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It's that time of year again. London Times, as they did in the past is reporting that Israel is about to attack Iran, or at least it is giving that impression. And the impression "worked" -- it spawned a lot of headlines in other journals that make it look to the casual reader as though Israel is really on the verge of attacking Iran.

Reading the fine print shows that it is not so, even according to the London Times

[quoting a "Senior Defense official"] "We would not make the threat [against Iran] without the force to back it. There has been a recent move, a number of on-the-ground preparations, that indicate Israel's willingness to act,Ē said another official from Israel's intelligence community.

He added that it was unlikely that Israel would carry out the attack without receiving at least tacit approval from America...

Ephraim Kam, the deputy director of the Institute for National Security Studies, said it was unlikely that the Americans would approve an attack.

"The American defence establishment is unsure that the operation will be successful. And the results of the operation would only delay Iran's programme by two to four years," he said.
"Many of the leaks or statements made by Israeli leaders and military commanders are meant for deterrence. The message is that if [the international community] is unable to solve the problem they need to take into account that we will solve it our way, Mr Kam said.

The emphasized text tells us clearly that Israel is not about to attack Iran and does not consider it a good option, but holds this option in reserve as a deterrent. Yossi Melman advises Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to attack Iran. Others also think Israel can and should and will attack Iran to prevent development of a nuclear weapon.

As for the Obama administration, on the one hand it keeps warning Iran not to develop a bomb, but on the other, it keeps taking the wind out of the Israeli deterrent by warning Israel not to attack Iran. Admiral Mullen warned against it, while explaining that he appreciates Israel's peril. US Vice President Joe Biden also warned Israel would be 'ill-advised' to attack Iran. He did not explain what Israel would be well advised to do in case Iran is building a nuclear weapon. Biden and Mullen do not seem to understand also, that the United States, its Arab allies and all its interests in the Middle East (meaning oil supply) would be "imperiled" when Iran has nuclear weapons. The United States would be very "ill advised" to let that happen, regardless of what Israel does and what "advice" it gets.

Thus far the United States' new conciliatory policy toward Iran has not necessarily met with great signs of Iranian willingness to compromise, though that is a matter of interpretation. It is true that Iran jailed a US journalist for eight years for "espionage." It is also true that the usual penalty for such offenses is hanging. So maybe the lady "got off easy." Leniency is relative. The U.S. is "deeply disappointed", but if they really expected anything else from the Tehran regime, they are even stupider than I thought.

Benjamin Netanyahu hardly needs the advice of Yossi Melman as he is already ably advised by Ehud Barak, and if Barak will be the voice of caution and reason, there will of course be the voice of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who is hardly known as a pacifist. But there are good reasons why Israel is not going to attack Iran any time soon.

As the Times article notes, such an attack has been compared to the Israeli attack on the Osirak reactor in Iraq. That is true. Anything can be compared to anything else, but an attack on Iran would be a very different proposition. The biggest difference is that the Osirak attack already happened. It surprised everyone including Saddam Hussein. But once it happened, such an attack by Israel on Iran would not surprise anyone. The Iranians would be prepared with defensive measures as they no doubt are. The crucial facilities are in underground camouflaged locations and nobody can know for certain where they are and where they are not. The Hezbollah would be prepared with a rain of rockets on Israel, for which Israel has no Iron Dome rocket defense or equivalent ready. Intelligence is never perfect. Warhead assembly factories, enrichment facilities and the like may or may not be hidden anywhere in Iran. Critical sites may be relatively remote from population centers, or they could be beneath any of several recently remodeled holy shrines, right in the middle of major cities. Consider realistically what will be the probable result of any such attack. Iran, which will still be there with its propaganda apparatus intact if nothing else, will become the wounded hero of the Middle East, achieving regional hegemony politically, which is its real goal. Every journal and television station in the Middle East will praise the brave Shahid victims of Zionist aggression. In the West, every center and left journal and press service and television outlet from the Independent to CNN to the New York Times will write or say that the right-wing ultranationalist war criminal leaders of the right wing Zionist warmonger ultranationalist expansionist government of Benjamin Netanyahu have committed aggression and war crimes that must be investigated and punished. Remember the reception given to Avigdor Lieberman's speech about Annapolis? That will look like a Hadassah meeting communique compared to the reaction in the press -- and in European capitals -- to an Israeli attack on Iran. Israel could never have absolutely convincing proof the Iranians were really developing nuclear weapons, especially since a large constituency in the United States are absolutely unwilling to be convinced, and they can cite the non-existent WMD of Saddam Hussein to back their point.

The leaders of Iran understand all this quite well, and that is why all the stories planted in the London Times, and all the earnest threats of the United States do not impress them very much. The only time the equation might really change might be if they actually developed nuclear weapons and announced it. Even then, of course, the Iranians could point out (as they do) that the United States has nuclear
weapons and Israel is "widely believed" to have them.

Attacking Iran is not as simple as Yossi Melman or some others seem to think.

Ami Isseroff

Original content is Copyright by the author 2009. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000681.html where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to ZNN-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.

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Replies: 2 Comments

Holocaust is big lie.

**** all zionisms

simon, Tuesday, April 21st

Life is rarely simple. But there is a clear cut case for not waiting any longer than necessary. No one else at the end of the day is going to defend Israel. Israel is going to give the US every reasonable chance to defang Iran through diplomacy. But if it does not bring about results, Israel will act to terminate with military force Iran's threat to its existence, with or without US permission and certainly without regard for its possible effect upon world opinion.

NormanF, Monday, April 20th

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