FOX's Neil Cavuto asks Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, "Do you think that some people are just too crazy to respond to sanctions? By that, I mean, if you're a nut, what the civilized world does to rein you in simply doesn't register because you're a nut, so what if, from Ahmenidejad on down, we're dealing with nuts who don't respond as you would think to what would be in their economic interests?"
Prof. Juan Cole, at Informed Comment, has published a number of essays on how crazy or nuts war with Iran would undoubtedly turn out to be. Here's from the most blunt, published back on July 24th. I've slightly reformatted it:
The likely outcome of an Israeli military strike on Iran is as follows:
1). Iran will use Shiite operatives and militiamen to kill the increasingly vulnerable remaining US troops in Iraq (once there are less than 50,000 non-combat troops in that country, they are not troops, they are hostages).
2). Iran will stir up its substantial number of clients in Afghanistan to hit the United States, widening the insurgency from mainly Pashtun Taliban to include fundamentalist Tajiks and Hazaras. The US will remain mired in that war, perhaps for decades, as a result.
3). Iran will probably bide its time and act in covert and hard to trace ways against US interests in the region. There could be more operations like the Khobar Towers bombing of US troops in Saudi Arabia or the 1983 attack on a Marine barracks in Beirut. All US commercial and government offices in the region would become targets.
4). A fair likelihood exists that Hizbullah would do something to Israel in revenge, possibly provoking another Israel-Lebanon War. The last war did not go well for Israel, despite its massive military superiority. A fourth of Israelis were forced to move house, chemical gas facilities in Haifa were threatened (and the Dimona Nuclear plant that makes all those Israeli nuclear warheads could be), and Hizbullah had broken Israeli radio encryption and knew all the Israeli army plans beforehand.
5). Not only would the democratically inclined opposition movement in Iran evaporate, but Muslim fundamentalists in Egypt, Jordan and other US allies would mobilize and perhaps gain in popularity out of anti-imperial solidarity. (Only 6% of ordinary Arabs is worried about an Iranian nuclear bomb, whereas almost all are disturbed by Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians).
6). The price of oil would spike, likely to 2008 highs of $140 a barrel, throwing the world back into Depression.
7). Once such hostilities began, and given these likely responses, the US could well get sucked into a third major Middle East war, against a country geographically much bigger than either Iraq or Afghanistan, and more than twice as populous as each of them. At another $1 trillion, that cost would push the US into $14 trillion in indebtedness all by itself, and since that is American annual gross domestic product, it could trigger a downgrading of American credit, making the interest servicing on existing and future loans far more expensive and, along with crippling high oil prices, beginning America’s final spiral down into poverty and weakness.
What's crazier - having John Bolton and Neil Cavuto determine our foreign policy, or Prof. Juan Cole?
Unfortunately, the White House is more likely to listen to Bolton and Cavuto.