Uri Dan writes in the New York Post:
The Israeli prime minister wants to know that the U.S. war planning will ensure that Iraq will not be able to inflict attacks on Israel – as in the Scud salvos of the 1991 Gulf War, but this time with chemical and biological warheads. Bush wants to be assured that Israel will remain completely defensive, since an Israeli retaliatory move against Baghdad, even after heavy casualties, could bring a tough reaction in the Arab world.
Foreign reports reaching Israel say that in preparation for the offensive, U.S. and British bombers attacked an Iraqi control and command center in early September.
Diplomatic reports in the Mideast indicate that when the U.S.-British offensive begins, there will be about 90 days of air raids.
There are two interesting items here. The first is the unwritten assumption that it is in America’s interest, although perhaps not Israel’s, the Iraq not be turned into irradiated black glass. (I mean no insult to Israel here; were we attacked by biologicial missiles, I doubt we’d show much restraint, either.)
The second item is the idea of “90 days of air raids.”
Um, guys? Counting from when? For weeks now, Anglo-American warplanes have been doing an increasingly thorough job dismantling Iraqi air defenses.