High noon
in the Gulf

By WND Staff

Editor’s note: Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin is an online, subscription intelligence news service from the creator of WorldNetDaily.com – a journalist who has been developing sources around the world for the last 25 years.

With the Sept. 11 commission report pointing fingers of responsibility at Iran and Tehran inching closer to the development of a nuclear arms program, is it only a matter of time before Israel strikes the country’s nuclear facilities as it did in Iraq in 1981?

Israeli planners tell Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin a strike at Iran’s nuclear plant would hardly resemble the attack on Iraq’s Ossirak plant 23 years ago.

For one thing, the element of surprise is all but gone.

The Ossirak destruction happened under relatively quiet conditions in the region and was a classic first-time unpredictable attack. The Iranian setting is completely different. It is important to understand, and be aware of the fact Iranian military planners are active in assessing the risk factor for their nuclear complexes, and they are taking all necessary and possible counter measures available to them.

From a pure military position the destruction of the Busher complex, say the sources, does not require an exceptionally sophisticated maneuver. There is no need for a cloak and dagger operation to discover the sites which are well observed through a series of satellites. A regular iron bomb could flatten the dome or destroy other nearby facilities, not to mention the use of smart bombs, which in theory cannot miss. The risk level would be for the crews burdened with executing such an air raid.

Israeli experts stress there are less than three years before the site goes warm. In planning the Ossirak operation the Israeli air force carefully considered the stage of the nuclear reactor. It was of paramount importance to destroy a cold reactor, knowing the destruction of a warm one could lead to a new Chernobyl-like ecological disaster.

Israeli planners are obviously working under the pressure of a timing factor, probably trying to figure out if and when the Iranian reactor will go warm. Scientists carefully bear in mind the ripple effect of such a scenario, saying that although the Busher province is sparsely inhabited, it is close to other centers on both sides of the Persian Gulf.

If attacked while in operation the danger to civilians and allied forces and navies, could be significant, including the possibility wrong timing from a meteorological point of view could cause a huge area to become contaminated with radioactive fallout.

A review of the regional map, and analyzing the Israeli air force capabilities, suggests an aerial penetration of the Busher area could come through the air space of Arab states such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia, and even through Syria and Iraq. The Israeli air force has successfully proven, on more than one occasion, it possesses some of the best technology to enable such a move. As a matter of fact, in a number of instances the Israeli air force demonstrated its technological-scientific know-how, described by experts as most probably having an “electronic stealth capability.”

Other options, such as a long range flight over the Red Sea and around the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula all the way to Busher and back, would require a high level of cooperation with many air forces operating in the area. An approach to Busher from the south would be almost impossible due to the density of military air activity in the region.

A retired Israeli air force general, a veteran of many sophisticated operations, told G2B: “There is no problem to plan an operation and to destroy the complex, but the skies of the Middle East are not as open as they were 23 years ago.”

The general added that the Gulf area alone has today one of the largest concentrations of air activity including counter, detection and monitoring measures. He added that density could on the other hand be an asset, helping to disguise the movement of a few aircraft, though only with the full cooperation of friendly air forces will the attackers be able to return home safely.

Military options go far beyond an air raid. Here are a number of alternative options:

  • A raid by naval or airborne commandos who would penetrate the Busher facility. Such a raid requires a highly sophisticated team, a relatively large force to quell the garrison, to penetrate the central part of the complex while carrying a relatively heavy load of explosives. However, it would be extremely difficult to extract a force like this. Such operations are depicted in Hollywood creations or in the minds of imaginative action writers.

  • A missile attack: Israel possesses long range ballistic missiles, equipped with sophisticated guiding systems. These are supported by satellite guidance or control equipment handled by on-the-ground agents. They can easily attack and destroy the most important components of the Busher complex or any other selected target. The down side of this option is the fact the missiles would have to be launched from Israel. This creates the danger of being detected early on in the operation and possibly even being intercepted. The U.S. and Russia are undoubtedly constantly monitoring the regional air space and would immediately detect a long range missile launch.

  • Launching cruise or guided missiles from a submarine not too far from the target. Information about the Israeli navy’s latest submarine acquisitions includes the assessment that, with the exception of nuclear power, the new subs are capable of doing most everything a sophisticated U.S. or Russian sub can do. In this case the launching point could be in or outside the Gulf region.

  • A missile launch from a disguised freighter or camouflaged tanker armed with surface-to-surface missiles. In such a case the launch can come from anywhere in the region and evidence could be immediately disposed of by scuttling the vessel.

Nobody, with the exception of a very small group of Israeli planners, probably headed by the prime minister himself, is fully familiar with the specifics of the option to be selected, the timing of its execution or even whether an attack will indeed come.

One Israeli analyst talking to G2B said: “Such decisions are made in a very lonely environment with no friends to share the burden.”

He also used a western metaphor by comparing Gary Cooper cleaning up a town with no support coming from those who were affected by a dangerous hoodlum. He summarized his assessment by saying: “For Israel the decision will come at ‘high noon’ with no partners and no support other than her own resources and risk taking.”

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Earlier stories:

Israel ‘ready’ to strike Iran

Israel to destroy Iran nuke plant?