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Crunch Time in Iran

"Wait for what? Wait until when?"  Israeili Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

This quotation, coupled with the evacuation of the Canadian embassy in Tehran,  is a sign that the Israeli government has decided to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities  soon, probably in October.   Since these installations are well-defended,  Israel will have to first eliminate Iran's  air-defense system.  Since Hezbollah is aligned with  Iran and will retaliate against Israel  for any attack on the Islamic Republic,  Israel will also have to destroy Hezbollah rocket sites in southern Lebanon at the same time.

Can Israel achieve these objectives?   Only someone with access to Israel's  military secrets can even  begin to answer this  question.  But Netanyahu has this information,  and he would not take action unless  prospects of success were favorable.  

How will Iran respond?   Iran has missiles capable of reaching Israel, armed with conventional warheads. I have no doubt that Israeli military planners intend to "take-out"  Iranian command-and-control systems as part of a first strike, but  if any missiles are not destroyed, they will be launched against Israel.  However, Israel has the Iron Dome missile-defense system, provided by the US  at the order of President Obama.  I pray that it is 100% effective.

What will the United States do?  President Barack Obama is vehemently opposed to an Israeli attack on Iran, but he  cannot prevent it.  He spoke with Netanyahu Tuesday night for about an hour, apparently without agreement.  The PM offered to meet the President  in late September when he visits the UN in New York, but it seems that Obama  will not alter his campaign schedule to do so, but they may meet later in DC.  From his latest statements on the subject, Netanyahu seems more concerned about a "red light" from the US  than he is about Iranian air-defenses.   

Older readers will recall that President Lyndon Johnson tried to dissuade Israel from  launching  the Six Day War  in  1967; when Israel  went ahead anyway, the US did nothing.  Nasser blamed the US anyway, and our UN Ambassador Arthur Goldberg defended Israel's actions.  This will be the template for  American response to an Israeli attack on Iran: do nothing, deny involvement  and later defend the action.

How will the war affect  the United States?  World oil and gasoline  prices will skyrocket  as soon as war begins.  The effects will be devastating on  both the US and Europe.   If the US stands by Israel, as predicted above,  US forces and diplomatic missions will be at great risk throughout the  Middle East and in  many other Muslim countries:   Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are all friends of Iran, and they can be expected to expel all  American soldiers, contractors and diplomats.  Anti-American fervor, which exploded this week over a crappy amateur film about Muhammad, will be devastating.

How would a war before November 6 affect the US election?  Netanyahu wants Romney to win, but  I suspect that Israeli intelligence services have told him that  Obama  will probably be re-elected.   If he were confident of a Romney victory, he might hold off on attacking  Iran until after  the new president takes office on January 20, but Iranian defenses might be too strong by that time.  If Netanyahu expects Obama to win,  he would  be smarter to start the war before the election, since Obama would not dare to repudiate Israel at that time, when the  crucial Jewish vote could throw the  election to the Republicans.  A big spike in oil prices would be bad for Obama, since that would hurt  virtually all Americans.   But if the President can retain the Jewish vote by backing Israel,  he could survive the oil shock.  In that case  it would look bad for Romney to try to exploit  the crisis, since most Americans sympathize with Israel.  

An Israeli strike on Iran before the election would put President Obama on the horns of a  vicious dilemma:  back Israel and antagonize the Arab and Muslim world, or  denounce Israel and lose the  presidency.  My guess is that he will stand with Israel and win a second term.

Gerald S Glazer 

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Talkbacks

solitarius | Sept. 13, 2012 at 11:30 a.m. (report)

Mr Glazer seems to think he can read minds and predict the future, but one thing is certain that he knows NOTHING about the Iron Dome.

The Iron Dome is NOT a missile defense system, it is a short rocket and morter defense system that can only block the short range rockets sent into Israel by Hezbullah and Hamas.

Iron Dome was not "provided by the US at the order of President Obama". Iron Dome was developed and built by Israel with the assistance of the USA and this arrangement was made by Bush not Obama. To his credit Obama followed through with this program and contributed 270 million but this program was initiated by Bush and the funds were committed by Bush.

Bush had also worked with the Israelis to develop missile systems that could indeed block missiles from Iran and these were both medium and long range missile systems. However, Obama has done NOTHING to follow through with these systems that Bush develped with Israel. In fact Obama has atempted to cut back on financial assitance of these programs but the Congress overrode his veto of them.

The Iron Dome will not and cannot stop missiles from Iran, and Bush not Obama had developed this program with Israel.

It also should be known that while Obama followed through with only 270 million for the Iron Dome, which cannot block missiles from Iran, he sold 100 billion in major heavy offensive weaponry to Israel's enemiese including the Muslim Broherhood leaders of Egypt. At the same time Obama has refused to sell Israel any offensive weaponry except for the F35 whose productioin has been delayed. Obama has also given 1.5billion in cash to the Muslim Brotherhood leaders of Egypt. The USA has listed the Muslim Brotherhood as a terorrist organization for decades.

Proof of the USA assiatnce to Israel and how almost all of it was developed by Bush not Obama can be found in the link below which is a Congressional Research Report published in 2012. This document is not left wing or right wing, not Democratic or Republican, it is produced by the goverment and it simply presents the facts. I hope Mr Glazer reads it and gets his facts straight.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf

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