The Likudniks and right-wing Zionists of Israel are furious as are Vice-President Dick Cheney and his band of neoconservative cohorts both within the administration and in the think-tanks. The recently released National Intelligence Estimate has effectively put a huge dent in their plans to use Iran’s nuclear weapon ambitions as a casus belli to attack Iran in order to effect ‘regime change’ since the report says that Iran had shelved its nuclear weapon ambitions since 2003. But does this really get Iran off the hook as far as a preemptive attack by either Israel or the US or both is concerned?
The report only states that Iran’s nuclear weapons plans have been on hold since 2003. However, Iran still continues to enrich uranium for use in its planned nuclear powered electrical energy generation program and it is this that now seems to dominate Israeli concerns causing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to continue the drive for further sanctions against Iran. The problem for the warhawks in continuing to press their case for sanctions against Iran is that their earlier, and successful, calls for sanctions against Iran in order to get Iran to suspend all uranium enrichment, even that which only enriched uranium for use in power generation, was based on the premise that Iran did have an active and ongoing secret nuclear weapons program.
Both Olmert and his Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, despite the NIE report, which they became aware of at the Annapolis meeting of last week, maintain that Iran has reactivated their nuclear weapons program though, as usual, the Israelis are unable to provide any evidence of this.
The upshot of the NIE report is that, while it has made a dent in US plans to pre-emptively attack Iran since the administration would now find it difficult to get congressional or public support for such an attack, it would not prevent the Israelis from attacking Iran’s scattered nuclear facilities. Such an attack would be covertly supported by the US up to the point of an actual raid by the Israelis and then openly supported with, most likely, US military action against Iran to pre-empt any Iranian counter-attack against Israel.
The bottom line is; the NIE hasn’t really made any difference to the warhawks desire for regime change in Iran but it has put the onus back on to Israel to open such an attack against Iran. This may be done either directly with Israel simply springing a surprise attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities or they may try, as they have done in the past, to provoke Iran into showing its hand by attacking Hamas in the Gaza and possibly Hizbollah in south Lebanon as well. Another possible scenario would be for Israel to simultaneously attack Hamas, Hizbollah and Iran and maybe even Syria as well, and then pull back their attack on Iran leaving the US to handle Iran while Israel deal with Hamas, Hizbollah and Syria. It’s an ‘all or nothing’ final confrontation scenario but it may well be the last opportunity the US and the Israeli warhawks get this side of the 2008 Presidential Election, assuming there is one – but that’s another story…
THREAT OF FULL-ON INVASION STILL HANGS OVER THE GAZA
Israeli Defence Minister has said that he is holding off from ordering a full-on invasion of the Gaza for the time being but has warned that it is “time to kill those that carry out attacks against Israelis”.
Disgusting remarks like this seem to be totally ignored by the Western media yet one can imagine the furore from the West if Hamas or Hizbollah said: ‘It is time to kill those that carry out attacks against the Palestinian people’. The reality is that Israelis are already killing those that are carrying out attacks against Israel – and also a lot more that aren’t. Palestinian fighters, particularly in the Gaza, are firing shells and rockets into Israel in an effort to get the Israelis to desist from attacking Palestine and the Palestinians yet the Israelis are making it seem as though they are the ones that are suffering.
The Israeli Zionists should be reminded that it is they that are on real estate that does not belong to them and it is they that have created the Gaza Ghetto. The Palestinian people have every right to defend themselves against aggression, persecution and occupation.