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Would UK, US Take Advice Not to Respond?

irans flag over a map of the country

Mark L. Cohen By Friday, 19 April 2024 03:37 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Here are just a few questions for those echoing president Biden’s warnings to Israel not to respond to Iran's recent attack.

Imagine ff some of the Iranian missiles had been redirected toward U.S. or British warships stationed in the Persian Gulf to intercept the main missile barrage aimed at Israel. It's not a far-fetched scenario; when Iran launches missiles aimed at another country, it might want to protect those missiles from being intercepted by the targeted country — or its allies.

There are two eventualities. One is that, as with the missiles targeting Israel, the ones directed at the warships fail to cause any damage.

The second is that even if the missiles may have been fired just to make a statement, one or two could reach their objective, and a warship is sunk or seriously damaged and American servicemen are killed. 

In either case, should the United States or the U.K. be warned to stay calm and exercise restraint? And will that advice be followed?

If the advice is accepted and the United States exercises restraint it would be an unprecedented decision not to seek and destroy at the very least the site from which missiles were fired.

What would the president say to the American people? Is this because of confusion about the fact that Israel policy toward Palestinians has been criticized?  

By this logic, if Israel is kept from retaliating all will be fine, and the United States may pretend that a ship, along with a few seamen. sinking to the bottom of the Persian Gulf is not a significant matter.

One reason that we are even able to imagine this absurd situation where America hesititates instead of retaliating quickly and forcefully is because every single discussion about the Middle East conflict deteriorates into determining the extent that Israel is ultimately responsible for everything that has happened since October 7 — as well as during the decades when tens of thousands of missiles were launched against it.

The media and social networks revel at Israel-bashing, or at least weighing the different historical wrongs committed by each belligerent so that we end up with furious bone-headed diplomats figuring out more and better ways to formulate Security Council resolutions designed to never blame the aggressor. 

On the ground, where it counts, Israel is placed in a sort of paralysis where its military hesitates on whether to obey the admonition not to attack Rafah and Iran. while Hamas plays a perverse game of pretending to negotiate the return of hostages. Meanwhile, almost every experienced commentator has concluded that they need to keep the hostages as their personal human shields.

Politicians tremble that Israel may finally refuse to heed the "Calmer Minds Prevail" warning, as they certainly would. After all, it takes strong action to both eliminate Hamas in Gaza and inflict serious damage on Iran.

Unlike Hamas, Iran is a sovereign country that for 40-odd years has announced its objective to destroy of Israel and has sacrificed the well-being of its own people for this objective. It is considered the cause of terrorism and instability in the region and, along with North Korea. is the world’s most serious nuclear risk. 

Whether and to what extent Israel should launch a reprisal should be considered by cooler heads less obsessed with their own politics and more interested in the long-term interest of regional peace. That's an objective not served by issuing warnings to Israel as if it is country that deserves to be taught a lesson.

If there are lessons to be given, they should be directed to Hamas to release the hostages, and to friendly nations to participate without nuance in reinforcing sanctions and their enforcement against Iran.

Mark L. Cohen has his own legal practice, and was counsel at White & Case starting in 2001, after serving as international lawyer and senior legal consultant for the French aluminum producer Pechiney. Cohen was a senior consultant at a Ford Foundation Commission, an advisor to the PBS television program "The Advocates," and Assistant Attorney General in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He teaches U.S. history at the business school in Lille l'EDHEC. Read Mark L. Cohen's Reports — More Here.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Whether and to what extent Israel should launch a reprisal should be considered by cooler heads less obsessed with their own politics and more interested in the long-term interest of regional peace.
israel, iran, middle east, united states, united kingdom
Friday, 19 April 2024 03:37 PM
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