Friday, April 10, 2009

The Iranian Missile Threat

Dire predictions about Israel's imminent demise at the hands of Iranians shooting nuclear missiles have been circulating on the internet usually forwarded by well-meaning concerned friends of Israel.

In these missives U.S. President Obama is criticized for backtracking on pledges to protect Israel. These critics use photographs of Obama ostensibly bowing to Saudi rulers. No mention is made of Obama hosting a Passover Seder in the White House, celebrating the Jews escape from bondage in Egypt to freedom, for the first time in History.

During the race for US president there was a smear campaign against Obama. Many of the claims were false. By common agreement the man has great talent as a speaker, but the public is still waiting to see how he does as a doer.

The new Israeli Netanyahu government may try to strike at Iran, or may not. Israel reportedly needs fly-by codes from the US Air Force before it can
penetrate air space over certain routes without being shot down as enemy aircraft out to do a US base damage. The US has so far been reluctant to provide these codes. They didn't give them during the Bush administration, either. The US policy is to see if they can talk Iran down from the tree without having to go up and get them.

At the same time numerous 'accidents' have befallen Iranian scientists responsible for the nuclear program, and army officers involved in attack and defense. Not long ago an entire convoy was destroyed inside Iran, not to be confused with the convoy of Iranian weapons passing through Sudan bound for Gaza.

Israel's military leaders are split on the course to take against Iran. Much of the 'bomb Iran' verbiage is a smoke screen to cover the uncomfortable fact that Israel may not be able to succeed in destroying all of the nuclear facilities, and might instead trigger an Iranian missile attack, supported by Hezbollah in Lebanon, Syria, and Hamas in Gaza.

Then of course there's the issue of Iranian ground troops. Iran is a country of some 78 million people. A country that fought a vicious bloody ground war with Iraq for over 8 years. An air strike at Iran isn't going to be the end of the war just the beginning of a long series of battles. So while arm-chair generals spouting off on the internet may spur on Israeli military action, the reality isn't as clearly seen.

Lastly, Israel has been developing anti-missile systems over the last few years as a defense against Iranian threats. No one in Israel takes these Iranian threats lightly. At least no sane person. However, that doesn't mean Israel will cease to exist within two years just because an internet commentator says so.

A link to an article that appeared in today's Haaretz on-line edition. ( talks about Israel's new air defense system. While this system is expensive and incomplete, coupled with the other anti-missile systems in place one hopes Iranian weapons will be terminated in flight before they reach Israel.

A country that has fought about eight wars since 1948, depending on how you count, and is well aware of the dangers posed by men like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his cronies. Whatever can be done will be done to insure Israel's survival. President Obama is no enemy of Israel and can be counted on in the final analysis to help Israel in her time of need, bowing to the Saudis or not.