BBC contacted by ISRAELI top official to EXPOSE ISRAEL'S IRAN WAR PLANS, More news from Jewish sites today.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 16, 2012 12:03 AM GMT
    Richard Silverstein - the American blogger who says he has been given the text of a memo outlining Israel's plans for a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities - is clear about what he thinks it is.

    He says it came from a senior Israeli politician - a former minister - and he describes it as a "sales pitch", used by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak to try to win round sceptical members of Israel's divided inner security cabinet.

    The text supplied to the BBC is just that - text.

    There is no document as such and thus it is impossible to verify if it is indeed an Israeli cabinet paper of some kind. But its purpose for Mr Silverstein is clear.

    He believes it was passed by a serving officer to the politician and then leaked by him precisely to alert the outside world to the scale of Israel's military plan to strike at Iran and thus to reduce its chances of ever happening.

    An unprecedented public debate is underway in Israel on the wisdom of launching an attack against Iran. And this leaked document, whatever its source, and whatever its original purpose, has become an element in that debate.
    Paralyse the regime'
    The document itself is striking in both the scale and scope of the military operation that it proposes.

    It also employs a range of technologies, many of which we have known that the Israelis are developing, but this document suggests that they are battle-ready and fully operational.

    The leaked text suggests that an Israeli operation would begin with a massive cyber attack against Iran's infrastructure, to "paralyse the regime and its ability to know what is happening within its borders".

    Ballistic missiles would be fired at Iranian nuclear targets, albeit with conventional non-nuclear warheads. Cruise missiles would be fired from Israeli submarines in the Gulf.

    It has long been assumed that Israel's small force of German-built Dolphin-class submarines has been adapted to fire cruise missiles, though it is not clear if these are a version of the US-made Harpoon or a derivative of the much longer range Israeli-built Popeye.

    According to the text, it will not be just the main Iranian nuclear facilities that are struck, but command-and-control systems; research-and-development facilities and the residences of senior personnel in the nuclear and missile development apparatus.

    'Futuristic battle plan'
    After the first wave of attacks the Israeli memo suggests there will be a rapid assessment of the damage done by satellite, after which manned aircraft will go in to attack "a short-list of those targets which require further assault".

    At almost every stage Israel will be using key technologies and weapons systems that it has developed itself, including what the memo describes as equipment that "will render Israeli aircraft invisible"; technology that it has not even shared with its US ally.

    At one level it all reads like a futuristic battle plan out of a Tom Clancy novel.
    There is nothing in the leaked text about how Iran might respond, nor anything about the potential for a regional war, which could embroil Israel on its northern border should Iran's ally Hezbollah rain down missiles on Israeli cities.

    The proposed mission is huge and with potentially far-reaching consequences. We know that most of the Israeli top military command and intelligence chiefs are sceptical about bombing Iran now.

    They don't so much question Israel's ability to conduct such a mission - though the scale and scope of what is proposed in the leaked text sounds as though it would test Israel's military machine to its limit.

    They fear of wider ramifications in a febrile and unstable region.

    They wonder at what exactly the gains would be?

    A delay in Iran's nuclear development programme, yes, but for how long?

    And above all, they fear the damage that a unilateral Israeli decision to attack Iran might have on the Israel-US relationship, especially if such an attack went ahead so close to a US presidential election in November.
    The debate is in full swing. Some analysts suggest that Israeli leaders are preparing Israeli public opinion and indeed the outside world for a strike.

    The two key players, Mr Barak and Mr Netanyahu, insist that if the fateful decision has to be made, they will not flinch.

    Israel's security cabinet is well qualified in military matters, though at this stage it is said to be almost evenly divided on the merits of a strike.

    Of course, the differences of opinion and the airing of the arguments itself sends a signal to Tehran, to Washington and anywhere else that may be listening.

    The leaked text may or may not be a precis of Israel's battle plans.

    But it is now an integral part of the increasingly feverish national debate and a debate that resonates well beyond Israel's own borders.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 16, 2012 12:11 AM GMT

    Bibi’s Secret War Plan

    by Richard Silverstein on August 15, 2012 · 38 comments

    in Mideast Peace

    Gog and Magog: No to Iran War!

