Does the US really have Israel’s back on Iran?

US Army Patriot missile launcher

US Army Patriot missile launcher

Despite the White House’s efforts to deny Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s assertion that Obama “has thrown Israel under the bus”, and contrary to US President Obama’s assertion that he has Israel’s back, there are many signs that this support is doubtful.

The latest omen is America’s drastic scaling down of a joint military exercise with Israel in October:

Against a background of friction between the US and Israel over thwarting Iran’s nuclear drive, Washington says it will scale down its participation in what was planned to be the largest ever joint Israeli-American military exercise, Time Magazine reported Friday.

[...]

But the report quoted sources in Washington as saying only 1,500 US troops — perhaps even 1,200 — would be sent to participate in the exercise instead of the original 5,000. In addition, sources in both Jerusalem and Washington told Time that it was probable that only one Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense warship — instead of two — would be sent to Israel.

The Patriot anti-missile systems set to be dispatched to Israel would reportedly arrive as planned, but not the crews to operate them.

Denials and rebuttals were quick to follow on the heels of this disturbing report:

Following the report, sources in Washington immediately denied that the move conveyed mistrust. “Austere Challenge 12 remains the largest-ever ballistic missile defense exercise between our nations and a significant increase from the previous event in 2009,” Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jack Miller, a Pentagon spokesman, told Reuters later on Friday.

“The exercise has not changed in scope and will include the same types of systems as planned. All deployed systems will be fully operational with associated operators,” Miller said.

Commander Wendy L. Snyder of the US Army, meanwhile, was quoted by Time as saying that “throughout all the planning and coordination, we’ve been lock-step with the Israel Defense Force (IDF) and will continue to do so.”

However, sources in the Israeli defense establishment were reportedly unconvinced, with one senior military official telling Time, “Basically what the Americans are saying is, ‘We don’t trust you.’”

The Jerusalem Post’s article confirms the Americans’ claim that nothing much has changed:

Responding to the report, the defense source said, “All of the commentary on this has been wrong. There is no great significance. Nothing has changed.”

The source stressed that the drill is still the largest held by the US and Israel to date, even with the smaller American force.

“Defense cooperation between Israel and the US has never been better,” the source added.

The Pentagon confirmed on Friday that fewer US military personnel will take part than initially planned, but it rejected the claim that ‘mistrust’ of Israel was behind the change.

However, further confirming Israel’s fears was the outspoken statement by US Chief of Staff Martin Dempsey who said:

The US should not become embroiled in an Israeli military strike on Iran that would not only fail to destroy Iran’s nuclear program, but could also undo international diplomatic pressure on Tehran, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey said Thursday in London.

Such an attack by Israel would “clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran’s nuclear program,” Dempsey said, adding: ”I don’t want to be complicit if they [Israel] choose to do it.”

Personally, I find that word “complicit” highly disturbing. Its definition, according to dictionary.com is:

choosing to be involved in an illegal or questionable act, especially with others; having complicity.



The fact that an American Chief of Staff would regard a clearly defensive act by Israel, attacking Iran’s nuclear program, as illegal is both outrageous and ill-informed.

On further reading, I find myself in good company in objecting to the term “complicit”. The Times of Israel reports:

Israel responded bitterly on Friday to comments by the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, who said on Thursday that he did not want “to be complicit” if Israel were to strike at Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Dempsey’s comments were “strange” and characterized the failure of the United States to take a determined position against Iran’s nuclear drive, a source in Jerusalem was quoted as saying.

The comments “show once again that the US is not demonstrating determination against Iran’s nuclear program,” the source said, according to Israel’s Channel 2 news.

“It is strange that next to the oaths and blood libels of [Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei, the production in Iran [a reference to this week's Non-Aligned Movement summit], and the [latest] IAEA report — which states that Iran is speeding up uranium enrichment under its nose — the American chief of staff decides to talk about [an Israeli strike] rather than giving a determined message to the Iranians,” the source said.

