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Israel v. Iran - coming soon?
Posted by: McQ on Monday, November 24, 2008

My contention has been that an Obama win in the presidential race would see an Israeli attack on Iran before the inauguration on Jan. 20. That's because Israel isn't at all sure of how supportive of Israel an Obama administration would be.

Paul Sheehan of the Sydney Morning Herald brings us this:
Prepare for war. Last week I met the Boogie Man, the former head of the Israeli Defence Forces, General Moshe "Boogie" Ya'alon, who is preparing the political groundwork for a military attack on Iran's key nuclear facilities. "We have to confront the Iranian revolution immediately," he told me. "There is no way to stabilise the Middle East today without defeating the Iranian regime. The Iranian nuclear program must be stopped."
While it isn't something Ya'alon could do himself, not being in a position to make such a decision politically, it seems to be more than some kook on the fringe yelling about the threat of Iran:
The Boogie doctrine is mainstream, not fringe, in the Israeli strategic debate. "We cannot accept a nuclear Iran, we cannot be reconciled to it," Major-General Amos Gilad, the head of the Defence Department's Diplomatic Security Bureau, told The Jerusalem Post last Thursday.

"Israel is preparing for an attack on the Iran nuclear facilities," Dr Jonathan Spyer, a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Centre, told me in Tel Aviv last week.

"Sanctions won't work against Iran. Only a military action against Iran will work," Professor Efraim Inbar said. "I know the Israeli military is preparing its capacity to destroy the Iranian nuclear threat."
So it appears, especially since the announcement last week that Iran had enough fissionable material to make at least one nuclear bomb, that Israel may be getting ready to act. As you recall, they ran a practice raid over the Med last September, were pleased with the results and would appear to be ready to go when and if a decison is made.

Remember that 6 month promise Joe Biden made about a foreign policy crisis facing the new administration? Well, it may be sooner rather than later.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

The Iran/Israel nuclear scenario is one that is constantly in the back of my mind. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t obsess about it, but it is something I keep in mind when I buy gas and groceries.

I don’t know what the ramifications will be. I imagine the cost of gas will skyrocket, making $4/gal. look cheap. Beyond that, I don’t really know. If anyone has a link to possible post-attack scenarios I would love to read them.
Written By: jjmurphy
Israel probably feels they have to do it, because they know the guy in the White House come Jan 20 will sell them out.

As for "post-attack"

Well now, tell you what look for the usual suspects to get in a froth, but out of the M.E. states, only Syria could cause some real trouble if they were stupid enough. The Saudis and Egyptians will mealy-mouth the situation but you can bet they’ll breathe a sigh of relief because they didn’t want a nuke Iran either.

The UN and the media/left will of course denounce Israel, and the Hamas/AQ losers will try to go on the offensive against them- especially overseas embassies, etc.

Gas will rise, Hillary will shuttle around, Ocarter will make serious-sounding speeches. Lots of Israel and US flags burned by angry mobs in Damascus and other sh*tholes.

Written By: shark
URL: http://
Lots of Israel and US flags burned by angry mobs in Damascus and other sh*tholes.
I don’t think it’s entirely fair to put Berkley and Damascus in the same pile...

Fair to Damascus, I mean.
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
I have been saying for years that we must stop Iran from going nuclear, because Israel cannot allow Iran to become a nuclear-armed state. Doing so would be tantamount to acquiescing in the destruction of Israel.

But if we wait for the Israelis to attack Iran, how would Israel manage it? Iran has numerous sites dedicated to their nuclear program, many of which are in populated areas (like universities in various cities), and many of which are buried. Taking out such a dispersed and hardened program would require a sustained attack. Israel cannot project the necessary amount of force the necessary distance; it simply does not have the capacity (particularly in tankers), and would face tremendous international political pressure on both the US and on any country Israel must overfly to attack Iran. This means, in practical terms, that Israel has effectively one strike to make.

So how could Israel destroy Iran’s nuclear capability in one strike? A conventional strike on several targets runs a serious risk of not being successful; Iran could easily have duplicate facilities, or the most critical ones could be too hardened to reach with conventional weapons. I can see only one way that Israel could assure success: Israel would strike Iran with nuclear weapons.

