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Subject Why Israel Will Attack Iran
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Original Message "I heard arguments, rooted in Israeli history and mindset, not commonly aired in the United States, that led me to the sobering conclusion that, absent a dramatic diplomatic breakthrough, Israel will pre-emptively strike Iran before too long—even if it has to go it alone.

What I didn’t know (or had failed to consider)... are the following:"

Israel has no faith that Obama will spearhead or join with them in an attack on Iran’s nuclear installations. No American president has ever intervened militarily to prevent a Mid-east country from going nuclear. In the notable cases of Iraq and Syria, America stood by, warned the Israelis not to do it and then expressed admiration for Israel’s success.

In the perception of the Israelis, Obama acts on basis of reason, not emotion (I certainly hope so). This makes it unlikely he will intervene. Indeed, the US may be unable to do much to help if Iran turns a nuclear device over to terrorists who detonate a dirty bomb in a suitcase in downtown Tel Aviv, and leave no Iranian fingerprints.

The Jewish state was founded in 1948 because history through the millennia had taught the jewish people it was folly to rely on the good will of other people for their survival. Why should they trust Obama now just because he says “We’ve Got Israel’s Back”—whatever that means?

For Israelis, the issue is existential. The last time a madman publicly called for the “extinction” of the Jewish people in Europe, he wasn’t kidding and damn near succeeded.
The overwhelming majority of Israelis want to strike Iran, although a not insignificant number want to do it in conjunction with the United States.

The advice of the international community to temporize has been historically bad advice for Israel. As Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu reflected recently, had Ben Gurion acceded to the wishes of other countries that he delay declaring independence in 1948, there would have been no State of Israel.

A nuclear Iran in Israel’s calculus will likely trigger a nuclear arms race in the region. Someone highly placed I spoke with had just returned from India where he met with senior officials. The Indians think that if Iran goes nuclear, the Saudis (and other states in region) will most certainly buy a bomb from Pakistan.

Jordan, an Arab neighbor friendly to Israel, is already starting a “peaceful” nuclear program. What does Israel do if Jordan’s Hashemite regime is overthrown by radical elements in its Palestinian majority and joins the ranks of Israel’s nuclear enemies? Israel is already losing leverage over the Jordanians because Jordan is busily building a 325 km water pipeline from an underground aquifer near Saudi Arabia to Amaan. Once the pipeline is completed, they will be less dependent on Israel which currently supplies them with water.

Time is not working in Israel’s favor. If Israel delays an attack, the Iranian’s will have buried their reactors and plutonium reservoirs in bunkers so deep that their arsenal will have a “zone of immunity.”

Israel itself has the bomb together with an arsenal of modern weaponry, but this is hardly a cold war style deterrent. Iran may not use the bomb right away, but Israel fears the Mullahs may well use it on the way out if they are about to be overthrown in a “Persian Spring” uprising. And if this happens, is it a deterrent to Iran’s murderous Mullahs that Israel might retaliate against the very dissidents who ousted the regime? Israelis are quick to recall that Hitler stepped up the murders of the Holocaust into an orgy of killing after D-Day when it was clear that Germany would lose the war.

Jerusalem with its large Arab population is not immune from Iranian attack. Although Ron Paul suggests that Iran would never bomb the Al Aqsa mosque sacred to Muslims, Shiite books indicate that the mosque in Jerusalem is not so important to Shia as it is to Sunni Muslims. And Israelis are quick to point out that when Iran’s cat’s paw Hezbollah shelled Haifa, and Muslims died, Iran said they were “martyrs”.

Israel feels it is well prepared for eventual reprisals and howls of execration from the international community should it act against Iran. When asked what his country would do if Israel struck Iran, the foreign minister of a Gulf state was recently quoted as saying, “First we break out the Champagne, then we denounce them at the UN.”

Israel is beset with a Masada complex. If they do nothing, they fear they may not survive very much longer. If they act now, they will more probably survive or die with honor.

General Petraeus told me not so long ago, “I don’t know which is scarier—if Israel attacks Iran or if they don’t attack Iran.” Sobering stuff.

As the US and Israel ponder their course, I saw a military Boeing refueling fighter jets on maneuvers high above the Negev.
[link to www.forbes.com]
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