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Solutionists who put their faith in deterrence neglect the chilling statement by Iranian Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani suggesting that a nuclear conflict would not be overly troubling, because "the application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel, but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world." Behind the sinister euphemisms is a grotesque calculation. The "application of an atomic bomb" means dropping one on Israel. "Leaving nothing in Israel" can only be interpreted as leaving no people alive. A second holocaust courtesy of the Holocaust deniers. And an Israeli nuclear retaliation would "just produce damages in the Muslim world." Damages! Israel is said to have some 200 nuclear warheads and an invulnerable retaliatory capacity (stashed in undetectable submarines). Just "damages" in the Muslim world might mean deaths in the tens of millions.
These are, ultimately, the stakes we can expect in a regional nuclear war—and it should never be forgotten that an attack on a facility that contains nuclear fuel turns each target into a nuclear "dirty bomb," however deeply buried, one whose long term consequences are still unknown.