates and in cooperation with Britain, since the latter shared his desire to force the Jews out of Europe.[1]

Ramin was recently appointed secretary-general of the new "world foundation for Holocaust Studies" established at the Iranian Holocaust Denial Conference in December.[2]

The following are excerpts from the interview :[3]

Adolf Hitler... Developed an Aversion to Judaism Because His Mother Was a Jewish Whore

"The Bolshevik Soviet government in Lenin's time, and later, in Stalin's - both of whom were Jewish, though they presented themselves as Marxists and atheists... - was one of the forces that, until the Second World War, cooperated with Hitler in promoting the idea of establishing the State of Israel. A book that was published about this... - titled Adolf Hitler, Founder of Israel by Hennecke Kardel, a German born in 1922 - proves that Hitler was Jewish, and that his grandmother was a Jewish prostitute. [Hitler's] father went by his mother's Jewish name until he was 40, and later changed his surname to Hitler.

"Adolf Hitler himself developed an aversion to Judaism because his mother was a Jewish whore. He first received [negative] information about the Jews in an Austrian monastery, (the book presents details and pictures of it), and from then on, he [tried] to escape his Judaism.

"Thus... Hitler simultaneously developed both feelings of solidarity with Judaism and feelings of hatred towards it, and this emotional ambivalence shaped his behavior towards the Jews. On the one hand, his entire family, the people who shared his views, and his associates who brought him into power and stood by him to the last - including his lovers and his personal doctor - were [all] Jewish. On the other hand, he welcomed the policy of expelling the Jews from Central Europe for two other reasons: Firstly, the establishment of a Jewish government in Palestine was an aspiration of the rich and influential Jews who surrounded him. Secondly, exiling the Jews from Europe and Germany was a general and historical demand of the Western Christian nations. With the full support of the British, and in coordination with them, Hitler addressed this general demand and [thereby] managed to gain widespread popularity in Europe. Obviously, publishing writings and information of this sort is forbidden in Germany and in the West...

"The Zionists recently... destroyed many documents and papers pertaining to the period before the war, which contained authentic statistics and figures regarding the Jews, such as how many Jews there were, where they [lived] and how they operated. One of the places that was destroyed completely and burned [to the ground] - and which... contained the most valuable documents pertaining to this matter - was the [building of] the newspaper Pravda, which had been published in Moscow for 80 years. On February 10, 2006, the building was set ablaze, and its entire archive, with all its back issues and photographs, was burned and destroyed, and not a trace of it was left. Nobody - not a single news agency anywhere in the world - investigated this historical crime or discussed it extensively..."

Iran is truly being led by madmen, and not just madmen but irrational madmen completely capable of seeing the world through a distorted lens of their own making. They believe what they want to believe. Damn the facts. Full speed ahead. These are the same people who say they want to destroy Israel. If you are the leadership in Israel, all this has to make you uncomfortable with the potential for Iran to have nuclear weapons. Not to mention their Muslim neighbors. This puts into context the following essay.

George Friedman, President of Stratfor, writes about the growing tension between Iran and Israel. In "Israel's Options Against Iran," he discusses how uneasy Israel would be if Iran were to emerge as a nuclear power. George further goes on to highlight the potential courses of action that Israel may or may not be forced to take.

If you are a money manager active in foreign markets or perhaps just a person interested in global affairs, I would recommend that you check out George's service at Stratfor. He generously offers my readers a special discount that you can get here.

I hope that you are enjoying and finding value in these special geopolitical reports.

John Mauldin, Editor

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Geopolitical Diary: Israel's Options Against Iran

By George Friedman

The Institute for National Strategic Studies, a Tel Aviv-based think tank with strong ties to the pro-Israeli Washington Institute for Near East Policy, released its annual report on Tuesday, saying Israel is technically capable of independently carrying out military strikes against Iranian nuclear sites.

Israel undoubtedly has been displeased by the manner in which Washington has mishandled Iraq, while Iran has used the situation to reinforce the perception of U.S. weakness and advance its agenda of becoming a nuclear powerhouse in the region, placing it in competition with Israel. With the United States currently lacking any solid options to contain Iran via a political resolution in Iraq, there has been intense speculation over the possibility that Israel might have to get its hands dirty and take military action against Iran -- with or without U.S. cooperation.

Israel's patience might be wearing thin, but an Israeli strike against Iran in the coming year is still unlikely. The Iranians have learned well from the pre-emptive Israeli airstrikes against Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in June 1981 that effectively squashed former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's development of the country's nuclear weapons. Whereas Iraq concentrated its facilities at Osirak, the Iranians have strategically spread out their nuclear sites, several of which can only be penetrated using tactical nuclear bunker-buster bombs. Even using these weapons in a sustained air campaign, the Israelis' ability to wipe out Iran's widely dispersed nuclear capability in a first-strike offensive is questionable.

Nonetheless, the Israelis do have an interest in halting Iran's expansion of power and setting back the Iranian nuclear program. This idea would be privately welcomed in much of the Arab world, particularly in Saudi Arabia, which would gladly let the Israelis take the heat for containing Iran's nuclear ambitions and putting a lid on the expanding Shiite power in the region. If anything can get the Saudis and the Israelis to sit down together and talk, it's Iran.

But in Israel's current state of military and political paralysis -- a result of the 2006 summer conflict with Hezbollah -- military action against Iran is not at the top of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's to-do list. Israel recognizes the downside to launching a unilateral attack against Iran. If the military option is to be used, Israel sees the value in having U.S. forces that are well-positioned in Iraq to help carry out the attacks. The problem is that the United States simply cannot risk engaging Iran militarily while Iraq is hanging by a thread. And a unilateral Israeli strike against Iran at a time when the United States is in a severely weakened position in Iraq would further undermine U.S. capability in the region, and place Israel in a more vulnerable position vis-a-vis Iran and its proxies there. The political arrangements Washington has painstakingly attempted in Baghdad would unravel if Iran were to hold the United States complicit in Israel's actions, and Tehran would not hesitate to up its militant assets in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories in order to strike at Israeli and U.S. targets.

The Israelis have a small window of four to five years before Iran develops a weaponized nuclear program. With these considerations in mind, Israel must prioritize the various threats against its national security. For Israel to seriously consider a military option against Iran down the road, it will have to first deal with the pending issue of neutralizing Iran's main proxy on Israel's northern border: Hezbollah. Part of the Israeli decision to engage Hezbollah in a full-scale conflict in 2006 likely involved the need to degrade the group's military capabilities and deprive Iran of one of its key assets in the region. Though that plan did not pan out, Israel is bound to revisit the issue in the coming year.
Footnotes:
[1] For more Holocaust denial by Mohammad Ali Ramin, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1186, "Iranian Presidential Advisor Mohammad Ali Ramin: 'The Resolution of the Holocaust Issue Will End in the Destruction of Israel,'" June 15, 2006, http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP118606; for more on Iran's use of Holocaust denial, see MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 307, "The Role of Holocaust Denial in the Ideology and Strategy of The Iranian Regime," December 15, 2006, http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=ia&ID=IA30706.

[2] MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1397, "Iran Holocaust Denial Conference Announces Plan to Establish World Foundation for Holocaust Studies," December 15, 2006, http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP139706.

[3] Baztab, December 28, 2006.


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Conclusion

Your wondering how such irrationality can persist analyst,


John F. Mauldin
johnmauldin@investorsinsight.com

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Posted 01-04-2007 4:19 PM by John Mauldin