Atlantic: Israel likely to attack Iran by this time next year

posted at 1:52 pm on August 11, 2010 by Allahpundit

A good read, well timed for a day when news is slow and you can spare the attention. Somehow it manages to be both harrowing and mundane: No matter what Obama and Netanyahu end up doing or not doing, the Middle East is sure to be a more dangerous place in a year or two than it is even now — and yet we’ve been headed towards that Catch-22 for years, dating well back into the Bush administration. As dire as they are, the strategic calculations have become sufficiently familiar — a bombing run might not disable the program, might only postpone it for a year or two, might touch off a regional war with America in the middle — that I bet most readers will either glance at the piece or pass on it entirely as old news. The Iranian program is like having a bomb in your lap knowing that any wire you cut will detonate it, so you sit there and fidget with it in hopes that it’ll just sort of fizzle out on its own. Sit there long enough and even a situation as dangerous as that will start to seem boring. Until the bomb goes off.

Tick tock:

When the Israelis begin to bomb the uranium-enrichment facility at Natanz, the formerly secret enrichment site at Qom, the nuclear-research center at Esfahan, and possibly even the Bushehr reactor, along with the other main sites of the Iranian nuclear program, a short while after they depart en masse from their bases across Israel—regardless of whether they succeed in destroying Iran’s centrifuges and warhead and missile plants, or whether they fail miserably to even make a dent in Iran’s nuclear program—they stand a good chance of changing the Middle East forever; of sparking lethal reprisals, and even a full-blown regional war that could lead to the deaths of thousands of Israelis and Iranians, and possibly Arabs and Americans as well; of creating a crisis for Barack Obama that will dwarf Afghanistan in significance and complexity; of rupturing relations between Jerusalem and Washington, which is Israel’s only meaningful ally; of inadvertently solidifying the somewhat tenuous rule of the mullahs in Tehran; of causing the price of oil to spike to cataclysmic highs, launching the world economy into a period of turbulence not experienced since the autumn of 2008, or possibly since the oil shock of 1973; of placing communities across the Jewish diaspora in mortal danger, by making them targets of Iranian-sponsored terror attacks, as they have been in the past, in a limited though already lethal way; and of accelerating Israel’s conversion from a once-admired refuge for a persecuted people into a leper among nations.

If a strike does succeed in crippling the Iranian nuclear program, however, Israel, in addition to possibly generating some combination of the various catastrophes outlined above, will have removed from its list of existential worries the immediate specter of nuclear-weaponized, theologically driven, eliminationist anti-Semitism; it may derive for itself the secret thanks (though the public condemnation) of the Middle East’s moderate Arab regimes, all of which fear an Iranian bomb with an intensity that in some instances matches Israel’s; and it will have succeeded in countering, in militant fashion, the spread of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, which is, not irrelevantly, a prime goal of the enthusiastic counter-proliferator who currently occupies the White House…

[B]ased on my conversations with Israeli decision-makers, this period of forbearance, in which Netanyahu waits to see if the West’s nonmilitary methods can stop Iran, will come to an end this December. Robert Gates, the American defense secretary, said in June at a meeting of NATO defense ministers that most intelligence estimates predict that Iran is one to three years away from building a nuclear weapon. “In Israel, we heard this as nine months from June—in other words, March of 2011,” one Israeli policy maker told me. “If we assume that nothing changes in these estimates, this means that we will have to begin thinking about our next step beginning at the turn of the year.”…

America, too, would look complicit in an Israeli attack, even if it had not been forewarned. The assumption—often, but not always, correct—that Israel acts only with the approval of the United States is a feature of life in the Middle East, and it is one the Israelis say they are taking into account. I spoke with several Israeli officials who are grappling with this question, among others: what if American intelligence learns about Israeli intentions hours before the scheduled launch of an attack? “It is a nightmare for us,” one of these officials told me. “What if President Obama calls up Bibi and says, ‘We know what you’re doing. Stop immediately.’ Do we stop? We might have to. A decision has been made that we can’t lie to the Americans about our plans. We don’t want to inform them beforehand. This is for their sake and for ours. So what do we do? These are the hard questions.” (Two officials suggested that Israel may go on pre-attack alert a number of times before actually striking: “After the fifth or sixth time, maybe no one would believe that we’re really going,” one official said.)

