On Wednesday, November 2nd, Israel test fired a missile, said to be ballistic, which is also reported to have the range to reach Iran. This comes after a weekend leak of growing support for a preemptive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
While such an attack by Israel against Iran has always been on the table, the news, or at least the reports of an eminent strike have been ramped up.
Iran, for their part, promises that Israel would be punished for such an attack.
To understand why this is much more a hot issue today than, say, a week ago, one must understand what has led to this – and then, what the implications would be should it happen.
We all know, all too well, of Iran’s desire to wipe Israel from the map. Ahmedinejad has repeated that desire time and time again and it is well known that Ahmedinejad is a madman. Right now, within Iran, there seems to be something of a power struggle – and while many believe the madman’s days in power are limited and therefore his words are of little consequence, I submit that little could be further from the truth.
Yes, there is a power struggle and possibly Ahmedinejad’s days in a position of power may be limited – but that is precisely why he is more dangerous now than ever before. Corner a rabid dog and may God be with you. Ahmedinejad is cornered in his country’s power play and finding a way, nukes or not, to attack Israel would, in his mind, give him a stronger hold on whatever power he has left. He is a desperate man and the sand is running down in his hourglass.
Iran has for years, steadily, been building toward nuclear capability and everybody knows it. They claim their nuclear intentions are for providing electricity but they are building centrifuges and working on enriching nuclear material.
Experts believe they may still be 3 years from having a bomb but that begs what I believe to be an obvious question. Is Israel really supposed to wait until they actually HAVE a nuke before they do anything?
That, in my mind, would be akin to watching someone raise a gun, point it at you and pull the trigger before you take action. Once that gun is raised…the prudent thing would be to take action yourself. The combination of the threats from Iran and the act of building the facilities which could be used to produce nuclear weapons, to me,, is the same as a raised gun.
While some may consider the threats from Iran as idle blather from a madman, another obvious question comes to mind: Can Israel afford to believe that those threats are idle blather? I do not believe they can as to do so, should Iran build a bomb, would be catastrophic.
Some may also consider the talk of a preemptive attack by Israel to be little more than saber rattling but they would be wrong. Such a strike is not outside the wheelhouse of Israel and they have indeed employed that measure before.
In Operation Babylon, in 1981, Israel launched just such a strike against Iraq damaging beyond repair their nuclear facility.
After Operation Babylon, Israel was rebuked on the world stage and likely would be again. One thing though is clear, the threat from Iran now is much greater than it was from Iraq back then. While Iraq had but 1 site, Iran has at least 1 site completed with designs for up to 19 sites and currently has 2 sites dedicated to uranium enrichment which is 1 more that they had informed the IAEA of.
The only reason for uranium enrichment by the way is for the creation of nuclear weapons.
Iran has the means and the motive to create nuclear weapons and a madman who is getting desperate at the helm.
Now, I will ask again, should Israel consider Ahmedinejad’s words as idle blather and can Israel afford to with until the day Iran has a nuclear weapon to take action?
In the past, through a long series of sanctions leveled against Iran, the U.S. has stood with Israel and that, at least in part, has helped to keep Iran in some resemblance of check. Now, with the Obama administration, and the reality of the weakness seen in that administration by countries like Iran, the fact is, Israel cannot, for now, count on the U.S. as a factor of intimidation.
While many conservatives would say Obama would never lift a finger to assist in such a move, they should keep in mind that Obama’s polling is so low that he needs whatever help he can get, especially in the Jewish community and this IS, after all, an election year. That said, leading from behind may not be of the table but that would be a far cry from standing side by side with our great friend Israel.
The Saudis have in the past, green lighted airspace for such an attack by Israel and I believe they would again.
Syria on the other hand is wrapped up in internal conflict as well as being an annex of Iran so to speak and Syria has stated that should Israel launch a preemptive mission against Iran, they would move quickly to locate long range missiles in Gaza to rain them down on Israel.
Lebanon would do whatever they could to hit Israel as of course would the Palestinian Authority/Hamas.
There would of course be collateral damage in Iran as some of those existing facilities are already holding nuclear material and naturally, Israel would be held accountable for that collateral damage. This is not to say Israel SHOULD be held responsible just that they will be. Iran, in having ignored U.N. resolutions and acted against numerous sanctions while hiding an enrichment facility SHOULD be held responsible but, as the U.N. is in charge of such things, political correctness will rule the day there.
Obama is in a tough position, trying to get our troops out of war zones before the jobs are complete to fulfill campaign promises from 2008 and dealing with getting us wrapped up in new “Kinetic Actions” along the way angering even those in his own base. Taking any kind of active role in an Israeli mission against Iran would favor him, maybe, with Jewish voters but harm him amongst the liberal base.
As for Israel, it is not, at this time, a done deal. Prime Minister Netanyahu is now engaged in trying to sway his law makers to the side OF a preemptive strike and while the vote, if taken today would be very close, he doesn’t yet have all the votes he would need.
In Washington, this administration is against such action in that they do not believe Israel should act unilaterally. This is not to say that the administration or the State Department would willingly jump in the fray but more likely, they would like to, as they did in Libya, lead from behind while turning such an operation over to NATO for command and control purposes.
NATO, for their part may well be a little shy as they are facing backlash regarding the whole Libyan situation and the loss of 20 thousand shoulder fired missiles, a promise of Sharia being the basis for all laws in a new Libyan government and the fact that al Qaeda now has their flag flying over the courthouse in Benghazi. NATO probably will hesitate to take the lead now.
Prime Minister Netanyahu, I believe, is right and I also believe he will soon have the support in Israel he needs to put a preemptive strike against Iran into motion. To allow Iran to continue for the next year or two to advance toward nuclear weapons would be a disaster not only for Israel but for the rest of the world.
With Egypt now in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood, a Hamas affiliate, Iran in the hands of a madman, Syria growing bolder by the day and Libya in the hands of who knows who but certainly with al Qaeda taking root, Iraq up for grabs as soon as we pull out in the next 6 weeks, Pakistan harboring terrorist activity and Afghanistan soon to become a vacuum, time is of the essence and clearly NOT on the side of Israel.
Should Israel decide to take action and take that action soon, the U.S. should be right there with them in every phase of it and if we are not…shame on this administration. I do not believe Israel has the luxury of waiting until a new administration replaces Obama in 2013.
I do, and we as a nation should, stand with Israel.