Will Obama attack Iran?

July 30th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

An Israeli newspaper is reporting the Obama administration’s top security official has briefed Israel on US plans for a possible attack on , seeking to reassure it that Washington is prepared to act militarily should diplomacy and sanctions fail to pressure Tehran to abandon its nuclear enrichment programme.

But a senior Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential talks, said the article in the Haaretz daily was incorrect.

Allowing Iran to gain nuclear weapons is unthinkable, especially as their President has vowed to destroy Israel so many times. Likewise, an attack on Iran is almost unthinkable, as it would destabilise the region, undermine the pro-democratic forces in Iran, and entrench the current leadership.

I do wonder about how it would play domestically in the US though. Would an attack by Obama in election year help in the polls by making him look willing to take the hard decisions? Romney could not attack him, if Obama does strike to remove Iran’s nuclear capability.

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57 Responses to “Will Obama attack Iran?”

  1. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    Unlikely at this point, though sooner or later it may become a necessity so long Ahmadinejad remains in power. I just don’t see Obama being prepared to go that far.

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  2. SalParadise (54 comments) says:

    When NZ journalists fail, trust in The Guardian:

    “The timing of the story suggest a desire by the administration to pre-empt Romney’s presentation of himself as a more robust supporter of tough action against Iran than Obama.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/29/mitt-romney-unity-israel-iran

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  3. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    Cue the rabid US-haters with their “Well, the crazy US and brutal Israel have nukes so why not Iran” line of reasoning.

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  4. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “trust in The Guardian”

    Er………NO.

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  5. dime (10,109 comments) says:

    Obama to launch attack 3 weeks before the election :P if things are looking close.

    If the yanks attack, youd have to think it would be a sustained air strike. They would have to take out Irans ability to wage war. Air defense, missile sites, military hq’s etc

    Basically a good ole fashioned beat down.

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  6. Fentex (1,038 comments) says:

    Ahmadinejad (a complete political joke) has no practical power, that resides with the clerics in Iran and he was misquoted (actively misrepresented) about destroying Israel.

    And everyone ought get started on thinking this unthinkable thing about more disreputable nations having nuclear weapons. It’s inevitable now it’s proven it’s the only thing that gets respect, and provides protection, from bullies with their own.

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  7. kowtow (8,774 comments) says:

    Nope,he won’t.

    He’s all talk and spin.

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  8. dime (10,109 comments) says:

    Is this coming out because Romney is about to visit Israel?

    A bit of a “dont forget me” thing from Obama.

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  9. Manolo (14,065 comments) says:

    The incompetent Messiah will do whatever it takes to get votes.
    Who does still remember that “the world will start to heal, the waters to recede“, after his elevation to President? What an arrogant, vain and full-of-it politician.

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  10. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    I shouldn’t have thought Obama would be too worried about Romney visiting anywhere. Surely, he’ll make some chuckle-worthy gaffes in Israel too,

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  11. dime (10,109 comments) says:

    mike – gaffes as bad as the dopey VP makes? remember, something happens to Obama and Biden is running the free world. a very scary thought.

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  12. MajorBloodnok (361 comments) says:

    Agree 100% with @kowtow.

    Obama would NEVER attack Iran — even if they launched nuclear missiles at Israel.

    He is too supportive of the so-called “religion of peace”.

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  13. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    dime
    Perhaps when Romney visited the UK he should have included this passage from his book in one of his speeches:
    ‘England is just a small island. Its roads and houses are small. With few exceptions, it doesn’t make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy. And if it hadn’t been separated from the continent by water, it almost certainly would have been lost to Hitler’s ambitions.’

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  14. flipper (4,205 comments) says:

    Remember Iraq?

    I have a wager going back four years with family and friends, that Israel will NEVER allow Iran to go nuclear.

    Obama might like to stop Tel Aviv. But he no longer has the horse power.

    Every time the Harvard panty waists wiggle, they shit their pants. They just did.

