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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Who will take on Iran?

At Right Wing Nuthouse, Rick Moran presents evidence that a US attack against Iran is imminent, but then finishes off by saying that given the current mood in Congress, President Bush would be writing his own articles of impeachment if he attacked without congressional approval. While we're getting far enough into Bush's second term that it seems less likely that there would be time to impeach President Bush, Rick neglects another interpretation of all the US troop movements he cites: could the US be preparing to provide logistical cover for an Israeli strike? Let's consider the pros and the cons:

Pros (for an Israeli attack):

1. Ehud K. Olmert is desperately in need of a distraction from his domestic troubles.

2. It is widely accepted in Israel that if no one else takes care of Iran before it goes nuclear, we will have to.

3. If the US plays along and allows Israel to overfly Iraq on the way, the mission becomes much easier to accomplish. It would still require a flight over Jordan on the way there, but if the US can open bases in Turkey and Bulgaria, an Israeli escape from Iran becomes much easier. But that's still much simpler than going around the Persian Gulf as has been discussed in the past.

Cons (against an Israeli attack):

1. If the IDF does not take out all the nukes, the Iranian response could be nuclear. It would also almost certainly precipitate a war with Hezbullah and Syria on our northern border (a war I have already predicted for later this spring).

2. IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi warned this week that the IDF will not be ready to handle another war for months. (But could he be bluffing?).

3. The mission to take out the Iranian nukes is still a long and risky flight, and if the IDF tries and God forbid fails we will still draw retaliation.

Which will it be? As Rick sums up:
Wild speculation to be sure. As is this entire article. But when enough people are whispering that something is about to happen, you can either ignore it as gossip or take it as a sign that things are going on behind the scenes that we, the public, may not be privy to.
And that is the one thing about which we can be sure here: We don't know everything that is going on.


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