Much of the piece is devoted to thumbnail psychological analysis of Netanyahu, Obama, and Israel itself as a way of discerning how much of a threat they consider Iran to be (a new Holocaust or something less?) and how they might act as a consequence, so if you’re inclined to skim rather than read, skim those parts. As for the strategic considerations, I wonder what sort of groundwork-laying we might see in the next few months by the U.S. and Israel to prepare for the fallout from a raid on the reactors. Pay attention to the part near the end where Goldberg writes about Iran keeping Hezbollah in reserve for a counterattack in case Israel strikes. According to an Arab newspaper, Israel nearly launched a large operation against Lebanon just last week, ostensibly as a reprisal for the recent border incident in which an Israeli soldier was killed. I wonder if there’s more to it than that, though, in light of the Atlantic piece: Clearly, the IDF will want to do something about Hezbollah’s missile cache before making its move on Iran. If the threat of a new Lebanese civil war breaking out over the findings in the UN’s Hariri probe are as real as some Lebanese leaders think, that may be the entry point for Israeli intervention against Hezbollah. Meanwhile, Obama will have to plan for the risk of Iranian attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in the wake of an Israeli strike. Whether that means accelerating withdrawal later this year or forcing some sort of change in tactics to better protect troops in the field I’ll leave to military readers to opine on, but counterinsurgency will be that much harder to do with Iran trying to meddle in newly aggressive ways.

One other thing to note while reading: How insane the calculations about “optics” are in all this, capped by the surreal Israeli agonizing about when and whether to tell the White House that they’re planning to strike. The Sunni leadership in the region quite rationally wants to see the Shiite menace disarmed, but they can’t act because their populations aren’t about to side with the Jews against a Muslim nation that’s a greater threat to them than Israel is. So we get the usual games about whose airspace they can *wink wink* “violate” on their way to Iran to preserve plausible deniability, along with the less usual games of faking out Obama so that he can genuinely claim to have been surprised when something happens. And the punchline, of course, is that no one but no one will believe that The One and the Sunnis weren’t in on it the whole time, no matter what pains are taken to protect them. Oh well.


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Great. Sad thing is, they will not be able to rely on the US to be an ally.

2012 can not come soon enough.

Towash on August 11, 2010 at 1:55 PM

Just at a Time when we needed a Regan, we ended up with a Carter.

Nuts.

portlandon on August 11, 2010 at 1:56 PM

I thought they were supposed to attack before the 2008 elections.

ornery_independent on August 11, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Unleash hell. You guys still have leaders with balls.

HornetSting on August 11, 2010 at 1:57 PM

2012 can not come soon enough.

Towash on August 11, 2010 at 1:55 PM

Becareful what you wish for. Sometimes you get the same but worse.

upinak on August 11, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Which side will Obama support? /s

Oil Can on August 11, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Which side will Obama support? /s

Oil Can on August 11, 2010 at 1:58 PM

His own backside.

portlandon on August 11, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Ezekiel 38 – 39. Get ready.

jdawg on August 11, 2010 at 1:58 PM

After the way Obama treated them, maybe they’re waiting to see how our mid-term elections go.

It’s a shame to think that’s what they have to do, but it looks logical to me.

listens2glenn on August 11, 2010 at 1:59 PM

The Left: “You mean when we all agreed we wanted to destroy America, the Iranians were talking about, like, nuke-nukes?”

faraway on August 11, 2010 at 1:59 PM

As for the strategic considerations, I wonder what sort of groundwork-laying we might see in the next few months by the U.S. and Israel to prepare for the fallout from a raid on the reactors.

I thought September was penciled in?

conservative pilgrim on August 11, 2010 at 2:00 PM

The assumption—often, but not always, correct—that Israel acts only with the approval of the United States is a feature of life in the Middle East, and it is one the Israelis say they are taking into account.

those rock chuckers may want to update their assumptions….

ted c on August 11, 2010 at 2:01 PM

OT: NH Dem wishes Palin was on board downed Alaska plane

faraway on August 11, 2010 at 2:02 PM

AP, it’s time for a poll.

What comes first, our financial collapse or Israeli strike?