    Going to be “fun” watching from afar……

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  15. Komata (1,202 comments) says:

    Sadly, El Presidente Obama is all hat and no horse. He’s proven repeatedly that, like Neville Chamberlain, he is more interested in appeasement of Iran and making a lot of noise that sounds good (and reassuring) to oil-sources (specifically the Saudi’s). Lots of noise, but when push comes to shove this simply isn’t going to happen. Obama’s rhetoric sounds good at home, especially when an election is looming (and there is a sizable block of votes and money to be enticed into his orbit), but with the distinct chance that he will loose, there is a certain degree of desperation becoming evident in pronouncements such as these. But, no,IMHO, it won’t go anywhere. And after the elections, if he gets back in then the matter will be quietly allowed to go away, its usefulness over.

    BTW: It’s helpful to remember that, the USA is not the Iranian’s ‘natural’ enemy – that is reserved for Saudi Arabia. which is why the Saudi’s are ever so slightly ‘jumpy’ about what is going-on next door.

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  16. dime (10,109 comments) says:

    mike – oh no! just shocking.

    imagine if he had written something even worse like “i used to do coke” a class A drug.

    or his wife said things like “FINALLY i am proud to be an american” etc etc

    but enjoy your huff post or whatever other hate site youre currently whacking off to

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  17. cha (4,081 comments) says:

    Obama might like to stop Tel Aviv. But he no longer has the horse power.

    http://www.jta.org/news/article/2012/07/27/3101921/obama-release-70-million-in-military-aid-for-israel

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  18. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    I do wonder about how it would play domestically in the US though. Would an attack by Obama in election year help in the polls by making him look willing to take the hard decisions? Romney could not attack him, if Obama does strike to remove Iran’s nuclear capability.

    Bombing a country to make your reelection easier? Not even I would support the invasion of Iran if those were the grounds.

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  19. Lance (2,714 comments) says:

    I know there is deep seated and borderline irrational loathing of Obama here (hey, everyone has to have a hobby) but seriously dudes and dudesses;

    Romney for POTUS?

    He makes George W look like he was in touch with world events and reality in general.
    Romneys a joke.

    I have centre right views but supporting Romney is swallowing a dead rat.

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  20. kowtow (8,774 comments) says:

    Romney gaffes front page, Obie gaffes quickly buried. Do they still speak Austrian in Austria?

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/224544/barack-gaffes/michelle-malkin

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  21. dime (10,109 comments) says:

    Lance – why??

    Romeny is a smart guy. Hes a business guy.

    Why do people always think rich guys are stupid?

    Why cant these poor academics make money?

    The left are awesome at rebranding and labeling. without using google can you tell me why Romeny is out of touch with reality?

    Obama – how exactly is he a foreign policy genius? or an economics genius? hes an ideologue. i dont hate obama. id have a beer with him. i just think he is misguided.

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  22. KevinH (1,236 comments) says:

    The unnamed Israeli newspaper running this story is engaging in prppaganda to rattle Iran. It is highly unlikely that the US would attack Iran because to date the US Middle Eastern strategy has benn a disaster, ie the invasion of Iraq was a long protracted engagement costing many US lives and Afghanistan is still an ongoing headache for the US battling a resurgent Taliban.
    The US however may assist Israel logistically with military support by providing a missle defence system for Israel as well as military satellite access for targeting potential missle sites.

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  23. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,920 comments) says:

    Yes David, you’re on to him

    Obama and Clark have both shown they would do whatever it takes to get re-elected.

    If Romney is a couple of points up in two months’ time (and he will be) and the electoral college map has swung his way, I fully expect Obama will attack Iran. The horrendous negative consequences will be a small price for Americans to pay, in return for the privilege of another shambolic four years of decline and gangster government.