It’s possible that Israel will not see things this way; they did not, after all, use their nuclear arsenal in 1973, though my understanding is that they came very, very close to doing so. Perhaps Israel is willing to kick the can a small distance, at huge political cost. But if not, things are going to get unimaginably ugly.

And all of that is why I strongly support the US taking military action against Iran, now that it has become abundantly clear that nothing short of that will stop Iran from going nuclear. The US has the capability for a sustained conventional attack to shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program, and would pay less of a political price for doing so. I prefer that to the alternative.

Written By: Jeff Medcalf
As one of my friends said to me when he realized that Obama would be the next president, having to deal with with the down economy and an increasingly dangerous world:

"Now it is on his head. Let’s see what he does about it."

It is on his head. And after watching him during the campaign, I have little to no faith he will react positively when it comes to a development like an Israeli strike on Iran. Why? After all, when Russia invaded Georgia, The Clown™ came right out and asked both sides to calm down.

That’s not naive - that’s dangerous.
Written By: James Marsden
URL: http://
One of the reasons that the U.S. hasn’t seen another terrorist attack at home is, I believe, because George Bush is taken seriously by leaders in hostile countries. And I think that he gave them a guarantee: Don’t try to hide behind this "stateless terror organization" ruse. If something happens in the U.S., one or more of you will pay. If it’s a nuke in New York, say goodbye to Mecca or Tehran or Damascus, for starters. Control these terror organizations because you own them.

There was no place for nuance or subtlety.

This grossly complicated the terrorist enterprise. The stakes had been raised on 9/11 but the Islamists of the Middle East found out that the American "cowboy" president was a hard, cynical, vengeful man. He promised that the perps would pay and a month later he took their country away from them. They’ve been jacking off in the mountains of Pakistan since. Then he took Iraq away from Saddam as a sign that non-cooperative rogue regimes were now up for change.

The sticking point on Iran, whose nuclear ambitions and exploits have been clear for years, is Putin’s Russia. Just as the sticking point on North Korea is China.

The Israelis, who have had to listen to Ahamadinejad’s threats for years now, know that Bush would welcome the opportunity to take care of the Iranian nuclear program, but that without direct provocation Putin would have a veto on a pre-emptive strike.

But now Bush is leaving, and if the Israelis do not trust Obama (and why should they?) they’re going to need to do something.

I think that Obama is a weak narcissistic man, and I think the geopolitical players know it. He and the vain, shallow people he keeps around him can be had, cheap.
Written By: Martin McPhillips
Because of the Iraq war’s cost and the current economic crisis, the US will be forced by the reality of its diminished position to undertake a new foreign policy.

Key will be for the US to give up the arrogant notion that we can determine what is good and bad for the world, and that other opinions don’t matter. We no longer and can simply intervene all over the planet, making our own rules as we go, and enforcing our rules on others. That day is over. That said, the US remains a major power and can do a lot of good in the world. But we have to recognize reality, and not give in to an obsolete myth of hyperpower.

Seriously, I think some of you don’t understand the depth of change that has taken place over the last decade, and how the world and America are undergoing a fundamental transition. Again, this can lead to good things, if our thinking changes to fit the circumstances, and we don’t try to ram a 20th century template onto a 21st century world.
Written By: Scott Erb
Key will be for the US to give up the arrogant notion that we can determine what is good and bad for the world, and that other opinions don’t matter
Lets be honest....other opinions really DON’T matter.

We absolutely can determine what is good and bad for the world.

Furthermore, I shudder to think of a world where that decision is made by China, Russia, France, the EU or the UN

Written By: shark
URL: http://

You don’t know anything about U.S. foreign policy, especially foreign policy since the end of the Cold War.

For instance, both of the two major American military interventions in the Middle East came only after long and detailed and interconnected UN Security Council adjudication.

The intervention in Afghanistan came after the U.S. was attacked by a terror organization based there and that was in league with the government.

There has been nothing like what you characterize with this benighted sentence: "We no longer and can simply intervene all over the planet, making our own rules as we go, and enforcing our rules on others."