    UPDATE: Here’s the link for my portion of the BBC Newshour segment in which I was interviewed about the Israeli government document.

    Israelis are posting a claim that the document I published is identical to a post published by Fresh a few days ago. It is not. My original IDF source may have leaked the post to someone at Fresh. But whoever published it there embellished it with much material that is not in the original document. I can’t ascribe motives to whoever published it at Fresh, but much of it appears fanciful and isn’t in the original document.
    This story is now a screaming headline in the Israeli media and at no point has anyone in the Israeli government maintained that this document is anything other than what I claim it to be. They know it is authentic. Anyone else who claims otherwise does so at the risk of their own credibility (if they have any).

    * *

    In the past few days, I received an Israeli briefing document outlining Israel’s war plans against Iran. The document was passed to me by a high-level Israeli source who received it from an IDF officer. My source, in fact, wrote to me that normally he would not leak this sort of document, but:

    “These are not normal times. I’m afraid Bibi and Barak are dead serious.”

    The reason they leaked it is to expose the arguments and plans advanced by the Bibi-Barak two-headed warrior. Neither the IDF leaker, my source, nor virtually any senior military or intelligence officer wants this war. While whoever wrote this briefing paper had use of IDF and intelligence data, I don’t believe the IDF wrote it. It feels more likely it came from the shop of national security advisor Yaakov Amridor, a former general, settler true believer and Bibi confidant. It could also have been produced by Defense Minister Barak, another pro-war booster.

    I’ve translated the document from Hebrew with the help of Dena Shunra.
    Before laying out the document, I wanted to place it in context. If you’ve been reading this blog you’ll know that after Bibi’s IDF service he became the marketing director for a furniture company. Recent revelations have suggested that he may have also served in some capacity either formally or informally in the Mossad during that period.

    This document is a more sophisticated version of selling bedroom sets and three-piece sectionals. The only difference is that this marketing effort could lead to the death of thousands.

    This is Bibi’s sales pitch for war. Its purpose is to be used in meetings with members of the Shminiya , the eight-member security cabinet which currently finds a 4-3 majority opposed to an Iran strike. Bibi uses this sales pitch to persuade the recalcitrant ministers of the cool, clean, refreshing taste of war. My source informs me that it has also been shared in confidence with selected journalists who are in the trusted inner media circle (who, oh who, might they be?).

    This is Shock and Awe, Israel-style. It is Bibi’s effort to persuade high-level Israeli officials that Israel can prosecute a pure technology war that involves relatively few human beings (Israeli, that is) who may be put in harm’s way, and will certainly cost few lives of IDF personnel.

    Bibi’s sleight of hand here involves no mention whatsoever of an Iranian counter-attack against Israel. The presumption must be that the bells and whistles of all those marvelous new weapons systems will decapitate Iran’s war-making ability and render it paralyzed. The likelihood of this actually happening is nearly nil.

    There will be those who will dispute the authenticity of this document. I’m convinced it is what my source claims, based on his prior track record and the level of specificity offered in the document. It references cities by name and the facilities they contain. It names new weapons systems including one Israel supposedly hasn’t even shared with the U.S.
    No, it’s real. Or I should say that while it’s real, it is the product of the Israeli dream factory which manufactures threats and then creates fabulist military strategies to address them. The dream factory always breaks the hearts of the families of those whose members fall victim to it. It never produces the result it promises, nor will it do so here.

    Remember Bush-era Shock and Awe? Remember those promises of precision-guided cruise missiles raining death upon Saddam Hussein’s Iraq? Remember Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” ceremony on the deck of the USS Lincoln, only six or seven years premature? Remember the promises of decisive victory? Remember 4,000 U.S. dead, not to mention hundreds of thousands of Iraqis?

    Now, think of what an Israeli war against Iran could turn into. Think about how this sanitized version of 21st century war could turn into a protracted, bloody conflict closer to the nine-year Iran-Iraq War:

    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.

    While the level of specificity in this document is, in some senses, impressive, in one
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 16, 2012 3:24 PM GMT
    Israel Ups Iran Ante, But Is It Bluff?

