JERUSALEM POST: Attack Iran now!


Richard Moore

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Column One: Jews Wake Up!

Dec. 8, 2006

When the history of our times is written, this week will be remembered as the 
week that Washington decided to let the Islamic Republic of Iran go nuclear. 
Hopefully it will also be remembered as the moment the Jews arose and refused to
allow Iran to go nuclear.

With the publication of the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group chaired by 
former US secretary of state James Baker III and former congressman Lee 
Hamilton, the debate about the war in Iraq changed. From a war for victory 
against Islamofascism and for democracy and freedom, the war became reduced to a
conflict to be managed by appeasing the US's sworn enemies in the interests of 
stability, and at the expense of America's allies.

Baker and his associates claim that the US cannot win the war in Iraq and so the
US must negotiate with its primary enemies in Iraq and throughout the world - 
Iran and Syria - in the hopes that they will be persuaded to hold their fire for
long enough to facilitate an "honorable" American retreat from the country.

Like his unsupported assertion that the US cannot win in Iraq, Baker also 
asserts - in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary - that Iran and 
Syria share America's "interest in avoiding chaos in Iraq." Because of this 
supposed shared interest, Baker maintains that with the proper incentives, Iran 
and Syria can be persuaded to cooperate with a US withdrawal from Iraq ahead of 
the 2008 presidential primaries.

The main incentive Baker advocates offering is Israel.

Baker believes that Iran will agree to temporarily hold its fire in Iraq in 
exchange for US acceptance of Iran as a nuclear power and an American pledge not
to topple the regime. Syria will assist the US in exchange for US pressure on 
Israel to hand over the Golan Heights to Syria and Judea and Samaria to Hamas.

Obviously, if implemented, the Baker-Hamilton group's recommendations will be 
disastrous for Israel. Just the fact that they now form the basis for the public
debate on the war is a great blow. But it isn't only Israel that is harmed by 
their actions. The US too, will be imperiled if their views become 
administration policy.

Although Baker - and incoming Secretary of Defense Robert Gates who served on 
his commission until Bush announced his appointment last month - believes that 
there is a deal to be done that will end Iranian and Syrian aggression against 
the US, its vital interests and its allies, the fact of the matter is that there
is no such deal. Contrary to what the Baker report argues and what Gates said in
his Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday, Iran is not analogous to the Soviet 
Union and the war against the global jihad is not a new cold war.

Even if the US were to somehow get them to agree to certain understandings about
Iraq, there is no reason to believe that the Iranians and Syrians would keep 
their word. Not only would the US be approaching them as a supplicant and so 
emboldening them, but to date the US has never credibly threatened anything 
either Syria or Iran value. Indeed, through supporting negotiations between the 
EU and Iran, empowering the UN to deal with Iran's nuclear program, and forcing 
Israel to accept a cease-fire with Hizbullah last summer that effectively gave 
victory to the Syrian and Iranian proxy, the US has consistently rewarded the 
two countries' aggression.

Worse than that, from a US perspective, although Gates admitted Tuesday that he 
cannot guarantee that Iran will not attack Israel with nuclear weapons, he 
ignored the fact that Iran - whose President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad daily calls for
the destruction of the US - may also attack the US with nuclear weapons.

Gates admitted in his Senate hearing that Iran is producing many bombs - not 
just one.

Since it is possible to destroy Israel with just one bomb, the Americans should 
be asking themselves what Iran needs all those other bombs for. There are senior
military sources in the US who have been warning the administration to take into
consideration that the day that Iran attacks Israel with a nuclear bomb, 10 
cities in the US and Europe are liable to also be attacked with nuclear weapons.
Unfortunately, no one is listening to these voices today.

IT IS particularly upsetting that Washington has chosen now of all times to turn
its back on the war. Ahmadinejad hinted Monday that Iran has completed the 
nuclear fuel cycle and so has passed the point of no return on its nuclear 
program. He also made a statement indicating that Iran will have its nuclear 
arsenal up and running by March - just four months away.

Serious disagreement exists in Washington over the status of the Iranian 
program. Some claim that Iran is four or five years away from nuclear weapons 
capabilities. Others maintain that Iran has recently experienced serious 
technical setbacks in their uranium enrichment activities and that the North 
Korean nuclear bomb test in October, in which Iranian officials participated, 
was a failure.

But there are also engaged officials who agree with Ahmadinejad's assessment of 
Iran's nuclear progress. Those officials maintain first that the North 
Korean-Iranian test in October was successful and should be taken as a sign that
Iran already has a nuclear arsenal. Second, they warn that the US and Israel 
have six months to act against Iran's nuclear installations and to overthrow the
regime or face the prospect of the annihilation of Israel and the destruction of
several US cities as a result of an Iranian nuclear offensive.

