Monday, December 14, 2009

Israeli Prime Minister faces explosive decision

THE moment is fast approaching when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may have to make the most difficult decision of his career -- whether to launch a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities and risk triggering a conflagration that could spread across the Middle East.

Israeli experts believe the point of no return may be only six months away when Iran's nuclear program will have -- if it has not already -- metastasised into a multitude of smaller, difficult-to-trace facilities in deserts and mountains, while its main reactor at Bushehr will be online, and bombing it would send a radioactive cloud over the Gulf nations.

Mr Netanyahu has consistently called Iran the most serious threat that Israel faces. Its President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has called for Israel to be obliterated, and his Revolutionary Guards supply training, money and weapons to both Hezbollah in Lebanon, on Israel's northern border, and to Hamas in the Gaza Strip, whose missiles are believed to be capable of reaching Tel Aviv.

With the Iranian threat at the front of his strategic thinking, Mr Netanyahu has surrounded himself with old comrades from Israel's most prestigious military unit, the Sayeret Matkal, or General Staff Reconnaissance. Mr Netanyahu served in the elite unit in the 1970s under Ehud Barak, who went on to become Israel's most decorated soldier and later prime minister.

When Mr Netanyahu came to power, he made great efforts to recruit his former commander as defence minister. Mr Barak serves with another former leader of the unit, Deputy Prime Minister Moshe "Bogie" Yaalon.

The Israeli Prime Minister has hard-wired his core cabinet with so much military experience for a good reason.

Striking Iran's nuclear facilities will be a huge military and political gamble. Although Russia has delayed supplying Iran with S300 anti-aircraft missiles, which could weaken any Israeli attack, the air force would have to mount one of its largest long-range attacks to have a chance of disabling Iran's nuclear installations.

Earlier this year a report by Anthony Cordesman of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, warned that "a military strike by Israel against Iranian nuclear facilities is possible . . . (but) would be complex and high-risk and would lack any assurances that the overall mission will have a high success rate". In 2007, in what is often seen as a trial run for an attack on Iran, an Israeli squadron flew undetected through Turkish airspace and over Syria's border to destroy what was thought to be a nuclear facility under construction with Iranian and North Korean support.

In June last year, the air force staged exercises over the Mediterranean, with dozens of fighters, bombers and refuelling tankers flying roughly the same distance as between Israel and Iran. Earlier this year, Israeli jets again carried out a long-range bombing mission, hitting trucks in Sudan that were believed to be bringing Iranian weapons to Hamas via Egypt.

In the immediate term, the threat of a strike has receded. Israel is satisfied that Iran's hostile stance towards the international community has increased the chances of serious, crippling sanctions. Officials noted that for the first time Russia seemed to be serious about isolating Tehran.

But that international front could easily crack, and then Mr Netanyahu would be faced with the decision on whether to order his bombers into action. Iran has already threatened to bomb Israel's cities with its long-range missiles should its nuclear facilities come under attack, but that is only one of its many options.

It could also, in stages, order Hezbollah to launch rockets across the northern border. Or both sides may choose to do nothing. Some analysts believe that Israel might tolerate Iran as a "threshold nuclear state", capable of building a bomb but not testing it.

Iran could well opt for the path chosen by Syria in 2007, if Israel strikes at isolated facilities far from an urban areas, where the only casualties would be technicians and guards. After a similar strike against Syria, neither side admitted what had happened, thereby avoiding a war and saving face.

The Australian

Blog Archive

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Feed


Copyright Muslims Against Sharia 2008. All rights reserved. E-mail: info AT
Stop Honorcide!