[...]

Israeli commentators made much Friday of Dempsey’s use of the word “complicit.” The US army chief could have said he did not want to be Israel’s “partner” or its “ally” in an attack on Iran, noted analyst Oren Nahari on Channel 1 state TV, but instead Dempsey employed a term with criminal connotations.

The ToI expands on the implications of Dempsey’s remarks, explaining that the US attitude is only making Israel more likely, not less, to attack Iran’s nuclear program:

On the same channel, analyst Ari Shavit said that the events of the past week — including the publication of the IAEA report showing Iran expanding its nuclear enrichment program, and Iran’s hosting of the Non-Aligned Movement at which it declared it would continue its nuclear drive — showed that both diplomacy and sanctions have failed, and yet the US was doing nothing to ratchet up pressure on Iran.

Two weeks ago, Shavit noted, Israel’s President Shimon Peres publicly placed his faith in President Obama to thwart Iran’s drive to the bomb. America’s current policy, emblemized by Dempsey’s comments, said Shavit, “constitutes a resounding slap in the office for Peres and those other Israeli moderates who want to place their faith in the US.”

Given the US’s publicly stressed disinclination to act, “Israel is being pushed into a corner, in a way that is really dangerous,” said Shavit. “If all these moderate players, in the US and Europe, are so concerned about a dangerous Israeli action [against Iran], why haven’t they taken any meaningful action?” he asked.

Why, for instance, Shavit went on, did the US not condemn the Non-Aligned Movement gathering in Tehran. And why, asked Shavit, didn’t Obama “respond in his own voice to the IAEA report, which essentially said, ‘Mr Obama, you have failed’?”

The Jerusalem Post takes a milder tone on this issue, and writes that the Israelis are “puzzled” by Dempsey’s words, saying that they don’t represent the White House’s position.

Dempsey further stated that:

The US’s top general – the Guardian reported – said that he could not presume to know Iran’s ultimate intentions in pursuing a nuclear program, as intelligence was inconclusive on that score. It was clear, however, he maintained, that mounting pressure from the American-led “international coalition… could be undone if [Iran] was attacked prematurely.”

For a top military chief, Dempsey appears woefully ill-informed as to Iran’s intentions. The Guardian itself, which quotes his bothersome words, reports that according to the IAEA’s latest quarterly report,

Tehran is increasing its stockpile of potent nuclear material at underground Fordow bunker

[...]

has doubled the number of uranium enrichment machines it has in an underground bunker, a UN report said on Thursday, showing Tehran continued to defy western pressure to stop its atomic work.

The Jerusalem Post further reports that

The UN nuclear watchdog will attempt in new talks with Iran on Friday to make progress towards answering questions about suspected atom bomb research in the Islamic state, more than two months after the previous meeting ended in failure.

On this same subject, the Wall Street Journal sums up “Why Israel does not trust Obama. (if the link doesn’t work, try one of the links here):

Barack Obama is fond of insisting that he “has Israel’s back.” Maybe he should mention that to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

In remarks to journalists in London quoted by the Guardian, General Martin Dempsey warned that any Israeli attack on Iran would “clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran’s nuclear programs.” He also said economic sanctions on Iran were having an effect and needed more time to work, but that the good they were doing “could be undone if [Iran] was attacked prematurely.”

And to underscore the firmness of his opposition to an Israeli strike, the Chairman added that “I don’t want to be complicit if they choose to do it.”

We don’t know what exactly Gen. Dempsey thinks American non-complicity might entail in the event of a strike. Should the Administration refuse to resupply Israel with jets and bombs, or condemn an Israeli strike at the U.N.? Nor do we know if the General was conducting freelance diplomacy or sending a signal from an Administration that feels the same way but doesn’t want to say so during a political season.

Whatever the case, the remarks were counterproductive and oddly timed, with this week’s report by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran’s nuclear programs haven’t been slowed in the least by U.S. or international sanctions. In fact, they are accelerating.

