Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Israel And Iran - Close To The Edge

Is the IDF getting closer to pulling the Mullah's fangs? Maybe.

There have been a number of signs in the wind.

The first one, from the U.K. Telegraph, is a story that claims that Saudi Arabia has assured Israel that it will look the other way if IAF jets fly over the Saudi's airspace during a raid against targets in Iran:

The head of Mossad, Israel’s overseas intelligence service, has assured Benjamin Netanyahu, its prime minister, that Saudi Arabia would turn a blind eye to Israeli jets flying over the kingdom during any future raid on Iran’s nuclear sites. Earlier this year Meir Dagan, Mossad’s director since 2002, held secret talks with Saudi officials to discuss the possibility.

The Israeli press has already carried unconfirmed reports that high-ranking officials, including Ehud Olmert, the former prime minister, held meetings with Saudi colleagues. The reports were denied by Saudi officials.

“The Saudis have tacitly agreed to the Israeli air force flying through their airspace on a mission which is supposed to be in the common interests of both Israel and Saudi Arabia,” a diplomatic source said last week.

Although the countries have no formal diplomatic relations, an Israeli defence source confirmed that Mossad maintained “working relations” with the Saudis.

This particular story has gotten a lot of mileage, but the writer has been known to be less than reliable before.It could be true,or it could be he simply figured something out. Readers of this site will remember this from about two months ago:

The Arabs, particularly the Saudis are absolutely appalled at the idea of an Iran with nukes. The Eastern part of Saudi Arabia near the Persian Gulf is where the oil is, and it's mostly populated by Shiites who are treated like an underclass there.The Saudis are terrified of the idea that the Iranians might foment unrest there, or use it to blackmail them.

During that summit in Europe Obama attended ( site of the famous bowing incident) back in April, my sources tell me that King Abdullah actually had a fairly forceful conversation with the Chosen One on the sidelines about his Iranian non-policy...to no avail. Egypt's Hosni Mubarak feels the same way, because he's going to be dealing with Hamas' parent organization the Muslim Brotherhood, which is his main political opposition, and he's trying to hand over power to his kid Gamal ( AKA 'Jack') without worrying about an Iranian proxy. That's precisely why the Egyptians have cracked down on Hamas and the weapons smuggling from Iran in a huge way lately.

With Obama adamantly opposed to assisting Israel with Iran and Turkey more firmly in the Islamist camp every day, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Saudis gave some covert assistance to Israel in knocking out Iran's nukes when it comes to that. The path to Bushehr and Arak may very well involve a flight over Saudi territory...without the Saudis' 'knowledge', of course. Shimon Peres and Saudi King Abdullah supposedly had a clandestine meeting the other day, although Abdullah denied it after the story slipped out. They may very well have been discussing this if they met.

Afterwards the Sunni autocracies will squawk a great deal about 'Zionist aggression', but behind the scenes they will collectively heave a huge sigh of relief.

Simply put, an Israeli flight via Saudi Arabia makes a lot of sense in terms of the interests of Israel, the Saudis, for Barack Obama and the US, who can thus claim plausible deniability.

Unless the Israelis go through either Saudi Arabia or Iraq, Israel would be forced to use much longer routes through Turkey or around the butt end of Arabian Peninsula, both of which add to the difficulty of the emission, especially when it comes to both the size of the strike force and the all important issue of mid-air refueling.

No one's certain how many mid-air refueling tankers the Israeli airforce has in stock, but it's likely between 5-7 KC-707s. The recent IAF destruction of a Hamas bound Iranian arms convoy in the Sudan utilized these planes, and more importantly, allowed the IAF to refuel a second time in mid-air and go after a target they initially missed.

The number of KC-707s available, the amount of fuel they can carry and the distance the IAF planes need to travel affects the size of the Israeli strike force, the payload they can carry, and how many targets they can hit.Going through Saudi Arabia increases all three factors, and would actually allow a second strike if necessary.

Another weapon the Israelis have to use is their fleet of nuclear armed Dolphin-class submarines, which are capable of firing cruise missiles that can strike Iranian nuclear facilities. Recently, one of these subs transited the Suez Canal into the Red Sea for the first time, which could also be a sign of things to come. The Egyptians denied allowing it, but their ships were seen escorting the sub through the Canal and there's no way it could have gotten through the Canal without Egypt's knowledge.

Like the Saudis, the Mubarak regime is terrified of Obama's non-policy for dealing with Iran's nukes, and they realize that only the Israelis are capable of dealing with this menace. Obama's funding of Hamas and his insistence that the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas' parent organization, be allowed high profile attendance at his Cairo speech convinced the Egyptians if nothing else did.

Allowing the Israeli subs to use the Canal makes it a lot easier for Israel's subs to get onto easy range of Iran via the Red Sea.

And Israel also has the option of using land based ballistic missiles (ICBMs) against Iran when it comes down to it. And given Iran's current state of development, Israel's Arrow Two missile defense system and Israel's Green Pine Radar would likely be able to deal with any long range attempts to retaliate from Iran.

Where the Mullahs could retaliate is by using their proxies closer to Israel to try and strike and by targeting Jews and facilities like synagogues, community centers and schools outside of Israel for terrorist attacks.

Hamas is still attempting to recover from the damage done to them by Operation Cast Lead and would likely not participate except with a few token missile launches at Israel's south, and I doubt the Syrians would get involved because of their strategic weakness. But Hezbollah could very well unleash its replenished missile arsenal against Israel. The IDF would have to keep enough operational capabilities on alert in order to deal with a Hezbollah attack.

Terrorist strikes against Jewish targets outside of Israel are a real possibility, abut then again, that's something the mullahs have done before even without the motive of an Israeli attack.

The biggest headache Israel faces in taking out Iran's nukes is likely to be from the US, oddly enough.

Slo-Joe Biden made headlines recently by indicating that Israel has a 'green light' when it comes to attacking Iran. In an interview on ABC's "This Week," Slo-Joe said Israel can determine for itself how best to deal with the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.

"We cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do when they make a determination, if they make a determination, that they're existentially threatened."

Most people put this down to Biden'd propensity to shoot himself in the foot with his mouth, especially after Obama hurriedly corrected him the next day, saying there was absolutely no green light implied.

I doubt that Biden was just running his mouth. I think this was a head fake.

Barack Obama has made it crystal clear that he essentially wants the destruction of the US/Israel relationship.It's his trump card for 're-engaging' with the Muslim world, getting the US out of the Middle East and elsewhere, cutting back on national defense and putting that money to work in establishing his domestic agenda -a socialist welfare state where the international community comes before national sovereignty, the private sector is either severely diminished or controlled by government, and enough of the American people are desperate and dependent on government for a paycheck, health care or other entitlements to ensure political dominance for himself and the Democrats for years to come.

By signalling the Mullahs that he plans to do nothing of any substance to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, Obama has pretty much ensured that Israel will eventually be forced to act.

So when Israel attacks Iran, don't be surprised if Obama tries to use it as a catalyst to severely curtail aid to Israel, condemn Israel in the UN (which might include sanctions or IAEA inspections of Israel's nukes) and force a 'peace' settlement with Israel on the Arab's terms.

The Israelis will obviously have to deal with Iran's nukes, and there's no way around it. The world will be a better place with the Mullah's nuclear plans derailed or delayed. But they shouldn't expect any gratitude for it, and they should be making contingency plans for the end result, especially where the Obama Administration is concerned.

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