Israelis surely don't welcome a war in which they will suffer. Yet they have no choice but to defend themselves against an enemy that vows to obliterate them if Iran acquires the weapon to do so. The tragic paradox of the past six years is that the diplomatic and intelligence evasions offered in the name of avoiding war with Iran have done the most to bring us close to this brink. Appeasement that ends in war is a familiar theme of history.(today's Wall Street Journal)
BOLTON WEIGHS IN
Bolton: Israel could decide to attack Iran during Bush's term or wait for successorYesterday on FOX News, John Bolton suggested that Israel would have to decide whether to attack Iran before Bush left office or wait for his successor. He also added that: "I don't think you'd hear the Arab states say this publicly, but they would be delighted if the United States or Israel destroyed the Iranian nuclear weapons capability." (hat tip Paul)
The Wall Street Journal believes Israel's recent military exercises were the dress rehearsal for an attack on Iran's nuclear annihilation weapons.
ISRAEL ON THEIRAN BRINK Wall Street Journal
Israel isn't famous for welcoming public scrutiny of its most sensitive military plans. But we doubt Jerusalem officials were dismayed to see news of their recent air force exercises splashed over the front pages of the Western press.
Those exercises – reportedly involving about 100 fighters, tactical bombers, refueling planes and rescue helicopters – were conducted about 900 miles west of Israel's shores in the Mediterranean. Iran's nuclear facilities at Bushehr, Isfahan and Natanz all fall roughly within the same radius, albeit in the opposite direction. The point was not lost on Tehran, which promptly warned of "strong blows" in the event of a pre-emptive Israeli attack.
The more important question is whether the meaning of Israel's exercise registered in Western capitals. It's been six years since Iran's secret nuclear programs were publicly exposed, and Israel has more or less bided its time as the Bush Administration and Europe have pursued diplomacy to induce Tehran to cease enriching uranium.
It hasn't worked. Iran has rejected repeated offers of technical and economic assistance, most recently this month. Despite four years of pleading, the Administration has failed to win anything but weak U.N. sanctions. Russia plans to sell advanced antiaircraft missiles to Iran and finish work on a nuclear reactor at Bushehr, though spent fuel from that reactor could eventually be diverted and reprocessed into weapons-usable plutonium. Chinese companies still invest in Iran, while the U.N.'s chief nuclear inspector, Mohamed ElBaradei, has repeatedly downplayed Iran's nuclear threat.(read the whole thing here)
There's a lot of analysis but I tend to agree with Debka as does Van who sent this, "Although I am hawkish on an Iran attack, I'm not 100%. Yet. There are so many options, but none are good. TIME is the issue that works against the West. They are stalling and we know it. They are winning that game. If we wait till Iran goes nuclear, the degree of difficulty goes up exponentially, if not impossibly".
DEBKAfile's Western military sources do not believe that if Israel does attack Iran's nuclear facilities, it will resort to the old-fashioned aerial blitz tactic employed in 1981 for bombing Iraq's Osirak reactor. They therefore challenge the US officials' conclusion that Israel's aerial exercise in conjunction with the Greek Air Force over Crete in early June was in fact a rehearsal for Iran. CONTD...
Exclusive: Is one-year extension of Israel Mossad director's tenure an omen for Iran?
Meir Dagan, whose term of office as head of Israel's external intelligence service, Mossad, Prime Minister Ehud Olmet extended June 22 by a year to the end of 2009, directed the intelligence-gathering effort for the attack on Syria's North Korean plutonium reactor Sept. 6, 2007. He may now be entrusted with the most vital mission ever laid on this 60-year old clandestine service: the undercover groundwork for contending with the greatest existential threat faced by the Jewish state: a nuclear-armed Iran. CONTD...
"Mr. ElBaradei predicted this weekend that such an attack would turn the Middle East into a "ball of fire," yet his own apologies for Iran and the West's diplomatic failures are responsible for bringing the region to this pass. They have convinced the mullahs that the powers responsible for maintaining world order lack the will to stop Iran".
What a time to have the weakest leadership at the helm of the Jewish state, with the whole of the Islamic world (with the complicity and assistance of the left) bent on its annihilation.