[...]

Administration officials have also repeatedly told the media that they aren’t entirely sure if Iran really intends to build a bomb. We’ll grant that ultimate intentions are usually unknowable, especially in closed societies such as Iran’s.

Yet as the IAEA noted, “the Agency has become increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear related activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile.” These activities, by the way, “continued after 2003,” according to the report. This puts paid for the umpteenth time the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate that misleadingly claimed the contrary.

No wonder the Israelis are upset—at the U.S. Administration. It’s one thing to hear from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that he wants to wipe you off the map: At least it has the ring of honesty. It’s quite another to hear from President Obama that he has your back, even as his Administration tries to sell to the public a make-believe world in which Iran’s nuclear intentions are potentially peaceful, sanctions are working and diplomacy hasn’t failed after three and half years.

The irony for the Administration is that its head-in-the-sand performance is why many Israeli decision-makers believe they had better strike sooner than later.

[...]

If Gen. Dempsey or Administration officials really wanted to avert an Israeli strike, they would seek to reassure Jerusalem that the U.S. is under no illusions about the mullahs’ nuclear goals—or about their proximity to achieving them. They’re doing the opposite.

Since coming to office, Obama Administration policy toward Israel has alternated between animus and incompetence. We don’t know what motivated Gen. Dempsey’s outburst, but a President who really had Israel’s back would publicly contradict it.

Is anyone in the American administration listening?

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33 Responses to Does the US really have Israel’s back on Iran?

  1. Pete says:

    Dear Anne … really hope you read this.
    I am living in the USA. I follow security and defense issues very closely.

    First off – NO America does not have Israel’s back right now. Let me be blunt. You folks in Israel need to know this. The White House is preoccupied with the 2012 elections and sees the Iran issue as a nuisance until they can take care of the “important stuff” i.e. getting re-elected. For some of us personally, it was a shock when we found out that that raid on Bin Laden a year ago was PUT OFF three times by the WH. Why? Because highly-placed advisors felt that the possible repercussions from a “mistake” would be harmful to the administration’s image. So really … if they were wiling to do this – do you honestly think they would go all-out in support of an attack on Iran right now. Really???

    But let’s skip the dialog. That’s not why I came here.
    I dropped by to WARN you to get ready.
    War with Iran is a lot closer than you think it is. Apparently a lot closer than many in Israel seem to believe. I get the impression that this issue has been hanging over your heads for so long that it is just “everyday discussion”. But it is not.

    You need to GET READY. Get any emergency items bought and procured. Put away vital medicines and first-aid equipment. This next war is going to be bloody, and many Israelis will be killed. Sorry, but that’s the truth. The possibility also exists that Israel may be subjected to a global trade embargo – because it is likely that the IDF must strike first in the conflict. The world will be angry. So be ready for the fact that you may have limited access – even to essential items for at least a year. Maybe this won’t happen … but it really could. So please get ready.

    The nature of the next conflict is such that there is a big advantage to whoever strikes first. That is the inherent nature of a missile war. The leadership in both Tel Aviv and Teheran know this. This fact will make the coming days more and more unstable – until war occurs. The time for political fighting and tit-for-tat is over. From here on out, the dictates of war will slowly but inevitably take over. Get Ready!!!

    I wish you the very best. Even if the Gov’t of the USA takes a hostile position towards Israel in the future, remember that many individual Americans do not feel this way.

    I leave you with this saying from the Greek philospher Herodotus:
    “Cicumstances rule men – men do not rule circumstances”

    The war with Iran will take on a life of its own now.
    May God be with all of your families.

    best wishes,
    Pete, USA

    • cba says:

      Pete, I thank you.

      Now to finish stocking my ממ”ד… oy…

    • anneinpt says:

      Hello Pete, thank you for your comment, scary as it is, and welcome to my blog.

