Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Israel prepares for war (sans US support)

President Obama will not meet with Israeli PM Netanyahu when he visits the United States later this month for the U.N. General Assembly in New York. The White House said that the president was in the middle of an election campaign. Even when PM Netanyahu was willing to travel to Washington to meet Obama, the White House said it would not be possible. 

Tensions between Jerusalem and Washington soared earlier Tuesday when Netanyahu responded to Sec. Clinton’s statement that no “red lines” should be drawn in regard to Iran. Netanyahu said those who did not place "red lines" in front of Iran had no moral right to put a "red light" in front of Israel in regard to military action.

By September 22 or 23, Iran will have accumulated enough enriched uranium to have 87% needed for a single nuclear bomb and within a short jump to 4-5 nuclear bombs. That will reach the target Iran’s ayatollahs set themselves 20 years ago for a nuclear arsenal with second-strike capacity. Notwithstanding, the US and EU continue to claim there is no proof that Iran is even enriching uranium to weapons grade, much less building a bomb. Tehran has not wasted one moment while the world negotiates.

In late August, PM Binyamin Netanyahu convened the diplomatic-security cabinet to approve plans drawn up with Defense Minister Ehud Barak on military action against Iran. This inner cabinet is competent to decide on such issues on behalf of the full government. Then, Tuesday, Sept. 4, a full-dress cabinet held an extraordinary closed-door session to hear and discuss updated briefings from the heads of all Israel’s intelligence arms – Military Intelligence, the Mossad, the Shin Bet and the Foreign Ministry’s Research Department. The Cabinet realized that they were in an historic moment, one of the most pivotal in Israel’s 64 years of history.

Meanwhile, Obama has refused to talk with Netanyahu. Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Aug. 30, “I don’t want to be complicit if they (Israel) choose to do it," i.e., attack Iran. On Aug 31, TIME mag disclosed the Pentagon’s decision to downsize US participation in joint military exercises with Israel in October – from 5,0000 to 1,200 US troops, Patriot missile batteries without crews, and no warships with Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense systems – a White House message that Washington was withdrawing its military support for Israel in a Middle East war – even if the country came under missile attack. The President’s refusal to meet with Netanyahu signals that Israel is set for attack and the US will not support them.

Israeli and American airlines began preparing last week for the abrupt closure of Israel’s Ben-Gurion international airport near Tel Aviv to civilian air traffic. They assumed this would happen the moment Israel launched an attack on Iran. Israeli forces (IDF) are now on full war alert, and the emergency call-up of reservists has changed to "on"- though not yet to "active." Meanwhile, Iran appears to be goading Israel into an attack with threatening statements.

Since then, military planners predict the attack will go forward in two phases: First, Israel will target a small number of very important Iranian nuclear sites; then pause for two essential assessments: One would be to see how much damage they had inflicted and how Iran, Hizballah, and Hamas respond before deciding what to hit next. In its second strike, Israel may employ its new secret weapon system. Analysts predict any exchange will unfold into a protracted Middle East war which could linger for weeks or months. 

Source: Jerusalem Post, Yedidim of Israel