The U.S. has, in fact, insisted on multilateralism in North Korea. Long encouraged the Europeans to get cooperation from Iran. Hasn’t intevened anywhere in Latin America other than in Haiti. Hasn’t intervened in Africa since Somalia and Liberia, as best as I can recall. The first began as a humanitarian operation and the latter (I might be crossing up Liberia and Sierra Leone) was a short-lived landing of Marines to quell some sort of potential mass slaughter.

The only specifically Asian "intervention" (other than Afghanistan) was sending humanitarian relief to Indonesia after the great tsunami.

In fact, the only questionable intervention, done without going to the UN, was Clinton’s high-altitude bombing of Serbia in 1999. Even that was covered with a NATO adjudication and was greatly desired by the incompetent Europeans.

There have, in fact, been remarkably few international incidents where the U.S. has had to intervene as either status quo superpower or guarantor of strategic peace. And the one prolonged war in the Middle East, in Iraq, has been done on the cheap and has not spread to the rest of the Middle East.

So what you could possibly think you are talking about is anyone’s guess.
Written By: Martin McPhillips
Scottie thinks the only card that falls when the house of cards gets bumped is the top one.

That’s the vision he likes most when he shows up here.
Makes him feel good, he thinks he’s an oracle.

I figure it this way, we’ll still be top card for a long while, standing neatly in a structure, or laying flat in a heap.
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Hey, did Russia ever sell Iran those new radars for the SA-20s?
Written By: Arcs
URL: http://

You don’t know anything about U.S. foreign policy, especially foreign policy since the end of the Cold War.

Written By: Martin McPhillips
Don’t feel too bad, Scott. Even if that’s true, at least you’re not the guy who knows so little about his own fellow Americans to think that McCain was going to win the election by ten points because Americans were sooo upset about Wright.

Now who was that guy again? ... Oh yeah, it was McPhillips.
So what you could possibly think you are talking about is anyone’s guess.

That’s funny. Because that was the very same thing I thought about you, Martin.

I prefer that to the alternative.
Well that’s just not going to happen anytime soon, Jeff. Not after the Iraq debacle.
Americans just aren’t interested in another war. It would take another 9/11 or Iran testing nuclear bombs to bring Americans to support military action against Iran.

And then what happens in Shi’ite friendly Iraq?

I remember Iraq war supporters here and elsewhere, namely ASHC, telling us how great a position we are going to be in to face Iran after we’re in Iraq.

It just didn’t play out that way. And now, Americans just don’t have the stomach for preemptive strike in the ME because of possible WMD’s.
The Bush administration and Iraq war supporters already blew their wad. So even if military action against Iran was a good idea...



Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
That’s funny. Because that was the very same thing I thought about you, Martin.
What I was talking about was that I didn’t think that someone with an adult life in an outrageously racist church could get elected President of the United States.

When I made that prediction last summer I didn’t know that the media would stay in the tank on "black theology."

Nor did I know that McCain would fail to prosecute it.

Now, go back four years before anyone knew who Barack Obama was and ask yourself if someone who belonged to a church where the underlying "theology" is that Jesus was a black man tortured and killed by whites, that blacks are the Chosen People, that whites are devils, and that the only path to racial reconciliation is for whites to submit to blacks could be elected President. Especially consider a case where the pastor who embodied those beliefs is the mentor to the candidate.

If you say you would have said it wouldn’t make any difference, you would be lying. If you say you would have said it was even possible, you would be lying again. You, like anyone else, would have regarded such a prospect as ridiculous.

Could any white candidate from the equivalent white racist background even set foot on the national stage?

So, my prediction was based on my belief that no such candidate would survive having such a background fully exposed because in America we don’t take people with that sort of affiliation seriously for political office. Haven’t since George Wallace apologized to blacks for his segregationist views back in the 1970s.

I had to see Obama elected before I believed it. There was the financial crisis. There was the weakness of McCain’s campaign. There was the media’s insane in-the-tank attitude. And there was both the willingness to deceive and the willingness to be deceived. And I think that at some point we’re going to get exactly what we deserve for failing to rule him out as a candidate right from the beginning.

He’s a clever actor, but we live in a tragic world, and in the end the tragic flaw eventually dominates.

