From: Democracy Now!
Is Israel Preparing to Bomb Iran?
The New York Times reported Friday that Israel recently carried out a major military exercise that Pentagon officials say appeared to be a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. More than 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighter planes took part in the maneuvers over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece. …
We’re joined right now by blogger, Quaker activist and veteran journalist Helena Cobban from Washington, D.C. She is a contributing editor for the Boston Review and writes regularly on the Middle East for the Christian Science Monitor and the London-based Arabic daily Al-Hayat. Her blog is justworldnews.org. Her latest book is called Re-Engage: America and the World After Bush.
…if they are indeed preparing—Israel is really preparing for an attack on Iran—and this is where it gets extremely scary—we, as Americans, need to understand that that has major and very, very catastrophic consequences for us, because there is no way that any kind of an Israeli bombing raid against Iran could reach the targets that they seek there without going through US-controlled airspace either in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, NATO air space in Turkey or whatever. So, the US would be complicit in that attack, would be seen as that, and would therefore be subject to reprisals, because, you know, launching a military attack on another country is an act of war. Maybe we’ve forgotten that. I guess, no, we haven’t forgotten that, because that’s what we did in Iraq in 2003.
So, if we are complicit in Israel’s act of war against Iran, then the 160,000 US military service people in Iraq are sitting ducks for Iranian reprisal. This is very scary stuff. And, you know, obviously the supply lines that support them in Iraq are long and vulnerable and mainly go through the waters of the Gulf. They could be cut off by the Iranians, but, you know, if the Iranians just did a couple of small things in the Straits of Hormuz and shut the Gulf, and that obviously also majorly affects the international oil market. So, one thing we did see when the report came out Friday was that oil prices spiked again, just with this kind of very sketchy report that the Israelis were upping the ante, upping the tension level against Iran. The oil prices spiked again.
So, this has major consequences for us as Americans. And I have a whole bunch of questions as to what was really going on. I mean, I cannot believe that anybody in the Pentagon would seriously be complicit in allowing Israel to use US planes that were given to Israel for defensive purposes only, to allow Israel to go ahead and bomb Iran, knowing that there would be, as the Iranians have promised and threatened—and we have every reason to believe them—major reprisals against everybody complicit in that attack afterwards. You know, so this is really the Israelis being very reckless in matters where it is the US that is primarily vulnerable.