Hmmm

artist on August 11, 2010 at 2:02 PM

OT: NH Dem wishes Palin was on board downed Alaska plane

faraway on August 11, 2010 at 2:02 PM

No way, do you have a link?

Towash on August 11, 2010 at 2:02 PM

Faraway, +1…..excellent

cmsinaz on August 11, 2010 at 2:03 PM

And the punchline, of course, is that no one but no one will believe that The One and the Sunnis weren’t in on it the whole time, no matter what pains are taken to protect them.

Are you suggesting that they truly aren’t in on “it”? That would be a stretch, even for Obama and his State Dept.

conservative pilgrim on August 11, 2010 at 2:03 PM

we ended up with a Carter.

You think we’re that lucky?

artist on August 11, 2010 at 2:03 PM

Psalm 18: these are the descendants of David.

32 It is God who arms me with strength
and makes my way perfect.

33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he enables me to stand on the heights.

34 He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

35 You give me your shield of victory,
and your right hand sustains me;
you stoop down to make me great.

ted c on August 11, 2010 at 2:04 PM

Not unless Obama attacks Israel first.

darwin on August 11, 2010 at 2:05 PM

Refresh my memory, please…didn’t we invade Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein over the apparently ‘illusory’ threat of WMD? Now here we are in 2010 with incontrovertible evidence of Iran’s nuclear program and its escalating threats…

And, by all means, let’s give credit where credit is due.

cynccook on August 11, 2010 at 2:06 PM

consensus emerged that there is a better than 50 percent chance that Israel will launch a strike by next July.”

and the alternative chance is that they…..not attack with nearly equal odds.???

Israel should stir the pot of the neda crowds, the green banner wearers…that’s a lot of energy that they can tap into to push that government over…

ted c on August 11, 2010 at 2:07 PM

On April 29, answering a question on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Sen. Hillary Clinton warned that if Iran attacked Israel with nuclear weapons, “we would be able to totally obliterate them.” On NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, Sen. Barack Obama chided Clinton. “It’s language reflective of George Bush. …This kind of language is not helpful,” Obama told Tim Russert.

Hmmmm….I guess the more he thought about it, the more he liked the idea, so he made her Secretary of State.

cynccook on August 11, 2010 at 2:07 PM

Nobody’s going to be attacking anybody.

vinman on August 11, 2010 at 2:09 PM

FTA: …accelerating Israel’s conversion from a once-admired refuge for a persecuted people into a leper among nations.

What tripe. Among those that hate Israel, they are already ‘lepers’, and for those that support Israel, they are saying get it over with already.

A bombing ‘run’ will not end Iran’s nuclear program, of course it will only delay it. By making one bombing run, we are committed to making another one in a couple years, and another after that, until perhaps the corrupt mullahs fall.

It will not be a bombing run either, it will be a program of strikes over a period of days. First comes AA suppression, only then do you attack the hard targets. With such high value targets, you strike once, check the results with spy satellites or surveillance drones, retune and strike again. That goes on until you are sure you got it.

Then, throw in a few bombs on IRGC locations and those delicate gasoline refineries and oil terminals. Meanwhile, Israel will also be attacking Iran’s missile sites before they can launch in retaliation.

slickwillie2001 on August 11, 2010 at 2:11 PM

Why not. We haven’t had a good war for years now.

(You know, a Whoopi-style war-war, not Afghanistan.

The Lone Platypus on August 11, 2010 at 2:12 PM

Interesting snippet I just read: by the time of the first Gulf War, Iranian fighters (F-4, F-5, and F-14′s) were in such a poor maintenance state that their radars no longer worked. They had to be directed by ground radar (the Iraqis had the same problem, and, in the Iran-Iraq war, they would close to about a mile with each other, and just fly around, unable to visually acquire each other to engage).

Count to 10 on August 11, 2010 at 2:12 PM

I read part of the article earlier this morning. Have it stashed away to read later today when I have the time.

My take-away on this is how royally screwed we all are, no matter what happens. Your point about the bomb in our lap is pretty sharp. It doesn’t really matter–in the near term, or even the medium term–what we do. If Israel attacks, unless something really unlikely happens, like they hit the mother load and the Greenies kick the sh*t out of the mullahs and Hizbollah gets completely gutted in Lebanon…. You get my point.

