Tuesday, November 2, 2004

The Coming Israeli Strike

A brief respite from the election coverage takes us to the Strategy Page which predicts a preemptive series of strikes by Israel against Iran in the not too distant future. Some excerpts:

Since 1979, Iran has been run by Islamic radicals who, among other ambitions, wants to see Israel destroyed. Logically, it would make no sense for Iranian Islamic radicals to nuke Israel. It's well known that Israel has nuclear weapons, and several ways to deliver them. A nuke from Iran would risk several in return from Israel. And one or two Iranian nuclear warheads would not destroy Israel, while several nuclear weapons would cause enormous damage to Iran. Israel has made it known that if Iran gets close to having a nuclear weapon, Israel would launch air strikes and bomb dozens of industrial sites that are part of the Iranian nuclear program.

All of the Iranian targets are within 2,000 kilometers of Israel. Israeli air power is strong enough to overfly Jordan, and deal with any Jordanian opposition. In Iraq, the only anti-aircraft missiles are American, and it is doubtful that they would be fired at Israeli aircraft. Even if they were, Israel probably has the means to defeat the missiles (as Israel uses the same anti-aircraft missiles, and knows exactly how they work.) Israel has no problem getting jet bombers over Iran.

Neither Europe nor the United States wants Iran to have nuclear weapons, but neither Europe nor the U.S. would resort to bombing. They don't have to. Israel is the obvious first target of Iranian nukes, should it ever come to that. So Israel would be the first to attack Iran's nuclear program. And Israel is best qualified to make such an air strike.

The major unknown is; would Iran attempt to use their nuclear weapons on Israel? Iranian public pronouncements make it clear that such a rash move is seriously considered. Should Israel hold it's fire on the assumption that even the Iranian Islamic radicals would not be so foolish as to start a nuclear war?

Another question is what reaction would an Israeli strike against Iran elicit from the Islamist extremists in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and elsewhere? And what effect would it have on public opinion in Europe and the U.S.? There's probably no way to answer these, but these questions don't really matter anyway. The only important question is should the world stand by and let the mad mullahs in Tehran start churning out nuclear weapons. If the answer to that is "no" and if negotiations fail to dissuade the Iranians from building these weapons, as they almost certainly will, what other options are there?

Early Report

Exit polls during the day were showing a big move toward Kerry, but evidently they were very misleading. To get better analysis try HorseRace Blog and Kerry Spot throughout the evening.

The early good news is that Tom Daschle appears to be sinking in South Dakota.

Good Military Site

Readers interested in the military tactics being used in Iraq, and especially those which will be employed in the impending takedown of Fallujah, might want to bookmark The Adventures of Chester. In his current post Chester gives his reasons why he believes the fight for Fallujah will last less than two weeks. It's very informed and very informative stuff.