More hysteria from Uzi MahnaimiThe Sunday Times of London includes yet more hysteria from its 'Jerusalem correspondent' Uzi Mahnaimi. This time, Mahnaimi is trying to raise the temperature by citing an anonymous Pentagon source who claims that George Bush has given Israel an 'amber light' to attack Iran.
President George W Bush has told the Israeli government that he may be prepared to approve a future military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities if negotiations with Tehran break down, according to a senior Pentagon official.This article is ludicrous on many levels. First, Mahnaimi apparently never considered the possibility that someone at the Pentagon might be 'leaking' all these 'details' because the Secretary of Defense - like the Secretary of State - is opposed to an attack under nearly all circumstances.
Despite the opposition of his own generals and widespread scepticism that America is ready to risk the military, political and economic consequences of an airborne strike on Iran, the president has given an “amber light” to an Israeli plan to attack Iran’s main nuclear sites with long-range bombing sorties, the official told The Sunday Times.
“Amber means get on with your preparations, stand by for immediate attack and tell us when you’re ready,” the official said. But the Israelis have also been told that they can expect no help from American forces and will not be able to use US military bases in Iraq for logistical support.
Second, if you wondered why Mahnaimi's loyalties lie, look at the second paragraph of the story:
Despite the opposition of his own generals and widespread scepticism that America is ready to risk the military, political and economic consequences of an airborne strike on Iran....Like a Haaretz wannabee Mahnaimi is confused between the editorial pages and the news pages.
The idea that the US would give Israel a go-ahead for an attack with NO logistical support also seems ludicrous. Especially given Friday's report that the Israelis have been using US bases in Iraq (perhaps someone at the Pentagon misled Mahnaimi so he could kill that story).
And just to complete the hysteria:
Senator Barack Obama’s previous opposition to the war in Iraq, and his apparent doubts about the urgency of the Iranian threat, have intensified pressure on the Israeli hawks to act before November’s US presidential election. “If I were an Israeli I wouldn’t wait,” the Pentagon official added.Please. Do I expect an Israeli or American attack on Iran between November and January if nothing else changes and Obama wins the election? Yes. But I don't believe that anyone has approved anything yet. And I don't believe Israel is going to go it so totally alone. And at this point, I don't believe it's going to happen before November.
UPDATE 11:47 AM
More at Power Line (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).