was israeli raid a dry run for attack on iran?

was israeli raid a dry run for attack on iran?from guardian: The head of Israel’s airforce, Major-General Eliezer Shkedi, was visiting a base in the coastal city of Herziliya last week. For the 50-year-old general, also the head of Israel’s Iran Command, which would fight a war with Tehran if ordered, it was a morale-boosting affair, a meet-and-greet with pilots and navigators who had flown during last summer’s month-long war against Lebanon. The journalists who had turned out in large numbers were there for another reason: to question Shkedi about a mysterious air raid that happened this month, codenamed ‘Orchard’, carried out deep in Syrian territory by his pilots.

Shkedi ignored all questions. It set a pattern for the days to follow as he and Israel’s politicians and officials maintained a steely silence, even when the questions came from the visiting French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner. Those journalists who thought of reporting the story were discouraged by the threat of Israel’s military censor.

But the rumours were in circulation, not just in Israel but in Washington and elsewhere. In the days that followed, the sketchy details of the raid were accompanied by contradictory claims even as US and British officials admitted knowledge of the raid. The New York Times described the target of the raid as a nuclear site being run in collaboration with North Korean technicians. Others reported that the jets had hit either a Hizbollah convoy, a missile facility or a terrorist camp.

Amid the confusion there were troubling details that chimed uncomfortably with the known facts. Two detachable tanks from an Israeli fighter were found just over the Turkish border. According to Turkish military sources, they belonged to a Raam F15I – the newest generation of Israeli long-range bomber, which has a combat range of over 2,000km when equipped with the drop tanks. This would enable them to reach targets in Iran, leading to speculation that it was an ‘operation rehearsal’ for a raid on Tehran’s nuclear facilities.

Finally, however, at the week’s end, the first few tangible details were beginning to emerge about Operation Orchard from a source involved in the Israeli operation.

update: US & israel shared data on suspected nuclear site
US & israel shared data on suspected nuclear sitefrom reuters: Before it decided to strike Syria, Israel shared intelligence with President George W. Bush this summer indicating that its neighbor was getting help from North Korea on a nuclear facility, The Washington Post reported on Friday.

The White House was deeply troubled by Israel’s assertion that North Korea was assisting Syria’s nuclear ambition, but opted against an immediate response because of concern over negotiations on Pyongyang’s nuclear program, the Post reported, citing U.S. government sources.

1 Comment

  1. The “Why Would the U.S. Attack Iran” website – http://www.whyattackiran.com/ – has been updated to represent the current government.

    There is not the slightest actual evidence that the Iranian nuclear program has anything to do with creating nuclear weapons [1] and even if it did have a weapons program it would pose no threat to the United States [2]. Nevertheless, the United States has been constantly and deliberately misrepresenting these realities [3] in order to create the false impression that there is some valid reason for us to attack Iran.

    So why is the political leadership of the United States falsifying evidence to justify a war against Iran, a war that would make the current war in Iraq look like a cakewalk [4]?

    “… it’s the threat against Israel,”[5]

    Although the vast majority of Americans are opposed to a U.S. attack on Iran [6] – a fact that has been a problem for many leaders of the Israel Lobby [7] – roughly 71% of Israelis actively support the idea of the U.S. attacking Iran [8]. The “Why Would the U.S. Attack Iran?” website – http://www.whyattackiran.com/ – shows this in detail, illustrating the current leadership (President, Vice-President, Secretary of State, Senate Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader, Speaker of the House, House Majority Leader, and House Minority Leader) standing before AIPAC [9] declaring their willingness to go to war against Iran on behalf of Israel. Further, recent news stories – primarily from pro-Israel sources – are listed on the left side of the site clearly illustrating the issue. There is no mystery or conspiracy about the fact that the pro-Israel lobby is leading the charge for war on Iran, it is all quite out in the open and freely admitted.

    To learn more about the push for war against Iran and why, please visit the “Why Would the U.S. Attack Iran?” website at: http://www.whyattackiran.com/ If you find it useful, please be sure to pass it along to others.

    Notes:

    [1] Mark Heinrich, “Western talk of Iran war premature ‘hype’: IAEA head,” Reuters, 17 September 2007, http://ca.today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2007-09-17T151816Z_01_L17903337_RTRIDST_0_NEWS-NUCLEAR-IAEA-COL.XML

    [2] Robert Burns, “Abizaid: World could abide nuclear Iran,” Associated Press, 17 September 2007, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070918/ap_on_go_ot/abizaid_iran;_ylt=AoPcm9.sCbgOW.nDG7s0XqQDW7oF

    [3] BBC Staff, “US Iran report branded dishonest,” BBC News, 14 September 2007, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5346524.stm

    [4] Paul Rogers, “Iran: Consequences of a War,” Oxford Research Group, February 2006,
    http://www.oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk/publications/briefing_papers/iranconsequences.php

    [5] Quote given in context of Iraq, not Iran, but holds true in both cases. Philip Zelikow, former member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and executive director of the 9/11 Commission. Statement made at the University of Virginia on Sep. 10, 2002 http://ipsnews.net/interna.asp?idnews=23083

    [6] For a collection of recent polls, see: PollingReport.Com http://www.pollingreport.com/iran.htm

    [7] James D. Besser, “Jewish Leaders Caught In Iran Bind,” The Jewish Week, 31 August 2007, http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/newscontent.php3?artid=14460

    [8] Aluf Benn, “Poll: 71% of Israelis want the U.S. to strike Iran if talks fail,” Ha’aretz, 18 May 2007, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/860903.html

    [9] AIPAC, The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, http://www.aipac.org/

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