In what amounts to a formal announcement and final warning, Prof. Benny Morris lays out the reasoning that leads to the inescapable conclusion that Israel will bomb Iranian nuke sites before the next US President takes office.
ISRAEL will almost surely attack Iran’s nuclear sites in the next four to seven months — and the leaders in Washington and even Tehran should hope that the attack will be successful enough to cause at least a significant delay in the Iranian production schedule, if not complete destruction, of that country’s nuclear program. Because if the attack fails, the Middle East will almost certainly face a nuclear war — either through a subsequent pre-emptive Israeli nuclear strike or a nuclear exchange shortly after Iran gets the bomb.
This can serve as the Israeli government's official rationalization of why it must attack Iran and why it will likely happen during the lame duck portion of this administration. He works from an assumption that the US will not be involved in the actual strikes, but I think his arguments end up pointing to why we should. If Israel is going to do this then we will accrue some blame regardless of our actual involvement simply because we are Israel's main sponsor and ally.
The rest of the world can sit around in salons and discuss whether the Mullahs actually mean all that Jooos wiped off the map stuff, but Israel can't ignore a directly stated threat. Aside from his thermonuclear charm I can see no reason the Mullahs would see the Obama as a threat to their ambitions and honestly I don't think anyone or anything can deter them. There is not even enough will to put significant sanctions on them, so absent some kinetic strike they will have a nuclear bomb and then we are at the mercy of the Mullahs common sense and that doesn't sound good to me. Mutually Assured Destruction worked because deep down the Russians loved their children too, and they ran out of money. Ahm-a-nuttah-job and many other Iranian leaders are members of an apocalyptic cult that believes a period of great chaos will bring the return of the 12th Imam and make the world suck old school. Gee I wonder how chaotic it would be if they lob a nuke at Tel Aviv and the Israelis begin the world's largest parking lot construction project?
So we sit with no feasible way to stop the Iranian bomb project and no freakin' way we can trust them to have a bomb and not use it. That makes things very simple and makes destroying as much of the Iranian nuke program as we can a necessity. You can dispute my framing of the situation, but if you agree that they are building a bomb, you either believe the pipe dream that Barry O will lightwork the will to bomb out of them, or you should be standing with me and the rest of the realists waiting for the pretty lights from all those Tomahawks and J-Dams. the only question left in play is whether we have the stones to step up and help to make sure the job is done as well as possible. Is the fallout going to be worse for us if we assist? Yes, but the Israelis can't do enough damage on their own. We don't need to destroy all of their sites, but we need to put a serious hurt on far too many facilities for the Israelis to do all the dirty work. Ralph Peters has a good look at all the things that would need whacking including the many weapons the Iranians could use to retaliate at the shipping lanes.
The equation for the Israelis is first grade math, mullahs+nuke= mushroom cloud over Israel. They will act because their survival is at stake. The question is will we help. I don't think so and i think the statement from ADM Mullen about how bad an attack on Iran would be is insulation for us when the Israelis go wheels up. It has been foreshadowed, the alternatives are non-existent and the aftershocks will be hellish.