Australian neocon writer and Murdoch propagandist Greg Sheridan has advocated that Israel should bomb Iran though he concedes that there is little chance that they actually will. He claims that “there is really no doubt that Iran has a program designed to produce nuclear weapons.” The reality is; there is a great deal of doubt. There is no actual evidence at all that Iran has any nuclear weapons program. All that there has been is rhetoric and propaganda. Even the US intelligence community in 2007 couldn’t find any. And nor have they found any since. However, this hasn’t stopped the war drums from beating ever louder. And Greg Sheridan is now playing his part in beating those drums.
Israel will not be attacking Iran unilaterally though there is a good chance that it will make the first strike by launching a small raid on Iran’s nuclear facilities which will then be followed up by a full-on assault against Iran’s defences and government institutions by the US with the claim that the US has had no alternative but to support Israel in order to prevent any retaliatory strike by Iran against Israel.
Because of the possibility of retaliatory strikes via Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Israel is likely to launch pre-emptive strikes against both at the same time as it strikes Iran’s nuclear facilities. In this way it will seem as though Israel has acted unilaterally to start the war and then the US has had to join in to protect Israel. This lets Obama off the hook from the point of view of American public opinion which would never support a US pre-emptive strike against Iran but would support a strike if it were to prevent Israel being attacked by Iran.
In order for this ploy to work, it must be made to look as though Israel had attacked Iran without US prior knowledge. This is where the plan comes unstuck. There is absolutely no way that Israel could possibly launch an attack against Iran without US connivance. Israel would need to have massive amounts of military jet fuel to mount such an operation; fuel that it would have to order from the US. Since military jet fuel has a limited shelf life, there is no way that Israel could order fuel discreetly in small batches for stockpiling. Bunker-busting bombs would also need to be ordered from the US. Then there is the problem of trying to get permission to overfly various countries in order to get from bases in Israel to targets over Iran and have tanker refuellers circling over foreign airspace to refuel the strike aircraft. This would be impossible without the US knowing about it.
The bottom line is: Any strike against Iran, even if it seems that Israel struck the first blow, would be a joint assault by the US and Israel.
Sheridan writes: “The truth is that history is littered with states behaving irrationally and pursuing irrational ends, and doing so in often self-destructive ways.” Never a truer word has Sheridan written!