".... Netanyahu seems to feel a historic – almost messianic – calling to stop Iran's nuclear programme. Even if retaliation by Iran and its allies in Hamas and Hezbollah takes the form of a lethal rain of rockets on Israel, he is adamant that a nuclear-armed Iran would be far worse.
His latest set of outgoing signals seemed to suggest that an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities may be likely before America's presidential election in November. It is unclear if that is a coincidence, because of assessments that Iranian progress in uranium enrichment and bomb design will have reached a highly dangerous point by then; or maybe it is based on Netanyahu's calculation that President Barack Obama will be more supportive of Israel prior to election day – and perhaps not at all after he wins or loses on 6 November.
Some of Israel's security chiefs, who do not hide their opposition to bombing Iran, say privately that they cannot discern if their PM is bluffing. Netanyahu may be creating the impression that an attack is imminent so as to goad the US into a firm promise to obliterate Iran's nuclear plants....
Netanyahu may well be encouraged by the world's reaction. In 1981, even the pro-Israel president Ronald Reagan denounced the bombing of the Baghdad reactor; but a decade later, during Desert Storm, the US was thanking Israel for having ensured Saddam had no nuclear arms...... Israeli leaders justifiably feel that the international community might now be grateful to them again.....
Iran is not Iraq or Syria. The Iranians have drawn lessons from those two events. They dispersed their nuclear facilities and buried them underground, making them more difficult to reach and destroy. Success is thus less assured. Instead of a quick, surgical strike, Israel will likely find itself in a long war of attrition against Iran and Shia Muslims everywhere. In the name of national pride and defending its Islamic revolution, Iran was willing to lose millions of people in a long war against Iraq through the 80s.
Above all, perhaps, Israeli leaders must consider that striking Iran could drag the US into a war against its wishes. This would be bad for one of Israel's core survival strategies: the defence and intelligence alliance with America.... ..."
Friday, August 10, 2012
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 10:08 AM