[Marxism] Is Israel Really Preparing to Attack Iran?

Dbachmozart at aol.com Dbachmozart at aol.com
Fri Jun 20 18:52:15 MDT 2008


Huffington  Post -- June 20, 2008

Is Israel really preparing to attack Iran? The New York  Times today 
_describes_ (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/20/washington/20iran.html)  a  June 
Israeli military exercise U.S. officials say "appeared to be a rehearsal  for a 
potential bombing attack on Iran's nuclear facilities." A "senior Pentagon  
official" said a goal of the exercise "was to send a clear message to the United  
States" and Europe that Israel was prepared to act militarily if U.S. pressure  
to stop Iran from enriching uranium continued to fail. 
If so, retired Air Force Colonel _Sam Gardiner_ 
(http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Sam_Gardiner)   didn't get the message. "The signal I received 
is that Israel does NOT have the  capability to effectively attack Iran's 
nuclear facilities," Col. Gardiner  says.

Gardiner says a _2006  MIT paper_ 
(http://www.henryfarrell.net/polsci/2007/06/raas_and_long_on_whether_israe.html)  by Whitney Raas and Austin Long, 
"Osirak Redux? Assessing Israeli  Capabilities to Destroy Iranian Nuclear 
Facilities," is a good representation of  how Israeli military planners think about 
targeting. 

According to Raas  and Long, in a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities Israel 
would be interested in  three targets - the enrichment facility at Natanz, the 
conversion facility at  Esfahan and the heavy water plant at Arak. They say 
Israel would want to attack  these three facilities with a combined total of 36 
aircraft.

"Getting 36  bombing aircraft into the targets connects well with the New 
York Times  description of the early June exercise of 100 aircraft," Gardiner 
says. "Three  strike packages of F-15I and F-16I aircraft, escorted by F-15A/C's 
with other  supporting aircraft would be around 100 aircraft."

"An Israeli strike  would not be much of a strike," Gardiner says. Israel 
would hit approximately  100 aim points, single weapons on a single part of the 
target. "I would call the  Israeli strike 'disruptive' rather than 
'destructive,'" he says. It has taken  three to five years to build the three facilities. 
"You would have to destroy  most of the facilities to come close to setting 
back the program three to five  years."

The US probably thinks in terms of about 10 times more aim points  for a 
similar strike, Gardiner notes.

"President Bush likes beehive  analogies," Gardiner points out. " An 
Israel-only strike would stir up the bees  and leave the hives with only limited 
damage." 
If Gardiner's analysis is correct, then Michael Gordon's New York  Times 
article is deceptive, perhaps deliberately so. It's part of a  campaign of 
pressure on Congress and European governments - likely orchestrated  with the Cheney 
faction of the Bush Administration - to forego real negotiations  with Iran, 
and to push towards U.S. military escalation. If we don't act, the  Israelis 
will, the argument will be - neglecting the fact that no Israeli action  is 
possible without a green light from  Washington.




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