There has been quite a lot of ink spilled over the previous few days about a report out of England that Israel has prepared, and its airforce is practising, a plan that would destroy Iran's nuclear capabilities using a combination of bunker-buster bombs and low-yield nuclear weapons.
The Israelis deny such a plan exists. Many pundits have poo-poohed the idea, saying even if the Israelis had such a plan, they would never make it public - they cite the very hush-hush raid on Iraq's Osirik nuclear facility in the early 80s as "proof".
I'm of a completely different mind on this.
I think the Israelis do have such a plan - in fact, I'd bet more than one plan - in place to deal with the growing Iranian nuclear threat and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if they deliberately leaked the news of its existence.
Here is my reasoning:
The Israelis have been standing by patiently while the world practises "diplomacy" with the crazy mofos who run Iran. They have stood by while the craziest of the crazy mofos...Mahmoud Almonddingdong has pronounced the Jewish state should be wiped from the planet, that its demise was imminent, that the Holocaust never occurred, etc. etc. The Israelis have tried to put faith in the EU, the US, the UN and nations like China and Russia to deal with Iran, knowing full well that all the diplomacy in the world won't prevent a nut like Mahmoud.
Now, Mahmoud himself just took a pounding in recent Iranian elections. Iranian students, for the first time in decades, are beginning to become very political again, going as far as to mock their "leader" during a recent speech he made.
The Israelis now estimate that even with the so-called sanctions proclaimed against Iran, that the Iranians are about two years away from being able to build a functioning nuclear weapon and anyone with half a brain knows this is their goal and that as soon as that weapon is completed, it will be aimed at a large Israeli city, probably Tel Aviv.
They also know that you can't trust countries like Russia and China. For chrissakes, Russian leader Putin is busy poisoning people with plutonium in sushi bars thousands of miles away from the Kremlin. Does anyone really think he's going to let a few sanctions get in the way of helping Iran - who Russia shares a border with - if he thinks there's money and anti-American sentiment to be exploited? Hardly.
So what do the Israelis do? Well, they can't trust the EU and they can no longer count on the beleaguered Bush White House. So, instead, they say to the world, "okay, here's the timetable we figure for Iran's nuclear program. Here's what we can do to stop it. If you don't want us to do that, you better figure it the fuck out in the next 24 months. In fact, make it 18, we're not taking any chances."
The best answer to this problem is for the Iranians to stage themselves another revolution, and soon. Now, the Shah was an utter asshole who murdered his political rivals and cracked down on freedoms like any good ME despot would. But, during his reign, Iran was a westernized, fairly progressive society, at least in terms of not being a backasswards arab shithole (I know, Iranians aren't really arabs, they're Persians, but let's not quibble). Surely, there must be people still in Iran who remember what it's like to live without a religious thugocracy running the show and who would like to return to some semblance of those days. And, surely, those people must be teaching their now-university aged children about the "good old days".
The thinking from the political pundits is that Israel won't use nukes because that would make them a pariah on the world stage. Oh, yeah, that's right...the Israelis are gonna worry so much about their image that they're willing to let themselves be wiped out by a madman.
If Israel was that concerned about its image, it would already have ceased to exist. Image is nice but it doesn't really hold a candle to breathing.