From: Ray Close
Date: Fri, May 9, 2008 at 4:07 PM
Subject: Raids on Hizballah sites in Iran?
This (enclosed, after my comments) is from Colonel Sam Gardiner, a retired USAF intelligence specialist who keeps a very sharp eye on the possibilities of a military attack on Iran.
I agree strongly with Sam's analysis, and feel that the percentages are becoming very high that the USAF sometime soon is going to whack some of those Iranian training bases (Hizballah-manned, apparently), on the Iranian side of the Iran-Iraq border, with exactly the objective that Sam suggests: to teach those evil-doers a lesson they won't forget! The decision to strike will actually be motivated primarily by an irresistable urge, stemming from pure frustration over continuing American impotence throughout the region, just to "do something". This dangerous impulse has led us in the past to act aggressively in an effort to be perceived as tough and "forward-leaning" (a Don Rumsfeld term) in the fight against terrorism --- even though the actual positive gain in this case would be minimal, while the downside risks are enormous. (Roughly analogous to kicking the family dog to show him who's boss. Lest I seem partisan, the Clinton administration was prone to the same impulsive and equally futile actions. Someday some psychologist will write a textbook on the disastrous influence of erectile disfunction on superpower decision making.)
From Sam Gardiner:
A friend sent me a link this morning to a London Sunday Times article
of last week that said that Israel had some "breakthrough" intelligence
on the Iranian nuclear program. According to this article, Iran is
much farther along than most had estimated on the path toward a nucler
weapon. The article went on to say that UK and US intelligence people
were being provided the information. This was my respnse to him:
It's a dilemma for the Administration. I'm convinced by what I have
been reading that the thinking has been moving away from targeting the
nuclear facilities to targeting "terrorism" kinds of things. This
started in the fall of last year about the time the NIE was being
The switch of the targeting focus made people more comfortable with a
strike. John Bolton's argument in the Telegraph earlier in the week was
consistent with what I suspect is the main line of thinking inside. We
need to target these terrorist training camps to send a message to the
The message-sending part of the Administration thinking could be the
subject of a major paper. I've just finished Sanchez' book. The Marine
attack on Falluja was meant to send a message; having them disengage
even close to success was meant to send a message. Etc, etc...
It's the price of oil, above $125 this morning. That current condition
makes a larger strike more of a problem than a year ago when the
nuclear target option was the more important option on the table. I
never want to underestimate the degree to which the White House will do
stupid things, but the consequences of an oil spike could push us
beyond a tipping point.
My conclusion is that Israel may not be doing the White House a favor
by making too much out of new intelligence.
Colonel, USAF (retired)