      I agree with your gut feeling (or is it informed comment) that the Administration does not have Israel’s back. Can’t blame them in a way. Every country has their own interests first and foremost, so Israel’s interests might not necessarily coincide with America’s, at least in the short term (which it seems is as far as the Obama White House can see).

      As far as preparations towards a possible war are concerned, Israelis have been in this position before, in Gulf War I, when we knew we were going to be hit by missiles. We just didn’t know how many, where, what was in them (chemical, biological) and how many would die. The Home Front instructed us what to put into our sealed rooms, they showed TV clips in place of ads how to put on gas masks etc. It was still bloody scary, but in the end only 1 person was killed by a missile – after 39 scuds were shot.

      So we know what we need to do. I think Israelis are in a bit of denial because the sabre-rattling has been going for so long with nothing happening.

      Contrary to cba above, I do not want to spend a war in our shelter. With my crazy neighbours I’d rather take my chances with the missiles. :-). Seriously, I don’t know how we’d all fit in. The shelter is about the size of a large room, maybe 6m x 4. And 7 families have to squeeze into there, together with water supplies, food, batteries etc. Not sure if there’s cellphone reception in there either. So at the first sign of a war, I’m heading out to the hills. Literally. My 2 married kids live in Samaria and the third about-to-be-married will be in Judea. Based on past experience, if Israel is targeted, it will be its population centers that will bear the brunt, i.e. Tel Aviv, Haifa etc. Possibly Dimona because of the reactor (better tell our new in-laws who live there to join us). Jerusalem was left alone because of the danger of hitting the holy places and bringing the wrath of all the worldwide Muslims on Saddam, and I hope/ assume Ahmadinejad will do the same. Ditto re the West Bank because of the danger of killing Palestinians, though that may not bother A’jad.

      In the end, as the Hebrew saying goes, we can only rely on our Father in Heaven.

      Or as the German/Yiddish saying (not so different to your Greek adage) goes: Mann tracht und Gott lacht. “Man plans and God laughs”.

      Thank you for your good wishes and I hope all of the above is just theory only.

      • Pete says:

        Anne … Indeed – Man plans and God laughs. How true. I can understand the practical problems of living in other peoples’ shelters. Perhaps one idea is to just to have an extra option to go to another shelter – in case it is necessary.

        You will know when the time comes – because on that day you will actually see many rockets rise up from Israel and fly off into the sky. Something that no-one has ever seen before. Perhaps take a few seconds just to absorb the momentous sight in front of your eyes. But then start running – because other rockets will be coming at you.
        My comments are purely personal and based on my own analysis of many public news sources. My overall sense is that the “unthinkable” is drawing closer now. Good luck!

        • anneinpt says:

          Pete, I don’t think I was clear enough. Our shelter is not “other people’s” shelter. It’s a communal shelter. Every building in Israel more or less has one. For the residents of the buildings that don’t, there are public shelters dotted around too. It’s just that when our building was built in the early 1980s no one thought about the possibility of a nuclear war and that we might have to stay in it long-term.

          Actually I don’t think it will be a nuclear war. Possibly chem or bio, but more likely “regular” missiles, which are bad enough. And don’t worry, we don’t need to wait to see flashes of light in the sky. We’ll be hearing those air raid sirens loud and clear giving us a few minutes to get to shelter. We’ve had enough tests of the system lately, and anyway, every adult over the age of 20 knows what the siren sounds like in real time from our experience in Gulf War I. The IDF and Home Front hold constant exercises and drills for attacks on civilian centers, including for reservists, so we’re probably better prepared than most countries.

          Funnily enough (or not so funny really) we were having this kind of discussion at a family get together last week. My brother asked me how much the thought of a missile war is affecting me. (We’re in high gear preparing for our daughter’s wedding). I replied “not at all”. It’s simply something out of our control, so in typical Israeli fashion, we have our shelters ready or our escape route planned, and then we just get on with life. There’s no other choice really if we want to stay sane.