As disastrous as things have been there over the last couple of decades, that ain’t nuttin’ on what’s coming down the pike. If we do squat, Iran gets the bomb and we face unremitting terror for years to come. We (the US and/or Israel) strike Iran … and we face unremitting terror for years to come.

Total Charlie-Foxtrot no matter what choices we make. And of course, we have the UN to thank for allowing the situation to get where it is. Rather than allowing for a hard political stance to be taken, with rapidly escalating economic sanctions (backed by legitimate threats of force) given a chance to foster change, they pussy-footed with the mullahs.

AP, I think I may be as much of an Eeyore as you on this one….

nukemhill on August 11, 2010 at 2:14 PM

NH Dem wanted Palin on downed Alaska plane

Site is being hammered right now. Haven’t actually seen it yet.

faraway on August 11, 2010 at 2:15 PM

I predicted a strike three summers ago. Oh well.

OT, but curious: why does C4P not link to Hot Air? Especially when they link to Ed’s stories?

John the Libertarian on August 11, 2010 at 2:15 PM

I can’t imagine Israel attacking without some meaningful chance at success, and I don’t see how they could succeed against such deeply-embedded targets short of using nuclear weapons themselves. It’s certainly well within their means to have secret conventional bunker-busters tucked away somewhere, but at present they’d still be secret.

And there remains, of course, the range and refueling issue. With F-16I’s and F-15I’s I can’t say I know it can’t be done without tanker support, but I expect it’d be very, very tight. And neither of those aircraft possess any characteristics that would allow them to penetrate Iranian air defenses undetected. One-way suicide missions are conceivable, as is the nuclear option, but I suspect the stakes would have to be higher.

Blacklake on August 11, 2010 at 2:15 PM

I read part of the article earlier this morning. Have it stashed away to read later today when I have the time.

My take-away on this is how royally screwed we all are, no matter what happens. Your point about the bomb in our lap is pretty sharp. It doesn’t really matter–in the near term, or even the medium term–what we do. If Israel attacks, unless something really unlikely happens, like they hit the mother load and the Greenies kick the sh*t out of the mullahs and Hizbollah gets completely gutted in Lebanon…. You get my point.

As disastrous as things have been there over the last couple of decades, that ain’t nuttin’ on what’s coming down the pike. If we do squat, Iran gets the bomb and we face unremitting terror for years to come. We (the US and/or Israel) strike Iran … and we face unremitting terror for years to come.

Total Charlie-Foxtrot no matter what choices we make. And of course, we have the UN to thank for allowing the situation to get where it is. Rather than allowing for a hard political stance to be taken, with rapidly escalating economic sanctions (backed by legitimate threats of force) given a chance to foster change, they p*ssy-footed with the mullahs.

AP, I think I may be as much of an Eeyore as you on this one….

nukemhill on August 11, 2010 at 2:15 PM

And, by all means, let’s give credit where credit is due.

cynccook on August 11, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Is that for real?
Yikes.

Count to 10 on August 11, 2010 at 2:15 PM

faraway on August 11, 2010 at 2:15 PM

Thanks.

Towash on August 11, 2010 at 2:16 PM

You guys need to get your censor-software in gear. It has a problem with “p*ssy-footing”? Really?

nukemhill on August 11, 2010 at 2:16 PM

OT: NH Dem wishes Palin was on board downed Alaska plane

faraway on August 11, 2010 at 2:02 PM

Woah. C4P has a post on some of the liberal nastiness in the same vein, but a politician went so far?

John the Libertarian on August 11, 2010 at 2:16 PM

I remember last year there was a post here that said “This time next year Israel to attack Iran” then “By end of the year Israel to attack Iran” I’m guessing these websites know they’ll get 100,000 trackbacks if they write this story.

Rbastid on August 11, 2010 at 2:19 PM

OT:Politico has the image of what was said about Palin

ConservativePartyNow on August 11, 2010 at 2:19 PM

Interesting snippet I just read: by the time of the first Gulf War, Iranian fighters (F-4, F-5, and F-14’s) were in such a poor maintenance state that their radars no longer worked. They had to be directed by ground radar (the Iraqis had the same problem, and, in the Iran-Iraq war, they would close to about a mile with each other, and just fly around, unable to visually acquire each other to engage).

