Israeli military is preparing itself to launch a massive aerial assault on Iran

[According to The Times](Israeli military is preparing itself to launch a massive aerial assault) Israel is on the cusp of launching an attack on Iran. Is this wise? Is this necessary? Can Iran repel the attack?

Hasn’t Israel been on about twenty cusps for the last 60 years?

Which Times? You mean this?

All it says is that they have plans drawn up should the need arise. Every nation with a serious military has all sorts of contingency plans ready and drill for all kinds of things so they’re ready just in case.

No this…
Israel stands ready to bomb Iran’s nuclear sites

Go Israel!

This is nowhere to be found on CNN’s webpage. You’d think they would say something, given the potential implications of such an act on the world stage.

Another quote from the same article:

FWIW, Peres explicitly denies any imminent plans.

That said Israel is prepared for the possible need to attack if talks fail. Delaying them a few years may end up being Israel’s least poor option in that case. But they will give engagement a chance first.

From the same paper, same day: “Arrival of Obama makes Israeli airstrike on Iran less likely

American Idol is way more important.

Well it isn’t really news until something happens. Israel has had a plan to attack Iran for years now. I hear about these things because I pay attention, but people consistently want the MSM to predict future events based on conjecture. Then they point to the conjecture post hoc to say, “See we should’ve seen it coming.”

This is the silly (or scary) season in US/Israeli relations, because both have new governments, and they’re, more or less publicly, staking out territory in advance of the first meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

There are two issues that are getting the most attention right now, it seems. The first is Israeli/Palestinian negotiations. The Obama administration stands by the agreements made by the last two US administrations (Clinton and Bush 43) and every Israeli government in that time except Netanyahu’s previous one, 2002-2003–that the solution is a sovereign Israeli state and a sovereign Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace. The last place this was publicly and significantly stated by the US, Israel, and the Palestinians was the Wye River meetings in the winter of 2007. Upon taking office late last month, the first public statement by Netanyahu’s foreign minister, Avigdor Leiberman was that the Israel was not abiding by this “two state solution” and that Israel was not committed to any agreements made at Wye River. In fact, he said that the “peace process” was at a “dead end” and had to be replaced with new ideas. Within hours the US, without making reference to Lieberman, found a way to reassert publicly that the US was committed to the two state solution. Yesterday (Thursday) US Ambassador Mitchell met with Prime Minister Netanyahu and they danced around the differences, according to the press. Google Ha’aretz or the Jerusalem Post, the two English language Israeli papers and get detailed coverage.

The second issue is Iran. Israel is concerned about Obama’s willingness to engage with Iran, and the more conservative the Israeli, the more worried. Netanyahu’s government is the most conservative Israeli government in years. So they’ve been stalking each other, publicly and privately, trying to commit each other to things that they’re not publicly committed to. For instance, the day before he was sworn in as PM Netanyahu did an interview with The Atlantic Monthly, in which he said, “The Obama presidency has two great missions: fixing the economy, and preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons.” Netanyahu to Obama: Stop Iran—Or I Will - The Atlantic . Interesting having the PM of one country asserting what the priorities of another country are, isn’t it.

It’s been serially reported that Israel approached the Bush 43 Adminstration for permission to attack Iranian sites in 2008. So it’s not surprising that these statements are coming out of Israel again. It’s part of the silly season.

Obama and Netanyahu are apparently looking at a meeting in June, so we’ll see more of this over the next months. Take things seriously, but don’t go off the deep end immediately. The Obama/Netanyahu relationship looks like it will be difficult even in the best of times, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re already headed to perdition. Let’s see what happens substantively first.

Can they attack North Korean nuclear sites while they’re at it?

Well, it would appear Iran is still short some uranium trandsducers, whatever those are.

So if they can’t build a bomb without these, Israel would be jumping the gun.

Then again, this might be more evidence that Iran is trying to build a bomb instead of anything else they’ve said they’re doing.

I don’t envy the military planners of Israel. Strike too soon and your country is an international pariah yet again, an aggressor against a peaceful nation that is just trying to reduce its carbon footprint (insert rolleyes here).

Wait too long and possibly wake up to a crater where Tel Aviv used to be.

No, I don’t envy them at all.

This being Israel, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Well I think a military strike would be extremely foolish and I doubt it would even have that much of an effect on whatever nuclear program the Iranians have. You can perhaps destroy a reactor but that would just drive the program underground into lots of centrifuges in different locations which are almost impossible to bomb. Furthermore Iran would likely use the attack as a pretext to leave the NPT and drive out inspectors leaving the world with much less information about what they are doing.

Right now they are just enriching uranium and there isn’t much evidence they are actually making the bomb. After an attack, my guess is the Iranians will make a huge and explicit push for actual nuclear weapons and will succeed well within a decade. It will probably radicalize the regime and increase its popular support.

A strike would have also have huge ramifications for the world economy. If the Iranians launch some kind of retaliation against US assets in Iraq it could easily flare up into a war which would drive the oil price back up and create serious inflationary pressure. This would dramatically complicate the task of monetary policy in particular.

If in fact the Israelis are serious about a strike, and I am quite skeptical, Obama needs to use every lever of US power to prevent it. If he is weak on this score, it will likely destroy his presidency.

Why would any nation even want to develop a nuclear launch facility, when it would likely be far cheaper and more effective to finance the building of mini-nukes in target countries, ready to be exploded at a moments notice?

The problem with stories like this is there are always plans. I have heard that the US has plans to invade Canada. Now that plan would almost never be put into force, but it just makes sense to have a plan ready just in case.

So often people will run across items like this and assume it’s immient when it’s not likely ever to be implimented.

Israel is hyper-dependent on the goodwill of the United States. There is a 99.9% chance that Israel will not do something without the approval of the US. Of course there is a slim chance it will

And there is so much covert opertions going on who knows. We know now that Israel was actively communicating with Jordan during the 1973 war and should’ve been better prepared.

People often don’t understand Israel survives not soley because of the USA but because of the Arabs themeselves. People think all Arabs are alike and like each other. This isn’t true. And certainly all Muslims are not alike.

Syria doesn’t like Israel, Saudi Arabia doens’t like Israel, Iran doesn’t like Israel, so people assume Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran like each other. Not really the case.

So Isreal performs a function. If Saudi Arabia can keep Isreal alive it keeps Iran off their backs. So it’s in the intersts of the Saudis to hate Isreal but not so much that it destroys Israel.

Saudi Arabia isn’t any more happy than Israel if Iran has nukes, so I would bet that the Suadis and Israels have some secret talks going on somewhere. (Even if it’s through third or forth parties).

So when you read things like this, try to remember all the side issues that come with it.

Do you really think international attitudes toward Israel will change much based on what they do? It’s like trench warfare during World War I; both sides have staked out their positions and dug in.

I think Israel gets the shitty end of the stick no matter what they do. But they attract a lot less criticism when they’re not waging war on a neighbor, whether they’re justified in doing so or not.

Beyond reputation (which isn’t that stellar anyhow) I don’t know what Israel has at stake if they decide to give Iran a pounding. But flexing their muscles at the wrong time would be a huge PR disaster for Israel especially if they can’t say something along the lines of “Achmed, our deep-cover spy at Natanz, confirmed for us that the Iranians were definitely working on nuclear weapons and not nuclear power.” I know the Israelis don’t really give a shit what anyone thinks of them and will defend their country by any means they think is necessary but at the same time, acting in haste has its own distinct disadvantages such as knowing that you’re right but not being able to prove it in any meaningful way. But if push comes to shove I fully believe Israel will act first and offer justifications later.