General Question

KNOWITALL's avatar

Which is the biggest threat to the US and Israel? China, Russia, Iran or other?

Asked by KNOWITALL (15040 points ) January 10th, 2013

I’ve been reading a lot about this lately, opinions are encouraged, even if it’s slightly different than the question I posed!

“As confrontation between the United States and Iran escalates, the country is finding itself further pushed into an alliance with China and Russia. And Iran, like Russia, “views Turkey’s regional ambitions and the possible spread of some form of pan-Turkic ideology with suspicion”.[5]
Russia and Iran also share a common interest in limiting the political influence of the United States in Central Asia. This common interest has led the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to extend to Iran observer status in 2005, and offer full membership in 2006. Iran’s relations with the organization, which is dominated by Russia and China, represents the most extensive diplomatic ties Iran has shared since the 1979 revolution. Iran and Russia have co-founded the Gas Exporting Countries Forum along with Qatar.
The solidity of Tehran-Moscow ties remains to be seen and tested however. Russia is increasingly becoming dependent on its economic relations with the West, and is thus gradually becoming vulnerable to western pressures in trying to curb its ties with Tehran. Iran has also expressed its unhappiness with the repeated delays by Russia in finishing the Bushehr Reactor project, as well as Russia’s stance in the Caspian Sea dispute.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%80%93Russia_relations

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30 Answers

janbb's avatar

I think the biggest threat to the US is the US and the biggest threat to Israel is Israel. And i mean that in all seriousness.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I understand, seriously. Just because I’m in the US and love my country doesn’t mean I can’t recognize that we have some issues.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I’d say that benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, is the biggest threat Israel faces. Much more than external issues like Egypt or Iran or Turkey or anyone else.

For several reasons – he is still brainwashed by his father’s right-wing hawkishness even though his father died. He is in the pocket of, and beholden to the religious parties. He is obtuse.

Add these up and you have a stubborn fool controlled by the Israeli version of the Taliban.

gorillapaws's avatar

It’s either Iran or North Korea, although I completely agree with @janbb‘s point. Israel has been working hard at undermining it’s own international credibility and ensuring that the hatred runs even deeper than it did before with it’s political policies since Rabin was assassinated.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Pogo quote is,“We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Walt Kelly 1971

bolwerk's avatar

None of the above in particular. Israel’s biggest threat is it own poison internal politics. Russia and Iran are willing to find common ground where they have common interests, but it’s somewhat silly to say they’re going to be tight. Another huge threat is the American people becoming fatigued with financing Israel’s military machine in the face of its Sisyphean war against the Palestinians, one that neither side will ever win.

China is mainly about making money and North Korea is mainly just…well, nuts.

flutherother's avatar

The question is flawed as none of these countries pose a serious threat to the US or Israel. This map, though it may be a bit dated, will give you some idea of the realities of the situation. For the record the US spends three times as much on ‘defence’ as Russia, China and Iran combined.

YARNLADY's avatar

China’s continuing Industrial Revolution and escalating standard of living for the people is the biggest threat to the U. S. and all mankind. They pay very little concern to environmental effects, and rush blindly ahead.

zensky's avatar

Currently, Iran. For Israel, there is also the risk of Assad of Syria’s chemica weapons (he has ammassed one of the largest stockpiles in the world) falling into enemy hands – you know who. This is being monitored – but if you understand the proximity – it is very alarming.

Other than Iran and Syria – there is also Egypt which is slowly becoming what is inevitible it seems in the so-called Arab spring – more radically Islamic. I follow these things carefully – trust me – but if you need a news source it’ll be easy to find one for you.

I also agree with those who wrote of internal politics – particularly Netanyahu. Those who enjoy smoking pipe dreams re. peace in the ME forget little details sometimes: The Palestinians (let’s just call them that – they already almost have a de facto state) are separated and split – physically, spiritually, ideallogically and most importantly religiously. Hammas, a US, UN recognized terrorist entity controld the 1.75 million Gazans – while Abu Mazen runs the West Bank. These two enitites hate each other almost as much as the Jews and Arabs seem to.

The distance between these two areas cannot be connected (I’ve seen the ideas for bridges and tunnels – yeah, right. Calais – Dover is more likely than that happening).

Having said that – elections in Israel are coming up. Should Netanyahu form a Middle moderate coalition this time – perhaps things will move in the peace direction.

Am I hopeful? Eternally. Am I optimistic? I am a fool and hope my children’s children beat their swords into ploughshares. There is a song that says if peace is going to happen anyway – then why wait – why not today?

Golda Meir said: when the Arabs love their children more than they hate the Jews there will be peace.

A newer quote is that if the Arabs drop their weapons there will be peace – if Israel drops their weapons there will be no more Israel.

Like I said – eternally optimistic. I am a fool.

zensky's avatar

I have asked to remove the above comment because of typos – didn’t have time to edit.

Currently, Iran. For Israel, there is also the risk of Assad of Syria’s chemical weapons (he has amassed one of the largest stockpiles in the world) falling into enemy hands – you know who. This is being monitored – but if you understand the proximity – it is very alarming.
Other than Iran and Syria – there is also Egypt which is slowly becoming what is inevitable it seems in the so-called Arab spring – more radically Islamic. I follow these things carefully – trust me – but if you need a news source it’ll be easy to find one for you.
I also agree with those who wrote of internal politics – particularly Netanyahu. Those who enjoy smoking pipe dreams re. peace in the ME forget little details sometimes: The Palestinians (let’s just call them that – they already almost have a de facto state) are separated and split – physically, spiritually, ideologically and most importantly religiously. Hamas, a US, UN recognized terrorist entity controld the 1.75 million Gazans – while Abu Mazen runs the West Bank. These two enitites hate each other almost as much as the Jews and Arabs seem to.
The distance between these two areas cannot be connected (I’ve seen the ideas for bridges and tunnels – yeah, right. Calais – Dover is more likely than that happening).
Having said that – elections in Israel are coming up. Should Netanyahu form a Middle moderate coalition this time – perhaps things will move in the peace direction.
Am I hopeful? Eternally. Am I optimistic? I am a fool and hope my children’s children beat their swords into ploughshares. There is a song that says if peace is going to happen anyway – then why wait – why not today?
Golda Meir said: when the Arabs love their children more than they hate the Jews there will be peace.
A newer quote is that if the Arabs drop their weapons there will be peace – if Israel drops their weapons there will be no more Israel.
Like I said – eternally optimistic. Probably a fool.