Count to 10 on August 11, 2010 at 2:12 PM

Back during the Ernest Will missions in the 80s, the Iranians were towing their broken non-flyable F-14′s to the beach on the straits of Hormuez with trucks in a lame attempt to launch the surface missles at us. Didn’t work well then either.

Johnnyreb on August 11, 2010 at 2:21 PM

What will Obama do? Is he trying to goad Israel into going it alone? Does Obama believe that such a crisis would be a god send for his agenda? Facing a world wide crisis would Obama begin his imperial edicts for the good of the nation? Would the citizens of the United States accept the rational that, due to the world wide crisis, an Imperial Caesar would be the only viable way to govern the country?

Skandia Recluse on August 11, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Back during the Ernest Will missions in the 80s, the Iranians were towing their broken non-flyable F-14’s to the beach on the straits of Hormuez with trucks in a lame attempt to launch the surface missles at us. Didn’t work well then either.

Johnnyreb on August 11, 2010 at 2:21 PM

How many F-14 did they self detonate that way?

Count to 10 on August 11, 2010 at 2:25 PM

The Israelis will not strike before an Iranian nuclear test. A pre-emptive stilke will only achieve in further isolating Israel. B.O. will not come to thier aid in this situation.
The single best and most likely scenario is also the worst scenario: The Iranians reach the point that the achieve their first bomb test. The sucessful test sends shockwaves that are detected immediately in Jerusalem. Within 30 minutes a salvo of Jericho missles turns the region once known as Iran into a wasteland. The Israelis warn other muslim nations the same fate awaits, if they attempt to retaliate. End game.

paulsur on August 11, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Within 30 minutes a salvo of Jericho missles turns the region once known as Iran into a wasteland. The Israelis warn other muslim nations the same fate awaits, if they attempt to retaliate. End game.

paulsur on August 11, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Not convinced Israel would launch strikes against urban centers. More likely if they did attack the nukes would be targeted on the Iranian nuclear weapons facilities.

It would send the same message though.

sharrukin on August 11, 2010 at 2:33 PM

My mother always used to say “Don’t put off until tomorrow that which you can do today.”

pain train on August 11, 2010 at 2:33 PM

What comes first, our financial collapse or Israeli strike?

artist on August 11, 2010 at 2:02 PM

A strike will lead Iran to close the gulf to all oil tankers, prices will skyrocket, and that will push over Western and Asian economies already teetering on the edge.

Rebar on August 11, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Obama thinks being the President is tough now, wait ’til the world is condemning Israel for doing something that Obama needed to do but couldn’t sack up for.

hawksruleva on August 11, 2010 at 2:37 PM

I’ve got a really bad feeling about this….

Colbyjack on August 11, 2010 at 2:37 PM

My mother always used to say “Don’t put off until tomorrow that which you can do today.”

pain train on August 11, 2010 at 2:33 PM

So did mine. Apparently no politician’s mom says that. It might even be a requirement for holding public office.

Modern politicians had moms who said “screw the next generation, make sure you get yours now.”

hawksruleva on August 11, 2010 at 2:38 PM

How many years now have people expected Israel to attack Iran within the year?

Chubbs65 on August 11, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Iran will attack Israel before Israel attacks Iran. Unfortunately, we won’t be allies with Israel when it happens. I agree that it will probably happen soon. There’s been too much…”negotiating” between Iran and Russia for it not to happen soon. True, some people say it’s because Russia wants access through Iran, but as I’ve said in a previous post a couple weeks ago, it’s my opinion that they’re working on a mutual military alliance. Russia thinks they’ll get what they want if they’ll join with Iran and attack Israel (along with several other countries–I’m hoping we’re not one of them), but it will prove folly.

I am looking forward to the attack, though. Only because I know what will happen, and I can’t wait to see it. A lot of people will–hopefully–change their mindset when confronted with in-your-face reality about God and His power.

jedijson on August 11, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Well worth the read. The timelines are converging on a limited number of outcomes, and those most likely have grave and unpredictable consequences.

If Israeli action is inevitable, what are the likely consequences? What are the likely consequences of an American attack, presumably more thorough? Are the latter preferable to the former?

