Louis Rene Beres
"The comedy is finished."
Now, after so many unpardonable years of deception and self-delusion concerning Iranian nuclear intentions, the
These efforts were vastly more ambitious than was previously believed. According to
When selective preemptions against certain Iranian nuclear assets and infrastructures might still have been practicable, neither
Almost certainly, these inherently fallible programs will include an end to the country's longstanding policy of "deliberate nuclear ambiguity," and substantial additional deployments of both Arrow and Iron Dome missile interceptors.
Significantly, unlike the no-longer-viable preemption option, these defensive programs could come into play only after an Iranian nuclear force had already been deployed, or after an Iranian nuclear attack had already been launched.
Can anyone reasonably expect a newly-nuclear leadership in
This core question must be raised in reference to all possible Iranian regimes, not only to the present Ahmadinejad government. Although counter-intuitive, regime change in
Irrationality is not the same as madness.
Even an irrational Iranian leadership could maintain a consistent and "transitive" hierarchy of preferences.
Enemy irrationality would likely be less dangerous for
Any Iranian leadership that slouches toward military conflict with the "Zionist Entity" could, sooner than had long been expected, initiate regional nuclear war. Deliberately or inadvertently, as a "bolt from the blue," or as a fully unintended result of escalation, whether out of an inexorable religious commitment to jihad against "unbelievers," or, for much more mundane reasons of miscalculation, accident, coup d'état, or command-control failure, a nuclear
Thirty-two years ago, I published the first of 10 books that contained authoritative descriptions of the physical and medical consequences of nuclear war, any nuclear war. These descriptions were drawn largely from a still-valid 1975 report by the
Overwhelming health problems would afflict the survivors of any Iranian nuclear attack upon
Tens of thousands of Israelis could be crushed by collapsing buildings, and torn to shreds by flying glass. Others could fall victim to raging firestorms. Fallout injuries would include whole-body radiation injury, produced by penetrating, hard gamma radiations; superficial radiation burns produced by soft radiations; and injuries produced by deposits of radioactive substances within the body.
After an Iranian nuclear attack, even a "small" one, those few medical facilities that might still exist in
Normal human society would cease.
The pestilence of unrestrained murder and banditry could soon augment plague and epidemics. Many of the survivors would expect an increase in serious degenerative diseases. They could also expect premature death; impaired vision, and sterility. An increased incidence of leukemia and cancers of the lung, stomach, breast, ovary and uterine cervix would be unavoidable.
Extensive fallout would upset many delicately balanced relationships in nature. Israelis who survive the nuclear attack would still have to deal with enlarged insect populations. Like the locusts of biblical times, mushrooming insect hordes could spread en masse from the radiation-damaged areas in which they arose.
Insects are generally more resistant to radiation than humans. This fact, coupled with the prevalence of unburied corpses, uncontrolled waste and untreated sewage, would generate tens of trillions of flies and mosquitoes. Breeding in the dead bodies, these insects would make it impossible to control typhus, malaria, dengue fever and encephalitis. Throughout
All of these same effects, possibly even more expansive and destructive, would be unleashed upon
"The comedy is finished."
Louis René Beres is the author of many books and articles dealing with international relations and international law and is a professor at
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