          Thank you for the good practical advice though, and I hope we never have to make use of it.

  2. cba says:

    “the US attitude is only making Israel more likely, not less, to attack Iran’s nuclear program”
    EXACTLY!

  3. Rob Harris says:

    The support for Israel from the Obama administration is illusory. Obama needs to reassure his much needed democratic Jewish voters – they will probably vote for him anyway but in a close race like this their support is important. The administration is simply worried about the “Romney factor” – hence Panetta’s visit to Israel just a few days after Romney’s, and a few other bits of cynical electioneering. Ordinarily I would say “ah thats politics” but when it comes to an issue as grave as this then it only goes to show how morally debased the Obama administration truly is.

  4. reality says:

    I dunno about you but our shelter (which is physically impossible to get to within 15 seconds!) will not help aginst nuclear war . Help! But as my student teacher daughter said”yay no school!” sad after a week back in the classroom! But seriously I really think we shouldn’t have to consider anyone else in the world. They don’t exactly back us up(ever) & would only be too happy to wipe us off the map & then there would be no pesky middle east problem. That would leave the Arabs a pesky world problem as they’ll probably complain that the rest of the continents are on occupied territory!

    • anneinpt says:

      I don’t know if the rest of the world actively want to wipe us off the map, but there are many out there who would only shed crocodile tears. And then, as you say, they’d discover that the Middle East problems only got worse.

      But it ain’t gonna happen. We are here to stay. You’d best come along with us to our kids if need arises. They’ll end up setting up a new settlement just for us “exiles”!

      • Pete says:

        I don’t think that you have very much risk of being attacked with nuclear weapons. And I will pray that Israel is not hit with either chemical or biological weapons. I do think the higher risk is that Israel will be hit with many, many rockets with high-explosive warheads. Unlike the Gulf War 1 … this time there will be many impacts all over your country. Your shelters should be good to save lives (but it would not hurt to have a backup plan to move to another communal shelter if necessary). Still. from a human perspective this kind of attack is psychologically frightening. It would be like what happened to the city of London in WW2 under the bltiz of German V1 and V2 rockets … but on a greater scale.

        I think that the estimates that Israel will only suffer “500 casulaties” are far too low. This next war will cost a lot of lives. If Israel goes it alone, and that seems to be the direction of things, then the IDF (and esp. the IAF) will be tremendously overtaxed and overextended. They will be facing exhaustion – trying to win wars at a distance (Iran) and also at the borders of your country & Lebanon. They will need all the help they can get through mobilization of the complete population. I have no doubt that people will respond, and this is Israel’s great strength. Everybody has been trained and stands ready to assist. But still, I think the IDF, intelligence organizations, and many other security organizations would be tremendously overtaxed by what will come.

        You cannot rule out a “worst-case scenario” where Israel’s borders are penetrated for a while, and you have serious fighting happening inside your sacred territory … on your own soil. It could happen. You may literally have Israelis fighting street battles in some of your OWN cities or on your kibbutzim – just to preserve the existence of Israel. It is also possible that you may have some strong terrorist attacks against key targets inside Israel … because the IDF and security forces are overextended. These sorts of developments will cause Israelis to feel a lot more vulnerable than in the past. But as I said – I do believe the people will rally strongly to fight for their country.

        If Israel decides to act unilaterally … it is important to stock up on all items now. At the national level and at the local level.

        Just some thoughts.

        • cba says:

          Pete, thanks for your concern. I’d just like to reassure you that those of us in the firing line have thought a lot about this (most Israelis–this blog’s host included!–have been under fire before), and we’re making our plans–you don’t have to worry about warning us! The Home Front Command has recently issued booklets about getting prepared, gas mask distribution is under way… etc. etc.

        • anneinpt says:

          Thanks for your advice Pete. In fact a lot of your advice has already been given to us by the IDF and Home Front command. We’ve all been receiving booklets in our mail in the last few weeks explaining how to set up our shelters and equip them, and what to do in case of attack.