And your comments on Iraq and Iran are just stupid. You talk like a man with a paper a$$hole.
Written By: Martin McPhillips
What I was talking about was that I didn’t think that someone with an adult life in an outrageously racist church could get elected President of the United States.
Shorter McPhillips: I was just about as wrong as anyone possibly could be because I don’t know stuff.
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
I was reading about Iran’s reaction to the Iraqi=American troop negotiations in the Economist...on the reformer side they thought it was a good deal for Iraq, but the hard line thought the Iraqis ’were giving it up to the Americans’ (paraphrased.)

Now, Erb keeps claiming that Iran "won" in Iraq. If that is true, why are the hardline elements, you know, the "winners" bitching that Iraq gave up too much to the Americans? Shouldn’t their puppets in Baghdad be taking their orders?

Meanwhile, in Iran the dissenting economists write letters to their leader saying his "international interactions" are causing trouble.

But Iran is ALWAYS THE WINNER. Right, just like those Soviet supermen could do no wrong.

"Key will be for the US to give up the arrogant notion that we can determine what is good and bad for the world, and that other opinions don’t matter."

Wrong on so many levels.
A. We do care about other opinions. Caring/listening does not equal following others orders.
B. Of course we have our own opinion, though and others should care about that, right?
C. If you ever want to act at all, you end up in conflict with somebody. So unless we just do nothing, of course it will appear that we are "forcing our opinion" on someone. Isolation is the only solution that would please Erb.

"We no longer and can simply intervene all over the planet, making our own rules as we go, and enforcing our rules on others. That day is over."

We don’t even do that now. Maybe at the end of WWII we could do that. Jesus Christ,if this were true, we could have already forced the Palestinians to sit down and shut up, forced Russia out of Hungary in ’56, Free Tibet, dude.

Not to mention Erb is going to be in for a shock when he finds out that China and India are not like Europe and will be much more forceful once they become ascendant. China is full of hard core nationalists who don’t have much time for EU symposiums.

Written By: harun
URL: http://
I will say that now is a great time to push the EU-3 negotiations with Iran that have proven unsuccesful. Iran’s economy is in the crapper with low oil prices, and the leverage is going to increase against them, much as the North Koreans also have been pressured by the six nation talks.

Written By: harun
URL: http://
Key will be for the US to give up the arrogant notion that we can determine what is good and bad for the world, and that other opinions don’t matter."
When those holding "other opinions" can station their troops around the world to protect them, thus saving them the cost of defense, or when "other opinions" can send carriers and various relief forces to decimated spots, then we’ll care what they think.

But there’s no arguing with the likes of you. You WANT that to be true.

At least until there’s some trouble that only we can solve.

THEN it will be ok with you if we "determine what is good and bad for the world"

Written By: shark
URL: http://
Shark, we can no longer afford our imperial ambitions. Reality will smack our arrogance in the face, no matter what you wish. Why the hell should we be protecting other people and putting our noses in other peoples’ business? We had a speaker from Veterans for Peace today, and the atrocities and evil done in the name of our values is a real hypocrisy. One good thing coming out of this crisis is that we won’t be able to continue such policies.

Harun, you may be scared of China and India, but if you don’t see the total hypocrisy of our acting like we should get our way all the time and spending half the worlds military budget because we’re scared of others, then you’ve got blinders on.

Look, maybe I don’t have all the right answers, but look hard at what the US is going through, look at the world, and at least question the conventional wisdom that seemed to dominate. Maybe, just maybe, there are real changes taking place and the US is losing a position of dominance. That isn’t necessarily bad, it can be an opportunity. We still have a lot of power, and we can build cooperative institutions with others if we’re willing not to demand to get our way all the time — if we compromise. What’s so bad with that? I guarantee that there will be intense pressure to cut military spending. What we could do with that massive amount of money, especially the amount wasted in the Iraq fiasco, is immense. War is killing, it is murder, it creates orphans, widows, destroys cultures, and gives us soldiers suffering from PTSD, families broken apart, increased domestic violence, and lives shattered. We are very quick to embrace that, and we as a culture try to hide the reality of war behind myths and slogans.

That’s changing fast, and that will have a profound impact on politics and foreign policy. America is changing. It’s really happening.
Written By: Scott Erb

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