Richard Cohen is an Opinion Writer for the Washington Post. He writes a lot about goings-on in the Middle East. He is Jewish. He is biased — and he makes no attempt to deny it. He is what he is. There are plenty of people these days — mostly on the Left who will be glad to take the other side. I, personally would say that more often than not, Richard makes sense — and they don’t.
His Tuesday’s Opinion was especially interesting. He leads off talking about Doctrines. You know, like the Monroe Doctrine. The Monroe Doctrine, for the one or two of you who may have forgotten, was stated by (of all people) President Monroe and basically stated that the US would look unfavorable at any more colonization in the Americas. It worked, mostly because the most powerful nation on earth, Great Britain approved of it. We did not have the military strength to back up The Monroe Doctrine.
We have had other doctrines The Truman Doctrine, The Eisenhower Doctrine, Kennedy Doctrine, it goes on and on. Basically they all seemed to say that, “The United States would go to war if…..”. Other countries do this, too.
Richard Cohen spoke of the Israeli doctrine. It is called, “Maybe the Dog will Talk” doctrine. What, you never heard of it? Well, it is based on a folk tale of the rabbi who makes a preposterous deal with a tyrant: If the tyrant spares the lives of local Jews, the rabbi will teach the tyrant’s dog to talk. When the rabbi tells his wife what he has done, she calls him a fool. But, he says, “A year is a long time. In a year, the tyrant could die or I could die” — and here he gives her a sly, wise-rabbi smile — “or maybe the dog will talk.”
The United States, along with the rest of the world, have been trying to persuade the Israelis not to attempt to bomb Iran because the Israelis are not powerful to stop the Iranian nuclear program. The Israelis might set it back a bit — but not end it. With us, you see, it is all or nothing.
Israel, however, has different objectives. Remember, in 2007 they bombed a Syrian installation The operation was not meant to be a long-term solution. The Syrians were clearly building a nuclear establishment, and the Israelis wanted it stopped. The bombing was successful. The Syrians got the message. The program was stopped.
In each case, there clearly wasn’t enough damage to force a cessation of the Syrian or Iraq programs, but those leaders got the clear message that the Israelis were dead serious. Both leaders seemed to feel that in the interest of their long-term survival they had better stop what they were doing.
So it seems fair to assume that Israel is looking at the situation from a very different viewpoint than is the United States or, for that matter, Europe. Don’t ever forget that Iran has specifically threatened the continued existence of Israel. When one nation does that to another, that is very serious. One atomic bomb is all that Iran really needs. It is true that if they used the bomb, they might kill more Muslims as well as wiping out some Islamic holy places but it is simply not too clear if the Mullahs in Iran really care.
Possibly if Israel can postpone the inevitable (Iran getting the bomb) the government will change, or the Mullahs will come to their senses — the way that the Iraqis or Syrians did.
Maybe the dog will talk. Maybe the Israelis feel that they have no choice. I only hope that they have planned carefully (they usually do). I wish them the best.