In the past few days, several stories seemed to conflict on whether a war with Iran is imminent. Over the weekend (July 12) the Jerusalem Post reported that Iran said that: "Iran would "destroy" Israel as well as 32 US army bases in the region" if any nation attacked it." On Sunday (July 13) the UK Times reported that President Bush would support an Israeli attack on Iran if Israel proposes an effective plan that President Bush likes. Yesterday, (July 15) JTA reported that Israel Defense Minister "Barak will likely reschedule his U.S. visit for early August".
Now clearly Israel and the USA both feel that Iran with the current regime in charge is a seriously clear and present danger, worthy of a preemptive use of military force. And the preferred window for warfare in the Middle East is generally in the Spring and Fall. So unlike other predictions of an Israeli strike only after the American elections, and no later than the holiday of Chanukah (that is, sometime between mid-November and the last week in December of this year) to me it would seem more likely for an attack even sooner.
If so, then why would they (Israel and America) delay discussion of war plans until next month? Certainly it does not take a military machine such as Israel weeks to come up with a suitable plan of attack. Also, the USA could have sent Israel weaponry years ago, as soon as both countries came to the same impression of the Iranian threat. So it is unlikely that this delay is about arming Israel in preparation for their attack on Iran. Rather, the Israeli delay would seem more likely to be an effort to allow American forces in the Persian Gulf time to create new defenses and to strengthen existing bunkers so that they would suffer minimal casualties from an Iranian missile attack.
Assuming that all of this is, at the very least, plausible, this would then lead one to assume that the Bush Administration sees the upcoming war as a scenario such as this:
- Israel destroys a handful of Iranian nuclear research sites.
- Iran strikes US armed forces in Iraq and other places in the Persian Gulf.
- The USA is drawn into a war with Iran.
It would seem to me that this would be a politically astute move for an unpopular President. He would be "forced" to defend our troops from certain destruction if Iran would be allowed to fire missile after guided missile indiscriminately. But such a move would also be a more risky plan for American troops. If Israel is the one to strike Iran, then the Iranian Missile Silos would be more likely to survive and thus remain able to strike at our boys overseas. Most American soldiers in the Persian Gulf would be in harms way. But if America strikes Iran first, the Iranian Missile Silos would be destroyed first, and the vast majority of our boys (and girls) would be spared the risk of death.
It was reported yesterday (JTA) that America's "Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton said the United States should assist Israel in any strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. ‘We will be blamed for the strike anyway, and certainly feel whatever negative consequences result, so there is compelling logic to make it as successful as possible,’ wrote Bolton"
It may be the less popular move in today's political climate, but for our Commander In Chief, it would be the right move, the best move possible in the predicament that we find ourselves in.
Iran has essentially said that under any likely scenario, Iran will attack American forces in the Persian Gulf. That is an implicit declaration of war. American interests would be best served if we treated it as such.
We've lost too many of our troops already to take a policy of literally hiding our heads in the sand as our first line of defense and as a pseudo best option in the upcoming war with Iran.