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War clouds over Iran are building rapidly. On Friday night during the 9/11 National Town Hall Meeting, I explained that because Washington and the Western powers are doing nothing decisive to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, there is an increasingly likelihood that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will feel the need to matters into his own hands, and soon. Iran now has enough enriched uranium (that we know about) to build at least two nuclear weapons. If the Russians deliver and install the new S-300 state-of-the-art anti-aircraft missiles in Iran then the Israelis ability to decimate Iran nuclear facilities will be dramatically diminished. These are likely the issues Netanyahu discussed in the Kremlin last Monday. So, short of divine intervention and/or a dramatic turnabout in Western resolve and action, we may very well be looking at an Israeli preemptive strike in 2010.
In light of that assessment, I would draw to your attention a sobering and must-read column this morning by a Wall Street Journal editorial writer Bret Stephens. It’s entitled, “Obama Is Pushing Israel Toward War.”
- “Events are fast pushing Israel toward a pre-emptive military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, probably by next spring. That strike could well fail. Or it could succeed at the price of oil at $300 a barrel, a Middle East war, and American servicemen caught in between. So why is the Obama administration doing everything it can to speed the war process along?
- “At July’s G-8 summit in Italy, Iran was given a September deadline to start negotiations over its nuclear programs. Last week, Iran gave its answer: No. Instead, what Tehran offered was a five-page document that was the diplomatic equivalent of a giant kiss-off. It begins by lamenting the ‘ungodly ways of thinking prevailing in global relations’ and proceeds to offer comprehensive talks on a variety of subjects: democracy, human rights, disarmament, terrorism, ‘respect for the rights of nations,’ and other areas where Iran is a paragon. Conspicuously absent from the document is any mention of Iran’s nuclear program, now at the so-called breakout point, which both Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his boss Ali Khamenei insist is not up for discussion….
- “The longer the U.S. delays playing hardball with Iran, the sooner Israel is likely to strike. A report published today by the Bipartisan Policy Center, and signed by Democrat Chuck Robb, Republican Dan Coats, and retired Gen. Charles Ward, notes that by next year Iran will ‘be able to produce a weapon’s worth of highly enriched uranium . . . in less than two months.’ No less critical in determining Israel’s timetable is the anticipated delivery to Iran of Russian S-300 anti-aircraft batteries: Israel will almost certainly strike before those deliveries are made, no matter whether an Iranian bomb is two months or two years away.
- “Such a strike may well be in Israel’s best interests, though that depends entirely on whether the strike succeeds. It is certainly in America’s supreme interest that Iran not acquire a genuine nuclear capability, whether of the actual or break-out variety. That goes also for the Middle East generally, which doesn’t need the nuclear arms race an Iranian capability would inevitably provoke.
- “Then again, it is not in the U.S. interest that Israel be the instrument of Iran’s disarmament. For starters, its ability to do so is iffy: Israeli strategists are quietly putting it about that even a successful attack may have to be repeated a few years down the road as Iran reconstitutes its capacity. For another thing, Iran could respond to such a strike not only against Israel itself, but also U.S targets in Iraq and the Persian Gulf.”
* GIVE: Would you like to help The Joshua Fund bless Israel and her neighbors with food, clothing, medical supplies and other relief aid, especially as we pray for peace and prepare for the possibility of a war with Iran? A $25, $50, $100 or more gift would make an enormous difference, as would becoming a monthly financial partner. Learn more at www.joshuafund.net