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  24. Lance (2,714 comments) says:

    @dime
    Insulting the British just before the Olympics was fucking stupid. Really grossly politically stupid.
    There are other gems about identifying with the unemployed by saying he is unemployed as well. Wanker
    “I get speaker’s fees from time to time, but not very much.” —Mitt Romney, who earned $374,000 in speaking fees in one year according to according to his personal financial disclosure (January 2012)
    ”[My wife] drives a couple of Cadillacs.”
    ”I love this state. The trees are the right height.”
    ”I saw my father march with Martin Luther King.” (no he didn’t and his father didn’t march with King)
    Mitt Romney in 2012: ”I don’t manage the money that I have. In order to make sure that I didn’t have a conflict of interest “while I was governor or while I was considering a run for national office, I had a blind trust established.” (then)
    Mitt Romney in 1994: ”The blind trust is an age-old ruse, if you will, which is to say, you can always tell the blind trust what it can and cannot do. You give a blind trust rules.”

    So the list goes on

    I know that nobody is perfect and Obama probably gets better press than Romney… but this is dickhead stuff.

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  25. fish_boy (152 comments) says:

    “Allowing” Iran to get nuclear weapons? “Allowing”? There is no “allowing”. Iran getting nuclear weapons is inevitable. All the Israeli air strikes in the world won’t prevent Iran getting nuclear weapons. The Iranians have dispersed and heavily protected their nuclear sites. There is no guarantee of success for the Israelis air force. All Israel can hope to achieve is to slow down the inevitable and make sure that when Iran does get nuclear weapons the most likely result will be Israel’s destruction in an Iranian nuclear attack – a nuclear attack at least as likely to be in retaliation for an Israeli first strike as the result of any action from Iran.

    The United States won’t attack Iran if it retains any sort of sanity because even the US military can’t imagine a way it can win a war with Iran and the country is broke anyway. The United States is, for the time being, a spent force in the sense it cannot wage another war of aggression. They simply cannot keep up their ruinously expensive military adventurism on behalf of a global elite if that elite continues to refuse to pay the taxes to fund it. The risk for the United States is they’ll have a Suez moment when China will direct them stop attacking Iran or they’ll cut the line of credit off. Militarily the whole idea of trying to wage war on Iran to force it to quit it’s nuclear weapons program is laughably stupid. Iran now has the capability to happily rain down inaccurate IRBM’s on targets as far away as Athens and possibly Rome. They can close off the oil supply to the west from the gulf. And no one can realistically stop them.

    There is no military option against Iran.

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  26. wreck1080 (3,964 comments) says:

    The iranian leaders want to die since they truly believe in the going to heaven/14 virgins thing.

    Nukes give them a means to an end.

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  27. PaulL (6,048 comments) says:

    fish_boy: despite the predictions of some for peak oil and peak hydrocarbons, I hear that with shale gas the US is well on the way to energy independence. Questions:
    1. If they don’t care about oil, will they stop caring about the middle east? (my prediction, no, because it was never about oil)
    2. If they aren’t worried about oil being cut off, will they have freer rein? (my prediction, no, because their main reason for things they do is their perception of freedom and their duty to help those who are down trodden, and their main constraint is the level of death toll they’re prepared to take of Americans. At the moment that math says no more deaths, and not that worried about the down trodden)

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  28. All_on_Red (1,645 comments) says:

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/07/28/Obama-Top-Ten-UK-Gaffes

    This is what Romney said:”Mr. Romney told NBC News he saw “a few things that were disconcerting” about London’s preparations. “The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, supposed strike of immigration and customs officials, that obviously is not something which is encouraging,” he said”
    wow. Hardly a “stupid” comment considering Romney has helped organise Olympics before and understands the problems.
    The biggest enemy Romney has is the US media.(and STUPID people who still rely on the US media for political information.) Its pretty much a conspiracy of silence about anything Obama says which is off. (You didnt build that!)

