Bill Kristol and Michael Makovsky gush over Netanyahu’s keen insights:
But he knows that an Iran with nuclear weapons is the worst result of all—that bombing Iran is better than Iran with a bomb. He sees that behind the Obama administration’s façade of hard-headed diplomacy is a soft-headed, even desperate, desire for some sort of deal, any deal, and that such a deal will be rationalized by foreign policy elites who know it’s a bad deal but who have talked themselves into accepting the case for containment rather than prevention of a nuclear Iran. And Netanyahu understands that behind all of this lies a failure of nerve and a collapse of will in much of the West that deserves to be compared to what Churchill faced in the 1930s.
It must be very interesting to “know” so many things that aren’t true. The debate over Iran policy treats prevention and containment as if they were competing alternatives, which assumes that “prevention” through military action is even possible. In fact, a military attack on Iran aimed at “preventing” Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons would at most delay that outcome while virtually guaranteeing that it will happen. Bombing Iran isn’t an alternative to an Iranian nuclear weapon. It is a prelude and invitation to it. “Preventive” war against Iran will achieve nothing except to plunge the region into needless conflict. To endorse such an option requires the failure of reason and a collapse of critical thinking.
Leaving aside the illegality and folly of launching such an attack, and ignoring for the moment the likely economic disruption and regional instability an attack would cause, it would give Tehran every incentive to build a nuclear arsenal to discourage any more attacks. It would fail completely on its own terms, and this is already obvious. This is one reason why the hawkish obsession with having a “credible” military option is so senseless: military action will have the opposite effect of the one that hawks claim to want, and the more that Iran takes the threat of attack seriously the less willing it will be to reach an agreement with the P5+1 on its nuclear program.