Wednesday, November 01, 2006

  • Wednesday, November 01, 2006
  • Elder of Ziyon
Moshe Arens has an interesting column in Haaretz saying that just maybe, Olmert's choosing Lieberman as minister of strategic threats was a shrewd move.

He explains that, in game theory, an irrational player (Ahmadinejad) has a decided advantage due to his irrationality. Since no one can predict what he might do, he can expect the world to play it safe and give him a wide berth so he can pursue his plans.

Arens is saying that Lieberman is (almost) equally irrational and throwing him up against the Ahmadinejad problem may be more effective in making the madman from Iran pause before making his next threat or pronouncement.

There is something to be said for irrationality as policy, keeping your opponents off balance. I'm just not as convinced that Ahmadinejad is acting irrationally in the real sense of the word.

We've discussed before Iran's geopolitical goal: to become the world's superpower.

Ahmadinejad is a sincerely religious man, and his vision of the future is the vision of a worldwide Islamic 'ummah. The establishment of this universal caliphate can be accomplished a number of ways, all of which are happening simultaneously:

  • Demographically, by converting large numbers of people to Islam and by ncreasing the birthrate of Muslims;
  • Politically, by making Europe irrelevant and targeting the US and Israel exclusively; and
  • Militarily, by becoming a nuclear power.
Ahmadinejad is not acting as the head of state of Iran; he is acting as the putative leader of the Muslim world. He has that pesky Shiite/Sunni thing to overcome but for the most part he is ignoring the differences between Muslims and focusing on the commonalities.

His seemingly irrational statements about Israel, the Holocaust and the US make much more sense when one realizes that his audience is not Iranians but a billion Muslims. If he can unify them behind him, he effectively becomes the superpower.

His manipulations of the West may be somewhat attributable to studied irrationality, but I think it is more focused - it is clear that old Europe is so paralyzed with fear of confrontation that they are more than happy to believe anything conciliatory he says and ignore the outrageous parts. Also, any head of state, no matter how nutty, has the opportunity to frame debates, and since Ahmadinejad has started his "wipe Israel off the map" and "Holocaust is a myth" memes, both those ideas have been taken more seriously by the world, albeit in watered-down forms.

If Islam is what makes him act how he does, then coming up with a counterattack is much harder. The only reason acting irrationally works is if one of the possible irrational actions will hurt the enemy more than it helps him, and almost anything Israel (or the US) does would increase Ahmadinejad's prestige and power.

The best policy I can think of, as I've stated before, is a unilateral, severe economic boycott against Iran by the US - as well as against any country that trades with Iran. The main US strength is economic and it is a weapon that is not used nearly enough. It would send stocks into a tailspin but that is a hell of a lot better than a nuke.

Arens has a point, though - the fear of an Israeli first nuclear strike by the irrational Lieberman may slow down the Iranian program. I think a few well-placed rumors that the Iranian nuclear brain trust has been thoroughly infiltrated by Zionists can work wonders as well. (And don't forget how effective a single bullet can be.) But Israel's options are very limited, no matter how many "strategists" are elevated to cabinet positions.

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz



follow me

Follow by Email


Share on Whatsapp


For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!



The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs


Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism antisemitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent Community Standards conspiracy theories Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Nakba Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO NIF Noah Phillips norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Trump Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive