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Obama Vetoed Israeli Strike on Iran, Israel’s former NSC chief says

September 3rd, 2013 - 5:34 am

President Obama stopped Israel from launching an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities a year ago, according to the then head of Israel’s National Security Council, Gen. Giora Eiland. Gen. Eiland spoke with Israeli journalist Rotem Sella, a former former senior writer for the daily Ma’ariv, at the Daily Capitalist blog on the “Mida” online news site. Some quickly-translated extracts from Sella’s report are below:

Exclusive: Prime – Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was about to order an attack on Iran in September 2012, but canceled the operation in response to U.S. pressure, the former head of Israel’s National Security Council said last month. Gen. Giora Eiland (retired) added that Israel “has a real ability to destroy Iran’s nuclear program,” and that it is possible that the American veto was related to the presidential election then in progress.

“At the time [September 2012] the Prime Minister thought that we had gotten to a critical point on the Iranian issue and planned to carry out attacks,” Gen. Eiland said at a closed-door conference held on August 19, adding that “Israel did not have in principle approval of U.S. military operations, unless Americans require one – cut prevented any action. ” According to Eiland, the issue was raised at a meeting between Netanyahu and the Americans, who said that the planned attack was out of the question for them, which led to its cancellation.

Since the cancellation of the planned Iran’s nuclear program has continued to progress. Today, argues Eiland, Israel again faces a difficult choice. “Time has passed and we stand before exactly the same decision, with less time. ” He added, “The lack of resolution is dramatic.”

In an interview, Gen. Eiland said, “There are many things Israel can do things independently. In the case of construction in Jerusalem, an assault in Gaza or other issues relating to our area we do not need to ask the Americans when we act, even if they do not like it. Yet when it comes to something with broader concerns to U.S., we cannot act against their judgment. “

The best scenario for Israel, Eiland believes, is an American attack on Iran, but “the lack of U.S. enthusiasm for action in Syria signals that this possibility is not realistic.” The issue of prospective US approval of an Israeli attack remains an open question. “There are variables that have changed since last year primarily in the internal affairs of the United – States, which was then in full swing in elections,” the retired general said. In September 2012, when Eiland headed Israel’s National Security Council, Obama was in trouble due to his poor performance in the first televised debate with Romney. He may have preferred to avoid a war that could harm his re-election campaign.

Do circumstances today allow Netanyahu to attack? That is difficult to assess. But while the Syrian story and Obama’s hesitations occupy the headlines, it is important to remember that the real drama is  in Iran.

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All Comments   (15)
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This makes sense of some of the strained things Bibi has done recently.
Obama's threats must have been very strong.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
WRT Iran. The days of the air strike seriously degrading Iran's nuclear weapons capability are long past.

35 or so years of dithering, since Carter, have given them more than enough time and money. It can be stopped. Hell, even North Korea and Pakistan can be disarmed. It just ain't gonna be easy.

So, the existential question. Do we stuff the genie back in while she still has one foot in the bottle, or do we surrender now? You vote.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Nork and Pakistan have Red China as their patron.

They can be destroyed -- but not disarmed.

America is so powerful that her adversaries have learned by the experiences of Germany, Japan and later the Soviet Union.

Indirection is the only way; deceit the only mode.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It doesn't REALLY matter who gassed whom or even if anyone did use WMD. Dead is dead.

There is no cause for the US to get involved.

Watching General Dempsey give Kerry the shiv at the Senate hearings in response to Rand Paul's questioning was priceless! That one little moment of payback was hardly enough for Kerry career of defaming the US military but it felt so good.

What's Putin's long game? Does he just want the Middle East up in flames to increase the price of Russian oil and gas exports?

All this seems to me to point to a nuclear arms race between Iran and Saudi Arabia. If I were the king, I'd stockpile as many nuclear warheads and missile delivery systems as possible. The Iranians have more to lose from a counter-value exchange and the Saudis would recover more quickly.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Intra-Muslim atomic scrum is destined to never follow the story arc of the Cold War.

So there can be no 'arms race.' The players can't even source the technology within their own lands. They are quite unlike the Soviets and the Americans.

Iranian firsters must inevitably use their clout. The consequences will run away from them.