    “This is all about the media OPENLY coordinating with the Obama campaign to win reelection for a failed president. And the only way to do that is to turn the failed president’s opponent into an alternative that isn’t acceptable. So as our economy burns and national security secrets fly out the White House window and guns are handed to Mexican drug lords — the media enters day three of ensuring Romney remains beaten senseless by The Narrative.
    This isn’t bias; it’s corruption. And as proof, here are 10 examples of Obama’s British gaffes, all of which the media has intentionally covered up or underplayed”

    Read the list in the link. Yet despite all the bias, its seems that Romney is holding is own. Last Gallop poll five points ahead, but whether that relates to enough seats will remain to be seen.

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  29. lilman (967 comments) says:

    Really hope he does smack Iran hard, because if he doesnt do it now ,when the time comes to take action then death toll will be massive.

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  30. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    Romney hasn’t much credibility on foreign policy. His main approach has been to condemn anything Obama has done, without having to explain what he would have done differently.
    As for the chances of the US attacking Iran. Virtually no chance, for the reasons set out by fish above.

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  31. RRM (10,020 comments) says:

    I have no doubt the U.S. military planning people have theoretical plans written down for how they’d go about doing a lot of big things.

    That doesn’t necessarily mean such an attach is in the pipeline though…?

    I wonder if starting an all-out assault on the towel head heartland of Mordor Iran would be enough to make any Republican voters / tea baggers swing to the democrats? :-)

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  32. Komata (1,202 comments) says:

    FB: Re: ‘The risk for the United States is they’ll have a Suez moment when China will direct them stop attacking Iran or they’ll cut the line of credit off’

    You have raised an interesting ‘echo’ here in respect of the US and its involvement on the Suez ‘police action’. As you have correctly pointed-out the US, by holding the old Empire’s purse strings after W.W. 2, effectively turned the situation to its own advantage. The supreme irony is now that the USA’s sworn ideological enemy (COMMUNIST China) now has financial control of the USA and can, by using similar tactics, manipulate the situation to suit itself and its own imperial ends; and there is very little that the USA can do about it. it’s not happening at the moment, although various little flickers are evident, and what is seen is largely hidden, but it will be an interesting situation when China decides (as it will) to finally ‘do’ something about Taiwan. The US is obliged under various treaties to assist Taiwan, again, an ideological enemy of the Communists, but if China holds the purse strings that control the US (and, by direct inference) the US military tasked with protection Taiwan, what happens then? By extension, China will be effectively working against itself. Could be an interesting situation I suspect. . .

    The tragedy is that the average US citizen isn’t aware of what has happened and still passionately believes that the USA is the world’s greatest power. Sad really.

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  33. dime (10,109 comments) says:

    Lance – thats it?

    A quote from 1994 where he says you set guidelines for a blind trust somehow means he overseas it? Maybe a guideline was – hey, it the market drops 80%, sell my stocks.

    Apart from that you seem unhappy that he is richer than you? 370k isnt much to him. personally i think thats awesome. love seeing people make it big.

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  34. Paulus (2,664 comments) says:

    Mbama is all piss and wind – its an Election year.

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  35. Lance (2,714 comments) says:

    Oh come on dime
    I expect that sort of shit from a leftie

    He has a lot of money, I have no problem with that. But to say to a political audience (of the unemployed) I am unemployed just like you is really really patronizing (and stupid) to be blunt.
    Why can’t he just be honest?
    But no he makes a series of gaffs whenever he tries to connect to less monied. Maybe if he just stuck to his knitting and said, ‘you too can be rich like me because I will make sure you can follow the American dream’………….. but he doesn’t and instead makes himself look like a clown.

    My main point was that surely there was somebody better that that to represent the republicans?

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  36. Bob R (1,393 comments) says:

    Obama and Romney are both in the pockets of the Israel Lobby. Jon Stewart has been quite good at highlighting the cringeworthy performances of Obama & the Republicans sucking up to AIPAC.

