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  Is Israel Preparing To Attack Iran?
by Joel Rosenberg
[novelist] 11/16/06


(Jerusalem) -- The buzz here in Jerusalem the last few days is that Israel is seriously considering a preemptive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities and ballistic missile sites. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert meets today with President Bush. Iran is Topic A, and Olmert is publicly warning Iran to watch out. "I don't believe that Iran will accept [a diplomatic] compromise unless they have good reason to fear the consequences of not reaching a compromise," Olmert said over the weekend. "In other words, Iran must start to fear."

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Joel C. Rosenberg is the New York Times best-selling author of THE LAST JIHAD (2002), THE LAST DAYS (2003), and THE EZEKIEL OPTION (2005), with more than one million copies in print. He previously served as a senior advisor to several U.S. and Israeli leaders, including Steve Forbes, Rush Limbaugh, former Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Natan Sharansky, and former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He has been interviewed on more than 300 radio and TV shows, including ABC's "Nightline," CBN's 700 Club, CNN Headline News, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, the Michael Reagan Show, the Rush Limbaugh Show and the Sean Hannity Show.. Website - [go to Rosenberg Index]

The Ezekiel Option

The Last Days

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Israel's Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh has been telling reporters in recent days that Israel may, in fact, be forced to attack Iran if no one else is willing to stop Ahmadinejad from going nuclear. "I am not advocating an Israeli preemptive military action against Iran," Sneh said Friday. "I consider it a last resort. But even the last resort is sometimes the only resort."

That said, I am not convinced Israel has the capacity -- or the will -- at the moment to neutralize the Iranian nuclear and ballistic missile threat. After her less than spectacular war with Hezbollah this summer, Israelis inside and outside of the government have told me, "If we can't convincingly defeat Nasrallah in Lebanon, are we really about to take on Ahmadinejad by ourselves?"

From an American perspective, I don't believe it is wise for the U.S. to outsource our national security. If President Bush believes Iran needs to be neutralized (and I believe he does), and he is convinced that military action is the only way (I don't believe he is there right now), then the U.S. should take the lead. Only we have military forces on three sides of Iran -- in Afghanistan, Iraq and Turkey. Only we have several aircraft carrier groups in the region. Only we have the force projection to get the job done. It will not be easy be any means. The cost of war with Iran will be very high, and we should not fool ourselves into thinking otherwise. If there is another way to get the job done besides military force, we should vigorously pursue those options by all means.

But Olmert's message to Bush no doubt will be: we're running out of time. And he's right. If anyone is going to stop Iran from threatening the world with nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them, it has to be soon, perhaps no later than the end of 2007. After all, 2008 is an American election year. 2009 will be the start of a new administration. By then it may be too late. The thermonuclear genie may be out of the bottle.

That said, Olmert should not hold his breath with anticipation that the U.S. is going to move militarily against Iran if Israel doesn't. The emergence of Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Reid means President Bush has almost no political capital left in the bank, and precious few allies in Washington (much less in Europe or the Middle East) for embarking on yet another preemptive war.

So where do things stand? A new Hitler is rising in Iran. Ahmadinejad and his radical Shiite eschatology threatens the peace of the world. Tehran poses a clear and present danger to the U.S., Israel and our allies in the region. But no one seems willing or able to stop Iran before it's too late. No wonder the Psalmist urges us to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem." CRO


copyright 2006 - Joel Rosenberg



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