Wednesday, November 02, 2011

War Drums On Iran?

There were a number of interesting developments today that are said to point towards a possible attack on Iran. It's worth taking a look at them and seeing where they lead:

  • Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu is described in one major story in the British press as 'trying to rally support in his cabinet for an attack on Iran, according to government sources'.

  • The Israelis successfully test fired a new ballistic missile, the Jericho 3 that has a range of over 4,300 miles, or 7,000 kilometers, putting all of Iran within easy reach.

  • Aside from some of the usual Iranian saber rattling, Hezbollah's cockroach-in-chief Sheik Nasrullah threatened Israel with massive retaliation,claiming that if another war starts the rockets will be aimed Tel Aviv first this time.

  • Rumors are flying that the Obama Administration is considering an attack on Iranian facilities to prevent Iran from going nuclear in view of recent developments. The latest, sparked by a visit by Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak to London and British chief of defense Staff David Richards to Jerusalem has NATO,led by the U.S. and UK doing the heavy lifting.

  • The Israeli Air force just completed a major drill in Italy with NATO forces that is said to be designed to familiarize Israeli pilots with NATO procedures in the lead up to an Iran strike

  • let's look at what's actually going on here.

    The Iranians appear to have mostly overcome the damage to their nuclear weapons program caused by stuxnet and other sabotage, including some deliberate slow ups by the Russians building these facilities in order to jack the costs up and get more money out of the Mullahs for their new toys.

    The November IAEA report, due out in a matter of days is pretty clear that the Iranians are proceeding apace in their race to nuclear weapons. The current sanctions haven't deterred them one bit. It also details how the Iranians got considerable technical help from the Russians, North Koreans, and the Infamous A.Q. Kahn of Pakistan.

    My sources also tell me that the IAEA report clearly states for the first time that a number of the facilities, processes and materials Iran is working with have no possible peaceful applications. That's something you knew well over three years ago if you were reading this site.

    The biggest problem is the ongoing dispersal,protection and concealment of Iran's nuclear facilities and stockpiles of material. The most liberal estimates are that in another 12 months or so, getting to them to take them out without massive damage and civilian casualties is going to be close to impossible.

    The Israelis understand this very well.What they are essentially saying to the Obama Administration is that time is running out, and if you don't do something about this we certainly will.

    The Israelis don't particularly need NATO's assistance( although it would certainly be helpful) , or even the Jericho 3. Israel's drones, pilots and nuclear subs can already get close enough to Iran to hit whatever they need to hit, and an Israeli raid on Iran would almost certainly be accompanied by the Saudis turning a blind eye to Israel flying over their territory for the purpose.

    The indications are that the Israelis are fully capable of doing this themselves provided they're ruthless enough to do what it takes to make a thorough job of it. It would probably take multiple strikes, and Israel's inherent limitations would undoubtedly make things messy and might even involve tactical nukes, but the Iranian nuclear program could be crippled for some time.

    That, however is not at all what the Obama Administration wants. This president doesn't want to have to choose between alienating all those new Islamist regimes he's so fond of by supporting Israel in a strike on a Muslim country, or alienating even more of the pro-Israel vote at home in an election year by not doing so.

    President Obama's preferred scenario is to try and use the Israelis as leverage to try and get support from Russia and China for actual, punitive sanctions on Iran. The fact that they haven't worked yet and likely never would doesn't come into the equation for this president.

    The pitch to the Russians and Chinese would go something like this: 'Look, there's only so much I can do with these psycho Jews just now. It's better we all act now like the adults in the room to solve this thing instead of letting it get out of hand.'

    If that doesn't work, there are indeed signs that President Obama may be leaning reluctantly towards an Iran strike if he feels it's to his personal advantage. But if it happens, it will be one that definitely doesn't involve Israel, at least not openly.

    The first signal was the departure of Robert Gates, the former Secretary of Defense and a long time Iran appeaser. Along with former Secretary of State Condi Rice, it was Gates who was instrumental in making sure that the Bush Administration kicked this can down the road as well as seeing to it that the Israelis didn't get any kind of green light for it either, back when Iran would have been a lot easier to deal with than they are now. The team of Gates and Rice even attempted to stop the Israelis from taking out Syria's North Korea-supplied reactor and budding nuclear weapons site. fortunately without success. Gates pulled exactly the same trick during his tenure in the Obama Administration on Iran, aided and abetted by Admiral William J. Fallon, then commander of CENTCOM.

    The second sign is the coming removal of all US troops from Iraq, scheduled to be completed by the end of next month. For political reasons,(both American and Iraqi) the president is required to finish the draw down by year's end. But it has the small silver lining of removing a nearby target for retaliation and attack by Iran or its Shi'ite proxies within Iraq. True, many of those troops will be redeployed next door in Kuwait, but Kuwait is not controlled by Shi'ites and can be defended a lot easier than Iraq if necessary.

    President Obama does decide on military action against Iran, it will probably come within a few months in the run up to the election to get maximum electoral benefit for the president. It would most likely involve NATO forces, most likely lead by the US, and including the British and the French. It might also include token forces from Saudi Arabia and the Emirates to avoid the 'stigma' of attacking a Muslim country, similar to the coalition President George HW Bush used in the Gulf War for exactly the same reason.

    The Israeli role in this scenario would be limited to intel, recon and keeping Iran's proxies in Gaza, Lebanon and Syria busy,so as not to complicate things with the Muslim world.

    I must reiterate that this president is far more likely to simply delay things in hopes that yet another round of sanctions will have the desired effect, at least until he's safely out of office.