Joker: Unpredicted consequences.

Now, predict how the Obama Admin will make these assessments and how it will respond.

novaculus on August 11, 2010 at 2:41 PM

How many F-14 did they self detonate that way?

Count to 10 on August 11, 2010 at 2:25 PM

None. Those planes had rotted to snot after we cut the spares flow off a couple of years before then. Not much left of them.

Johnnyreb on August 11, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Nobody’s going to be attacking anybody.

vinman on August 11, 2010 at 2:09 PM

You’re like the frog that was invited to the hot tub party. Get yer head out of the sand. It might not happen tomorrow, it might not even happen next year. But Israel will eventually have to step up to defend itself, because the rest of the world won’t do it.

The only question I have about the Iranian nuclear program is how soon they can get a reasonably accurate missile ready. Israel is so small, that a miss has a good chance of hitting Hamas, after all.

hawksruleva on August 11, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Perhaps if we had supported the Green revolution this would not be an issue. Oh well..

WitchDoctor on August 11, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Israel is so small, that a miss has a good chance of hitting Hamas, after all.

hawksruleva on August 11, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Collateral damage. Acceptable collateral damage.

novaculus on August 11, 2010 at 2:48 PM

Iran will be PWNED.

fossten on August 11, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Doubt it will happen.
Something covert is more likely working and in the works.

If Iran even sniffs of something coming soon they will yank the chains on their twin pitbulls, Hamas & Hezbollah, for them to start up military attacks against Israel to distract the Israelis.
Can Israel take on Hezbollah & Hamas, plus bomb Iran all at the same time?

albill on August 11, 2010 at 3:08 PM

I can’t imagine Israel attacking without some meaningful chance at success, and I don’t see how they could succeed against such deeply-embedded targets short of using nuclear weapons themselves. It’s certainly well within their means to have secret conventional bunker-busters tucked away somewhere, but at present they’d still be secret.

And there remains, of course, the range and refueling issue. With F-16I’s and F-15I’s I can’t say I know it can’t be done without tanker support, but I expect it’d be very, very tight. And neither of those aircraft possess any characteristics that would allow them to penetrate Iranian air defenses undetected. One-way suicide missions are conceivable, as is the nuclear option, but I suspect the stakes would have to be higher.

Blacklake on August 11, 2010 at 2:15 PM

If Israel says to SA, -we need this and this and this to succeed, the Soddys will do it. The Soddys have nothing to gain and everything to lose by cooperating halfway with Israel. After the fact we may never know the depth of cooperation, but I believe it will be far more than known. IAF planes will absolutely be refueled in-and-out either on the ground or in the air over SA. Perhaps by Sod tankers. Maybe the Sods will even allow Israeli planes to fuel and bomb-up and do return missions. Will the Sods go so far as to loan Israel their precious F-15E’s?

slickwillie2001 on August 11, 2010 at 3:08 PM

America, under Obama, will do nothing. If Israel doesn’t act to protect herself, she might as well recreate Masada and gather every one of her citizens in one place and start cutting throats until only one is left to take his own life. It’s extinction either way; by their own hand or by nuclear annihilation. It’s OK, though. After the new holocaust, Obama will shed crocodile tears and describe his vision a new middle east, just like he wanted…without Jews.

Extrafishy on August 11, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Extrafishy on August 11, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Re Masada, Israel should announce to the world that their nuclear weapons have no permissive action links.

slickwillie2001 on August 11, 2010 at 3:29 PM

What I get from a quick read is that, altho Obama isn’t going to do a thing to stop Iran, he understands the importance of SEEMING as though he might do something. I’m sure the mullahs are terrified.

Infidoll on August 11, 2010 at 3:40 PM

jedijson on August 11, 2010 at 2:41 PM

BINGO!!!

44Magnum on August 11, 2010 at 3:42 PM

Israel likely to attack Iran by this time next year

At least one nation still has the balls to do what’s right.

Meanwhile, Neville Obama is trying to find someone he can sell out. Wasn’t this supposed to be Joey Biden’s forte? Instead we have President Empty Suit calling the shots.

