AlliedNews.com - Grove City, Pennsylvania

Opinion

February 24, 2012

Is it bluff or Israel's way of preparing the world?

There is growing concern worldwide that Israel might launch an attack on Iranian nuclear plants.

Is it a bluff, designed to bring about tough economic sanctions, or is this Israel's way of preparing the world for a major confrontation?

Washington Post columnist, David Ignatius, reports that Secretary of Defense Leon 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.

Panetta has declined to comment publicly on that report. But President Barack Obama said Sunday that he did not think Israel had made a decision yet about whether to attack Iran.

"I think they, like us, believe that Iran has to stand down on its nuclear weapons program," Obama told NBC News, saying there was close military and intelligence consultation between the U.S. and Israel. "We are going to make sure that we work in lock step as we proceed to try to solve this, hopefully diplomatically."

Both Israel and the United States believe Iran is in the planning stages or actual process of moving its uranium enrichment equipment and already enriched materials to hardened underground storage facilities which Israel alone could not destroy. Thus, there is incentive to destroy such plants before they are relocated.

The foreign policy goals of both Israel and America are for Iran to never have nuclear weapons grade materials. How to achieve that goal is now becoming a public disagreement between the two governments.

We support a goal that prevents Iran from gaining nuclear weapons. While few Americans want war with Iran today, many would agree that Iranian possession of nuclear weapons must be prevented.

But while we are talking, domestically, about the correct path to follow in terms of our foreign policy and the means to achieve those foreign policy goals, we had best be careful.

Israel may well decide to take matters into their own hands and attempt to destroy Iranian nuclear plants with their own military power.

Then our internal debate shifts to handling Israel, as well as Iran, when the inevitable Iranian retaliation begins, whether it's against us covertly or with raw military power against Israel and possibly others in the Middle East region.

The Joplin Globe

Published Feb. 15, 2012, in Allied News, Grove City. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St.

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