All necessary preparations for war seem to be well underway. In recent months the Israeli’s have held a very public dress rehearsal demonstrating a capability to hit Iran with a large scale air attack. Now the Jerusalem Post has a story about Israeli jets practicing over Iraq and landing at American Bases in that country. This raises the specter that Israel may strike from Iraq from those same American Bases and that would tend to put a new, pro Israeli spin on the logistics of such an attack.
The Jerusalem Post was very careful to note that they couldn’t confirm these reports coming from an unnamed source in the Iraqi Defense Ministry. Of course the same reports are coming from Iranian Media who are also reporting the story. If true, it vastly decreases the likelihood that a massive Israeli air attack would be detected in time to give Iran some semblance of warning. Attacking from Iraq the Israeli Air Force can start hitting the Iranian nuclear facilities with little or no warning resulting in an element of tactical surprise that may prove invaluable.
Doubtless it’s just a coincidence that Israeli, Defense Minister Ehud Barak will be in Washington on Monday for high level talks within the American government. Given the world preoccupation with the price of oil these days one would expect the Israeli government to coordinate with the US on any move that could threaten oil supplies. I would think that since an attack seems inevitable it would be in American interests to make sure the Israeli attack was successful and that we were ready to jump in if the situation seems to call for it.
Given the determination of President George W. Bush to do some of the heavy lifting for the next president, and the probability that Barak Obama may win the election in the fall the window for both Bush and Israel to deal with Iran seems to be closing. After all that Bush has been through I can’t see him leaving a naive President Obama to deal with a nuclear Iran. Given the Presidents record to date, that would be highly out of character if not unthinkable. As for the public relations aspects I don’t think President Bush is concerned with that at all. Given his standing in the polls from the relentless seven year propaganda attack by the democrat party he really can’t sink any lower so he has nothing to lose. If Bush believes that we need to deal with Iran before he leaves office I suspect he will see it properly begun before leaving office.
IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, will be showing up in Washington about a week after Defense Minister Barak departs and this will be for meetings with high ranking members of the American Military. Doubtless this is just a coincidence too. Perhaps Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullens’ just wants to get General Ashkenazi to buy some Girl Scout cookies to send his kids to camp. Who knows what they might be talking about?
Mossad Chief Meir Dagan has already been to Washington to brief our top intelligence people. Everyone says these are merely routine conversation in extraordinary times but that may not be the whole truth. Dagan recently received a one year extension as Chief of Mossad, he was the one who did the intelligence on the Syrian nuclear facility strike as you may recall. The extension of his term is also probably just a coincidence. Given the near certainty that an attack on Iran will bring Hamas and Hizbullah into play to say nothing of Lebanon and Syria this might be a bad time to switch Mossad Chiefs if you knew an attack was imminent. It might be time for a reckoning with these Iranian backed terror groups as well if Israel were determined to deal with the Iranian threat in its entirety.
In past days the press has seemed to dismiss the dress rehearsal of the Israeli Air Force and the Missile tests by Iran as Political Theatre. While I might be inclined to agree that Iran’s test of missiles was pure theatre I would suggest that the preparations now being undertaken by Israel is the real deal. Israel is preparing for war with Iran sooner rather than later and what role the United States may play in such an attack will be a fascinating question to ponder from now to the election. The handwriting is on the wall for Iran but the question is: Is it written in Hebrew, English, or both?