GarandFan on August 11, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Yoni the Blogger, one of Hugh Hewitt’s well-connected go-to guys on Israel, appeared on Hugh’s radio show yesterday to predict that there is a 75% likelihood of a war between Israel and Lebanon within 30 days. He said there was a submarine detected recently in the area of North Korean or Iranian origin and all of these developments are part of a larger multinational action planned against Israel.

Methinks the anti-Israeli forces have Obama’s number. Can you imagine these provocations being tolerated under Bush?

Please pray for Israel.

Terrie on August 11, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Yoni also confirmed to Hewitt that Israel does have a strategic base it can use in Saudi Arabia and leaders of both nations are in communication about their options.

Terrie on August 11, 2010 at 3:57 PM

Yoni blogs about his evidence of war here.

Terrie on August 11, 2010 at 4:01 PM

The targets in Iran. Primary among these are all nuclear facilities, including the nuclear power plant at Bushehr on the Persian Gulf coast near Kuwait, and the nuclear enrichment facilities in Natanz near Esfahan. Bushehr is an industrial city, with nearly 1 million residents.

As many as 70,000 foreign engineers work in the region, which includes a large gas field. Natanz is Iran’s primary enrichment site, north of Esfahan, which also has nuclear research facilities. Esfahan is a world heritage city with a population of 2 million.

Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor has 82 tons of enriched uranium (U235) now loaded into it, according to Israeli and Chinese news reports. The plant is scheduled to become operational this summer, producing electricity. The Natanz enrichment facility is operating a full capacity, enriching uranium for use in reactors according to IAEA reports.

According to the Center for Disease Control, the uranium 235 used in nuclear reactors has a half life of 700 million years. As nuclear reactor fuel is used, it turns into uranium 238, which has a half life of 4.5 billion years. These radioactive isotopes are dangerous to health because they emit alpha particles and because they are chemically toxic.
When inhaled, they damage lung tissue.
When ingested, they damage kidneys and cause cancer in bones and in liver tissues. According to a recent review of medical research, uranium exposure causes babies to be deformed or born dead.

Never in history has it happened that nuclear power plants and nuclear enrichment facilities have been deliberately bombed. Such facilities, everywhere in the world, operate under severe safety conditions because the release of radioactive materials is deadly, immediately and also long after exposure. If the USA or Israel deliberately bomb a fully fueled nuclear power plant or nuclear fuel enrichment facilities, containment will be breached; radioactive elements will be released into the environment.
There will be horrific deaths for families in the surrounding vicinity.

The Union of Concerned Scientists has estimated 3 million deaths would result in 3 weeks from bombing the nuclear enrichment facilities near Esfahan, and the contamination would cover Afghanistan, Pakistan, all the way to India.

Reactors and enrichment facilities are built of extra strong concrete, often with multiple layers of containment domes, often built underground. Bombing such facilities will require powerful explosives, earth penetrator war heads, maybe nuclear warheads. The explosions will blow the contamination high into the atmosphere. Where will it go is a question that is difficult to predict.

It is insaniy to announce that they successfully bombed a Syrian nuclear reactor, with no ill effects. Israel has also recently released video of its 1981 bombing of the Osiraq nuclear reactor in Iraq. See, it’s easy. Nothing bad happens. But those were both construction sites, not loaded reactors full of tons of enriched uranium.

mags on August 11, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Iran has put their nuclear weapons facilities in populated areas just as hezbulluh hides their missiles in the basements of hospitals in Lebanon. No difference there and if we accept that the siting makes the target off-limits then we are committing suicide.

‘The Union of Concerned Scientists’ has very little credibility with me. This is the group that invented the myth of ‘nuclear winter’.

slickwillie2001 on August 11, 2010 at 4:29 PM

It is painful and depressing to realize that we have an utterly useless, unqualified jackass as President in times like these.

Anyone who voted for this worthless idiot is an ignorant rube and should swear off voting for the next several lifetimes.

NoDonkey on August 11, 2010 at 4:33 PM

I would second slickwillie2001′s disregard for the Union of Concerned Scientists.

sharrukin on August 11, 2010 at 4:39 PM

If the Israelis encroached on US airspace via Iraq and we didn’t do anything to intercept them, then we would be complicit in the attack. Since we would be seen as an instigator no matter what (by those contemptuous to the US), then we should assist in the attack. But a strike is only an interim solution, a brief reprieve to a very precarious situation (and there’s invariably the chance that they could miss the targets entirely).

