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US Prepares For Possible Israeli Attack On Iran By Adding Firepower – OpEd

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It’s hard to know how much to credit anything published in the Wall Street Journal.  But in an article that raises the temperature a few degrees higher than it already is, the reporters say that U.S. officials are growning more worried about an Israeli attack on Iran.  They have put a full court press on Israel to stop them from striking.  But they really have very little control, if you can believe the WSJ, over what Israel does.  Further, the U.S. government is simply flying blind since it has no backdoor access to intelligence information about internal Israeli political deliberations.  In other words, Israel spies on us but we don’t spy on them:

Some American intelligence officials complain that Israel represents a blind spot in U.S. intelligence, which devotes little resources to Israel. Some officials have long argued that, given the potential for Israel to drag the U.S. into potentially explosive situations, the U.S. should devote more resources to divining Israel’s true intentions.

They’re of course talking about Israeli itself because I and readers of my blog know first hand from the Shamai Leibowitz story that the U.S. does spy on Israeli diplomats in this country when it has the opportunity of doing so.  But I do think that the U.S. is largely at sea when it comes to knowing what the Israelis really think.  And Israel uses this opacity to its advantage by keeping us guessing.  Our uncertainty gives them maximum leeway to operate.  If the bombs do fall, Barack Obama is liable to be one of the last to know about it if the Israelis have anything to say about it.

This is why I’m always tickled by the false notion that the pro-Israel lobby and neocons spin about Israel being our closest ally in the world, and by the claim that our interests are identical to Israel’s.  It’s amazing that Aipac and its friends have pulled the wool over the eyes of Americans, who don’t understand that Israel’s interests are Israel’s.  And that Israel pursues those interests intensively and right up the edge of legality (and sometimes beyond it).

The WSJ article also trumpets how worried the U.S. is and how urgently it’s imploring Bibi not to attack, but then it adds this little nugget:

In large measure to deter Iran, the U.S. has 15,000 troops in Kuwait, and has moved a second aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf area.

It has also been pre-positioning aircraft and other military equipment, officials say. Arms transfers to key allies in the Gulf, including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, have been fast-tracked as a further deterrent, officials say.

What possible purpose can there be to adding even more armaments to the powder keg that is the Persian Gulf region, other than for attacking Iran if it has the chutzpah to respond to an Israeli attack.  I hope to God no one is going to tell me that these weapons are to deter an Iranian first strike.  You’d have to be stark mad to believe Iran would attack first with this array prepared against them.

But if Iran responds, it appears the U.S. wants to be able to use maximum firepower to join in the fight and teach Iran a final lesson about who’s the boss in the Middle East.

This article was published at Tikun Olam

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Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein is an author, journalist and blogger, with articles appearing in Haaretz, the Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian’s Comment Is Free, Al Jazeera English, and Alternet. His work has also been in the Seattle Times, American Conservative Magazine, Beliefnet and Tikkun Magazine, where he is on the advisory board. Check out Silverstein's blog at Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, which he has maintained since February, 2003.

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