Preparations for Attack on Iran Almost Complete
Late last year, Israel embarked on a coordinated campaign of leaks to the press regarding its determination to take out Iran's nuclear facilities if Obama's then-new administration fails to sway the Iranians diplomatically. Israel is unwilling to accept a nuclear Iran: 'It is not an option', say its senior intelligence and military leadership.
On January 20, 2009, I appeared as a guest in the most popular political affairs program in Macedonia ('Glasot na Narodot', or The Voice of the People). I warned that Israel is willing to wait 6 to 8 months for Obama's 'diplomacy' with regards to Iran's nuclear capability to show some progress. If Iran remains recalcitrant, Israel plans to bomb two facilities in Iran as it did in Iraq in 1981, I said. Refueling won't be a problem, I assured the program's host, Slobodan Tomic: both Egypt and Saudi-Arabia offered to help.
Israel has decided to go ahead. Taking into account political, geopolitical, military preparedness, and climatic conditions, there are two windows: between July 21 and 24 and between August 6 and 8. Advance teams comprised of Mossad agents and military personnel are already on the ground in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Iraq (including in the Kurdish lands, adjacent to Turkey).
A mock has been erected not far from Eilat (near the Red Sea, opposite Aqaba). A defunct airbase in Biq'at Ha'Yareach (Moon Vale) has been resurrected to accommodate Air Wing 10. In a country as small and intimate as Israel, it is amazing that this has been kept a secret: hundreds of recruits and reservists - from mechanics and pilots to cooks and administrators - have been re-stationed there in the last few months.
A mysterious facility also sprouted up not far from Dimona's nuclear reactor, next to a university town called Sde Boker. It is not known what is its role, though speculation is that it is intended to shield the sensitive facility from an Iranian counter-attack. Several batteries of aged Patriot missiles have been recently replaced with brand new anti-missile rockets developed by Israel.
Citizens are reporting dry runs in the skies of the Negev, Israel's traditional air force training grounds and a desert with some resemblance to Iranian conditions. Piecing these scant testimonies together, it seems that the Israelis are concentrating their effort on midair refueling and surgical strikes on multiple targets.
Finally, HAGA (Hagana Ezrakhit), the Civilian Defense Force, a part of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), has been instructed to begin preparations for a possible Iranian counter-strike with long-range conventional missiles. At this stage, Israel is not contemplating chemical or biological warfare (though the distribution of gas masks does seem to be part of the drill).
No one knows for sure where will Israel strike. Wiping off all the widely distributed and impregnable components of Iran's capability to enrich uranium is close to impossible. The after-effects of even a limited air attack may be devastating and not necessarily short-term, as the Israelis are convinced. The price of oil is likely to spike and radicals and extremists throughout the benighted region are bound to leverage the attack to smear and taunt Israel and its allies but, then, what else is new. The Arab countries are likely to breathe a sigh of relief that the Iranian bully has been humbled.
The big question mark is how will the Obama administration react to such a fait accompli that flies in the face of the new President's stated policies. Will Obama try to make an example out of Israel and harshly punish it - or will he merely verbally lash it and proceed with business as usual? Time will tell. Soon.
Sam Vaknin ( http://samvak.tripod.com ) is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He served as a columnist for Global Politician, Central Europe Review, PopMatters, Bellaonline, and eBookWeb, a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent, and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101. Visit Sam's Web site at http://samvak.tripod.com