The Israeli government no longer believes that sanctions can prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons. A broad consensus in favour of a military strike against Tehran's nuclear facilities -- without the Americans, if necessary -- is beginning to take shape. Spiegel ONline "We will see the Middle East in Flames"
Israel can only depend on American support for as long as current George "Dubya" Bush is still putting his boots on the table in the Oval Office. They are convinced that the country cannot truly depend on any of the candidates to succeed Bush in office.
A single nuclear strike would have devastating consequences for this small country, which is half the size of Switzerland. International strategists commonly refer to Israel as a "one-bomb country."
Jerusalem's military leaders claim that Tehran could curtail every Israeli military campaign, in the Gaza Strip, for example, with only the credible threat of a nuclear strike. Despite its military strength, they say, the country would be practically defenseless.
Even worse, the mere existence of an Iranian nuclear bomb, the government in Jerusalem believes, would trigger an exodus of the educated elite that could spell disaster for the country, both economically and culturally. "Iran would be in a position to destroy the Zionist dream without even pressing a button," says Ephraim Sneh, a retired general and cabinet minister for many years.
Former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, who travels regularly to Jerusalem and Washington for political talks, warns that Israel could see the Bush presidency as its last chance to gain American support for a military strike. "Politically speaking, the window for action is now, in the last months of George W. Bush's term in office," Fischer wrote recently. "The Middle East is headed for another major confrontation."
Others share this sense of unease. Karl-Theodor Freiherr zu Guttenberg, a foreign policy expert and member of the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), says that he has "the unsettling feeling that the contemplation of a military option against Iran is gaining a new dynamic in Israel." He is on the German Bundestag's Foreign Affairs Committee, adviser to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and a staunch supporter of Israel. He was at the NATO Riga summit where people like Uzi Arad, formerly Mossad Director of Intelligence and foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Netanyhu and H.E. Oded Eran Ambassador for Israel to the European Union, Israel were present when the new NATO stance to the Middle East were discussed.
Vice President Dick Cheney "would still want an attack," says Flynt Leverett, a former official in the US State Department and now a Middle East expert with the New America Foundation.
Many Israelis still hope that the Americans will do the job for them. "It could still be the case," says , Dani Yatom, a member of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, "that George W. Bush wants to guarantee himself a place in the history books with this last act." Jerusalem recently received approval from Washington for a purchase of F-22 stealth bombers after a visit by Gates and the House of Representatives lifted ban on sale.
PS : The Dream Of Afghan Democracy Is Dead - By Anatol Lieven, New America Foundation The Financial Times June 11, 2008... "public statements of faith in Afghan democracy are coupled with private expressions of near-despair when it comes to hopes of improving Hamid Karzai’s administration" so Gormless Gordon sends more troops ...after wehave Tommy Taliban "on the back foot"
They have a seminar at the New Americ Foundation tomorrow Lessons from Iraq Avoiding the next War
For details of the new centrifuges at Natanz shown to IAEA see :
Iran Installing More Advanced Centrifuges at Natanz Pilot Enrichment Plant: Factsheet on the P-2/IR-2 Centrifuge
Meet Iran's new centrifuge
This is a very rare photograph of 50 that Lord Patel took in April this year when President Ahmenididjad toured the Natanz Uranium fuel processing facility.
Here is one showing the critical bottom bearimg
More available on request.