flo's avatar

Other. I’ve heard lots of Americans, (added:and lovers of America, and neither lovers nor haters of America) who say it is The American culture.

zenvelo's avatar

The basic premise of your question is wrong, in that we are not a paired defense policy, like some kind of binary star system. Israel has plenty of threats that are well known and stated above, but it is wrong to say those are threats to the US. The US has threats of its own.

dabbler's avatar

The WTO and its constituent multi-national corporate entities and their global agenda to overwhelm governments into submission. Basically global fascism is the biggest threat facing the U.S. and every other country on the planet.

zensky's avatar

It’s elections time in Israel. It’s time for a woman. Time for a change. Time for a gray, boring, bureaucrat who will uncharismatically lead the Middle East to peace. We need this person

wundayatta's avatar

These nations are not big threats. Iran wouldn’t be of much interest except they are full of blowhards. The only reason we take them seriously is because they support terrorists. But if we had never supported the Shah, and overthrown the past government to install him, then I don’t think these nuts ever would have gotten into power. While I think Hillary gets it better than others, the US still doesn’t really get it.

Other than that, most governments are pragmatic more than anything else. Perhaps North Korea is the exception. But mostly everyone wants the same theings for their people, and mostly they are becoming more and more good members of the league of nations.

zensky's avatar

@wundayatta Please don’t be naive about the 22 Muslim nations – none of which are democracies.

rojo's avatar

Of the three mentioned, China the biggest threat to both the US and Israel although none of them are in actuality much of a threat.

That being said, supporting Israel without reservation is the biggest threat to the US and Israel is the biggest threat to itself.

If the shit hits the fan it will be because of Israel.

zensky's avatar

@rojo You say this based on what exactly? I know its a regular meme here and on many US websites – especially since Obama became president – but what do you base this line on? Experience? What you’ve read?

That being said, supporting Israel without reservation is the biggest threat to the US and Israel is the biggest threat to itself. Please explain. If you do so intelligently, I’ll reply with a little insight from someone who live there.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Thanks all, I appreciate the responses.

@zensky I tend to agree with your threat assessment more than most. Thx.

dabbler's avatar

Iran was a democracy until we messed with them and installed the Shah back in there a few decades ago.

zensky's avatar

Was being the key word. And they aren’t Arabs.

mattbrowne's avatar

The biggest threat is not a country, it’s the spreading of a set of doctrines called Islamism and Sharia, which are not compatible with democracy and universal human rights. Indoctrination takes place almost everywhere.

zensky's avatar

^ Exactly.

dabbler's avatar

Ok, what’s the next biggest ?
What enables this spread, besides religious fundamentalism?
Where’s the money in that ?

mattbrowne's avatar

Saudi oil money enables this spread.

In the West we need to come up with strategies that helps Muslims choose moderation over fundamentalism. Moderate Muslims need to become strong allies. We should give money to the new secular parties in Egypt for example.

dabbler's avatar

Oil money for sure, and I have no reason to think their agenda has to do with spreading Islam, per se, but instead with spreading unrest and instability on the heels of fundamentalism.
Policies that result in some real energy independence would help reduce our torturous allegiances to foul regimes, and reduce the dollars they can use to mess with us.

“We should give money to the new secular parties in Egypt for example.” It beats sending arms over there by a huge measure.

But in the big picture, meddling there has a lot to do with widespread resentment of western countries and cultures. Maybe we need some strategies that help Westerners chose moderation over fundamentalism (e.g. mellow out on our main recent themes of capitalism uber ales, and bigger guns are the answer. ‘Spreading democracy’ is a fallacy, doesn’t work, and should be taken out of our rhetoric, too).

KNOWITALL's avatar

@dabbler We use ‘spreading democracy’ as an excuse for everything, and no one believes it anymore, not even the American people. Nice post.

mattbrowne's avatar

I wasn’t talking about spreading democracy Bush-style. Egyptians need to want democracy and the secular people there do. But the process of building a democracy is a challenge and if the democratic, anti-Islamist people welcome our help, we should be very generous. It’s not just about money, it’s also about consulting. It’s about help how people can help themselves.

dabbler's avatar

@mattbrowne I think you’re right. It’s less about us ‘spreading’ democracy as it is about supporting it where it’s happening organically.
Open source software has so far been our most beneficial, in unintentional, support for Tahrir Square revolutionaries.

mattbrowne's avatar

@dabbler – The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) stole the revolution from the young, open-minded, internet-savvy, secular Egyptians who brought down the old dictator, but they lack the knowledge and resources to create political parties and manage successful election campaigns. The MB on the other hand was founded in 1928 and receives plenty of Saudi oil money. With that money they offer free medical care and other social services to millions of poor people in Egypt who in turn vote for them. But slowly more and more Egyptians realize that the MB cannot offer solutions to solve the problems of the country. This is the opportunity for the secular people and maybe they can prevent Egypt from turning into another brutal theocracy like Saudi-Arabia, Sudan and Iran.

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