The ultimate solution to the Iranian problem is regime change. It may no longer be palatable to discuss anymore, but it’s the only way to successfully eliminate this threat permanently. There has never been a more fortuitous time- they already have their own citizens trying to subvert the Ayatollah’s authority. If we had elements from our intelligence agencies and special operation teams assisting that movement, we could have a tremendous resistance movement already acting as a force multiplier for our conventional invasion (analogous to Iraq). A tandem like that would be indomitable, a force to be reckoned with. And with our (re)attained knowledge of COIN, we shouldn’t have another situation like Iraq.

Cr4sh Dummy on August 11, 2010 at 4:59 PM

Israel will not attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. It simply will not happen. The risk to reward calculation is too skewed in the wrong direction. No way! They are not that suicidal.

coldwater on August 11, 2010 at 5:36 PM

Doing nothing about Iran is what is suicidal.

slickwillie2001 on August 11, 2010 at 6:44 PM

Waiting for the Republicans to retake Congress in a landslide first and then be seated.

andycanuck on August 11, 2010 at 6:56 PM

Stan Goodenough, a South African journalist who lives in Jerusalem, wrote this in David Reagan’s magazine The Lamplighter:

“Israel survived the Sinai Campaign of 1956, the Six Day War of 1967, the Yom Kippur War of 1973, the Peace for Galilee (First Lebanon) War of 1982, the First Gulf War of 1991, and the Second Lebanon War of 2006. And between all of these wars, it endured unrelenting Arab terrorism…Israel has survived them all…

“It is He [God] who has brought them back home, and it is He who has promised to keep them in their land even if the whole world musters itself together to get them out (Amos 9:15).”

KyMouse on August 11, 2010 at 7:57 PM

The only worse-case scenario that could exist for Israel, would be having to respond to an actual full-on attack from her enemies while the U.S. is being dismantled by our anti-Israel administration. The idea that Israel cannot defend herself is false. The idea that Israel could not cripple Iran for a generation is false, and depends mainly on how much destruction Israel is willing to inflict. Hoping for a country run by a lunatic who has sworn to destroy yours to relent, is wishing for a dirt nap. An old saying, “When someone tells you who he is, believe him”.

trl on August 11, 2010 at 11:53 PM

Puzo had it right:

Tom Hagen: We ought to hear what they have to say, Sonny.
Sonny: No, no, no, not this time, Consigliere. No more meetin’s, no more discussions, no more Sollozzo tricks. You give them a message: I want Solozzo. If not, it’s all out war – we go to the mattresses.
Tom Hagen: Some of the other families won’t sit still for an all out war.
Sonny: Then you tell them to hand over Sollozzo!

Blacksmith on August 12, 2010 at 12:25 AM

Ezekiel 38 – 39. Get ready.

jdawg on August 11, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Hmmmmm. I’ve heard of that, but never read it before. I come from a Christian perspective that avoids prophecy passages like the plague, because the arguments generally tend to be fruitless (this is why I stay FAR, FAR away from Revelations). That said, this passage seems to suggest Israel in a defensive position rather than making a preemptive attack. Interesting.

I have to admit that I’m thinking it more and more likely that the Israelis will risk waiting for an openly hostile action by Iran. In order to truly neutralize the Iranian threat, they’ll have to use extreme force, the kind that usually results in an upsetting number of civilian casualties. They know they can’t justify such force to fickle “international opinion” unless it’s part of a retaliatory response to an overt, unprovoked, and highly visible attack. While the Israelis hardly expect that any nation will rise to their defense, they need to at least be assured that no country offers military aid to Iran, and a preemptive strike carries too high a risk of creating powerful friends for Israel’s enemies.

Thoughts from those better acquainted with Israel’s military history than I am?

Animator Girl on August 12, 2010 at 12:17 PM

If the Israelis encroached on US airspace via Iraq
Cr4sh Dummy on August 11, 2010 at 4:59 PM

It is actually Iraqi air space,have they the right to shoot down Israeli planes in their airspace?

mags on August 12, 2010 at 3:23 PM