President Alfred E Neuman will then be roundly remembered -- in infamy.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I can't believe that Israel didn't take advantage of Obama's weakness during the 2012 elections! If they had attacked and destroyed Iran's nuclear program, what would Obama have done? Not backed Israel? That would have lost him a major part of his Jewish support. He would have lost the election and we would have a Republican in the White House, far more likely to be a strong supporter of Israel.

That was the time to attack! When it would have made an improvement in both Iran and the U.S. Now Israel is really over a barrel ...

It is so obvious, that it really makes me wonder if Gen. Eiland is giving the full picture of the decision-making ... Could there have been other reasons the mission was scotched in addition to Obama's objections?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The question is: Would AQ dope/ spike the test samples that have been sent back for analysis?

Back in the day, one of the oldest tricks in the book was to spike gold assays -- and then unload stock shares to the public. Such a scam made for a record haul in the Vancouver Stock Market less than a generation ago.

The other question: How in the world could Islamists perform burial rites upon victims of Sarin -- and survive? US Army research says it's an impossibility.

Where are the victims of Sarin that got less than a lethal dose? There should be plenty of them -- those on the margin. Since Sarin does NOT burn the skin -- it destroys the nerves (and tendons and muscles) -- the Islamists should be able to produce simply no end of tragic victims that are hanging on -- perhaps to survive.

They'd make perfect agitprop. Where are they?

BBC video makes it crystal clear that Syrian civilians have been hit by thermobaric warheads. If correctly detonated, such fuel air explosions flash burn the skin -- massively harm the lungs -- and severely concuss the brain -- normally breaking eardrums.

Neither Napalm nor Sarin break eardrums.

Why has the MSM blacked out the technical details of thermobaric detonations?

Can they be so technically challenged as to not hire experts?

The Soviet era mechanical timers, found at the 'crime' scene, are completely consistent with their thermobaric fusing mechanism.

We all remember that the USAF used thermobaric bombs to destroy AQ at Tora Bora. It was a big press item at the time. They are brutal, but not deemed a WMD.

We have no casus belli.

If the launch crews fouled up their timing, then their rockets would spew ethylene oxide (or similar agents) all over the countryside. It's wildly toxic as a vapor, as in: you'll drop dead in minutes if you inhale it.

Such a brutal death could easily be mistaken by civilians as being poison gas -- because it's a poisonous gas!

Yet, it would be a dud.

Further, the launch crews (probably Iranian al Quds boys) utterly lack the protection, style and manner of chemical warfare troops. Such men would have to always be on the alert for leakers. Even a trivial leak is not trivial with nerve agent. It'd wipe out everyone nearby. For such reasons, most militaries have phased out Sarin -- in favor of binary warheads.

But binary warheads CAN'T be launched by rocket. They depend upon the intense spinning of an artillery piece for their chemistry -- in flight. First, the spin breaks the robust seal between the two brews. Second, the spinning causes the reaction to proceed at the required tempo -- which means only seconds to achieve quantitative conversion.

Yet no-one is claiming that the victims were hit by conventional artillery.

(The mechanical timers = rockets, only.)

So, it can't be binary Sarin. It'd have to be Sarin, good to go.

I can't believe it.

You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to realize that there are holes the size of Gaza in the 0bama narrative. He's sounding off before the chemists have even weighed in.

When the emotions die down we'll likely find out that the first rockets broke up on impact. Next, a second volley detonated correctly. The result is a mix of ethylene oxide poisonings and thermobaric injuries.

Lastly, the Islamists claim that many of the injured were deeply bunkered. Sarin is drastically less effective with depth. It's an aerosol. It's going to stick to the dirt/ concrete/ skin/ clothes. Thermobaric bombs/ warheads are specifically used BECAUSE they send a blast pulse clear to the bottom of caves and bunkers. They were put into service for this one feature, and nothing else.

They are touchier to handle by friendly forces at all times. They can't be permitted to get too warm. Leakage is a concern. They're less dense, so the bombs really bulk out. Hence, they are not suitable for fighter-bombers; not really. They need to ride, stress free, in the belly of a B-52 or on the tip of a smallish rocket.

