It's been several months since a war of words erupted between Iran and Israel, raising speculations that a possible Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, which the West and Israel suspect of enriching uranium for the purpose of making nuclear bombs, might be near. However, Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently played down this possibility, saying that "Israel is in a weak position to launch attacks against any other country."
Is Israel weak?
Not according to many Israeli analysts who believe that an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites looks "unavoidable." This statement was also shared by Iranian-born former defense minister Shaul Mofaz, who said in an interview to Israel's largest newspaper Yedioth Ahranot, "If Iran continues with its program for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack it. The sanctions are ineffective." He also said that Israel has the means and capabilities to succeed in such a mission.
Just a short while ago, Israel's request for a fresh supply of GBU-28 bunker-busters, each weighing two tons and capable of punching through reinforced concrete, was turned down by the Bush administration. Instead, the U.S. has agreed to sell 1,000 versions of a much-smaller, satellite-guided bomb, capable of hitting underground targets. In addition, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the U.S. has refused to grant Israel safe passage through Iraqi air space in order to target Iran's nuclear facilities. But according to Ronen Bergman, an Israeli investigative journalist and author of The Secret War With Iran, the Israeli "Mossad estimates of what they term as the first (Iranian) nuclear device to be ready at the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010."
Meanwhile, the clock is ticking on the window of opportunity for an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities while George Bush is still in office. Many military experts believe that in order for such an operation to succeed, the United States must be on board and ready to confront any Iranian retaliation. One set of scenarios surfacing in the Israeli media is the prediction that Israel will strike Iran shortly after the U.S. presidential election in November should Barack Obama be declared the winner. I, on the other hand see it differently: if Israel decides to strike Iran, what stops it from pulling off an "October Surprise?"
Here is the scenario. Israel attacks Iran sometime in October with or without the blessings of the Bush Administration. Iran responds, and the U.S. feels compelled to assist Israel to prevent a worse scenario of what happened to Israeli towns during the War on Lebanon in 2006, when Hezbollah retaliated with barrages of rockets.
Americans will quickly forget about the economy, and look for a "war president."
John McCain wins in November.
Jamal Dajani produces the Mosaic Intelligence Report on Link TV