          Some points from your comment:

          You bet it’s psychologically frightening to be under missile attack. Downright terrifying is more accurate. I speak from experience. It’s quite paralyzing at first, especially if you have children in your care which we did at the time of Gulf War I. As for a blitz-like attack, this would be a more intense version of what the north and south of Israel have been suffering under constant missile attack for years. (I’ve been near the business end of katyushas during the 2nd Lebanon War – our daughter used to live in Kiryat Shmona near the Lebanese border). The intensity might be much more, but the actual scenario is sadly not new. The country is unfortunately used to such attacks, and I think our population is more resilient than other countries’ because of this experience. I hope so anyway.

          As for the IDF being stretched to exhaustion, I doubt this would happen unless the war carries on for a long time. The army has drilled multi-front attacks for a long while now – which is not to say it will be easy.

          Regarding the rest of your scenarios, while in theory they are possible, I highly doubt matters will deteriorate to the status of street-fighting, although a series of terrorist attacks is possible.

          As for being prepared – agreed 100%.

          • Pete says:

            anne and cba … thanks! There were a lot of good responses there. I think those of us who live in the USA fail to appreciate how organized Israel is concerning security threats. Also, we don’t see daily reporting that really talks about how Israelis are preparing for the future. Media reports are more political in nature. I am sure that Americans would be very concerned if we found ourselves facing an imminent threat – possibly of the magnitude of what might happen to Israel. But both of you seem to be taking it very calmly – which I certainly admire. And perhaps I detect a certain amount of fatalism in your attitudes. Maybe that’s what comes from facing these dangers to your safety over many years. I wish you both the best!!

            • anneinpt says:

              Thanks Pete. You are quite right that the foreign media don’t really “get” the Israeli civilian attitude towards a looming war. First of all, Israeli civilians are much better prepared psychologically than other Western nations simply because of our long experience. If you look at how Israelis behave after a terrorist attack and compare this to any other Western nation you’ll be surprised how quickly Israelis clean up and return to normal routine. It’s bad for PR because the media don’t see us as victims, but it’s much better for our psyche.

              Secondly, as I and cba explained, we are prepared or being prepared by the authorities.

              Of course it’s not all perfect, and I don’t want to minimize the risks. If you read the Israeli Hebrew press you’d be pretty horrified about the lack of preparedness of public shelters, the lack of private shelters, the concern about disorganization in the distribution of food and supplies which occurred during the 2006 war – although it is claimed that lessons have been learned and the situation fixed. We’ll see about that.

              But the thing is that people – civilians, IDF and government – are aware of the problems and are trying to fix them. That is half the battle. (The other half, the actual fixing etc., is harder).

              What you call fatalism I call faith (they amount to the same thing in effect), but you’re correct in sensing our attitude. Again it springs from experience. After all the dire warnings over the decades that Israel will be wiped out, the army will be over-stretched, the civilian population will panic or revolt or whatever, that there will be huge civilian casualties (e.g. in the 1967 war they dug 10,000 graves in public parks for the expected civilian casualties of which there were none) Israelis have learned to take all the scare stories with a pinch of salt. I hope that this situation will be repeated this time.

              Thanks for your good wishes and your concern. I look forward to seeing you more on this blog.

  5. Andrea says:

    Dear Anne,

    You know I am not very good at military strategy and have not idea about tremendous consequences which could be arise from a war in Israel. As you may guess i am not very enthusiastic of Bibi approach on this issue … Nevertheless I am also sure that this is not the time to be frightned by fanatic and lunatic threats from the likes of Middle East satraps and Shites clergy. Be sure that your sons are able to fight much better than their enemies and what happened to London during second world war it will be only fireworks comparing to damages Israel could inflict to enemies. They do not have your shelters…

    • anneinpt says:

      Hi Andrea, thanks for your heartening comment. Your attitude is closer to mine than Pete’s above. I tend to be an optimistic person. I just hope my optimism is not misguided.