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/john-mearsheimer/the-israel-lobby

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  37. emmess (1,432 comments) says:

    Obama won’t attack Iran
    He is not even really pushing for a no fly zone in Syria.
    If a case can be made for launching an attack on Iran, then surely to make one for Syria would be a piece of piss.

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  38. dime (10,109 comments) says:

    lance – i agree. i read an opinion piece in the wall st journal yesterday. the dude was saying romney should be proud of being rich and successful. fuck knows why he has to hide it

    as for gaffes – are they really that bad? every politician makes em.

    what about Obama – if youre successful its cause the government helped you! that was 3 weeks ago.

    the sad thing is i think romney is the right guy. hes just not exciting enough for a lot of people.

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  39. iMP (2,422 comments) says:

    There is a good piece on Obama vs Iran here http://conzervative.wordpress.com.

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  40. cha (4,081 comments) says:

    Bob R (669) Says:
    July 30th, 2012 at 1:22 pm
    Obama and Romney are both in the pockets of the Israel Lobby. Jon Stewart has been quite good at highlighting the cringeworthy performances of Obama & the Republicans sucking up to AIPAC.

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/john-mearsheimer/the-israel-lobby

    Yeah, you and David Duke.

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  41. Advocatus Diaboli (29 comments) says:

    We should be encouraging Great State of Israel to step up to the plate and attack Iran. If we allow Iran to develop Nuclear Weapons we will have Mushroom Clouds appearing over our major cities in the western world.

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  42. kowtow (8,774 comments) says:

    The USA is still the worlds’ greatest power.Yep it’s broke but who isn’t these days?
    In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king.

    China,will fall apart. It is surrounded by distrustful neighbours who will be able to pick over it in due course.With a bit of luck some manufacturing will come home but I doubt it and when China does go bung ,for whatever reason it will be ugly for us little exporting nations that have put so much faith in the celestial kingdom and those that promoted “free trade” with a place that is anything but, you heard it from kowtow. That’s what we do well, kowtow to the commie.

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  43. Bob R (1,393 comments) says:

    @ cha,

    Jon Stewart is Jewish. Your lame guilt-by-association trick doesn’t work either. Betrays a weak argument.

    Maybe you could explain how Mearsheimer & Walt are wrong?

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  44. cha (4,081 comments) says:

    The article, same old conspiracy/ Jews at high levels meme and Mearsheimer’s endorsement.

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  45. Bob R (1,393 comments) says:

    @ Cha,

    Read the article. Perhaps address their specific claims. The influence of pro- Israel groups and donors is hardly a “conspiracy”. Your attempts to dismiss Walt & Mearsheimers evidence by poisoning the well is impressive though :)

    “For all the wooing of American Jews in presidential campaigns, those who say Israel’s fate drives their vote make up 6 percent of a reliably Democratic bloc. The tiny numbers are overlaid with an outsize influence. Campaign donations from Jews or Jewish and pro-Israel groups account for as much as 60 percent of Democratic money, and groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee can bring strong pressure on candidates.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/28/obama-romney-jewish-vote_n_1714250.html

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  46. freemark (616 comments) says:

    I have just finished an excellent library book, “The Looming Tower” by Lawrence Wright. Main conclusion is that there were so many signals to 9/11 that it should never had happened. Inter agency rivalry (CIA vs FBI) and lack of intel sharing allowed Bin Laden & Al Quaeda free rein to carry out the mission. Interesting statements also that Germany has a defacto policy of non interference with terrorists as long as their targets are not within Germany.
    A bloody good read, great insight into the whole disaffected muslim head space, and further proof that we should be doing everything we can in the West to reduce reliance on Middle Eastern Energy .. ie mine it, frack it, drill it, power cars with nuke based electricity etc.
    And be very careful about the Muslim immigrants/refugees we import.. we are all non – believers, and are responsible for their issues.

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  47. chiz (1,164 comments) says:

    Fentex:he was misquoted (actively misrepresented) about destroying Israel.

