Hat tip to Leonard Peracchio
From ABC News
Pentagon Official Warns of Israeli Attack on Iran
U.S. Offical Sees Two 'Red Lines' That Could Prompt Strike
BY JONATHAN KARL
WASHINGTON, June 30, 2008
Senior Pentagon officials are concerned that Israel could carry out an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities before the end of the year, an action that would have enormous security and economic repercussions for the United States and the rest of the world.
A senior defense official told ABC News there is an "increasing likelihood" that Israel will carry out such an attack, a move that likely would prompt Iranian retaliation against, not just Israel, but against the United States as well.
The official identified two "red lines" that could trigger an Israeli offensive. The first is tied to when Iran's Natanz nuclear facility produces enough highly enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon. According to the latest U.S. and Israeli intelligence assessments, that is likely to happen sometime in 2009, and could happen by the end of this year.
"The red line is not when they get to that point, but before they get to that point," the official said. "We are in the window of vulnerability."
The second red line is connected to when Iran acquires the SA-20 air defense system it is buying from Russia. The Israelis may want to strike before that system -- which would make an attack much more difficult -- is put in place.
Some Pentagon officials also worry that Israel may be determined to attack before a new U.S. president, who may be less supportive, is sworn in next January.
Pentagon officials believe the massive Israeli air force exercise in early June, first reported by the New York Times, was done to prepare for a possible attack. A senior official called it "not a rehearsal, but basic, fundamental training" required to launch an operation against Iran.
"The Israeli air force has already conducted the basic exercise necessary to tell their senior leadership, 'We have the fundamentals down.' Might they need some more training and rehearsals? Yes. But have they done the fundamentals? I think that is what we saw," the official told ABC News, adding that if Israel moves closer to military action, he expects to see more exercises like the one conducted in early June.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, was in Israel over the weekend for a series of meetings with senior Israeli military officials, including, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, the chief of staff of the Israeli Defense Forces. According to a military spokesman, Iran's nuclear program was "a major topic" of discussion.
The widely held view among Pentagon officials is that an Israeli attack would do only temporary damage to Iran's nuclear program, and that it would cause major problems in the region and beyond, prompting a wave of attacks on U.S. interests in Iraq, the Persian Gulf and elsewhere.
A note from Radarsite: Here, my friends, is the latest warning from our ever-vigilant leftist MSM: Trouble is on the way. Not from Iran's unyielding determination to acquire nuclear weapons, but from Israel's unyielding determination to stop them.
"The widely held view among Pentagon officials is that an Israeli attack would do only temporary damage to Iran's nuclear program, and that it would cause major problems in the region and beyond, prompting a wave of attacks on U.S. interests in Iraq, the Persian Gulf and elsewhere."
If this is indeed the view among "Pentagon officials", then we'd better just pack up and make our cowardly exit from the world stage. Or maybe we need some new Pentagon officials.
Is this the kind of support we are going to be giving our only ally in that whole blood-soaked region? Yes, without our military support -- as has been argued elsewhere -- an attack against Iran's nuclear and Defense facilities by Israel alone would indeed most likely only succeed in doing "temporary damage". Which is precisely why we need to provide them with our military and moral support.
Can this really be ABC's considered professional opinion? Do they have no shame? Is this the way we treat our allies?
The monumental threat posed to the Middle East, and eventually to the entire world, by Ahmadinejad's unwavering nuclear ambitions is to just be ignored. The real threat to the world comes from Israel. If Israel moves to defend itself, if they attack, Iran might just get mad. "Some Pentagon officials also worry that Israel may be determined to attack..." Some Pentagon officials worry?
What, I wonder, would have been their advice to America after Pearl Harbor?
What would our current courageous MSM's advice have been? - rg