Phoney War

In 1939, while Germany was busy invading Poland, the rest of the world was busy doing nothing. They had declared war on Germany, but that’s as far as it had gotten – which was a shame because we later found out that we could have stopped Germany completely with very little effort.

Here’s a bit from the Wikipedia entry on the Phoney War:

At the Nuremberg Trials, Alfred Jodl said that “if we did not collapse already in the year 1939 that was due only to the fact that during the Polish campaign, the approximately 110 French and British divisions in the West were held completely inactive against the 23 German divisions.”

That’s right. We could have stopped the insanity right there if we had just acted.

Well, Israel is wondering if we aren’t at that same September 1939 moment where a little action could save millions (even billions) of lives and avert global catastrophe.

From the rhetoric that’s coming out of Jerusalem, it looks like Israel is getting ready to act on its own.

Or, is Israel trying to startle us out of that trance-like state that we’ve been in for the last few years?

It looks like we’re going to find out the answer to that question sometime during the next few months.


Israel Vice PM: Military strike can hit all of Iran’s nuclear facilities

Speaking at Herzliya Conference, Moshe Ya’alon calls the possibility of a nuclear Iran a ‘nightmare to the free world,’ says explosion at Iranian missile base targeted missile system that would have threatened the U.S.

Ha’aretz, 02.02.12, By Barak Ravid

All of Iran’s nuclear faculties are vulnerable to a military strike, Vice Prime Minister and Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon said on Thursday, calling the potential of a nuclear Iran a “nightmare to the free world.”

At the closing day of the Herzliya Conference, Ya’alon referred to the many tools at the international community’s disposal that could serve to slow down or stop Iran’s advancement toward nuclear weapons capability: international pressure, economic sanctions, support of Iranian opposition, and military actions.

Speaking of the possibility of a military strike of Iran’s nuclear facilities, the vice PM said that “the West has the ability to strike, but as long as Iran isn’t convinced that there’s a determination to follow through with it, they’ll continue with their manipulations.”

“The Iranians believe that a determination isn’t still there, both in regards to military action and in regards to sanctions,” Ya’alon said, adding that “any facility protected by humans can be infiltrated by humans. It’s possible to strike all Iran’s facilities, and I say that out of my experience as IDF chief of staff.”

Read the rest of the article here.

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Is Israel preparing to attack Iran?
By David Ignatius, February 2, The Washington Post

BRUSSELS – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has a lot on his mind these days, from cutting the defense budget to managing the drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. But his biggest worry is the growing possibility that Israel will attack Iran over the next few months.

Panetta believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June — before Iran enters what Israelis described as a “zone of immunity” to commence building a nuclear bomb. Very soon, the Israelis fear, the Iranians will have stored enough enriched uranium in deep underground facilities to make a weapon — and only the United States could then stop them militarily.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t want to leave the fate of Israel dependent on American action, which would be triggered by intelligence that Iran is building a bomb, which it hasn’t done yet.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak may have signaled the prospect of an Israeli attack soon when he asked last month to postpone a planned U.S.-Israel military exercise that would culminate in a live-fire phase in May. Barak apologized that Israel couldn’t devote the resources to the annual exercise this spring.

President Obama and Panetta are said to have cautioned the Israelis that the United States opposes an attack, believing that it would derail an increasingly successful international economic sanctions program and other non-military efforts to stop Iran from crossing the threshold. But the White House hasn’t yet decided precisely how the United States would respond if the Israelis do attack.

The Obama administration is conducting intense discussions about what an Israeli attack would mean for the United States: whether Iran would target U.S. ships in the region or try to close the Strait of Hormuz; and what effect the conflict and a likely spike in oil prices would have on the fragile global economy.

The administration appears to favor staying out of the conflict unless Iran hits U.S. assets, which would trigger a strong U.S. response.

Read the rest of the article here.

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Also:

Barak: If sanctions fail, Iran must be hit

Ya’alon: Iran was working on US-range missile