In a Kol Israel interview from Turkey, Thursday, Feb. 16, the defense minister’s pronouncement contradicted every reliable evaluation, including those of Military Intelligence Chief Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi on Feb. 2 and his predecessor Amos Yadlin who wrote on Jan. 26 that Iran had passed the point of no return four or five years ago. But his words were a perfect fit for the recent assertions by US President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that Israel had not yet made up its mind to attack Iran.
Kochavi’s information was detailed: He reported that Iran had amassed 10 kilos of 20-percent enriched uranium and four tons of uranium enriched to 3.5 percent. In his view, nothing remains to stop Iran building a bomb but a decision by its ruler. Once taken, Iran’s nuclear program could produce its first bomb or warhead by the end of this year or early 2013 and four or five by 2015.
The defense minister backtracked on a second issue: While noting that Iran was scattering or burying its nuclear facilities to “impede a surgical strike,” he avoided his previous estimate that no more than three to six months were left before all those facilities had been hidden in what he himself called “zones of immunity.”
full article here
So what does this mean? My guess is that this was not so much a changing of mind but Israel's way of doing two things:
1. O and many of his government - as well as leaders in other countries - believe that the sanctions are now working and that Iran is willing to talk as long as they save face in doing it. The head of Iran does not want to be perceived by his country's citizens as bowing to the chief Satan and little Satan (US & Israel). What he will require is a resolution that will make him look powerful and victorious in talks with the rest of the world involving the nuclear issue. By Barak begrudgingly clarifying their evaluation of the matter it tells the other countries they have some time to allow sanctions to crush the internal works of Iran and get dialogue going without the worry that overnight Israel unilaterally attacks Iran making their overtures and any dialogue worthless.
2. Building on #1 this is yet another way that Israel is going to show that Iran is actually stalling and has no serious desire to work with the Satans of the world. This in Israel's eyes will be the final period of grace given and last chance for so-called diplomacy to resolve the Iran nuclear issue.
Ayatollah: Kill all Jews, annihilate Israel
The Iranian government, through a website proxy, has laid out the legal and religious justification for the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of its people.
The doctrine includes wiping out Israeli assets and Jewish people worldwide.
At the bottom of the page is a video by Islamic sources explaining that the Last Messiah is about to appear. The video is mostly in Arabic but there is enough in English subtitles that you get the picture of what they are explaining. Interesting stuff.
Led by SCAF chairman Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, the military is resolved not to wait for the next two stages of the democratic transition to go through. They are on the run – even if this means handing Egypt on a silver platter to the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist colleagues whose parties have dominated the three rounds of parliamentary elections.
It also emboldened Muslim Brotherhood leaders to declare repeatedly that they have never been bound by any pledges to Washington to uphold the 1979 peace treaty with Israel, flatly denying reports to the contrary.
full article here
2 cents: as feared so it appears it is going to happen, Israel will no longer have one border of peace.
The incoming American soldiers are officially categorized as participants in Austere Challenge 12, the biggest joint US-Israeli war game ever held.
The joint US-Israeli drill will test multiple Israeli and US air defense systems against incoming missiles and rockets, according to the official communiqué.
debkafile's military sources add that they will also practice intercepting missiles and rockets coming in from Syria, Hizballah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
full article here
The US leader was rebuffed last month when he demanded private guarantees that no strike would go ahead without White House notification, suggesting Israel no longer plans to "seek Washington's permission", sources said. The disclosure, made by insiders briefed on a top-secret meeting between America's most senior defense chief and Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's hawkish prime minister, comes amid concerns that Iran's continuing progress towards nuclear weapons capability means the Jewish state has all but lost hope for a diplomatic solution.
On Tuesday, UN weapons inspectors released their most damning report to date into Iran's nuclear activities, saying for the first time that the Islamic republic appeared to be building a nuclear weapon. It was with that grave possiblity in mind that Leon Panetta, the US defense secretary, flew into Israel last month on what was ostensibly a routine trip.
Officially, his brief was restricted to the Middle East peace process, but the most important part of his mission was a private meeting with Mr Netanyahu and the defense minister, Ehud Barak. Once all but a handful of trusted staff had left the room, Mr Panetta conveyed an urgent message from Barack Obama. The president, Mr Panetta said, wanted an unshakable guarantee that Israel would not carry out a unilateral military strike against Iran's nuclear installations without first seeking Washington's clearance.
