by Stephen Lendman
Polls show most Israelis and Americans oppose war with Iran. Political leaders pay no attention nor ask why Iran, with or without nuclear weapons, would strike Israel or any other country?
Iran hasn't attacked another nation in over 200 years. It threatens none now. It's not developing or producing nuclear weapons. Washington, Israeli, and most other world leaders know it.
Iran's nuclear program is red herring cover. It's used as pretext to replace an independent state with a subservient pro-Western one. It's also about furthering Israeli regional dominance.
Waging full-scale war on Syria and/or Iran is madness. War with either country is all lose, no gain, and potential catastrophic consequences if things spin out of control. Warmongers push ahead with plans anyway.
Israel will be gravely affected if they're implement. Why else would most Israelis oppose war and Netanyahu for threatening it. Last spring, hundreds marched in Tel Aviv against it. They chanted anti-Netanyahu slogans and railed against AIPAC.
They never went away. Expect them back. They're joined by many others. On August 16, Haaretz headlined "Hundreds of Israelis petition IDF pilots: Refuse orders to bomb Iran, saying:
Tel Aviv law professors Menachem Mautner and Chaim Gans joined them. Petition language calls attacking Iran a "highly mistaken gamble."
Besides fundamental legal issues, at best it will delay, not destroy, Iran's nuclear program. Doing so also exacts "an exorbitant price."
Petition language said "No."
"Certainly, this is not a simple option. It involves profound professional and moral dilemmas, and carries the risk of losing a career which is important to you and also the possibility of being prosecuted."
"Nevertheless, it is your duty to consider most carefully and seriously the possibility that by saying the little word 'No,' you will be rendering an important and vital service to the State of Israel and all who live here. This service would be infinitely more important than blind obedience to this particular order."
The petition also explained that bombing Iran's nuclear facilities involves irradiating large areas. Doing so harms civilians. "Israel as a country, as well as those carrying out the bombing might be charged with war crimes."
Professor Gans explained why he signed the petition, saying:
"It is clear that the consequences of (war on Iran) would be destructive in every possible way."
Haaretz said Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and senior Israeli "health establishment" doctors wrote Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. They oppose war. They expressed fears of unavoidable catastrophic consequences.
They said "(w)e will be the ones you will seek out to heal and put together what you have broken. We call on you: Don't break. First do no harm."
On August 16, Israeli Ynet News headlined "Flurry of petitions against strike on Iran," saying:
Resistance to war appears growing. Twenty IDF reserve officers wrote Netanyahu. They expressed concerns like others. Imminent dangers focus minds on what's not previously considered.
Hopefully it's a good sign. It better be in dealing with sociopaths impersonating leaders. Netanyahu and Barak are two of the worst. No one's safe with them in charge.
On August 15, Richard Silverstein wrote about "Bibi's Secret War Plan." He published "an important leaked Israeli government document." A "trusted source" sent it. He's a "former Israeli government minister." He got it from an IDF officer.
He sent it because he and his source oppose war. He revealed it to expose Israeli leadership plans "to take Israel to war." His "mission" is to prevent it. He said no Israeli official denied the authenticity of what he revealed.
His source said he normally wouldn't leak this type document. "These are not normal times," he explained. "I'm afraid Bibi and Barak are dead serious."
Silverstein calls them a "two-headed warrior." Monster would be more appropriate. Virtually no "senior (Israeli) military or intelligence officer wants this war." It's unlikely current officials wrote the leaked material.
"It feels more likely it came from….national security advisor Yaakov Amidror, a former general, settler true-believer, and Bibi confidant." Barak acolytes perhaps also were involved.
Material was prepared for Netanyahu's eight-member security cabinet. They stand "4-3" against war. Bibi's pitching recalcitrant ministers. He's manipulating them to go along. His argument is that Israel can wage "a pure technology war" with few Israeli casualties.
His "sleight of hand" omits a certain Iranian counterattack. Silverstein calls what Netanyahu and Barak have in mind a "product of the Israeli dream factory."
It manufactures threats and clean strategies to address them. It never produces what's promised. Mission accomplished may be catastrophic. This genie can't be rebottled if unleashed.
Silverstein translated from the original Hebrew. Key portions are as follows:
"The Israeli attack will open with a coordinated strike, including an unprecedented cyber-attack which will totally paralyze the Iranian regime and its ability to know what is happening within its borders."