    Heightened Tension May Be Effort To Leverage U.S. Election

    Read more:

    On August 12, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, called for an international declaration that diplomacy with Iran had definitively failed. Benjamin Netanyahu’s government itself declared the talks all but dead even before they began, but Ayalon’s explosive comments added fuel to the bizarrely public debate in Israel about whether to bomb Iran.

    This debate has lingered for several years now, though currently it appears to be at a crescendo. But precisely because it’s yesterday’s news, both the markets and the international community seem to be treating it as yet another Israeli cry wolf moment.

    Indeed, the timing of the latest round of public speculation and leaking by Israeli Cabinet ministers seems to have more to do with America’s election cycle than with any particular developments with the Iranian nuclear program.

    It is no secret that Netanyahu prefers a Romney victory in November. His tensions with President Obama are well documented and cover a broad spectrum of issues — from the Iranian dossier, to the Palestinian conflict, to the Arab Spring.

    Netanyahu appears to have Obama in a box in which escalation or mere threats of escalation by Israel can have no negative repercussions. If the threats result in — as they have in the past — even more sanctions and pressure on Iran, then that would be a win for Netanyahu. Sanctions cripple Iran’s economy and slowly weaken Tehran’s ability to be a potent challenger of Israel in the region. Sanctions also render a return to talks more unlikely, which means an increase in the probability of war.

    If Obama, on the other hand, resists the pressure from Netanyahu and ends up in a public dispute with the Israeli government, then that would shine a light on the differences between Obama and Netanyahu. This, in turn, would benefit the Romney campaign, as it would open up Obama to further criticism of being insensitive to Israeli concerns. Romney would come across as being on the same page as Israel, whereas Obama would be out of sync with the Jewish state. Strategists in both camps believe that this would hurt Obama in key battleground states in the elections.

    Consequently, there are few drawbacks to the Netanyahu government consistently increasing the pressure on Obama as we get closer to the elections. Obama’s options are limited, and all appear to end up benefiting Netanyahu.

    But what if Netanyahu isn’t bluffing this time around? What if he views the likelihood of a second Obama term as high and as a result the window before the elections as his last best chance to strike Iran? Keen analysts of relations between the United States and Israel, such as former deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East Colin Kahl, caution against believing that Netanyahu is crying wolf this time around.

    What will Iran’s response be if Israel does attack? The government in Tehran takes pride in being unpredictable in such situations, but a few scenarios can be envisioned.

    If the attack is unsuccessful or only moderately successful — that is, the nuclear program is damaged but not destroyed, and civilian casualties are limited — then, contrary to its stern warnings of a crushing response, Tehran may play the victim card.

    Read more:
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 16, 2012 9:52 PM GMT
    Published on Thursday, August 16, 2012 by Inter Press Service

    Israel’s Iran War Talk Aims at Deal for Tougher US Policy

    by Gareth Porter

    WASHINGTON - Two recent interviews apparently given by Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak provide evidence that the new wave of reports in the Israeli press about a possible Israeli attack on Iran is a means by which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Barak hope to leverage a U.S. shift toward Israel’s red lines on Iran’s nuclear programme.

    Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak (L) looks at U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta as they address the media at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv August 1, 2012. (Reuters/Pool) An interview given by a “senior official in Jerusalem” to Ynet News Wednesday Israeli time makes the first explicit linkage between the unilateral Israeli option and the objective of securing the agreement of President Barack Obama to the Israeli position that Iran must not be allowed to have a nuclear weapons “capability”.

    In the Ynet News interview, the unnamed official is reported as explicitly offering a deal to the Obama administration: if Obama were to “toughten its stance” with regard to the Iranian nuclear programme, Israel “may rule out a unilateral attack”.

    Ynet News reporter Ron Ben Yishai writes that Obama “must repeat publicly (at the U.N. General Assembly, for instance), that the U.S. will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons and that Israel has a right to defend itself, independently

    Seems to me the 'tail' (Israel) is still trying to 'wag' the dog (the US) and the Israeli lobby influence and Money from its partners, funders and associated groups are keeping up the pressure particularly during this election period.

    Adelson's Billions are behind the far right Likuds and Netanyahu in Israel who are pushing for war and he is funding Romney because he thinks he can get what he and the far right want for Israel, not for the benefit of the US.

    Much more to come.