> firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> > While the U.S. might have caused an uproar, Israel certainly
> > would not have.
> The only thing I can think of worse than America nuking Iraq would be Israel
> nuking Iraq. The former would have led to a rapid loss of support, particularly
> in the Arab nations and Japan (which was paying a large part of the bill for
> the US forces), the latter would probably have pulled US forces into a major
> war between all the Arab nations and Israel. Regardless of what some people
> may think, the rest of the world isn't just going to sit by and watch while
> America nukes anyone it chooses.
I don't think so. Remember, Saddam had just initiated an *unprovoked* attack on a fellow Arab nation after a many-years unprovoked(?) war with Iran (perhaps excused because they are less/non-Arab).
The missle attacks in Israel were designed to prompt the other Arab nations into supporting his activities Kuwait and starting a full blown war against Israel. It didn't work.
If the U.S. hadn't worked *very* hard to restrain Isreal, it could have come down like this. Israel is receiving large losses due to bio/chem toxic weapons, Saddam has therefore violated the Geneva convention against the use of such weapons. Israel issues a warning to cease & desist or suffer the consequences. Saddam continues. Israel takes Bagdad out. I don't think any countries, including Japan, would raise strong objections in that situation. Even if they did, so what? I is extraordinarly unlikely that the war would have continued at that point.
Of course, if they were being polite about it they might drop the bomb 50 miles outside Bagdad to see if the population would wake up.
Once you have made use of the bomb, you are significantly down the slippery-slope. If the other Arab nations had initiated a non-nuclear response, you simply drop a bomb in front of the advancing armies to make the point clear.
I doubt the Arabs would consider dropping a bomb (if they had one) on Jerusalem due to its religious significance, but on the other hand, Mecca would certainly not be off the list. I don't see how the Arabs can win playing the game.