    In what way was he misrepresented? He did actually threaten that Israel would be wiped off the map despite attempts by some people in the west to deny this.

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  48. freemark (616 comments) says:

    We should be bloody grateful for Israel’s strength and aggressiveness, and if we allow any rogue state to develop Nukes they will be used against us, either as missiles, or dirty bombs.
    I attended a movie screening in Dubai, “100 years of Iran” (or similar) made by a French group. The Producer & Director did a Q&A afterwards, and the fanatical Iranian guys in the audience were frightening – despite the fact the film was very sympathetic to their cause.

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  49. kiwi in america (2,510 comments) says:

    Given Obama’s long standing appeasement of Iran and indifference to Israel I’d be very surprised if he ordered an attack – but if Romney is up over 5% in key battleground states (not an unreasonable assumption as the RCP averages right now are dominated by MSM polls that focus on Registered vs Likely voter screens that historically favour the Dems by 4% and using D/R/I splits closer to 2008 than 2010 AND Gallup and Rasmussen daily tracking polls that use Likely voters samples already have Romney up 5%) then desperation may drive Obama to abandon his instinct to not attack Iran and go for the electoral jugular.

    Lance
    Please honestly compare Romney’s frank and truthful (but politically unwise) commentary on the pre Olympics problems in London with Obama’s 57 States, Austrians speaking Austrian, mispronouncing Corpsmen, returning the Churchill bust, bowing to the Saudi King, breaching Royal protocol in his toast, giving the Queen an iPod of his speeches and Gordon Brown a gift of US movie DVDs in a format that can’t even be played in the UK gaffes and tell us that somehow he’s worse than Obama? You’ve succumbed to Whaleoil’s irrational opposition to Romney that must be about Romney being Mormon or opposing gay marriage.

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  50. noskire (842 comments) says:

    The US has developed multiple contingency plans for military action against every nation on earth including this early plan for a New Zealand invasion.

    I think the only first-strike scenario that the US would be seriously considering is a cyber-attack designed to disable their computer networks, power and water facilities etc. This could potentially cut the head off the snake, so to speak. But if not completely precise, the danger is it will force Iran to launch counter-strikes to Israel.

    There is no appetite in the US voting public, still smarting over the fuck-up that was Gulf War II, and the prolonged Afghanistan fiasco, for another full-blown conventional war – that would be political suicide.

    A surgical strike using aircraft only would likely need the assistance of at least Israel, and in in excess of 200-300 aircraft over at least a five-day period. Israel would need to fly its aircraft over Iraq, so that presents another issue.

    A more comprehensive land and airborne assault would require months of build-up, and the goodwill of the surrounding Arab community for the use of bases etc.

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  51. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    The Red sea pedestrians nuking Iran, well that will be fun, and if China or Russia treat Israel as a mad dog and put some instant sunshine over Tel Aviv the yanks would get into a nuke throwing contest with Russia and China, nope they would not swap NYC for Moscow.
    The ONLY way to stop Iran getting nukes is to invade, and if the yanks liked Iraq they will love Iran.

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  52. Joseph Carpenter (214 comments) says:

    Noskire – wrong, Israel can also overfly Saudi for an Iran aerial attack. Also to note: Israel has recently acquired long range inflight refueling capability for it’s fighter bombers. What it does lack (and would require) is heavy lift long range attack bomber for bunker busters/FAE-MOABs but it apparently appears that will soon be solved. The pieces are moving in The Great Game, I also note Iran is recently cosying up to Syria and Russian Federation, expect more shit to go down on their (Iran) West, North & East flank states as diversions to try and buy time – which is all they need.

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  53. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    “We should be bloody grateful for Israel’s strength and aggressiveness, and if we allow any rogue state to develop Nukes they will be used against us, either as missiles, or dirty bombs.”

    Oh please…. get real. North Korea has been nuclear capable for some years now and… and… nothing.