    A lot depends on how the current elections go. and what President Obama sees as more beneficial to campaign on. Will he get more mileage as the president who brought our troops home from Iraq, or as the president who took out Iran's nukes? Will he garner more criticism from his base as President Warmonger or more from people complaining about him allowing Iran to go nuclear on his watch? Would it be better for him politically to take on Iran, or to let Israel do it?

    One thing I'm certain of. As much as this president hates decisions,he will try to delay things as long as possible.

    As things stand, my money is still on the IDF ending up doing the job.Israel no longer has the luxury of time.Neither do we,but it's a lot more obvious to the Israelis from where they sit.

    please helps me write more gooder!


    Arik said...

    "That's something you knew over three years ago if you were reading this site."

    Or if one had the slightest bit of common sense...

    Rob said...

    Common sense and no ulterior motive for concealing the truth.


    louielouie said...

    they got their commie in the white house, who else is the base gonna vote for?
    this guy wants to get re-elected. and he doesn't care who he kills to do it.
    hell, if oklahoma had more electoral votes he'd come after us.

    Anonymous said...

    I think there's a lot of Saudi pressure to do something about Iran. It's best, in my opinion, to view this as part of the Shi'a/Sunni rivalry.
    Obama supports the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood, I think that's evident.
    The Obama withdrawal from Iraq & Afghanistan will blow up in Obama's face, politically, if Iran fills the vacuum created by Obama.
    Both Israel & Saudi Arabia would much prefer America to deal with Iran & both are manipulating America to this end. If I were Netanyahu, I would risk waiting but at the same time, show I was preparing something - which is exactly what he's doing. I think Netanyahu is counting on the Iranians to over-reach & force America to act.
    You're right - Obama will delay a decision as long as possible, the danger is that whatever operation Obama approves will be half-assed & not accomplish the job entirely, leaving the regime in place & able to retaliate.

    Terry, Eilat - Israel

    UCSPanther said...

    I hope that if war does break out, Hamas and Hezbollah get relegated to the trash heap of history.

    Those two terror groups took a real good beating in the previous assaults on them, losing large numbers of men, commanders and assets, so they probably are afraid of "next time" because they know they may not survive as organizations to see "the time after the next" should it occur and be executed properly.

    I suspect that their braying that they "won" was merely to hide their collective sighs of relief that they got a stay of execution.

    B.Poster said...

    I've alwasys said and it is trill true today, the primary thing to be concerned with is an Iranian attack on America not an American attack on Iran. This is even mor true today than it was when I first pointed this out.

    In light of the alleged recent attempto by the Iranians to assian at the Saudi Ambassador to the US, the media and the pundits are askign the wrong questions. Its generally assumed that this is a false flag by the Americans to try and justify an attack on Iran. Given the clumsy nature of the attempt, what if this was a lure set out by the Iranians to try and lure the Americans into attacking Iran. In other words, the Iranians may have set a trap for us and want us to walk into it.

    Should it cdome to an attack on Iran, the media will have to make a BIG decision. they have worked tirelessly for a number of years to undercut a military operation on Iran. They have also worked tirelessly to bolster Ptesident Obama. Do they now turn on Mr. Obama or do they do a u turn on war with Iran? I'm not sure, however, we can look at their past decisions to see how they might behave in the future.

    In the military operation with Libya, the media was against our participation here, however, the critcisim was much more muted than it likely would have been had someone else occupied the Presidencey rather than Mr. Obama. The knee jerk response of the media is to oppose most any miltary operation that America participates in. The knee jerk response of the American people is to support almost any military operation Aemrica participates in, for good reason. Opposition to these operations becomes propaganda for the enemy which provides aid and comfort to them and places our fighting men and women in even more danger than they are already in.

    Eventually though the media propaganda overwhelms support for the militry operation. Since critcism for the Libyan operation was muted because of who the President is, this meant support could be maintained longer which gave us time to accomplish the mission of removing the Khaddafi government!! Had a Republican or someone who the media opposes been in office suport could not have been maintained long eonough to complete the mission.

    Since criticims to a military operation that while clearly visible will likely be muted this might, just might, give us the time needed to accomplish the mission.

    B.Poster said...

    If a military action against Iran is undertaken, having NATO and America lead it is the absolute wrong approach. Israel should lead the operation. The IDF and the IAF are the best trained and best led forces on earth. The Israeli Air Force has significanlty more technical savy than the USAF or any European/NATO Air Force. As such, they are much more likely to be able to successfully penetrate Iranian air deenses than the Americans or the Europeans will be able to.

    Any American participation shojld be kept to a minimum. Perhaps we can particiapate in a support role some way. In order to streamline communications and minimuze confusion, any forces we contribute should be placed unde rthe command of the Israelis. For the most part, we shoud be prepard to stay out of Israel's way.

    Of this much I am sure. Iran is a bitter enemy of America who poses a grater threat to it than Nazi Germany or Imprial Japan ever did or ever cold have. Any weakening of Iranian military capabilities is in our interests. As such, it is in our interests that any military operation against Iran be successful. The best way to ensure this is for Israel to take the lead and for us to STAY OUT OF THE WAY!!

    Staying out of the way is a hard concept for meddlesmoe beuracrats to grasp, however, grasp it they should. In all likelyhood Israel will succeed. This will deal a crushing blow to their porxies in Hezbollah, Hamas, as well as their proxies in Central and South America. Should things not work out as well as we would like, we will have our forces tredeployed to defensible positions along our borders which will give us a fighting a chance to defend our country.

    Bottom line: the more American involvement the less likely the operation is to succeed. As such, we should seek to minimize our involvment, preferably to none and allow Israel to do what it needs to do to defend itself. Israeli intersts and our interests overlap here. Stay out of Israel's way.

    commoncents said...

    Thanks for posting this one! Always enjoy visiting your site!!

    Common Cents