Niall Ferguson: Israel and Iran on the Eve of Destruction in a New Six-Day WarRoundup: Historians' Take
Niall Ferguson is a professor of history at Harvard University. He is also a senior research fellow at Jesus College, Oxford University, and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His Latest book, Civilization: The West and the Rest, has just been published by Penguin Press.
Jerusalem—It probably felt a bit like this in the months before the Six-Day War of 1967, when Israel launched its hugely successful preemptive strike against Egypt and its allies. Forty-five years later, the little country that is the most easterly outpost of Western civilization has Iran in its sights.
There are five reasons (I am told) why Israel should not attack Iran:
1 The Iranians would retaliate with great fury, closing the Strait of Hormuz and unleashing the dogs of terror in Gaza, Lebanon, and Iraq.
2 The entire region would be set ablaze by irate Muslims; the Arab Spring would turn into a frigid Islamist winter.
3 The world economy would be dealt a death blow in the form of higher oil prices.
4 The Iranian regime would be strengthened, having been attacked by the Zionists its propaganda so regularly vilifies.
5 A nuclear-armed Iran is nothing to worry about. States actually become more risk-averse once they acquire nuclear weapons.
I am here to tell you that these arguments are wrong.
Let’s take them one by one...
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