For years now I have been writing at this blog and elsewhere that the coming confrontation with Iran is not about its so-called ‘nuclear weapons program’ but about using such a war as a springboard to launch attacks against Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank while Iran is being dealt with by the US after an initial first strike by Israel. These attacks will be launched for the purpose of invading and fully occupying these places with a view to eventually annexing them to form their much dreamed of Greater Israel.
The excuse for such attacks will be to ‘pre-empt retaliatory attacks’ after having launched the initial strike against Iran. Now, however, the neocons are talking in terms of attacking Hezbollah in Lebanon first before launching a strike at Iran.
The problem with this strategy, of course, is that launching a ‘pre-emptive strike’ against Hezbollah prior to striking Iran will provide Iran notice that a strike is imminent and, since Iran is probably on permanent standby to launch retaliatory strikes against Israel in the event that Israel strikes first, then Iran will get the first opportunity for a pre-emptive strike against Israel – a scenario which would be disastrous for both Israel and Iran especially if Israel decided to respond using nuclear weapons if Iran’s attack was particularly devastating against Israel..
What is far more likely is that Israel will strike Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran simultaneously but after the initial trike against Iran, will withdraw from the attack on Iran leaving the US to finish off Iran while Israel goes full-on with an invasion and military occupation of Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
While Netanyahu and Ehud Barak are both giving a great impression of champing at the bit to attack Iran and making loud noises about ‘going it alone’, the reality remains that Israel is unable to strike Iran unilaterally due to the fact that it needs the US and its supporting logistics in order to do so. If and when Israel attacks Iran, it most certainly will not be ‘unilateral’ no matter what either say.
Part of my argument about why all this rhetoric is happening has been that Israel is not really interested in Iran’s so-called ‘nuclear weapons program’ but rather much more interested in actual regime change. Seth Mandel writing in the neocon comic Commentary today confirms this. Sticking to the ‘Iran has a nuclear weapons’ meme, Mandel writes:
There would only be two ways for the West to prevent the regular outbreak of hostilities over Iran’s nuclear program if Iran’s leaders stay in power and resolve to continue their mission: let Iran have the bomb, and focus on “containment”; or hit Iran with a much more comprehensive military attack in the first place.
With this, the neocons expose their true colours and their real war aims.
Iran doesn’t have any nuclear weapons but Israel does. Israel may well be looking for an excuse for their limited use. If push comes to shove, Israel has proven time and time again that in is not afraid to use whatever it takes to get their way. A big enough confrontation may just be enough to provide them with the opportunity to show the Middle East just who’s boss – especially with Egypt just next door looking set to become an Islamic government that could threaten Israeli regional hegemony after Iran has been taken out of the equation.