[Marxism] US could bomb Iran nuclear sites in 2007: analysts

Eli Stephens elishastephens at hotmail.com
Thu Nov 23 08:27:49 MST 2006

Personally, I'm highly skeptical, although, as I've written in my blog, I 
believe we have to act as if this is likely, even if it's not.

Anyway, in this regard, this interview with Daniel Ayalon, outgoing Israeli 
Ambassador to the U.S., is highly instructive (as well as on many other 
points), although I think he overrates George Bush as the driving force of 
American foreign policy:


(Kaspit) Since this was the precursor of the real struggle against Iran, 
what do you think about President Bush? Will he allow Iran to go nuclear?

(Ayalon) No. I have been here for nearly five years. I know my way around 
the corridors. I maintain good ties with the President, and I am friends 
with his people. I tell you because I know that first they will try every 
political path possible, then they will try imposing effective sanctions, 
and in the end, if there is no other choice, he will take action.

(Kaspit) What does this mean?

(Ayalon) Look, the Iranians tried to feel things out and conduct 
negotiations seeking a promise they would not be attacked. The President 
strongly refused. He always says that all the options are open. I believe 
that the Iranian nuclear race could be stopped with political means. I also 
believe that if this will not work, he will take tougher measures and even 
impose a naval blockade like the one they imposed on Cuba.

(Kaspit) What if this does not work?

(Ayalon) Then he will take action. I believe in that. Bush is a determined 
man who believes in his path. He must not be underestimated.

(Kaspit) Iran, however, is not Cuba. It is a superpower that produces 
ballistic missiles, weapons, fighter planes, and oil, and has millions of 

(Ayalon) As far as I know, Washington estimates that the Iranian Army is not 
particularly strong. Perhaps even the opposite. This is why they are trying 
to manufacture this bravado, with marches and parades. They are doing that 
to cover up basic insecurities. It is an attempt to create deterrence. Iran 
is not some mighty power that cannot be challenged.

(Kaspit) Yes, but their army is big, trained, and highly motivated. They are 
nobody's fools.

(Ayalon) True, but they are unable to stand up to Western technology on any 
scale. We must not consider a potential confrontation with Iran looking 
through the prism of the situation in Iraq. It will be something completely 
different. They will not send a garrison or large ground forces there. It 
will be an aerial operation with limited ground moves.

(Kaspit) I must repeat my question. Do you really believe that this weary 
and unpopular President -- who is up to his knees in blood in Iraq, with 
horrible popularity ratings, who has just lost the Congress -- could opt for 
such an adventure?

(Ayalon) Yes, I do. You have to know this man. I was privileged and I 
consider him a personal friend. People who know him know he is very 
determined. He is certain of the moral supremacy of democracies over 
dictatorships. He is a man of vision with a broad worldview who does not 
fear public images. He was not depressed even when he was down. He once told 
me that if you keep dealing with hardships, if you stay on your path, people 
will eventually follow you.

(Kaspit) Were you convinced in private talks with him that he would not let 
Iran become a nuclear power?

(Ayalon) Yes. He never thinks about public opinion polls. This is the 
fascinating thing about the presidential system. He thinks in historic 
terms. He thinks of the right thing, not the popular thing to do. The way he 
sees it, ayatollahs with nuclear bombs is an intolerable combination that 
threatens the existing world order, which is why he will not let this happen 
on his shift. This is why, to conclude my estimate, I believe that sanctions 
and political pressure have a 50% chance to succeed. If not, he will act; by 
force, if necessary. He means what he says. After all, he is the president 
of the United States, is he not?

Full interview:

Eli Stephens
  Left I on the News

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