Obviously, Israel cannot risk the possibility that the last group of officials 
is correct. And since Washington has decided to go to sleep, it is up to Israel 
alone to act.

WHAT MUST Israel do? First, it must plan an attack against Iran's nuclear 
facilities and regime command and control centers. To pave the way for such an 
attack, the IDF must move now to neutralize second order threats like the 
Palestinian rocket squads and the Syrian ballistic missile arsenals in order to 
limit the public's exposure to attack during the course of or in the aftermath 
of an Israeli attack on Iran.

Second, Israel must work to topple the Iranian regime. As the Defense Minister's
advisor Uri Lubrani told Ha'aretz last week, the regime in Iran is far from 
stable today and ripe for overthrow.

The overwhelming majority of Iranians despise the regime. There are rebellious 
groups in every ethnic group and province in the country - Azeris, Kurds, Ahwazi
Arabs, Baluchis, Turkmen and even Persians - that are actively working to 
destabilize the regime. Every day there are strikes of workers, women and 
students. Every few weeks there are reports of violent clashes between 
anti-regime groups and regime forces.

Recently, oil pipelines were sabotaged in the oil-rich Khuzestan province in the
south where the Ahwazi Arabs are systematically persecuted by the regime. 
Westerners who recently visited Iran claim that Israel operating alone could 
overthrow the regime by extending its assistance to these people.

Thirdly, in his testimony in the Senate on Tuesday, Gates casually mentioned 
that Israel has nuclear weapons. In so doing, he unceremoniously removed four 
decades of ambiguity over Israel's nuclear status. While his statement caused 
dismay in Jerusalem, perhaps Israel should see this as an opportunity.

With the threat of nuclear destruction hanging over us, it makes sense to 
conduct a debate about an Israeli second strike. While such a discussion will 
not dissuade Iran's fanatical leaders from attacking Israel with nuclear 
weapons, it could influence the Iranian nation to rise up against their leaders.

Moreover, such a debate could influence other regimes in the region like Saudi 
Arabia which today behave as if Israel's annihilation will have no adverse 
impact on them. Americans like Baker, Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza 
Rice and their European friends need to understand that as goes Israel so go the
Persian Gulf's oil fields. Such an understanding may influence their willingness
to enable Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.

Tragically, in these perilous times, we are being led by the worst, most 
incompetent government we have ever had.

Prime Minister Olmert's way of dealing with the Iranian threat is to pretend 
that it is none of his business. During his visit to the US last month, Olmert 
abdicated responsibility for safeguarding Israel from nuclear destruction to 
President Bush. It didn't bother him that Bush didn't accept the responsibility.
By mindlessly adhering to non-existent cease-fires with Iranian proxies in Gaza 
and Lebanon and squawking about peace with them, Olmert continues to behave as 
if this is someone else's problem.

For her part, reacting to the possibility of national extinction, Education 
Minister YuliTamir this week cocked her pedagogical pistol and shot at her rear.
By ordering the public schools to demarcate the 1949 armistice lines on the 
official maps and so wipe Israel off maps of Judea, Samaria and the Golan 
Heights, Tamir worked to divide the nation over second order issues at a time 
when unity of purpose is most essential. Olmert, who refused to overturn her 
scandalous decree, was doubtlessly pleased with her political stunt. For two 
days the media devoted itself entirely to stirring up internal divisions and so 
ignored the threat hanging over our heads and Olmert's refusal to deal with it.

Next Thursday, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, Vice Chairman of the 
Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations Malcolm Hoenlein and 
former ambassador to the UN Dore Gold will hold a press conference in New York 
where they will call for the US to indict Ahmadinejad under the International 
Convention Against Genocide for his call to annihilate Israel. This is 
doubtlessly a welcome initiative. But it is insufficient.

In a few months, Iran may well be in possession of nuclear weapons which it will
use to destroy the Jewish state. With the US withdrawing from the war and Israel
in the hands of incompetents, the time has come for the Jewish people to rise 

GUARANTEEING our survival begins with each of us deciding that we are willing to
fight to survive. And today the challenge facing us is clear.

Either the Iranian regime is toppled and its nuclear installations are destroyed
or Israel will be annihilated. The Jews in the Diaspora must launch mass 
demonstrations and demand that their governments take real action to prevent 
Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

The citizens of the State of Israel must also take to the streets. The 
government that led us to defeat in Lebanon this summer is leading us to a 
disaster of another order entirely. All citizens must demand that Olmert, his 
ministers and the generals in the IDF General Staff make an immediate decision. 
They now hold the responsibility for acting against Iran. They must either act 
or resign and make way for others who will.

America just abdicated its responsibility to defend itself against Iran and so 
left Israel high and dry. Nevertheless, the Jewish people is far from powerless.
And the State of Israel also is capable of defending itself. But we must act and
act immediately.

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