The two Israelis were notably evasive in their response, according to sources both in Israel and the United States.
"They did not suggest that military action was being planned or was imminent, but neither did they give any assurances that Israel would first seek Washington's permission, or even inform the White House in advance that a mission was underway," one said.
Whole story here:
With O in office I can't expect Israel to let him know in advance. Maybe in the very beginning of his presidency (benefit of the doubt, try to develop a good relationship) but not now. Especially as things have developed between them (remember comments caught last week with the open-mic?)/ China & Russia are roadblocking stricter sanctions being issued against Iran so despite the news and reminders issued in the IAEA report, things continue as they were. If you or I were an Israeli we would expect our government to protect us - true? The USA can fly thousands of drones into sovereign territories to kill people who are perceived to be enemies of our nation. Run unannounced feet on the ground missions to assassinate terrorists in sovereign nations. Do you see the hypocrisy of O?
Understand that the report is written in such a way that you don't have to be a nuclear engineer or whatever to get the gist of the IAEA's assessment. Based solely on what the report states it would seem Iran needs to either admit what they are doing or at least offer plausible explanations for the discrepancies and actions reported and documented. On some of the most alarming deductions and assessments Iran has repeatedly refused to explain the matter. If I was a gambling man - no - I will take it a step better - if I was Bibi or another government official of leadership in the nation of Israel I would be getting my ducks in a row and pull the trigger on some tactical action to remedy the Iran nuclear question. As I wrote in reply to my mother this afternoon I honestly believe by this time next year someone will have made military tactical actions against Iran and for Israel's sake I hope they did not have to act alone.
If you remember about a couple months before Russia finished providing the necessary equipment and building of Bushehr the US and Israel were having meetings that were reported as begging Russia not to go through with the agreement and purchases to Iran to make Bushehr operational. Now with the knowledge that Iran's computers are in essence sending destructive instructions to all the machinery in what has been called the worst and most diabolical new computer worm - Stuxnet my belief - no proof of course - just looking at the end results --- is that US & Israel (the creators of malware) were providing the instructions and files to download onto the computers before Russia finished installing and turned on the reactor. Russia gets the $$ from the sale and contracts and Israel and USA dealt a crippling blow to Iran's nuclear program without a bomb being dropped.
The whole thing was nicely summed up (as usual) in the October 8th issue of the Week magazine.
Is the U.S. “already at war with Iran?” asked Robert Dreyfuss in The Nation. For several years now, there have been reports that the government has been trying to sabotage Iran’s nuclear industry. That secret war may have just become visible, in the form of a diabolical new computer “worm” called Stuxnet. Cybersecurity experts say Stuxnet is the most sophisticated, and potentially devastating, bit of “malware” ever devised, with the ability to spread quickly, take control of industrial computers, and reprogram them to destroy hardware. Experts say the worm could only have been created with the resources and expertise of a nation-state. Its ultimate target? That remains uncertain, although Iran admits that 30,000 of its computers have already been infected, including some at the Bushehr nuclear power plant, whose start-up has been delayed. Stuxnet may also be impairing Iran’s computer-controlled uranium centrifuges, which mysteriously have lost 30 percent of production capacity, thereby setting back any plans to make a bomb. “Make no mistake: This is serious stuff.”
Stuxnet, in fact, is the first true cyberweapon, said Mark Clayton in The Christian Science Monitor. Security experts say the complex worm is designed to “cross from the digital realm to the physical world—to destroy something.” Ralph Langer, a German researcher who has studied Stuxnet intensively, says the worm is programmed to attack one specific factory, power plant, or other industrial installation somewhere in the world, and that once it reaches its target, it will send a code: “DEADF007.” Then something bad happens. “Something big,” Langer says. Who sent it? It could be the U.S.—or Israel, which is also developing cyberwarfare capability.
Whatever the source or the outcome, Stuxnet ushers in a frightening new era, said Jed Babbin in Forbes.com. China, Russia, the U.S., and other nations have been quietly engaging in cyberwarfare for some time now, but this worm represents a major technological escalation—like the change from the “muzzle-loading muskets” of the 18th and 19th centuries to modern rifles. “This is what nation-states build if their only other option would be to go to war,” one security expert said. Iran may be the target this time, but let’s not gloat. In the future, a foreign worm could shut down or destroy America’s electrical utilities and its industrial and nuclear facilities. Welcome to the brave new cyberworld.
