After You. No, After You.

Israeli historian Benny Morris has an op-ed in the New York Times today that declares flatly:

ISRAEL will almost surely attack Iran’s nuclear sites in the next four to seven months — and the leaders in Washington and even Tehran should hope that the attack will be successful enough to cause at least a significant delay in the Iranian production schedule, if not complete destruction, of that country’s nuclear program. Because if the attack fails, the Middle East will almost certainly face a nuclear war — either through a subsequent pre-emptive Israeli nuclear strike or a nuclear exchange shortly after Iran gets the bomb.

Taken in the context of Dr. Morris’s past positions I think it’s reasonable to suspect that he’s predicting rather than advocating the strike.

I continue to think such a strike is extremely unlikely and my views are more in line with those of Blake Hounshell:

What’s going on? I have a guess: Israel is playing bad cop to America’s good cop. The Times story provides one clue: “[T]he Israelis have also been told that they can expect no help from American forces and will not be able to use U.S. military bases in Iraq for logistical support.” It’s hard to imagine the Israelis could or would pull off a strike without U.S. help, so this is probably disinformation intended to send the message that Israel could act alone (which is doubtful for geographic, technical, and diplomatic reasons).

I think that Israel and the U. S. are much in the position of Frederick Burr Opper’s comic strip characters Alphonse and Gaston pictured at left.

Neither Israel nor the United States wants Iran to have nuclear weapons but neither country wants to be the first through that door to stop the Iranians from having them. For good or ill I suspect it’ll stay that way until we have significantly more definite information than we do now.

3 comments… add one
  • Well, we’ll see Dave.
    I think the Isaraelis are likely to do it when they feel their backs are at the wall, and without notifying the US. And as I’ve pointed out previously, they don’t need US bases to do it, although that would make the job a lot more complete and easy.

    Olmert will be gone in a couple of months (November the latest) and the new Israeli leadership is not likely to be all that feckless – in fact, the Bush Administration has left them no other options and is basically telling them they’re expendable…even to the point of arming their enemies, while they were celebrating along with Hezbollah.

    In the end, what this latest round of ‘diplomacy’ will do is simply buy Iran more time. I could be wrong, but I have a feeling the Israelis are not going to co-operate in their own extinction.

    All Best,

  • I think the Isaraelis are likely to do it when they feel their backs are at the wall

    I wouldn’t disagree with that. But I think they’re very unlikely to do it if their backs might be at the wall. Which is where things stand now.

  • Timespanr Link

    I would suggest to you, the the second largest holder (US) and the forth largest holder (Israel) operate like dunken soldiers in a china shop. No sense of direction, complete lack of understand of what they are doing, but when it comest to their answers: it awaays hinges on there security?
    Now lets look at Iran, a contry that by Historical evidence only exceed it boards when attack from out side. Said another way, there is no Historical evidence to back unfound illogic of an impending attack by Iran. Now, on the other hand, let us look at the perpatrators of this propsed Terrorist Attack on Iran. Both the Uinted States and Israel have a preoven Historry of operating outside their boards, kidnaping people they donot like, attacking other countries at will with no basis (often indirect violation of the US – a laughable World Body one this is about as useful as the Arab Leage) The needles and endless appitite to Kill anyone that does not agree with you in not only senseless, it is insane, lok at the paranoia demostrated by Israel over the development of a Nuclear Energy Program by Iran? Why such Paranoia? Because of their own experience: (1) Nuclear Program developement 1950 – 1954. (2) First Atoimic Bomb 1955, First Nuc Test with South Africa, (3) during the next 20 years (1956-1986 they (Israel) produced 200 Nuclear Weapons (evidence is all over the board). Doing a simiple standard escalation, one would assume 20years=200, 40years=400 Nuclear Weapons as of 2006. Now let us look to the realities if actual losses thru 30 serve expiration, and increase due to improvements in technology, manufacturing and we donot want to forget all the Nuclear Materials supplied so generiously by France, England, South Africa (to include 7 full assembled Atomic Bombs), and the US. Also not to be overlooked is all of the Nuclear Materials pruchsed off the black market in Russia (Mafia) at a price + 24 Israelie pssports + clearance thru Poland, Germany & Holland to the Massad office at the airport. Once in the hands of Massad, it was less than 24 hours to Israel.
    So now, based on this information, we revise the figure 400 foward, less losses and plus benifits of time and we see a figure of between 550-650 plus + Nuclear Weapons in the hand of the Israelies.
    What in the hey are you complaining about some creating a Nuclear Program, with no hard evidence of a Nuclear Weapon. And so is there was, right now their (Israel) is murdering wemon and children at a ration of 65 to 1 Arab Palestinian, so you want it to be 650 to 1 Iranians?
    It is a sad life to spend it living amoung ignorant people (no addressed to the general public – but to the leader ship) of the US, Israel and the World.
    Now, to the next subject White Phosphurious (WP) (aka Willie Peter) bomb and other related munitions. WP Smoke as it is often erroniously called was design ed by mad men to Kill everything that it touches or comes close to. It Kills by: (1) blast and frag, (2) by a Chemical burn (often not treatable)( a substance that sticks-attaches to the human body, (3) thru breathing it destroys the lungs. This is a Terrorist (US, Terrorist Zionist-Bulshvik weapons system, order by the Israelies and used against the Genva Convention (Laughable Document) agaist Palestine with the permission of the Master Terrorist of the World G.W. Bush.

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