Friday, February 17, 2012

Israel Releases Trial Balloon on Attack on Iran’s Nuclear Facilities

The Iranian Nuclear Crisis – A Terrible Outcome Coming or an Awful Outcome Coming – Take Your Pick

The United States is currently consumed with a budding religious war and controversy over whether or not taking birth control pills is the worst thing a person can do, and Europe is consumed with destroying the Greek economy as payment for having to be bailed out.  In the real world, the one that really matters Israel is considering launching a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s nuclear research facilities to prevent that country from building a nuclear bomb.

The first stage in a process like this is the well used “trial balloon”.  When considering something controversial and potentially serious, the contemplator discloses the possibility of action, just to see the reaction.  This is now what is happening with respect to an Israeli attack, and this report in The Economist is part of that process.

Here is what a “trial balloon” looks like in print.  A government leaks details of meetings about the issue.

In early February the annual Herzliya security conference in Israel provided a platform for the country’s military and intelligence elite to air their concerns about Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon. Israel’s hawkish defence minister, Ehud Barak, said that the “window” for an effective strike was rapidly closing because the continuing movement of essential uranium-enriching centrifuges to the Fordow underground facility, close to the holy city of Qom, would give Iran a “zone of immunity” in which it could construct a bomb regardless of any intervention by the outside world.

There is no one who has greater intelligence security than Israel.  If details on a meeting like that become public, it is because the government wants them to become public, and has a group of “pet” journalists to whom they can leak the information. 

The problem with all of this of course, is that it can lead to all out war.  And Iran is not being very helpful

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, responded by using his nationally broadcast Friday sermon on February 3rd to commit the country to continuing its nuclear programme no matter what, and to threaten both Israel and America. He described Israel as a “cancerous tumour” that “will be removed”

See, if you don’t want to be attacked calling your would-be attacker a “cancerous tumor that will be removed” is not the way to go. That suggests that Iran does want to be attacked, that it would invite an Israeli attack as a way to unify the country and to go to all out war against Israel with all of the other Arab countries. 

So an attack against Iranian nuclear facilities may fit into Iran’s plan to wage all out war in the Middle East.  And the lack of an attack may fit into Iran’s plan to acquire nuclear weapons with which to wage all out war in the Middle East.

See, we told you there was not good outcome.

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