The link below is to today's story in which Iran admits Stuxnet has crippled their nuclear facilities.
Lets watch and see what O will do about this. My guess is very little if anything.
We - the USA - have destabilized the Middle East and set up the area for Iran to physically gain territory in the area.
Because the USA no longer goes into war to win the war because of the access the so called journalist and media have to such areas we treat the activities as SWAT version police actions. Go in and get the bad guy with the least amount loss of life and then pull out. Not only is this only effective in the movies and TV shows apparently those who are power in the government know that the USA citizens expect the same type of quick sterile action. And you know what - they are correct. The old quote "War is hell" is a truth that our government and military try hard to avoid because of the politics involved not only in the Congress and White House but also the offices of the DOD and Pentagon. This will all play out as a repeat in Afghanistan unless Taliban actually gain control of the nuclear arsenal. Then we will withdraw in defeat on a philosophy of negotiations and sanctions (see Iran).
Hizballah strikes US troops in Iraq, clears way for anti-Israel Eastern Front
debkafile's military sources report increased Hizballah involvement in actions to terrorize, subvert and destabilize Iraq. A US intelligence source told debkafile's Iraq and counter-terror sources Monday Sept. 6: "Hizballah is striking US targets in Iraq as sub-contractor for Iran and Syria."
According to the Sunday Times of Sept. 5, Iranian "firms" in Kabul are shelling out $1,000 to Taliban for every American soldier they kill in Afghanistan.
These developments make nonsense of the dire predictions heard from some American military experts that an Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear facilities would unleash a wave of anti-US terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is happening anyway without Israel lifting a finger against Iran or its aggressive allies.
debkafile's counter-terror sources can exclusively reveal the nature and makeup of Hizballah's operation in Iraq: The Lebanese terrorists are working directly and through two Iraqi Shiite affiliates.
1. Asaib al-Haq (League of the Believers): Under a variety of names, such as the Qais Khazalis for its commander, this group spent the last four years under the tutelage of Hizballah officers at Revolutionary Guards bases in Iran.A few weeks ago, the Lebanese officersleft Iran and crossed into Iraq disguised as Shiite pilgrims to spread out in Baghdad and the southern Iraqi towns of Karbala, Najef, Nassiriyeh and Basra from which to attack attack US targets.
2. Kata'ib Hizballah (Hizballah Brigades): This organization is commanded by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis who visited Damascus on Aug. 21 with the Revolutionary Guards chief Gen. Ali Jafaari. They got together there with Syrian and Hizballah officers to synchronize their campaigns of violence in Iraq, Israel and the West Bank.
The Iraqi operation was clearly uppermost on the mind of Hizballah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah, judging from the number of words he poured out on Iraq in his speech in Beirut on Palestine Solidarity Day of Sept. 3 and the way he bracketed the two "resistance struggles."
"The steadfastness of the Palestinians, Syria, Iran and the Iraqi people has been able to foil the US plot seeking to partition the region and liquidate its resistance," he said. "The US withdrawal from Iraq is a sign of weakness and defeat." Furthermore, "the Americans came to Iraq to stay there and control it, but years later, they were surprised by the early resistance and cited enormous and strategic mistakes in their reading of the Iraqi arena."
debkafile's military sources report that Hizballah's increased involvement in actions to terrorize, subvert and destabilize Iraq on behalf of Syria and Iran is their first practical step for reviving the Eastern Front which threatened Israel in the days of Saddam Hussein.
In its contemporary re incarnation, the Eastern Front would be orchestrated from Tehran and link up with the armed-to-the-teeth Northern Front composed of Iran's cohorts, Hizballah, Syria and the Palestinian rejectionists.
This came to mind this morning after reading the latest Debka article.
The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid. (Isa 17:1-2 KJV)
As of now this prophecy spoken to and against Damascus has not been fulfilled which points to the fact that in the future it will be.
I seriously doubt the resolve of O to make good on his promise but I have no doubt Israel would and will.
The debka article:
The Obama administration has sent Syrian president Bashar Assad a stern warning that he will be held personally accountable and face consequences if Israel and the Palestinian Authority are subjected to a terror campaign - whether by Hizballah or the Palestinian extremist groups based in Damascus, debkafile reports from Washington. The warning went out Thursday, Sept. 2, as Israelis and Palestinians sat down to talk in Washington in the shadow of threats from extremists sheltering under Syria's wing and after two attacks on the West Bank.
