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Snake Charmers and Snake Killers


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Snake Charmers and Snake Killers

by Andrew Roberts

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The immediate result of an Israeli strike—assuming it were successful in destroying or at least very significantly degrading the Iranian nuclear program—would be a collective exhalation of breath across the Middle East and Europe. One of WikiLeaks’ most telling revelations came when the King of Saudi Arabia was heard urging the Americans “to cut off the head of the snake,” and if the Israelis undertook the identical action the Sunni Arab leadership would be cock-a-hoop with pleasure and relief (while of course publicly reserving the right to denounce Israel for aggression and war-mongering).


Yet it would not just be Sunni Arabs who would hypocritically denounce Israel while simultaneously wiping their metaphorical brows. The whole of the P5+1—bar one—would of course be concerned about the Iranian reaction, but they would also be delighted that the centrifuges had been finally stilled. The exception would be President Obama, who genuinely seems to have convinced himself that he has deflected Iran from pursuing nuclear threshold status through his own brilliant diplomacy. He might well be the only world leader besides the Supreme Leader of Iran himself genuinely to decry Israel’s action in his heart of hearts. Scissors-32x32.png


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