Israeli strike on Iran less likely with Obama as president

There is probably a sizable segment of the new Israeli government that wants to go after Iran's nuclear enrichment program regardless of how hard it is or what it would cost as far as US-Israeli relations not to mention Israel's already low standing in the rest of the world.

But the fact that we elected Barack Obama president means that it is extremely unlikely Israel will bomb Iran nuke sites.

The mission is doable even if, as expected, Obama were to deny Israel overflight permission in Iraq airspace. But realistically, such a mission would be nearly suicidal - a one way trip. And while there would probably be pilots willing to take the long odds of getting home, other considerations would enter into the decision to bomb Iran that would complicate things enormously.

Most military analysts believe an Israeli strike would require the green light from the Pentagon: not only would the bombers need US Air Force codes to fly across Iraq but the mission's success would depend on access to detailed American intelligence about the exact location of Iran's nuclear sites.

Permission for this was never granted by President Bush and is substantially less likely under President Obama.

Washington does not share Benjamin Netanyahu's sense of urgency, with Admiral Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence, saying recently that the US is working with the same set of facts, but interpreting them differently - with Israel taking "more of a worst-case approach to these things".

General Petraeus, head of US forces in the Middle East, told Congress that the Israeli Government may be "so threatened by the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon that it would take pre-emptive military action to derail or delay it".

The costs of such an action, warns the White House, far outweigh the potential benefits. Iran would probably retaliate by blockading the Straits of Hormuz and possibly attacking Israeli and American bases in the Gulf.


That Blair! What a mind on that guy! Um....dontya think Israel might be taking a "worst case approach" to Iranian bomb making because that "case" would mean the annhilation of Israel? Even in Blair's limited world, Israel's destruction has to have some kind of impact.

But Petreaus only listed a couple of the probable headaches we and Israel would experience. Iran has all the options as far as retaliation is concerned; increased terrorism in Iraq, attacking the US via Hezb'allah terrorism, seizing the few Americans who are in Iran at the time, and just for Israel - an attack using their medium range missiles.

There would probably be enough of a backlash in America (liberal backlash) so that Obama would find some way to punish them for protecting themselves. And, of course, the practical reason that there would be no way of knowing how much of their program they had knocked out and whether it would do any good in slowing down their drive for a nuclear weapon.

If Bush were in office, there would have been a better chance that Israel would go after the Iranian nuclear program. Bush could have been convinced in the end, I think, that this was something that Israel just had to do regardless of the consequences.

But it will never happen with Obama. It would upset his plans to be the Neville Chamberlain of our time. Anything that gets in the way of his desire for peace with Iran, he will oppose.

This doesn't necessarily mean Iran will go ahead and build a bomb. They will most likely do as Japan and South Africa did in the 1990's (South Africa had the bomb at one time but dismantled the few they built); have all the components for a bomb ready to assemble but stop short of stockpiling the weapons. This kind of plan would allow them to deny that they have nukes while having the capability of assembling one in a matter of days.

If concrete intelligence is collected that shows Iran as having a bomb, all bets are off. Don't expect that to happen though. Why should they risk an attack when they can achieve the same thing through subterfuge? More likely, the two countries will continue to eye one another warily while Iran becomes nuclear capable.
There is probably a sizable segment of the new Israeli government that wants to go after Iran's nuclear enrichment program regardless of how hard it is or what it would cost as far as US-Israeli relations not to mention Israel's already low standing in the rest of the world.

But the fact that we elected Barack Obama president means that it is extremely unlikely Israel will bomb Iran nuke sites.

The mission is doable even if, as expected, Obama were to deny Israel overflight permission in Iraq airspace. But realistically, such a mission would be nearly suicidal - a one way trip. And while there would probably be pilots willing to take the long odds of getting home, other considerations would enter into the decision to bomb Iran that would complicate things enormously.

Most military analysts believe an Israeli strike would require the green light from the Pentagon: not only would the bombers need US Air Force codes to fly across Iraq but the mission's success would depend on access to detailed American intelligence about the exact location of Iran's nuclear sites.

Permission for this was never granted by President Bush and is substantially less likely under President Obama.

Washington does not share Benjamin Netanyahu's sense of urgency, with Admiral Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence, saying recently that the US is working with the same set of facts, but interpreting them differently - with Israel taking "more of a worst-case approach to these things".

General Petraeus, head of US forces in the Middle East, told Congress that the Israeli Government may be "so threatened by the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon that it would take pre-emptive military action to derail or delay it".

The costs of such an action, warns the White House, far outweigh the potential benefits. Iran would probably retaliate by blockading the Straits of Hormuz and possibly attacking Israeli and American bases in the Gulf.


That Blair! What a mind on that guy! Um....dontya think Israel might be taking a "worst case approach" to Iranian bomb making because that "case" would mean the annhilation of Israel? Even in Blair's limited world, Israel's destruction has to have some kind of impact.

But Petreaus only listed a couple of the probable headaches we and Israel would experience. Iran has all the options as far as retaliation is concerned; increased terrorism in Iraq, attacking the US via Hezb'allah terrorism, seizing the few Americans who are in Iran at the time, and just for Israel - an attack using their medium range missiles.

There would probably be enough of a backlash in America (liberal backlash) so that Obama would find some way to punish them for protecting themselves. And, of course, the practical reason that there would be no way of knowing how much of their program they had knocked out and whether it would do any good in slowing down their drive for a nuclear weapon.

If Bush were in office, there would have been a better chance that Israel would go after the Iranian nuclear program. Bush could have been convinced in the end, I think, that this was something that Israel just had to do regardless of the consequences.

But it will never happen with Obama. It would upset his plans to be the Neville Chamberlain of our time. Anything that gets in the way of his desire for peace with Iran, he will oppose.

This doesn't necessarily mean Iran will go ahead and build a bomb. They will most likely do as Japan and South Africa did in the 1990's (South Africa had the bomb at one time but dismantled the few they built); have all the components for a bomb ready to assemble but stop short of stockpiling the weapons. This kind of plan would allow them to deny that they have nukes while having the capability of assembling one in a matter of days.

If concrete intelligence is collected that shows Iran as having a bomb, all bets are off. Don't expect that to happen though. Why should they risk an attack when they can achieve the same thing through subterfuge? More likely, the two countries will continue to eye one another warily while Iran becomes nuclear capable.