  6. Cormac says:

    Does the US really have Israel’s back on Iran? Unfortunately no.If Israel does strike Iran it will do it alone but in some ways that’s better as a country should never leave it’s fate in the hands of others.However I do have my reservations as any attack may trigger a full scale regional war, also how can Israel continue to hit Iran? The logistics behind such a move are phenomenal.Think of the wider implications also, Israel could without a doubt kill more Iranians but even a casualty exchange ratio of 100:1 is a victory for their crazy regime

    • anneinpt says:

      Cormac, I agree completely that a country should act in its own interests, especially a small isolated country like Israel whose friends have never been 100% reliable in a crunch.

      I think the possibility of a regional war is what is keeping Netanyahu and Barak hesitating until now, together with all the implications. As to the actual tactics that would be involved, I don’t think anyone outside the PM’s inner circle and the top brass of the IDF has any clue how such an attack could be carried out.

      These are definitely worrying times. My opinion is that the Israelis (I include myself) are sabre rattling in order to scare the West to increase the sanctions and pressure on Iran in order to PREVENT an Israeli strike. I wonder if the West, including America, is managing to figure out all this double-bluffing.

  7. Pete says:

    Well … there is one thing we can say with certainty.
    On this day, and at this historic time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must surely feel like the loneliest person in the world. At this time he must make a decision that will change the fate of Israel and will affect the whole world. Yet at this critical time the doors of the world’s leaders are closed to him … and he cannot find a friend anywhere in high places.

    Mr. Netanyahu … I bring you these words from Winston Churchill:

    “Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.”

    We should all pray for Mr. Netanyahu on this day.

    Pete, USA

    • anneinpt says:

      If push comes to shove and Bibi decides to strike, then I agree with your position completely. I wonder if it will ever come to that. On the one hand I hope not. Who wants a war? On the other hand, without a strike, will Iran be deterred?

      • cba says:

        “without a strike, will Iran be deterred?”
        I would amend that to: Without THE THREAT OF AN AMERICAN strike, will Iran be deterred?

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  9. DavidinPT says:

    When (not if) this war comes, I doubt it will last too long or be too damaging to Israel, because if there is a feeling of backs-to-the-wall there are always Israel’s nuclear weapons, which are never openly talked about, but are nonetheless there. In the Yom Kippur war, all Israel had to do was open the silos when the USA’s satellites were on their fly past, and immediately the superpowers went into panic mode to resupply Israel and/or demand ceasefires. This time round it might be better to loose one off against Teheran to make the Hiroshima point – Don’t mess with us. To those who worry that will spark a nuclear arms race, we simply have to use another one anytime an enemy threatemns us with annihilation. I don’t see any scenario when the world threatens us for having/using them. After all they’re scared sh*tless of North Korea, and they are “bad guys” unlike Israel. I would also add that the world is focused on Israel attacking weapons sites. Who says? Maybe they’ll take out all the leadership and top levels of the Revolutionary Guard. They don’t live 60 metres underground. A headless regime will invite immediate counter-revolution and leave Iranian army in total disarray. Dismantling nuclear sites can then happen peacebly afterwards, and during the civil war that ensues no-one will have energy or resources to take on Israel.

    • anneinpt says:

      Hi David, I agree with your assessment of Israel threatening with its nukes in an existential crisis. I don’t think though that we would actually use one. I can’t imagine such a scenario. It would be an end-of-the-world situation almost literally.

      I also totally agree with your assessment that we won’t necessarily go after the nukes themselves. In fact, your scenario is already taking place, what with Stuxnet, Duque (or whatever it was called) and Flame, plus the mysterious assassinations of Iranian scientists and the occasional top military personnel.

  10. bribarian says:

    Looks like another “let’s bomb iran” propaganda piece from zi0nist loons.

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