The caution was put in Assad's hands in Damascus by Fredric Hof, adviser to US envoy George Mitchell as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas met for the first time under the aegis of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and support of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah.
debkafile's sources do not know exactly what was said at the interview but Saturday, Sept. 4, they confirmed the severity of the US message to the Syrian ruler.
Our military sources report that last week, Syria and Hizballah took joint steps against a possible Israeli strike against the sophisticated rockets which Hizballah is storing for safekeeping at Syrian bases close to the border and holding ready for immediate use. Hizballah militiamen have been visiting those bases to learn how to use the advanced hardware.
Assad is deepening his military partnership with Hizballah and advancing joint preparations for war under Iranian sponsorship. Last Sunday, Aug. 29, he urged Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to stand solidly behind Hizballah when they met in Damascus. The Syrian ruler stressed to Hariri "…the importance of supporting the resistance [a euphemism for terrorism used by radical Arab elements] as the only way to preserve Lebanon's strength and security against regional threats."
Our sources report that the hands of Assad and the Iran-backed Hizballah are detected in fomenting terror in another part of the Middle East - Iraq, especially in Baghdad.
A top Iranian general said Friday, Sept. 3: "Iran hopes there won't be a need to target the nuclear facility of the Zionist regime, but if there is, Israel would receive dreadful retribution." Gen. Hasan Firouzabadi, supreme commander of Iran's military and Revolutionary Guards armed forces, went on to say, "Our developed weapons can hit any part of the Zionist regime."
Firouzabadi was the first senior Iranian military figure to publicly indicate Tehran readiness for the Middle East's first nuclear war. Saturday, Sept. 4, Israeli ambassador in Washington Michael Oren reported that Hizballah had posted in South Lebanon 16,000 rockets, altogether quadrupling the number ranged on the Israeli border four years ago (in violation of UN resolution 1701).
Their range now covered every part of Israel as far south as Eilat with enhanced precision.
This would obviously include Dimona.
In Havana, Fidel Castro again warned that a nuclear conflict was inevitable if the United States, in alliance with Israel, tried to impose international sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program. His speech to students was highlighted by the Iranian media.
A few hours earlier, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a pro-Palestinian rally that the talks re-launched between Israel and the Palestinians must fail. "The fate of Palestine will be decided through resistance and not in Washington," he declared.
As thousands shouted "Death to America! Death to Israel!" the Iranian president mocked Arab leaders by yelling: "The people of the Middle East are capable of ridding the region of the state of Israel even if their leaders chose not to." He pointed a finger at Abdullah King of Jordan and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who took part in the ceremonial opening of Israel-Palestinian talks in Washington on Sept. 2, for a broad hint that their peoples would rise up against them.
Ahmadinejad then sneered at his favorite targets: "I want to say that no only the Zionists, but even their masters are too small to lay a finger on the Iranian nation and its rights." By' "rights," he referred to Iran's development of nuclear weapons, which he said they were "too small" to halt.
debkafile's Iranian sources stress that Iranian threats to the Jewish state have becoming increasingly harsh and pugnacious marking their contempt for the Netanyahu government's non-response and what they take as Israel's tacit surrender to the activation of their first nuclear reactor at Bushehr on Aug. 21.http://www.debka.com/article/9012/
Ambassador says Islamist group amassing arsenal in southern Lebanon with long enough range to hit Eilat; missiles now hidden beneath hospitals, homes and schools to avoid Israeli Air Force strikes.Hizbullah has an arsenal of approximately 15,000 rockets amassed on Lebanon's border with Israel, including some with a long enough range to hit the southern city of Eilat, US envoy Michael Oren told AFP on Friday.
"The Syrian-Iranian backed Hizbullah poses a very serious threat to Israel...Hizbullah today now has four times as many rockets as it had during the 2006 Lebanon war. These rockets are longer-range. Every city in Israel is within range right now, including Eilat," he said.
Please note that the reference to being able to hit the city Eilat is another way of staying no where in the country of Israel is safe. Eilat is the furthermost southern city in Israel and Lebanon is out the north border of the country - a little over 354 miles from Eilat.