    There’s a good reason for that: nuclear weapons are offensively useless, since any state using them offensively will be subject to massive retaliation by other nuclear states. They are a weapon of deterrence and have no other useful function. That’s why Iran wants at the very least the appearance of having them or being able to get them at short notice. After all, it has already had two of its neighbours invaded by a hostile superpower. North Korea obtained them for similar reasons, as did Pakistan, as did India, as did China, as did Israel (and South Africa, when they had them).

    Nor would any state spend billions of dollars on a nuclear deterrent only to give it to a small group of unpredictable lunatics like Al Qaeda. The world would spare no effort to track the origin of the nuclear weapon (as if it wouldn’t be immediately obvious where it came from) and the supplier would be subject to nuclear retaliation. Again, it’s not going to happen, because it just doesn’t make any sense.

    In the end, all you have is the unwarranted assumption that the rulers of Iran are so insane that they would ensure the complete destruction of the Islamic Republic they worked so hard to build. Not only that, but that the ruling clique would be able to get large numbers of military officers to go along with such a crazed scheme (ensuring their own deaths and the fiery destruction of their homes, families and friends). Iran is much less of a worry than North Korea or Pakistan, which are politically unstable and in the case of the former quite close to societal collapse. North Korea is a frequent and accomplished military blackmailer of its neighbours, and is far more likely to make stupid threats that might turn bad, but even they understand the risks when nukes are part of the equation.

    The “nutter” theory is a tired old trope. They used to say similar things about the Soviets and Chinese, and it was just as silly then.

    Facts:

    (1) Iran wants nuclear weapons (if it actually wants them) to make it clear to the US that it can’t do to it what it did to Iraq and Afghanistan.

    (2) An Iranian nuclear weapon will slightly increase Iran’s freedom of action in the Middle East by limiting the retaliatory actions that can reasonably be taken against it (this is what the US and Israel really care about).

    (3) Any Iranian nuclear weapon will almost certainly be a crude, gun type fission weapon (the sort used on Hiroshima). They will have at most a few of these simple devices. This will pale compared to the large stockpile of vastly more powerful and technically advanced thermonuclear (Teller-Ulam design) weapons currently possessed by Israel (which is sufficient to more or less depopulate Iran).

    (4) Israel has a long standing policy that it be the only nuclear armed state in the Middle East. The reason for this is clear: the nuclear umbrella gives Israel a free hand to militarily enforce its interests in the region. They can start wars or stage strikes and be sure that even if things go badly that their opponents can at best only force Israeli forces back into Israel (and that is pretty unlikely). An Iranian bomb would limit Israel’s offensive freedom of action, and that is why they consider an Iranian bomb to be unacceptable.

    (5) The Iranians understand (4) (after all, they saw it done to Iraq) and so have disperse their nuclear program, making it immune to destruction by air strikes.

    (6) Most of the posters on this blog have been taken in by propaganda designed to obscure (1) thru (5).

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  54. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    PaulL (4,682) Says:

    “If they aren’t worried about oil being cut off, will they have freer rein? (my prediction, no, because their main reason for things they do is their perception of freedom and their duty to help those who are down trodden”

    Ahahahahahahahahahaaa… That’s hilarious.

    (unless of course you are a downtrodden victim of a brutal dictatorship somewhere in Africa or the strategically uncritical areas of Central Asia – in that case it’s just really depressing)

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  55. Bob R (1,393 comments) says:

    Well said Tom Jackson.

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  56. Fentex (1,038 comments) says:

    In what way was he misrepresented? He did actually threaten that Israel would be wiped off the map despite attempts by some people in the west to deny this.

    No, he did not. What he said was a quoting of Khomeini about the occupying regime fading from time, much as someone might hope for the clerical regime in Iran to fade away.

    Heard in context, in Persian, it was not a threat of violence against Israel.

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  57. chiz (1,164 comments) says:

    And yet, when the BBC looked into this, consulting their Farsi speakers, they concluded that the translation was essentially correct. The passive voice was not used.

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