"The internet, telephones, radio and television, communications satellites, and fiber optic cables leading to and from critical installations—including underground missile bases at Khorramabad and Isfahan—will be taken out of action."
"The electrical grid throughout Iran will be paralyzed and transformer stations will absorb severe damage from carbon fiber munitions which are finer than a human hair, causing electrical short circuits whose repair requires their complete removal."
"This would be a Sisyphean task in light of cluster munitions which would be dropped, some time-delayed and some remote-activated through the use of a satellite signal."
"A barrage of tens of ballistic missiles would be launched from Israel toward Iran. 300km ballistic missiles would be launched from Israeli submarines in the vicinity of the Persian Gulf."
"The missiles would not be armed with unconventional warheads [WMD], but rather with high-explosive ordnance equipped with reinforced tips designed specially to penetrate hardened targets."
"The missiles will strike their targets—some exploding above ground like those striking the nuclear reactor at Arak–which is intended to produce plutonium and tritium—and the nearby heavy water production facility; the nuclear fuel production facilities at Isfahan and facilities for enriching uranium-hexaflouride. Others would explode under-ground, as at the Fordo facility."
"A barrage of hundreds of cruise missiles will pound command and control systems, research and development facilities, and the residences of senior personnel in the nuclear and missile development apparatus. Intelligence gathered over years will be utilized to completely decapitate Iran's professional and command ranks in these fields."
"After the first wave of attacks, which will be timed to the second, the "Blue and White" radar satellite, whose systems enable us to perform an evaluation of the level of damage done to the various targets, will pass over Iran."
"Only after rapidly decrypting the satellite's data, will the information be transferred directly to war planes making their way covertly toward Iran."
"These IAF planes will be armed with electronic warfare gear previously unknown to the wider public, not even revealed to our U.S. ally. This equipment will render Israeli aircraft invisible."
"Those Israeli war planes which participate in the attack will damage a short-list of targets which require further assault."
"Among the targets approved for attack—Shihab 3 and Sejil ballistic missile silos, storage tanks for chemical components of rocket fuel, industrial facilities for producing missile control systems, centrifuge production plants and more."
Despite a detailed battle plan, USC Chemical Engineering Professor Muhammad Sahimi explained flaws. Current Iranian Revolutionary Guards head Mohammad Ali Jafari addressed what he called the over-centralization of command and control.
He divided Iran into 31 districts. Each operates independently. To succeed, Israel would have to destroy or disable all. Doing so seems unlikely, especially before Tehran can respond defensively.
If Israel strikes, Netanyahu's waging the last war. Iranian generals learned from Saddam's mistakes. Even with "new tricks" up his sleeve, Netanyahu doesn't know his adversary, its defenses, its structure, and overall preparedness to hit back hard. Attacking Iran assures no winners.
A Final Comment
On August 15, The New York Times suggested a window of opportunity exists to avoid war. Uzi Dayan was quoted. He formerly served as IDF deputy chief of staff. He's Moshe Dayan's nephew. He said:
"This window is closing, but if the United States would be much clearer and stronger about the sanctions on one hand and about what can happen if Iran won't make a U-turn - there is not a lot of time, but there is still time to make a difference."
On August 13, Dayan met with Netanyahu and Barak privately. They discussed current security issues. Iran was topic one. A media blitz awakened Israelis to the impending danger. They responded by opposing war.
Dayan thinks Netanyahu/Barak saber rattling has a purpose. It's pushing Obama to do more. It's about imposing more punishing sanctions than now in place. The only way is by creating a likely military option.
Both Israeli officials also want Washington leading an eventual attack. They're uncertain how successful Israel can be alone. America's might could make the difference. No matter that war with Iran assures no winners.
Dayan added that Netanyahu and Barak will choose war "only if they feel that there is no other way. They will do it only as the last, last thing, but then they will be pretty determined about it."
Once again, The Times suppressed what readers most need to know. It bears repeating. Iran has no nuclear weapons program. It threatens no one. Attacking nonbelligerent states violates fundamental international law.
Nations doing so stand guilty of war crimes. If large numbers of civilians are harmed, add crimes against humanity. If numbers run into the millions or close to it, genocide charges are warranted.
Responsible journalists would explain and condemn what they tacitly or overtly support. Failure makes them complicit in crimes too grave to ignore.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.