To go to war or not to go to war? – By Hasan Rizvi

22 Apr

With the increase in tension between Iran and Israel, it seems as though the idea of war is looming over our heads. There is no doubt that this could be World War III in the making, with disastrous outcomes. In a region already embroiled in chaos and upheaval, an Israeli attack on Iran would prove to be catastrophic. Russia and China have already shown that they are and will remain staunch allies of the Islamic Republic while the United States would be dragged in due to the cozy relationship it has with Israel. War seems to be a realistic option for the Israelis and the rhetoric coming out of the Knesset further amplifies that. The question is, however, will it actually happen?

Iran is by no means an isolated country as many suggest it is. With powerful allies such as China, Russia as well as India, which one must add is the biggest importer of Iranian fuel, the Islamic republic is well guarded. Iran is a regional power and the international community must recognize that. Will the Iranians develop a bomb and send the world into oblivion? It is highly doubtful. Former United Kingdom Ambassador to the United States, Sir Christopher Meyer points out that the Iranians are an established civilization who has seen their fair share of crisis to recognize that war will do no good but more harm. I also must agree with the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey, when he called the Iranians ‘rational’ actors. If indeed they are making a bomb which the world has been speculating for the last 30 years or what the Grand Ayatollah has time and time again said is ‘blasphemous’ in Islam as it doesn’t differentiate between the innocent or guilty, is a question only the Iranians can answer. However, with negotiations underway in Turkey, it is good to see that these issues are actually being discussed rather than having a policy of ‘not negotiating with terrorists’.

The last thing the west wants is an all out war. With the European economic crisis still very much present and the price of oil sky rocketing in the US as well as the whole world, there is no desire for war. Frankly speaking, the US cannot afford another war, albeit one with a much stronger military force than either Iraq or Afghanistan. One thing is certain, given the divisions within Iran; they stand together for the protection of their sovereignty. Let’s hope that all parties especially Israel and Iran come to a conclusion, which is a peaceful one, sooner rather than later. The world has already seen too much bloodshed, violence and hatred. A likely deal with Iran would most definitely include: development of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes with regards to the development of energy. Let’s leave it at that. But I must say, will it be so bad if indeed the Iranians acquire a nuclear weapon? Given what we’ve seen in history, the acquisition of a nuclear weapon may very well prevent war. We see that with examples of Pakistan and India as well as North and South Korea. This point would prove to be very controversial, and understandably so. However, with the recent test launch of the Agni V in India we see that the term ‘deterrence’ kept coming up. The reason for that is, the Indians believe, will dissuade others, particularly China, from even thinking about war. It does make sense to me at least. I too like many other peace loving hippies’ wish we lived in a world free of nuclear weapons but given the unpredictable nature of the world we live in today, that idea should remain in Utopia. If indeed the Iranians are pursuing nuclear power, let’s hope it is solely to provide energy for the future generations. So the question remains: To go to war or not to go to war? I say: Not to go to war.


2 Responses to “To go to war or not to go to war? – By Hasan Rizvi”

  1. Sania Aamir April 22, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    Interesting article Hasan! And congrats Natasha on putting this project together:)

    I agree with your analogies and logic behind not going to war but one thing that I’d like to add here is the fact that the world witnesses the developments in the Middle-East with immense fear and I somewhere do believe that this growing fear in the West regarding the revolutionary spirit of the Muslim nations which sparked off a series of bloody civil conflicts and more so had a domino effect, will at least dissuade the United States from overtly getting involved in Iranian undertakings. The US will play their cards sitting in the Security Council. Furthermore, the opportunity cost of such interventions will literally be political suicide for US leadership at this time in history.
    On the contrary I’d also disagree with the logic of possessing WMDs for the sake of coercive diplomacy or hard power projection: merely because an eye for an eye will make the world blind ( Gandhi) It’s a race which will have no destination and moreso no reward for any Nation that participates in it as an active contestant.

  2. Harold T. April 23, 2012 at 1:01 am #

    I must agree with Hasan, although it’s not the first time tensions in the Middle East have come to a head, it’s certainly the first time that there’s been this much at stake. War between Iran and Israel would, at the very least, be considered a major regional conflict with international consequences. However, the risk of a potential World War shouldn’t be exaggerated.
    Even though Iran and Israel haven’t been on friendly footing for many years, it’s highly unlikely that Iran would attack Israel in the foreseeable future, they simply have no reason to. The way things are looking right now, a hypothetical war would almost certainly begin with an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. I doubt that the United States would do more than provide logistical and financial aid, they can’t spare the troops and it’s too risky, militarily ánd, 2012 being an election year, politically. The refusing of the US to participate in an all-out war diminishes the chances of a Russian, Chinese or Indian intervention to almost zero.
    But the real question here is: “would they do it?”. I don’t think so, Israel would only attack Iran if there’s a real threat and a nuclear Iran is, in my opinion, not necessarily a threat. If Iran is developing nuclear weapons it would be for defensive purposes only. Worried as they may be, deep down inside, Israel realizes this. It all comes down to power, of which Israel has much to lose if it is no longer the only nuclear power in the Middle East.

    Finally, I ask myself: “should they do it?”. No, although nuclear proliferation isn’t something I encourage, it isn’t the job of the international community to decide which countries can and can’t possess nuclear weapons. It’s only logical that most countries are trying to prevent this from happening but it is morally wrong. But for now let’s hope for the best and who know, perhaps Iran is telling the truth. Perhaps they are only developing nuclear technology for civilian applications. One thing is certain, even if a war would be “only” between Iran and Israel, it wouldn’t exactly be a walk in the park for neither party

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