Iran: Will Israel do it?
by Chet Nagle, author of Iran Covenant

Middle East turmoil is growing. Against the backdrop of the so-called Arab Spring that is bringing Islamic fundamentalists to power in Egypt, there is a civil war in Syria and bombs in Afghanistan. But the worst failure of President Obama’s foreign policy is the attempt to stop Iran’s race to build nuclear weapons — because that failure directly threatens the safety of the American homeland. Let us look at some pertinent facts.

  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) now has “serious concerns” that Iran is building nuclear warheads. Their report of 8 Nov 2011 is long and complex, but contains startling information that does not seem to have startled the White House. It says it has information from 10 UN member states that Iran is:
  • building new advanced underground enrichment facilities and a reactor to produce plutonium, all against UN rules to which it has agreed.
  • not cooperating with inspections and is untruthful when questioned.
  • developing a nuclear warhead for the Shahab missile.
  • simulating detonation of nuclear weapons with non-fissile materials.
  • preparing devices to enable an underground nuclear test.

For its part, Iran says it does not understand the IAEA questions and the reports about nuclear weapon development are lies.

Renowned American expert Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) agrees with the IAEA and adds that is may be too late to stop Iran’s race to a bomb, even if the enrichment plants are bombed.

  • The meeting just concluded in Baghdad between Iran and the 5+1 (five permanent members of the security council, plus Germany) was a failure. Iran refused to stop enrichment or agree to inspections, and demanded that sanctions be lifted before those things can be discussed.
  • Iran threatened the US and the West. Three days after the failed Baghdad meetings, Iranian Gen. Hossein Salami said all “enemy” bases in the region are vulnerable to Iranian attack. “Wherever you imagine these bases are, they are within the reach of Iranian missiles,” and half of Iran’s missile capability is still unknown to the West.
  • Last month Iranian Admiral Ali Fadavi said, “… we have a presence in all the waters of the world and, if needed, we can move to within 3 miles of New York.” The IRGC has already practiced launching ballistic missiles from naval vessels.
  • The next talks with Iran this month in Moscow will fail, too.After the Baghdad meeting the Iranian regime’s newpaper, Keyhan, said “It can be assumed the upcoming negotiations to be held in Moscow will also not result in much and our presence will only secure the need of the enemy, therefore, it’s best that Iran does not participate in any future negotiation, be it in Moscow or elsewhere.” During the meetings themselves, Dr. Saeed Jalili, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, said in reference to the Iran-Iraq War, “…we did not surrender to the West and East’s illogical demands then. And so do not expect us to surrender now to the current illogical demands.”

The next talks will fail, unless the White House gives Iran what it wants: an end to sanctions, and no IAEA interference in its nuclear programs. Obama said that the military option is still on the table. Will it stay on the table? Will Israel strike Iran? Will we support Israel?

It seems that the White House has no burning desire to safeguard the Middle East and American interests with force. It has not even reacted to the news that Iran now has elite troops in Syria. Ismail Gha’ani, the deputy head of Iran’s Quds force, the external arm of the Revolutionary Guards, said, “If the Islamic republic was not present in Syria, the massacre of people would have happened in a much larger scale.” Why does the White House allow Iran to send troops to Syria to kill Syrians who oppose Assad’s rule?

As for Iran itself, the White House has election worries, and military action risks losing votes of peace-at-all-costs liberals if we strike Iran before November. Does Israel have such fears?

In May 1967, Egypt threw UN peacekeepers out of Sinai, put 120,000 troops on Israel’s border, blockaded the Straits of Tiran (Israel’s southern outlet to the oceans), and signed a pact with Jordan and Syria, vowing to destroy Israel. The Israelis then buried their domestic political squabbles, and the sitting government brought the Menachem Begin opposition into the government to be sure there was full participation of all Israelis in a united front. The rest is history. Four days later Israel made preemptive strikes and fought a war on three battlefields, winning the famous Six Day War.

Little noticed in the press, and not mentioned by the White House, on May 7th and 8th, Prime Minister Netanyahu brought Kadima, the main opposition party, into his government. He could have waited until the September elections and won four more years in power. But  he did not wait. Instead he recognized Israel faces the greatest threat to her existence — nuclear weapons in the  hands of the mullahs that promise to wipe Israel off the map. September is too long too wait. So Netanyahu is now the most powerful Israeli leader in thirty years, with an amazing 94 Knesset seats, out of 120. A 78% majority! It appears Secretary of Defense Panetta was right to estimate Israel would strike Iran this summer — this month or next.

Can they do it? Sure. Will Israel suffer? Sure — and Netanyahu now knows all Israelis are prepared and willing to suffer. They will again fight and suffer together, as a nation.

Will we suffer? Sure. It is doubtful that Iran would dare attack US military bases or ships, since that would invite a devastating response. Instead, they will use Hezbollah sleeper agents to attack us with explosives, chemicals, and biological weapons. We know they are here amongst us — they came across the undefended southern border the White House refuses to close.

Would Iran dare to order their proxy agents to attack us? The Washington Post reported just last Sunday that US diplomats are among the targets in an Iranian assassination plot that has been brewing for 13 months. Iran is planning to kill foreign diplomats in at least seven nations.

So what should we do? The White House should stop telling Israel to wait. They will not wait for whatever Obama says. Instead, the White House should alert Americans to the threat to our homeland and encourage all citizens to be alert, and to be prepared to help one another in an emergency. The White House should then join Israel in a military strike to remove nuclear weapons from the hands of the Iranian mullahs.

Failing that, the White House should just get out of Israel’s way, and let them get on with defending us.

Naval Academy graduate and Cold War carrier pilot, Chet Nagle flew in the Cuban Missile Crisis. After a stint as a navy research officer, he joined International Security Affairs as a Pentagon civilian — then came defense and intelligence work, life abroad for 12 years as an agent for the CIA, and extensive time in Iran, Oman, and many other countries. Along the way, he graduated from the Georgetown University Law School and was the founding publisher of a geo-political magazine, The Journal of Defense & Diplomacy, read in over 20 countries and with a circulation of 26,000. At the end of his work in the Middle East, he was awarded the Order of Oman in that allied nation’s victory over communist Yemen; now, he writes and consults.

1 COMMENT

  1. We don’t know what has and hasn’t startled the White House, since a great deal of any administration’s foreign policy is necessarily conducted behind the scenes without the accompaniment of press conferences. Nor is there any explanation here as to how Obama could be responsible for the disturbing turn the Arab Spring has taken, much less the civil war in Syria, or for what amounts to a continued civil war in Afghanistan.

    We don’t have any good options in regards to Syria or in Iran. Our experience in Iraq ought to be a lesson to us about sending troops to Syria, besides which there would be numerous civilian casualties if we did, and there are no good candidates inside Syria to supply arms to. Sadly, Assad stays in power and stays on the rampage because many Syrians support him. As for bombing Iran, a March poll showed only 31% of Israelis supported a unilateral Israeli strike while 63% opposed it. Another polled showed only 19% favoring it, and only 42% for a joint strike with the U.S. These numbers show – and any student of Israel knows – that it is simply not true that “all Israelis are prepared and willing to suffer” the results of bombing Iran.

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