But ethylene oxide is cheap, really cheap, to make. One merely oxidizes ethylene gas over a silver catalyst; you're done. That's drastically cheaper than nitrated explosives. (TNT, RDX, HEX, PETN, etc.) That's important for a tyrant on a budget.

With all of the obvious 'tells' that the Syrians are tossing FAE all over the landscape -- why is this not a lead item on the nightly news?

Why are we supposed to listen to 0bama, Kerry and Hegel as voices of authority: two liars and a dunce?

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There is one more problem with the Syria story.

The two biggest republicans backing it are McCain and Lindsey.

Back in the 1990's when anyone's political compass went haywire so it was hard to know what position to take...a simple rule was to look over at Joe Biden. Whatever position he took was sure to be the most idiotic and asinine. So you just took the opposite position as Joe Biden.

Today Lindsey Graham and John McCain are just as reliably bass ackward today. When these two ass clowns come up in favor of a policy you pretty much know the correct position to take is just the opposite.

Nothing the USA does or does not do in Syria is going to affect the way the Iranians do their nuclear arms program.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Do circumstances today allow Netanyahu to attack? That is difficult to assess. But while the Syrian story and Obama’s hesitations occupy the headlines, it is important to remember that the real drama is in Iran"

... and if the Syrian distraction was not available then BHO would buy a new White House puppy to occupy the MSM.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Part of Rush's talk this afternoon was a discussion of means and motive. It should be plain to anybody what AQ's motive for staging a sarin gas attack. They need to turn the tide in Syria because the Assad is winning. They have both means and motive. Assad has the means but not the motive for a sarin gas attack. He's winning. Why risk a gas attack. There's plenty of ways to kill people without doing the sort of thing that would bring in the monkeys with bombs.

What about the USA? Why would Tapper fudge the data? I don't think that's the right question. The question with tapper is which way is the safest way to err.

To get an answer to that you need to read Barry Rubin's piece in which he says the USA is now set on an anti Israeli pro sunni course.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Rush Limbaugh said today that he has heard from several of his sources that the sarin gas attack in Syria was staged by the rebels on their own people so as to draw in the US. That the dead numbered in the 100's and not nearly 2k.

Curiously, the secretary of state testified before the senate this afternoon that the Russians are telling the US the same thing. That the sarin gas attack was staged by the syrian rebels to draw in the USA.

The situation is clear as mud.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The theories that the rebels launched the attack have a few problems, including:

1) The attack required the use of sophisticated delivery systems. Just blowing up a few kilos of Sarin wouldn't have worked.

2) Several countries report SIGINT showing regime forces used the CW.

3) The US and other countries (including Israel) have substantial intelligence assets in Syria which back up the claims that the regime launched the weapons.

4) There were a large number of social media reports at the time of the attack, from many sources, of the attacks. This is hard to fake.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Mesocyclone - thanks for voting for sanity.

Retired USN intelligence officer JE Dwyer writes the excellent blog, "Optimistic Conservative" and often provides excellent open source based intelligence analysis. She is not necessarily a fan of Syrian intervention, but she strikes a blow for sanity and against tinfoil hats and black helicopters in this post which busts the "rebels did it" theory, "But we need to keep things straight and argue only from valid, supportable premises. In the case of the 21 August attack, arguments that the rebels must have mounted a false flag operation lack a good foundation. Western intelligence agencies are concluding that Assad’s forces mounted this attack because the evidence is strong that they did".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Further the person who asked Kerry the question as the veracity of the report was Barbara boxer and not a republican. After Kerry answered that the Russians had said it was a set up, Kerry hastened to add that the Russians have been very helpful in a whole set other areas--then Kerry rattled them off.

Boxer wanted to know if Kerry had heard any dissenting voices within the intelligence community. Kerry gave the distinct impression that he was hearing only voice--that of DNI James Clapper-- which for some reason tends to impeach the story.

Has anyone heard what Israeli intelligence is saying about the matter. Their sources should at least as good as the Russians.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Even more than Obama, this gives the lie to people like Ron Paul falsely and maliciously claimed that Israel was trying to get the US to sacrifice for them.

Israel has never asked the US to fight for them.

On the other hand, the US has often caused the deaths of countless Israeli soldiers and civilians in order to score Brownie points. And this means you, John Kerry.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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