Latest Recipients of
The Dhimmi Award
Dr. Phil
George Casey

The Dhimmi Award

Previous Recipients of
The Dhimmi Award

Latest Recipient of the
World-Class Hypocrite Award
Mainstream Media

World-Class Hypocrite Award

Previous Recipients of the
World-Class Hypocrite Award

Latest Recipient of the
MASH Award
Dr. Arash Hejazi

MASH Award

Previous Recipients of the
MASH Award

Latest Recipient of the
Yellow Rag Award

Yellow Rag Award

Previous Recipients of the
Yellow Rag Award

Latest Recipient of
The Face of Evil Award
Nidal Malik Hasan

The Face of Evil Award

Previous Recipients of
The Face of Evil Award

Latest Recipients of the
Distinguished Islamofascist Award

Distinguished Islamofascist Award

Previous Recipients of the
Distinguished Islamofascist Award

Latest Recipient of the
Goebbels-Warner Award

Goebbels-Warner Award

Previous Recipients of the
Goebbels-Warner Award

Muslm Mafia

Latest Recipient of the
Evil Dumbass Award
Somali Pirates

Evil Dumbass Award

Previous Recipients of the
Evil Dumbass Award

Insane P.I. Bill Warner
Learn about
Defamation Campaign

by Internet Thugs

Latest Recipient of the
Retarded Rabbi Award
Shmuley Boteach

Retarded Rabbi Award

Previous Recipients of the
Retarded Rabbi Award

Latest Recipient of the
Mad Mullah Award
Omar Bakri Muhammed

Mad Mullah Award

Previous Recipients of the
Mad Mullah Award

Stop Sharia Now!
ACT! For America

Latest Recipient of the
Demented Priest Award
Desmond Tutu

Demented Priest Award

Previous Recipients of the
Demented Priest Award

Egyptian Gaza Initiative

Egyptian Gaza

Note: majority of users who have posting privileges on MASH blog are not MASH members. Comments are slightly moderated. MASH does not necessarily endorse every opinion posted on this blog.


Muslims Against Sharia
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Hasan Mahmud

Tewfik Allal
Ali Alyami & Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia
Zeyno Baran
Brigitte Bardet
Dr. Suliman Bashear
British Muslims
for Secular Democracy

Center for Islamic Pluralism
Tarek Fatah
Farid Ghadry &
Reform Party of Syria

Dr. Tawfik Hamid
Jamal Hasan
Tarek Heggy
Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser &
American Islamic
Forum for Democracy

Sheikh Muhammed Hisham
Kabbani & Islamic
Supreme Council of America

Sayed Parwiz Kambakhsh
Nibras Kazimi
Naser Khader &
The Association
of Democratic Muslims

Mufti Muhammedgali Khuzin
Shiraz Maher
Irshad Manji
Salim Mansur
Maajid Nawaz
Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi
& Cultural Institute of the
Italian Islamic Community and
the Italian Muslim Assembly

Arifur Rahman
Raheel Raza
Imad Sa'ad
Secular Islam Summit
Mohamed Sifaoui
Mahmoud Mohamed Taha
Amir Taheri
Ghows Zalmay
Supna Zaidi &
Islamist Watch /
Muslim World Today /
Council For Democracy And Tolerance
Prominent ex-Muslims
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Magdi Allam
Zachariah Anani
Nonie Darwish
Abul Kasem
Hossain Salahuddin
Kamal Saleem
Walid Shoebat
Ali Sina & Faith Freedom
Dr. Wafa Sultan
Ibn Warraq

Defend Freedom of Speech

Islamists claiming to be Moderates
American Islamic Group
American Muslim Alliance
American Muslim Council
Al Hedayah Islamic Center (TX)
Canadian Islamic Congress
Canadian Muslim Union
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Dar Elsalam Islamic Center (TX)
DFW Islamic Educational Center, Inc. (TX)
Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (Closed)
Ed Husain & Quilliam Foundation
Islamic Association for Palestine (Closed)
Islamic Association of Tarrant County (TX)
Islamic Center of Charlotte (NC) & Jibril Hough
Islamic Center of Irving (TX)
Islamic Circle of North America
Islamic Cultural Workshop
Islamic Society of Arlington (TX)
Islamic Society of North America
Masjid At-Taqwa
Muqtedar Khan
Muslim American Society
Muslim American Society of Dallas (TX)
Muslim Arab Youth Association (Closed)
Muslim Council of Britain
Muslims for Progressive Values
Muslim Public Affairs Council
Muslim Public Affairs Council (UK)
Muslim Students Association
National Association of Muslim Women
Yusuf al Qaradawi
Wikio - Top Blogs