Imagine for a moment that you are the Prime Minister of a country of 7.6 million people. Your country has a history of being attacked unprovoked, and 75 years ago 6 million of your people were murdered. Of the many responsibilities you have, the most important of course is the safety and security of your people.
Try to really put yourself in this situation. Not as a journalist, a commentator, or an activist. You are the Prime Minister.
1,000 miles away, a despotic nation with a recent history of terrible violence has threatened to “wipe you off the map”. That same nation (by every reasonable analysis) is within 1-2 years of acquiring an atomic bomb.
Perhaps these facts alone would justify a massive bombing campaign to destroy that nation’s nuclear facilities. But suppose you wanted to do more analysis of this nation just to be sure the rhetoric is not just bluster. At the completion of such an analysis, how would you- the leader responsible for the security of your people- feel?
You learn that the enemy nation has funneled millions of dollars worth of arms into Iraq and Afghanistan, especially Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s), resulting in the deaths of thousands of Western soldiers, contractors, and native citizens working with the West. You also learn that this nation provides rockets to Hamas and Hezbollah which are regularly fired into your villages and towns, killing not soldiers but civilians. They supplied the explosives used in a pizza parlor bombing killing 20, and a wedding reception killing 45. You learn they have offered a reward, and actually transferred the reward money already to Syria, to any group that launches a missile onto your capital city. And you see them providing military support for the Syrian government as it crushes its citizens in Homs and elsewhere.
The analysis also reveals that they were more active in missile testing than any other nation in the last 5 years except for Russia and China. That they clearly have missiles that can reach your country, and are working on new ones that can reach your staunch ally, the United States. And then you review 20 years of history prior to all of the above and see the bombing of the US Marine base in Lebanon (killing more than 200), bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut, and bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Lebanon.
No, this isn’t bluster. This is real. Your nation’s existence, the lives of millions, rests in your hands.
What would you do?