There are many in the liberty sphere of bloggers who claim to stand by Israel. I have made no secret of my support. Joe Huffman's View From North Central Idaho pre-dates me online by a long time, and is famous for his "Jews in the Attic Test", for an easy example. Many other bloggers have talked about the subject and expressed support in varying ways.
And then there's the other side that blames all the troubles in the region or the whole world on the Jews. Incidentally, I don't believe it's possible to separate support for Israel from support for the Jews, and attempts to label the perceived problem as Zionism are dishonest at best. Israel as a nation state has many peculiarities: it has a lot of the same secular attributes seen here, for example, and is not strictly a Jewish population. I have seen many Israeli Arabs who say they prefer living under the Jews than under Arab leadership. I have friends who have been there and seen how good a place it is.
It seems to be widely believed that Israel is going to involve us in a war against Iran. I don't believe this. I think Israel is trying to make sure we don't fight on Iran's side if they get into a ruckus. In '09 Former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski said we should shoot down Israeli planes if they enter Iraqi air space. We seem to have decided (by default) not to do that, but the situation got really weird when the Saudis granted Israel permission to overfly the Kingdom to attack Iran (think this just affects Israel?). As I tell my wife, in the event of trouble, she has my back and I'd appreciate her not shooting me in it. I think that's what Israel wants out of us - not to shoot her in the back.
I think Iran's most logical gambit is to attack us first, not Israel. I'll get back to this later. There's a lot of talk about a war in that region coming as part of the general historical trend: when countries get as desperately screwed up as about 2/3 of the world is now, wars often follow.
Let's pick up the story here: did Iranian agents assassinate Israeli diplomats? Almost certainly, based on the Iranians that were captured. Did Israeli agents assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists? Almost certainly. In fact, I darn well hope so! Is either party pure and innocent? Not a chance. No country on earth is perfect, not them, not us; not one".
It's silly to argue about whether or not Iran is trying to get nuclear weapons. Of course they are. You only need so many centrifuges to refine fuel for a power station, and they reached that number years ago. The question is whether or not they are going to make good on their fiery speeches and attempt to wipe Israel out. The real question is: do they want a nuke for deterrence or to attack someone?
Let's put it in terms of analogy. As a group, we are all very conscious of self-defense, and most of us probably carry a weapon regularly, if not daily. Most of us have had training. If someone frequently threatened to kill you and your family, and you saw them laying in bombs or bomb making supplies, or perhaps getting cases of ammo, or other supplies that could be used against you, what would you do? Perhaps you wouldn't go kill your neighbor but you sure would try to find out what he was up to, and do your best to make sure your place was secured, right? Would you take a bullet before you did something? Would you let your wife, your child, or your parent take a bullet? What if that neighbor was the grandchild of someone who had killed someone in your grandparents' family? What if that first strike could take out your whole house, your whole family, and everyone you know? Would that raise the stakes?
One of the best papers ever put on the net was put up by Marko at Munchkin Wrangler. It begins
Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.The same basically applies here. In political terms, it's diplomacy or war (war is diplomacy by other means). Much like the situation of trying to reason with someone bent on killing you, or raping you, your adversary might not respond to diplomacy. That leaves war, either a wide open full "dogs of war" rampage leaving many dead, or - perhaps - the "third option"; covert operations. Stuxnet is the first thing I think of, but selectively killing the head scientists on the project could be another example. Is that "fair"; is assassination of scientists a valid tactic? Why is that different from a sniper taking out an enemy commander? Why is it somehow OK to bomb a building from 30,000 feet and kill more or less randomly, but it gives people the "heebie jeebies" to target someone?
What does supporting Israel mean? Start with an easy one: I'm not going to condemn them for doing what any other nation would do in the same situation. I'm not going to condemn them in the UN. The next one is obvious: Israel has a right to exist and a right to the land they've been on since they took it in the 1967 war. They have tried to exchange "land for peace" over and over again and given back a lot of territory they took; it will never work if the other side doesn't want peace. The other side doesn't want a "two state solution", they want Israel gone. It's plainly there in their writings.
I said I think Iran would attack us first; here's why. Taking them literally at their words, they want "the Great Satan" gone (that would be you, if you're American). They want Israel gone. They want an Islamic flag over the White House. They want hegemony over the Middle East. The answer to all of those is to get rid of us, or at least get us out of the way. They could do that with a big enough attack on our soil to get us to call all troops home to try and keep order. One example would be like the TV show Jericho; a dozen nukes go off in a dozen US cities. That would be hard and risk detection. Far easier would be to set off an EMP bomb. Only one, small device is needed. It could be launched from a ship or from Venezuela, where they are working on missile launch sites. Once we're out of the region, they could take over the Mideast at their own pace. Annihilating Israel would be an early step. I don't see the Iranians have much risk; what are we going to do? Our country is in the stone age, millions are dying and we're going to start a land war in Iran without a re-supply chain? The only option we'd have would be to nuke them, and hasn't China said they'd take that as an attack on them? I think it would be a decapitation strike that would effectively end the US.
But there's another way; we could be gotten rid of by economic collapse. If they can mess up the world financial markets enough to start the dominoes falling, they might be able to achieve the same goals. Our economy wouldn't be able to pay the forces overseas, and we'd have to bring them home. On to taking out Israel. Plus, we seem to be doing a pretty good job of collapsing our economy on our own.