Scratching Their Heads

And so much of it has been going on that Arab and Iranian heads are starting to get a little sore.

Will Israel attack?

Or, are they just going to leave it up the US?

That is a very good question, and it’s exactly what Israel wants you to keep asking.

Psychology is one of the most important aspects of fighting a war and is often the single most important factor in winning one. If your enemy thinks that they cannot win, they won’t fight.

Do you know that we are still not sure if Israel has nuclear weapons?

But, you had better believe that the Arab world hasn’t been interested in finding out the hard way.

The same goes for Israel’s planning for an attack on Iran. By keeping Iran guessing, Israel might be able to convince Iran to slow down their nuclear weapons production, or even halt it altogether.

Also, the guessing game keeps more neutral countries from getting in the way.

Israel plays a very deep game, and it will be playing that game right up until the first Israeli bomb hits one of the Iranian nuclear weapons development sites.

Scratch away, Iran.

Arab press wonders: Is Israel going to attack or not?

Commentators try to make sense of the Barak-Gantz contradictory statements on Iran

By Jed Halfon, April 28, 2012 | The Times of Israel

Contradictory statements by the IDF’s top brass have left newscasters and pundits in the Arab press with more questions than answers.

In an article Saturday entitled “Israel’s Increasing Ambiguity on Iran,” Elaph, a leading Arabic online newspaper, cites IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz saying that economic sanctions have been effective against Iran, and further, that “I do not believe Iran will decide to develop nuclear weapons.”

Elaph juxtaposes his stance with Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s statement on Friday that sanctions had almost no chance of preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The newspaper features a follow up article which includes the Iranian response to Barak and Gantz. Iranian Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ramin Mehmanparsat said that sanctions had actually “strengthened” the Iranian economy by making it more “self sufficient.” He also said that the Iranian military was in a position of unprecedented strength, and the chance of an attack on Iran was “very small.”

An editorial in Al Arabiya entitled “War on Iran” also addresses the effects of economic sanctions. Saad bin Ajami compares Iran to North Korea and argues that, indeed, economic sanctions are working. The crippling effect on the North Korean economy and continuing food shortage have dissuaded Iran from pursuing a similar course. Ajami further argues that the irrational and often erratic behavior of North Korea’s leaders could not be expected from Iran.

Al Ahram also cites Barak’s comments in discussing the potential for a regional arms race between Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey, should Iran acquire nuclear weapons. Headlined with a front page photo of Barak addressing a unit of IDF soldiers, the article does not mention Gantz’s statement, but highlights Barak’s view that Israel remains a regional power “from Tripoli to Tehran.”

Read the rest of the article here.