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13 novembre 2008 4 13 /11 /novembre /2008 22:28

Might Israel strike at Iran before Obama takes over?

On December 8, 1988, under the cover of night, IDF warplanes, helicopters, guided-missile frigates and an elite force of Flotilla 13 naval commandos and Golani Brigade reconnaissance fighters infiltrated Lebanon.

An IAF jet.

An IAF jet.
Photo: AP [file]

Their target was a cave-based headquarters 20 km. south of Beirut, serving the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, headed by Ahmed Jibril.

The raid, code-named Operation Blue and Brown, involved the first known use of the IDF's secretive Oketz K9 dog unit.

Four soldiers found themselves left behind, forcing the air force to conduct a dramatic helicopter rescue. The soldiers clung to the helicopters' railings as they choppers took off, with Palestinian gunmen in pursuit.

Lt.-Col. Amir Meital, commander of Golani reconnaissance unit, was killed by enemy fire during the raid.

The operation took place one month after US President George H. Bush was voted into office, and a month before he was sworn in, replacing the popular Ronald Reagan, a leader widely viewed as a staunch ally of Israel.

Operation Blue and Brown says nothing about the likelihood of an Israeli strike on Iran today. But it does show that IDF operations have been ordered in the interim period between the election of a new American president and his inauguration.

And it is this same period in 2008/09 that provides an "attractive date" for Israel to strike Iran's nuclear program, according to historian Benny Morris.

In June, Morris wrote an op-ed for The New York Times in which he theorized that Israel would likely strike Iran between November 5 and January 19, the day before Obama is sworn in.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post this week, Morris said he continued to believe that time period was a "reasonable" one for Israeli action.

"There is certainly a friendly president in the White House until January 20. There is no certainty over what will happen after that, in which direction the wind will blow.

The second thing is the advancement by the Iranians in creating the bomb," Morris said, speaking from his home in Li'on, southwest of Beit Shemesh. Morris said the Iranian regime was guided by messianic clerics who could not be trusted to act logically in a state of mutually assured destruction (MAD).

"These men are not rational like the men who ruled America and Russia during the Cold War. When [President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad talks about destroying Israel and denies the Holocaust, we hear no contrary voices from the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei saying that Ahmadinejad is crazy," Morris said.

"So long as Iran makes progress, we are under pressure, if we plan on doing something. Iran is supposed to purchase advanced anti-aircraft guns from Russia at the start of 2009. All of these point to the fact that if the US provides support, an Israeli strike is reasonable," he said.

Acknowledging the lame-duck nature of the Olmert administration, Morris said the difficulties posed by a weak government could be overcome by notifying the leaders of the major political parties in advance of the attack. He even raised the possibility that a date had already been chosen.

But Morris's views were challenged by a number of Israeli defense experts, such as Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland, former national security adviser and former head of the IDF's Planning and Operation branches.

"I don't agree that Bush has given us a green light to attack in the next three months. Israel can't attack without US approval, which is vital both tactically and strategically. At the moment, we don't have that approval," he said.

Eiland provided an alternative forecast, according to which Obama will spend some months assembling an international front aimed at applying real pressure on Teheran to ends its nuclear program, something Bush had so far failed to do.

"To make the pressure on Iran effective, you have to cooperate with states like Russia. But the Russians say, 'Our main problem is that you [the Americans] are deliberately harming our interests by criticizing our internal policies, our actions in Chechnya, and with your attempts to drag neighbors like Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. So long as that's the case, don't expect us to help on Iran.'"

Noting that Russia is continuing to supply Teheran with nuclear technology and economic ties, Eiland said it would be impossible to isolate Iran without Russian assistance. This was all the more true in light of the fact that China and India had signaled that they would follow Russia's guidance over Iran, Eiland added.

"So I assume that the Obama government will correctly recognize the Iranian threat, but it will try to construct an international front," he said.

If, however, that policy failed, Obama could seriously consider using force, or support an Israeli strike several months from now, Eiland said.

Col. (res.) Ephraim Kam, formerly of Military Intelligence's Research Division and currently the deputy head of Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Security Studies, said a number of questions needed to be answered before determining whether a strike could go ahead.

"We don't know what Bush wants. In order to know whether the time is right for an attack, the government must know the stance of the Americans, and the state of our intelligence. Do we have the precise information that we need? What is the evaluation of an Iranian response? Is the Iranian threat existential?" Kam asked.

The government did not have those answers at this time, "hence the decision to attack cannot be made," he said.

Dr. Emily Landau, director of the Arms Control and Regional Security Project at the Institute for National Security Studies, said that aside from the diplomatic situation that altered with Obama's election, she could see no changes in "terms of the pros and cons of Israel taking some kind of action."

"Iran is advancing its program all the time. Where is the exact window of opportunity? I don't think the timing can be so fine-tuned as to give an exact date. It all boils down to the larger question of what you want to gain through military action. And this is the situation we've been faced with for the past few years," she said.

Landau said military action would likely not stop Iran's nuclear program, or even delay it significantly. Much of the talk of a strike formed part of an attempt to pressure Iran, and to keep it thinking that "there was a credible threat there. And the purpose of that is to get Iran to finally negotiate seriously," she said.

An IAF jet.

An IAF jet.
Photo: AP [file]

"Even if military action was used, it would ultimately have to lead to some kind of negotiation to get a deal," Landau said.

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A tous nos chers lecteurs.

 

Ne vous est-il jamais venu à l'esprit d'en savoir un peu plus sur le titre de ce blog ?

Puisque nous nous sommes aujourd'hui habillés de bleu, il conviendrait de rentrer plus a fond dans l'explication du mot lessakel.

En fait Lessakel n'est que la façon française de dire le mot léhasskil.

L'hébreu est une langue qui fonctionne en déclinant des racines.

Racines, bilitères, trilitères et quadrilitères.

La majorité d'entre elle sont trilitères.

Aussi Si Gad a souhaité appeler son site Lessakel, c'est parce qu'il souhaitait rendre hommage à l'intelligence.

Celle qui nous est demandée chaque jour.

La racine de l'intelligence est sé'hel שכל qui signifie l'intelligence pure.

De cette racine découlent plusieurs mots

Sé'hel > intelligence, esprit, raison, bon sens, prudence, mais aussi croiser

Léhasskil > Etre intelligent, cultivé, déjouer les pièges

Sé'hli > intelligent, mental, spirituel

Léhistakel > agir prudemment, être retenu et raisonnable, chercher à comprendre

Si'hloute > appréhension et compréhension

Haskala >  Instruction, culture, éducation

Lessa'hlen > rationaliser, intellectualiser

Heschkel > moralité

Si'htanout > rationalisme

Si'hloul > Amélioration, perfectionnement

 

Gageons que ce site puisse nous apporter quelques lumières.

Aschkel pour Lessakel.

 

 

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