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Sunday, November 29, 2009

ISRAEL USA war drums -- Obama Bloodletting

Warnings of war - Haaretz - Israel News


Israel has nuclear weapons, says a senior American general and former
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In his new memoir, "Eyes on the
Horizon," U.S. Air Force officer Richard Myers describes the
tempestuous years before and after the September 11 terror attacks. He
offers a succinct description of Israel: "nuclear-armed." Unlike the
Israel Defense Forces chief of staff, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs
is not a commanding officer. He advises the president and the
secretary of defense, coordinates between the chiefs of staff of the
branches of the military, and commands only the joint headquarters as
well as the National Defense University and its journal, the Joint
Force Quarterly.
In the latest issue of that journal, which is scheduled for
publication early next year, a lecturer on strategy at the U.S. Air
Force Academy, Brent Talbot, explains why Israel is capable of
attacking Iran's nuclear network, even though at first glance such an
operation does not appear reasonable or practical.

Talbot reports that on June 14, he visited the director of Military
Intelligence, Major General Amos Yadlin, in his office and interviewed
him. "He confirmed that Iranian nuclear efforts are Israel's number
one security concern at present and that Iran is considered a much
greater threat than Hezbollah or Hamas, both of whom have recently
been dealt with, and both of whom Israel feels have been deterred from
further attacks in the near term. He believes Israel is capable of
dealing with these border threats even if Iran should increase its
arms supplies and encouragement to harm Israel.
"Though he made no mention of any plans to attack Iran, one must
consider that Iran is the only remaining existential threat to the
state of Israel, that reelected Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
has called upon Muslim leaders to wipe Israel off the map, [NOT TRUE - IT WAS HAPPILY MISTRANSLATED AND IS PART OF OUR PERCEPTION MANAGEMENT EVER SINCE] and that
Israel, a state always focused on its security first and foremost, has
planned and trained for missions requiring the scale and distance to
successfully attack nuclear sites in Iran. Bearing this in mind, one
must consider that such an attack could be forthcoming, and if so, the
United States and its coalition partners should immediately plan for
the aftermath," states Talbot.


As far as is known - and we don't know what Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu said to U.S. President Barack Obama so that he would not
later claim to have been taken by surprise - no great disparity exists
between the overt and the covert. The country's leaders are not lying
when they declare that no decision has been made.
But in another sense, an Israel-Iran war is already under way. After
the Yom Kippur surprise in 1973, American intelligence honed the
distinction between "war" and "attack." The CIA evaluators assumed
responsibility for warning of a pending war, but not an attack. A
warning about a war is defined as "the communication of intelligence
judgments to national policymakers that a state or alliance intends
war, or is on a course that substantially increases the risks of war
and is taking steps to prepare for war." A warning of an attack,
deriving from a warning about war, entails "the communication of an
intelligence judgment to national policymakers that an adversary is
not only preparing its armed forces for war, but also intends to
launch an attack in the near future."
The Central Intelligence Agency declined to commit to a warning of the
second kind. The trouble is that Tehran understands this, and might
want to strike before Israel does.


From Israel's point of view, Iran's
gradual nuclearization is a warning of war but not yet a warning of an
attack; from Iran's point of view, the declared Israeli intention -
which is sometimes also practiced openly - of preventing its
nuclearization is the warning of war. This is an incentive for the
Iranians to launch a preemptive strike on Israel through Hamas or
This is probably what Major General Yadlin was getting at in his
remarks about deterrence in the wake of the Second Lebanon War and
Operation Cast Lead.

This subject was also a focal point of last week's talks between a
NATO delegation and the Foreign Ministry, the defense establishment
and members of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee .
The delegation was led by NATO's deputy secretary general, Claudio
The main reason for the visit was to sign the 2010 cooperation plan
between Israel and NATO, which among other things, called for
dispatching an Israel Navy missile boat to take part in the alliance's
"Active Endeavor" Mediterranean patrolling operation
But the NATO personnel wanted to know how to deter terrorism and
wondered if Israel had second thoughts about whether it had used
excessive firepower on Beirut, southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

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